Joan Guntzelman, counselor and author, shares a story of trauma and growth as she shows you that everyday in life, you will be faced with making choices that either lead us to growth and new life or diminish us in some way. After any loss, whether small or enormous, our choice is the same: life or death. No matter what others say to us, the choice is ours. If we can consciously opt for life and growth, we enhance our lives.
|Consider the Lilly|
Andy Landis explains how two sisters let God use their pain to reach out to others, “Sometimes when our hearts are hurting, God speaks to us when we cannot utter a word…” reads the back of the CD cover titled Heartaches Take Time. Sister Robin Wilton Jones and Sharon Wilton Atack know this experientially. They decided to let others know it, too, when they put together a unique heartfelt collection of songs. “God got us through a terrible time and now we want to help others. We want to help them heal,” You, too, can find hope through faith.
|Letting Go and Letting God|
How often we have heard those words, "Letting go and letting God". It seems when we are faced with a crisis or an obstacle, or a loss in our lives, there is always someone who quotes those words to us. But what do they mean? Just what is "letting go" all about; and how does God (or our Higher Power) come into it? Sister Mauryeen O'Brien, writer and grief specialist, explains what it means to let go and let God. She shares stories of how people have implemented this approach to cope with crisis in their lives.
|Mad at God!|
Father Chris Heller explains that anger is a very strong emtion that accompanies grief. Many times that anger gets directed toward God because, as humans, we ultimately see him as in contorl and since our grief has left us totally out of control, we are looking for someone to blame. Chris goes on to explain that God is a big God and that he can handle our anger and our blame. He shares that God hurts with us and does not abandon us even though we may fear that He has. God walks with us on our grief journey and that your becoming angry with God may be an indication of how deeply one of God’s creations touched your life, how deep your feelings of loss are, and how you have begun to realize that all of us are connected with God and one another in a single circle of life.
God knew what He was doing, When He took my loved one home. His timing was just right, For me to be alone. Through seasons of His healing, Through all of my pain, The sun rose and set, Just like a healing rain.
|The Bell Ringer|
Jeanine Brenner shares a beautiful story about how to give back through your pain. It is in giving that you receive the greatest gift and that is the gift of self worth, feeling like you make a difference in the lives of others and developing a new sense of self. If you choose share the gifts of the heart, the love support, friendship, kindness, giving spirit, etc. of your loved one with others, you can find hope again in living.
Be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later. One man named Jim received a seed. His wife helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his see, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.
|When God Seems to Abandon Us|
The experience of losing someone we love in death forces us to examine our values and faith, our reliance on God and the very meaning of prayer and spirituality in our lives. The crisis we have gone through has threatened our very existence; something happened to us that has shaken our physical, emotional and spiritual foundation and we need to know where God is in all of the trauma we’ve gone through. Sister Mauryeen O'Brien provides insight into the spiritual aspects of grief and loss and how to cope.