Archive | October 2019

About Grieving


Weep with those that Weep.”
Romans 12:15

As a counselor, I’ve had, and have, the honor and privilege of listening to others and assisting them as they’ve worked through grief experiences. I believe my ability to do this with compassion is due to the fact that I, myself, have had those who’ve been with me in my grief.

I’m particularly thankful for the excellent counselor who sat with me, as I worked through a long-standing depression and listened to me with the heart of Jesus.

It was from this counselor that I learned how to listen most effectively: to become present to both my own heart and to the Spirit of Jesus. In this quiet atmosphere of accepting grace and love, I found the freedom to grieve and the freedom to grow.

I’ve discovered that there is more for me to learn. I will not be finished until the day I breathe my last breath. However, I do not despair. Choosing gratitude always stirs up hope in my heart.

My poem, today, reflects some of what I’ve learned and am still learning.


 
 About Grieving
 
 Don’t go back to where you’ve been,
 Rehearsing failures and past sin;
 Repentance means you’ve made a change.
 Forgiveness means you’re not condemned.
  
 In faith, move forward into “Today”:
 Needing not to prove your merit,
 Listening carefully to the Spirit,
 Doing what seems wise and loving.
  
 Pay attention to your feet.
 Direct your steps; walk purposefully.
 Let routines guide but not control you.
 When you’re sad, let Christ console you—
  
 Don’t, instead, deny your pain:
 When unresolved, it will remain,
 Causing damage to your brain,
 Making thought unmanageable.
  
 Anxiety may rise within you,
 But it need not overwhelm you.
 Stop and breathe; relax your body.
 This will help you think more clearly.
  
 When you feel angry, just admit it:
 Not with shame upon your face,
 Hiding it will build up rage,
 It’s a part of healthy grieving.
  
 If you focus long upon your loss,
 Fear may threaten to undo you.
 That’s the time to take a walk
 Or call a friend and share your heart—
  
 Someone who will sit in silence,
 Not try to fix you but simply listen,
 Sometimes reflecting what they hear
 But not repeating what you share.
  
 Give thanks for all of God’s good gifts:
 The autumn orange, red, and gold,
 The happy memories your heart holds,
 The pleasures of the present day—
  
 You will find great treasure if you’re alert
 To what God says and how love works;
 Gratitude restores your hope
 So, with grief and sadness, you can cope.
  
 10/11/2019
 Jane Ault 

This entry was posted on October 11, 2019. 5 Comments

Fall to Winter . . .


For everything there is an appointed time,
and an appropriate time for every activity on earth:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted;
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 NET

I returned, Tuesday, from a trip in which I celebrated a family wedding and, two days later during this same week, received the news of a family death. Joy followed by sorrow. In this life, laughter and tears pursue one another in unknown and unpredictable cycles.

Although the week’s October temperatures soared to mid-summer highs, I find courage and comfort in the still somewhat predictability of earth’s seasons, in the promises of Scripture, and in the presence of the Spirit of Jesus.

The following poem is my reflection about “Winter”.


 Fall to Winter,
 Winter to Spring,
 Spring to Summer,
 Summer to Fall—
 
 Fall to Winter;
 We, forever, recycle
 Until abruptly,
 Death ends our denial.
  
 Ashes to ashes,
 Dust to dust;
 Our spirit returns
 To God who is just.
  
 Fall to Winter,
 Winter to Spring,
 Spring to Summer,
 Summer to Fall--
  
 Fall to Winter;
 The cycle is ending
 For someone we love;
 We're still pretending
  
 Winter will come.
 Spring will soon follow.
 We hope for more time;
 Death’s hard to swallow.
  
 Fall to Winter,
 Winter to Spring,
 Spring to Summer,
 Summer to Fall--
 
 Fall to Winter;
 Too soon comes the call.
 We hear it with hope
 And still try to stall--
  
 Not wanting to leave,
 Not wanting to stay,
 There’s conflict within;
 We struggle and pray.
  
 Fall to Winter,
 Winter to Spring,
 Spring to Summer,
 Summer to Fall--
 
 Fall to Winter;
 The battle is over.
 Victory’s been won!
 We see composure--
  
 Peace on the face
 Of a loved one departed;
 The cycle goes on;
 Yet, death’s been outsmarted.
  
 Fall to Winter,
 Winter to Spring,
 Spring to Summer,
 Summer to Fall--
  
 Fall to Winter;
 Will I cycle once more?
 My question’s not answered;
 I cannot be sure.
  
 Grace upon grace
 Has been given to me;
 I wonder, sometimes,
 At the goodness received.
  
 Fall to Winter,
 Winter to Spring,
 Spring to Summer,
 Summer to Fall--
  
 Fall to Winter;
 In this moment of time,
 What will I do 
 With breath that is mine?
  
 I’ll not stay too long
 In my lament;
 I can never recover
 Time not well spent.
 
 Fall to Winter,
 Winter to Spring,
 Spring to Summer,
 Summer to Fall--
 
 Fall to Winter;
 I’m more peaceful this year.
 Though I may tremble
 And feel insecure,
  
 I know from experience,
 Grace will be sufficient. 
 In joy and in sorrow,
 God has been present.
  
 Fall to Winter,
 Winter to Spring,
 Spring to Summer,
 Summer to Fall-- 

 Fall to Winter . . .
 
 Jane Ault
 10/3/2019

This entry was posted on October 4, 2019. 9 Comments