Grieving set in, and for some reason she couldn't cry. She would just get the children off to school and sit there like a zombie, staring off into space. "God," she exclaimed angrily one day, "how could you have let this happen? David was such a good man, a good father! Now my children are fatherless and I'm alone. It's not fair!"
Kathy went on with the routine of living, but the anger, bitterness, and depression sat like a heavy burden on her. She resigned her position as Sunday school teacher and dropped out of church completely.
Her pastor came to see her, but she was almost rude to him. Seeing he couldn't talk to her, he finally said, "Well, Kathy, we miss you, and we'll be praying for you." Christian friends called and she brushed them off in similar fashion.
Kathy was troubled by the drop in her children's report card marks. They didn't seem very happy either. She began to realize she would have to pull herself together for their sakes.
Then one day, Kathy went out for lunch with a Christian co-worker. As they talked, she shared with Anne what she had been suffering. "I went through all that, too," Anne said, "when my husband left me for another woman. But I finally got tired of feeling sorry for myself and being full of turmoil. I finally decided to 'let go and let God' — to really trust him with my life and realize that he could work all things together for my good! I forgave Jerry. I forgave myself. And for the first time in a long time, I experienced real peace!"
When Kathy got home that day, she fell to her knees and followed Anne's example — and she too found peace and meaning for her life. It wasn't easy. It was a commitment she had to make again and again, but turning things over to God, really trusting him with her life, was more than just a slogan; it was the way back to life again.
Quite often when we feel that we have dealt with our grief over loss — that we have turned it over the Lord — we can be hit by reoccurrences that get us down. After all, we are all only human, and it is easy to backslide into feeling depressed and very sorry for ourselves because of our losses. We quite making that daily commitment to trust God and focus on the future. So how do we climb out of the pit again? Here are some suggestions.
- All those old feelings coming back make you feel sorry for yourself again. This in turn depresses you — may even make you angry again too. The Bible tells us not to fret — to sit around and worry and stew and make ourselves anxious (Psalm 37:1). Why? Because fretting brings us back to square one — doubting God and making ourselves miserable. Stop looking inward, and go back to looking upward!
- Go back to the source of your first victory over grief and anger — the Lord. He is still there for you. He loves you. He hasn't left you — you have left Him! Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavily laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). When you bring that burden to Him, leave it with Him! It works for me every time I really do that!
- Those old feelings revive something else in us — remorse about our own shortcomings, blaming others and God, too. So we must forgive ourselves and others, and trust in God again.
- Rejoice in the Lord. Rejoicing in the Lord lifts our spirits, draws us back to Him by thankfulness, reminds us of how much better it is to look forward than backward (Philippians 4:4-9). Again, look up!