It’s Thanksgiving week. Some are busy packing suitcases, some are busy making grocery lists, and some may just be wondering how they’ll ever make it through the day.
Giving myself space to grieve can feel like every raw nerve gets exposed. But lots of hard things end in good places, and grief is one of these things.
Death is not a delicate process and it takes some Holy Spirit help to stay centered in the midst of it all.
Bring the habit of hope straight to your inbox.
I wasn’t born with a habit of hope; but I'm learning to practice one. In 2002, I discovered my precious children were being sexually abused by their biological father. The anger, panic, anxiety and grief that followed left little room for hope. During the darkest days, when detail after horrible detail kept emerging, I didn't think I'd ever be able to see the good in life again. The abuse colored everything--every memory, every activity, and every dream I'd ever had for my daughters and for our family. There were days I did not know if we'd survive it--the grief closed in on each of us in different ways and for different reasons. God, His Word, good friends, and well-trained counselors stood with me, over me and around me with truth. Sometimes I was open to their words and sometimes I wasn't. Eventually, I realized that in order to heal, I was going to have to let go, or at least learn how to interrupt , the mental habit I'd developed of constantly circling every awful thing that had happened or could happen. Maybe I could leave just a little bit of space--a crack in the door--for a bit of light to shine in. Maybe I could develop a habit of hope instead of habit of misery and fear. Amazingly, no matter where we are on the mental habit continuum, we do tend to find what we're looking for. When we are intentional about looking for grace, we get better at noticing it. When we practice turning toward forgiveness, we get better at extending it. While my mother's heart will always have a deep well of grief for the trauma and abuse my children endured, I am learning our lives are more than what happens to us. They are even more than our broken responses to it. The love of Jesus, his life and mercy, this is so lavishly poured out over us is enough to recreate every awful thing into something beautiful and new. He makes our hearts big enough and strong enough to hold grief and grace and the same time. It is His desire and design that we live each day in a habit of hope.