When grief happens…

The turning of a chapter. That’s where I am.

Age 39 was an incredibly high and low year in my life. My 39th birthday was spent in a boy’s prison in Burma, doing ministry. I came home with an experience that drastically changed my life for the better.

And then life hit. Tragedy happened. My world was rocked.

And I spent the last half of my 39th year swimming against waves in an ocean of grief, slowly becoming tired and left gasping for air.

Pain and hardship are no stranger to me. I fought like hell to work through abandonment issues from my dad moving across the country when I was a child; to do whatever it took to become a victor after a single act of horrific violence left me stripped of all human dignity; to become and stay sober. I’ve worked through the baggage of all the years of my existence on this earth, making amends and accepting the things I can’t control.

Somewhere in that, I think I developed this expectation that if I continue to work a good program – making one right choice after another – and keeping my eyes on Christ, that I wouldn’t face pain and hardship in the extreme any more. Or maybe that I’d be able to quickly rebound to a normal existence when life does hit.

So in my 39th year as life has happened, I continued to carry on and be the strong person everyone expects me to be. I’ve gone to work every day and poured myself into things that will keep me busy while I try to shove down the pain.

I don’t want to be seen as weak. I want to be an example of Christ to everyone I know. I want people to know He is enough.

Because I know He is enough.

But I have to get real with myself and with the people around me.

My 40th birthday happened yesterday. Today I started a Grief Share class and I’m going to start healing. And that’s what this year in my life is going to be dedicated to.

It’s time I stop swimming against the waves, and instead allow them to move me.

Help needed. Drowning man's hand in sea or ocean.

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