Having walked this journey of grief for three years I suddenly feel like I am at a crossroad. I feel confused, uncertain and scared. I have no idea how to proceed other than to trust in my creator, the Lord God Almighty. In my Bible study this morning I read through Philippians 4:6 over and over.
Firstly the directive not to be anxious jumps out at me, how can I not be anxious, how do I know which path to take, if I choose a path is it of my own desire or that of the Lords choice. What if it is the wrong path, what are the implications not only for me but for my girls. Question after question, self doubt and uncertainty only make for a good dose of butterflies churning my stomach into a nervous mess. So how to calm these butterflies.
I guess the answer comes in the next part of the sentence. In every situation proceed with prayer and request. God is a Father who wants to know your request but more importantly it is the attitude of prayer that makes the difference. We are guided to place our request with a mindset of gratitude. So I should have a long hard look at myself in the mirror, what is my mindset? Is it one of gratitude or is it one of woe is me? Is it one of recognising the good things happening in my life or am I only focussing on my problems. It is at this point I was reminded of a mountain biking skill I learnt, that is to look a few metres ahead and to look where you want to go and not to stare or focus on the obstacle. A skill that took some time to learn as typically the obstacles mostly have nasty consequences, however after mastering this skill riding became more enjoyable and less fraught with danger. Sounds a lot like life in general.
So out of grief what do I have to be grateful for? Grief and grateful in the same sentence? The answer is starring me in the face, “Grief” has become so much a part of my life that I have become unable to see a life without it. Now before you start shouting at me, let me unpack this statement a little. I have been so focussed on grief, and rightly so, that it has become comfortable as my identity. It has invaded every area of my life and at times darkened my outlook on life and all it has to offer. It has robbed me of the love and understanding that I can or could have shown to those living individuals in my life, most importantly my daughters. Now in no way am I saying that this was either right or wrong but rather I am acknowledging that grief, a necessary part of my journey, has played a very large part of my life. Standing at the crossroads I now feel the need to release myself of the grief as an identity and allow myself to move forward guilt free. Free to make choices and decisions not weighed down in the past but decisions that are forward focussed. Decisions to look at where I want to go and not the obstacles along the journey.
I guess I am acknowledging that grief will always be a part of my life but it doesn’t have to define who I am. With this in mind I end with the following prayer.
As I find myself at this crossroad of life I humbly ask that you will guide my feet and heart to follow the path that you have chosen for me. Help me to focus on the path and not the obstacles along the way.
In the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ.