grieving

Grieving God's Way 1:

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Introduction

Grief

Although there are many causes for grief, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a pet, parents separating or divorcing and even losing something such as a job or a home; death is a major cause of grief for many people. To many of us this loss is so great we sometimes feel as if we cannot make it. It is important to know that grief is a normal reaction to loss and we should not feel bad about expressing our pain.

Grief involves so much pain that involves the heart and so many ranges of emotions that affect our thoughts and actions. We experience sadness, fear, anger and a host of other feelings. There is a time of loneliness. In times like these we must not question God, but place our utmost confidence in Him.

Tragedy must not be blamed on God. We have to accept what has happened. God allowed it to happen for whatever reason. So we have to accept it and move forward and keep pressing toward the mark, which is the high calling of Jesus Christ.

Regardless of how bad we think the circumstances are, God can work redemptively in and through the situation. He knows our pain and when we are obedient, He will bring us through.

We may feel as if we are walking through a very deep and lonely valley, but we cannot look back. We cannot undo the past, if we could, we would. If we stay in His loving arms we can come to a new mountaintop experience of God's grace and His mercy. We must trust the Lord and all of His promises, even though we cannot see them as God sees them, we just have to trust His Word.

We must learn to continually believe God in the midst of any discouragement, and the peace of His Spirit will overcome the loneliness that we may sometimes feel.

God wants us to have His comfort and to walk in His joy and peace. As stated in, 2 Peter 1:2, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord."

When you feel too overwhelmed with grief, talk to someone like your minister, this person will be able to help you through listening and counseling you.



Life Goes On

Before and After Death

"The man who completed my life was gone. Though I lived many years without him, I was at a loss at how I could live the rest of my life without his presence. My life was suddenly divided into Before and After chapters…"

Since my life was suddenly divided into Before and After chapters, and there was no going back to Before. I realized I had a choice in how I wanted to live the After. I had to decide all by myself.

In order to have a blessed tomorrow, it has to start with the fulfillment of today. The fulfillment starts with giving God all of the praise for what He has done and what He is going to do.

In talking with others who have gone through the same thing, I now realize that my loss is not God's punishment or that God is testing me. I know that God shares the hurt in my heart, and wants to lead me to a new level of hope and peace in Him.

He does know what I am going through. He lost His Son, so yes, He does know we are suffering. But God has promised that He is always with us even to the end. I hold steadfast to God's promises.

In Matthew 28:20, it reads: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." I am so glad that I can count on God. He promised to always be with us and that includes when we are happy, sad, or grieving.


Before Death


My married life started with my husband, James H. Douglas Sr. when we met on the sidewalk of Delmar Street in St Louis, MO. The first time I laid eyes on him, he said, "I am going to marry you." My response was, "I don't think so." I really did not believe that this man I'd just met would be my husband. Well, it did not happen as I thought it would.

I had just come to St Louis from Arkansas and he had just come from Tennessee. I was living with my aunt and he was living with his sister. There was just one house between where we both lived. He would stop by and talk to me every day when he saw me out front on the sidewalk or the porch.

Each time we would talk, I felt closer to him. We dated for a short time and then we got married. At that time you could just go to the court house to get your marriage license and there were always ministers around. They would marry you right there on the spot in a room set aside for the ceremony. I believe that all these years later it is the same way, except judges marry you at the courthouse.

But on our day at the courthouse a minister said he had a wedding room set up in his home where he did weddings. We left the courthouse and went to his domicile. The room was set up beautifully. It had more of a wedding feeling and it made the ceremony very special for us. In addition, his wife played the piano and we marched into the room and he married us.

We did not have a car at the time. We depended on his aunt, who drove us to the minister's home, and after the wedding was over, she drove us back to our apartment. We had gotten an apartment the day before and had bought some furniture. James was a working man. On the day we were married, we returned to our apartment and James changed clothes and rode the bus to work. From the first day of our marriage to the day of his death, James worked very hard. For thirty-nine years he provided for his family.

During our marriage, we raised three sons, Gerry, Mark, and James. We went through some very interesting times. Looking back, it all seems amazing. Three boys! Wow! I was the only female in the house with one bathroom.

In retrospect, our early days were not bad. James and I were both raised with strong morals, values and principles. An old adage says "The apple does not fall too far from the tree." We raised our sons the same way.

When our oldest son started school, I would walk him to school and go back to meet him after the school day was over. We only lived a few blocks from the school he was attending. Eventually my son told me he was a big boy; he knew the way to go and the way to get back home.

Although I trusted him, I wanted to be sure that he was safe. In the morning, I would get him started on his way, and then I would fall back, but still walk blocks behind him, watching until he made it. He did not know I was doing this. I monitored him after school as well. I would stand behind a truck or car, wait on him and when he appeared, I would fall back and follow him. He never saw me.

By the time the middle and the youngest son were ready for kindergarten, we had a car. I would drive them to school and James Jr. would cry all the way until he got in the classroom and then he started to play with the other kids. His brother said he would stop crying as soon as he got into the toy room.

One day, as I was standing around the corner, looking for Gerry, my other two mischievous sons, Mark and James Jr., set the house on fire, looking for candy money. They were using matches as a light to check under the sofa cushion. Still to this day, they each blame the other for starting that fire.

Other than the normal things that happened when the boys were very young, there were no major problems.

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