Archive for July, 2010

One minute your world is in order. The next the phone rings, and you’re reeling over the news that your beloved daughter has been killed in an automobile accident. How do you keep your sanity? I’m not sure I could.

Author, Dave Branon managed to do so, and has written a powerful book about surviving this heart-rending sorrow. (Beyond The Valley: finding hope in life’s losses. Discovery House Publishers, 2010).

Dave has a way with words. It was difficult for me not to feel the pain while reading the refreshingly honest admissions of deep grief. For example: He talks of the friends who surrounded his family afterwards and yet were estranged, for they hadn’t “crossed this raging river.” Of his aunt, who after losing her baby, “slogged through each day.” And of the Biblical Job, who struggled with his faith when tragedy “slammed his world to the ground.”

Dave is also a master of organized writing. As an artist will paint layer upon layer in a watercolor, so this author, chapter by chapter, lays out all the shades of God’s heart of compassion for us in our suffering…until we see before us at the book’s end, a beautiful portrait of God’s forever love and sustaining grace.

“…neither death nor life…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” (Romans 8:38-39, NIV)

“Let it sink in,” the author urges. “Let it envelop you in a love that surrounds with comfort your trembling soul.”

When all seems lost, yet there is hope.


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The winter of my bed rest is past. (Running With Gerbils, May 1, 2010)

Spring and summer have brought partial relapses of the nausea and fatigue, as I step out in trial and error. I’m learning how much I can do in a day and when to stop before I return to my here-to-fore busy life style. It’s a matter of balance.

In the book, Coping With Anxiety, Edmund Bourne, Ph.D, recommends taking mini-breaks between activities. “Too much activity packed into each day, without breaks, leads to exhaustion, stress, anxiety, and perhaps even illness.” Opps…sounds like me.

Years ago, my pastor, Bob Myers preached a sermon on this. He stressed the importance of creating margins–that space between our load and our limit–in our lives. I wish I had remembered this in my early days of loss. And in my later ones. Sorrow is emotionally and physically draining enough in itself. Those in active grief have their plates full without adding anything hanging off the edges.

How are the margins in your life? Are you reserving time to just rest and recover?

Patti Cox, Bereavement Counselor, has written an insiteful article on this. Click here for her
Finding A Balance: Self Care Quiz.

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