In a fallen world, the path to healing can be long. Therefore, perseverance and stamina are essential. Because anger, fear, guilt, blame, and shame drain us and make our life seem dark, exhausting, and fraught with problems, it is vital for us to remember that while we are on the path to healing, our minds show us the way, but our spirit energizes us, and our bodies get us there.
Negative emotions sap us of our mental and physical strength, but the opposite is also true: Positive emotions invigorate us, giving us the boost we need to continue on through difficult stretches.
Grief crept up on Pam in the middle of a sunny afternoon, with flowers all around. Staying inside just wasn’t an option on such a beautiful day, so she’d gone out in the backyard to weed.
As she worked her way through the warm, damp garden beds, she came upon the calla lilies. Peeking up through the broad green leaves was the first blossom. Grief slammed down hard as Pam remembered this was her father’s plant. He’d painstakingly transported it from family home to family home across three states. When she’d moved into her first house, her father’s calla lily went with her.
Pam sat back on her heels, tears springing to her eyes. It wasn’t fair that her father was dead; he was too young. It wasn’t his time to go. He should have taken better care of himself. Look at all she and her family missed because of his death. Her children would grow up without knowing their grandfather. No more holiday celebrations. No more vacations to see grandma and grandpa. No high school graduations. No sharing college plans. No weddings. No great-grandchildren. The only interaction left for her children was with a memory, fast fading as they grew up, and pictures in frames on the piano in the living room. Not a living, breathing, laughing, loving grandfather.
Anger welled up inside her, causing even more tears. It just wasn’t right. It just wasn’t fair.
“Stop,” she told herself firmly. “It’s not his fault he’s dead. It’s not God’s fault either.” Pam’s father had died of congestive heart failure after a series of heart attacks, beginning when she’d still been in school and living at home. He’d done what he could to moderate the damage — he lost weight, quit smoking, and became more active. The damage was done, though, and it eventually caught up with him.
“Don’t dwell on this death,” she told herself, gently working the weeds away from the base of the plant. “Concentrate on his life!” As soon as her daughter got home from school, Pam took her out in the yard, showed her the beautiful new blossom coming up, and reminded her about her grandfather.
SOURCE: Chapter 5: “Transformation,” God Can Help You Heal by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.
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