November 23, 2021 - The Grief Journey

This is Thanksgiving week and as many of you know I am at the beach!

If you live in the Carolinas, you know that the beach is our catch all for anywhere along the coast of North and South Carolina. We discovered Ocean Isle, NC fifteen years ago and fell in love with it and have spent several Thanksgivings here since 2011. It is bittersweet this year, but one of the ways I can honor Shari is to continue living life to the fullest, even when it is difficult and challenging. Shari told me many times that my life would be boring without her in it, my response was often, “a little boring is a good thing.” I definitely miss her here at the beach, but realize this is part of my grieving process as I learn to move on. One of the stages of grief has been labeled “Acceptance,” marked by “exploring options, having a new plan in place and moving on.” Part of my week is about “moving on.” As fond as the memories are, there are new adventures, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and the only way to experience them is to move forward and onward.
I did a sermon series this summer titled “The God Hunt,” one of my resources was a book by the same title that I was introduced to about 15 years ago. I felt the sermon series was timely when I shared it. Just last night I realized I shared it just before Shari and I caught Covid. The last message in the series was the Sunday before I tested positive on Wednesday. There are many ways we see evidence of God at work in our lives, the author and the sermon series focused on four.

We hunt and find God in four ways:

  • Any obvious answer to prayer
  • Any unexpected evidence of God’s care
  • Any help to do God’s work in the world
  • Unusual linkage or timing

(The God Hunt, by Karen Mains)

One of the many songs that have spoken to my heart during this journey is “Evidence” by Josh Baldwin. Here are the lyrics:

All throughout my history
Your faithfulness has walked beside me
The winter storms made way for spring
In every season, from where I'm standing
I see the evidence of Your goodness
All over my life, all over my life
I see Your promises in fulfillment
All over my life, all over my life
Help me remember when I'm weak
Fear may come but fear will leave
You lead my heart to victory
You are my strength and You always will be
I see the evidence of Your goodness
All over my life, all over my life
I see Your promises in fulfillment
All over my life, all over my life
See the cross, the empty grave
The evidence is endless
All my sin rolled away
Because of You, oh Jesus
See the cross, the empty grave
The evidence is endless
All my sin rolled away
Because of You, oh Jesus
I see the evidence of Your goodness
All over my life, all over my life
I see Your promises in fulfillment
All over my life, all over my life
I see the evidence of Your goodness
All over my life, all over my life
I see Your promises in fulfillment
All over my life, all over my life
Why should I fear
The evidence is here
Why should I fear
The evidence is here

Whatever your circumstances today, whatever challenges you are facing, however deep your pain may be, however overwhelming the grief you are experiencing, look for the evidence of God’s hand at work in your life. I guarantee you it is there. If you can’t see it, ask the Lord to open your eyes to see the wonder of His grace at work in your life.

In the next few days, I want to share about the role of others in our journey through grief. It may be a few days as I take more long walks on the beach and then spend time with the family as they come in for the weekend and we make some new memories. As always, thanks for your love, support and for reading along with me and traveling this road together.

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