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Posts Tagged ‘Loss’

I am being forced into changing with the times.  Needless to say, I haven’t been happy about it.  Last week, when our computer died, I had no idea what effect it would have on our household, my attitude – and what I would eventually learn from it.

I will not regale you with the particulars of our computer’s illness and ensuing death because that is boring, and we have better things to talk about.  But so that we are on the same page in the story, I’ll let you know that the machine’s passing necessitated us buying a new computer and software programs.  We are also grieving the loss of three years of financial data.  Poof.

(Insert sad violin music here.)

For the past seven days, I have spent so many hours and so much energy into trying to put things back the way they were.  It’s not happening.  It can’t.  So now I have a decision to make: what will my attitude be toward my changing circumstances?

After going crazy with frustration, I began to look for God’s fingerprints in the event.

First, I reasoned that God is somewhere in this because He is in every situation, big and small.  Second, I reminded myself that nothing comes to me without first passing through His fingers.  Third, since I know God is good, I can come to no other conclusion than that He intends to use this situation for my ultimate good.

I sat down and made a list of every possible positive outcome. To my surprise, I was able to list ten positive things about having a dead computer. 

Then, I began to list the lessons God may be trying to teach me.  (I have learned that many situations I perceive as “bad” are really learning opportunities.)  Well, wonder of wonders, I discovered some “fruits of the spirit.”  God, in His infinite love and understanding, was growing them in me – most notably peace and patience.

No, I am not joyful about the situation, but I am done freaking out.  I am no longer asking God to fix my hard drive, or magically make my data re-appear, or to have software programs that never become obsolete.  Instead, I find myself… giving thanks.

Thank you, God, for caring enough about me to teach me.

Thank you, God, for helping me to re-frame my circumstances.

Thank you, God, that You never change, even as the world changes at lightning speed.

 

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  (James 1:17, NIV)

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There is a dance we do.  It is one of beginning, ending, holding on, and letting go.  It goes on continuously, person to person.  One person’s beginning is another’s end.  They both hold on, they both let go.  Until recently, I didn’t know I was dancing, too.

I’ve seen other people dancing.  Two people I know lost their mothers this week.  Another friend took her child to pre-school for the last time before kindergarten.  One mother I know won’t watch her son graduate because she lost him to a car accident.  One friend celebrated the marriage of her son even as she released him to his new life. 

Holding on, letting go…

My daughter asked if I would please take her and a friend shopping – and then let them be alone.  I could almost hear the snip of the scissors as the first cuts were issued upon the apron strings.  Don’t laugh at me, but I was surprised.  I mean, sure, I wanted autonomy when I was thirteen, but this is different, right?  Ha.

So begins an ending.  If I’m to be a good mother, I not only have to accept this, but actually help her break away.  This is my job.

The beginnings and the holding on are fun; the endings and the letting go, not so much.  But it doesn’t have to be devastating.  The key is to hold onto the right things.

I used to think I could do everything myself.  I strove to be self-sufficient, independent, and beholden to no one.  (Don’t try this at home.  It doesn’t work, and it leads to more pain in the end.)  Now, I am absolutely dependent on God.  Because I hold onto Him, I am able to let go. 

I can begin the ending of my parenting.  I can release friends who move away.  I can let go of anger, grudges and bad habits.  I can give up expectations.  As I hold tightly to Him, I can begin, end, hold on and let go.

I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy.  I get in my own way a lot, and I do frequent battle with my control issues.  But when I am successful at letting go of everything else but Him, contentment follows.

So today, hold onto Him.

Let go of all else.

And don’t be afraid to dance.

a pre-school graduation

 

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  (Deut. 31:8, NIV)

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