Living through the seasons of grief.
As we move into the New Year, one of the concepts and experiences those in bereavement face is the question of personal identity. Now that a significant relationship has ended by the death of someone we love, we feel uncertain about who we really are. Sadness, depression, adjusting to life alone, fear, forgiveness, and acceptance of current realities each play factors in redefining ourselves.
Typically, somewhere near the first anniversary of death, we begin to emerge from the darkness of the bereavement path into the fog of everyday life and eventually into the light of reclaimed happiness. While we’ve traveled on our grief path we have learned things about ourselves and others. Maybe we have learned how to embrace pain. Maybe we have learned how to treat others in their pain. We might have grown in our faith and trust in God. Possibly, the life lessons of grief have been so intimate that we cannot speak of them, yet we know we are changed because of them.
As we face the threshold of leaving active grief and stepping into adjusted and reconciled life, we can take courage in a few words from the Healer of our souls.
For I am about to do something NEW. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Is. 43:19 NLT
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! II Cor. 5:17
We were taught . . . to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Eph. 4:22-24
Embracing the new self can feel awkward for a time. Remember that anyone who has broken a bone and lived with a cast for a period of time feels awkward when first reusing that limb. Likewise, when we begin to emerge emotionally from our pain, it will feel different. The goal could be to become more of the person you want to be instead of less. Let your life honor the loved one you miss by becoming a new you. With the gentle grace of God, trust Him to be faithful to his promises to restore, heal and make your life new.