Friday, March 3, 2017

Grief


©2017 Chantelle Henderson

Friends, today I will share about grief-my personal journey of grief; how it comes out of nowhere, even on your most joy-filled days.  Just some quick background.  For two weeks I've been journaling, reading, and studying far beyond the norm because I made a "simple" request [prayer] to hunger and thirst for righteousness more and more.  When you ask Him for anything, in faith, be prepared for Him to answer you in whatever way HE sees fit.  After my prayer, my desires were diverted from my usual daily routine and distractions to things of eternal value. 
As the hymn goes, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of the earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."  It's true.  Without all this other "stuff" to distract me, I have gotten refocused and re-gained eternal perspective. 
I digress.
It was during a moment of pause and reflection this afternoon that I began to think about Heaven and that ultimately led me to think back on cherished memories shared with my daddy.  I remembered things such as him surprising me on my 16th birthday by showing up at school and checking me out for the day so I could go and get my drivers license, or the obvious and overwhelming pride he showed when I graduated at the top of my class in Business College as a single mother.  I recalled the exact moment on my wedding day when I was in the bride room with my matrons of honor and he slowly entered the room. In an instant I looked up and pierced into his eyes and beheld a father's pure love and adoration for his "little girl".  I also sensed a trace of sadness on his part because it was time for him to let me go to be joined with the new man in my life.  I even laughed out loud in the midst of my tears when I could hear him asking me, as we were arm and arm, preparing to walk down the aisle, if I was sure I wanted to go through with the wedding because if I didn't he had a car waiting. 
Memory after memory after memory flooded my heart and my mind today.  I could not have stopped them if I wanted to, but that's the strange thing about grief.  I didn't want to stop thinking about a handful out of thousands of moments shared with the man who was my hero, my confidant, a best friend, and faithful companion. 
It's now been 5 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days.  Grief is not as constant of a companion as it has been these past few months, but it still shows up unannounced just the same.  It needs no invitation.  And once it has arrived it will stay until its work is done.  Sometimes it's ten minutes and at other times can linger for days.  Regardless of how short or long the visitation, my Heavenly Father says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."  I can testify that His words are true as I sit here, salty tears streaming down my face, accompanied by deep pain and sorrow, that His Spirit is indeed comforting me, covering me, and engulfing me.  Even amidst the grief I rejoice in knowing that daddy is in his eternal home in Heaven. 
I am grateful for the 45 years I had on this side of eternity with him.  In these paragraphs I only shared stories about me and him but I could write endlessly about my daddy and how he was with others.  Family and friends could flood you with their own stories.  We would both, no doubt, paint a picture of a man who could be described as "Jesus with skin on" to so many people.  It sets a fire ablaze in me to strive to do the same by carrying on his legacy which can be summed up in Matthew 35:35-36,   “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me." 
So you see, grief is not a bad word and it's not some horrible monster.  Grief can bring with it a gift of remembrance which can evolve into a devotion and eagerness to honor your lost loved one in ways you may have forgotten; especially when that means being Jesus with skin on to those you come in contact with.
Today I am thankful for both grief and the promise of comfort that followed.
#grief #death #loss #comfort #mourn #healing #eternity #eternalperspective #jesuswithskinon #hunger #thirst #Righteousness #daddysgirl #dancewithmyfather #butterflykisses


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