Easter Time... Living with grief
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
~ John 16:33
Years ago a sun dial in a neighbors yard had the following inscribed on the top, "Only count the sunny days."
One of the things that we don't talk about much is grief. For me, I actually began taking photos and writing about them because I was depressed and grieving some major losses in my life. After trying several types of medications, my therapist said to me, "Take a picture of something that brings you joy, bring it in next week, and let's talk about it."
Over the weekend I spent time on campus at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary where I was a student over twenty years ago. As I listened to several of the people graduating, I began to think back and remember my own experience, and what I was thinking when I graduated.
While it was full of uncertainties, it was also a time where I probably understood my calling better, and what my vocation was going to be. Of course, I still sense the call of God nearly every day. Is it that same feeling? No. But it remains.
There are moments when I still grieve some of the losses I have experienced. While I understood who and what I felt God calling me to do, today, as an older person, that understanding is now filled with moments of grace and definitely more wisdom!
However, as I shared my thoughts this morning with a friend, it is as if I see the shadows of my life much better on the days that I find the sun to be shining the brightest.
Our shadows of the past sometime are more distinct on brighter days.
Grieving something for most of us is a life-long process. Whether it is a family member, a specific dream you may have had, or for a period of time in your life.
The hope is that as we get older, the shadows can be seen as boundaries and will help us decide where we walk.
I'm entirely grateful for days that are both sunny and cloudy, but mostly, that in the shadows there now is some peace.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, help me to know that while I look forward to sunny days, that even the shadows of my surroundings serve a purpose. Help me to live fully in the light and in the shadows. Amen.
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.