For Those Who Grieve

Mother’s Day is finally behind me, but today would have been Daddy’s Birthday, so my heart will still be heavy. To me, grief is something like an added layer of skin, always there, and something I cannot shed, but there are seasons when it’s thicker. May and December are those times for me.

If being sad wasn’t enough, jealousy plagued me too, as I saw pictures of happy friends with their mothers on Facebook. I’m reading through the Bible and the book of 1 Samuel made me cringe as I noticed  the same jealousy that plagued King Saul in my life. Funny, how God sends us to the scripture that opens our eyes to our sinful nature. Ack! 

My thoughts turned to an acquaintance who recently lost a daughter. Please lift a prayer for her. I cannot imagine such a loss. Another friend pointed out that she has always longed for children, and Mother’s Day is a difficult day for her. May God forgive me for my selfish nature. I am blessed beyond anything I deserve.

As I prepared for bed last night, I reflected on the day and said a prayer of thanks. I had the opportunity to spend time with my both my children, grandchildren and other family members.  My son and daughter are healthy, happily married, and enjoying their careers. If I am called to heaven today, they will be fine without me as they are both children of faith. Thank you, Jesus.

Today, God led me to this scripture. “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.(5) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when when you obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

matthew_lost_toothI will turn my thoughts to thankfulness. The first thing I saw this morning when I opened Facebook was this beautiful picture of my grandson.  He lost his first tooth on Saturday and then another one Sunday morning. This photo made me smile and I could have enjoyed it yesterday, had I not been focusing on my losses instead of blessings.

Thank you Jesus, for loving me, and for giving me such wonderful people to love. Fill my heart with thankfulness. Comfort those, who like me, still grieve for loved ones lost. Comfort those who mourn. Help us to trust you in all things. I place my hope in you. Amen.

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Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

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