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God’s Provision ⏤ Even Before We Know We Need It // Guest Post by Edie Melson

Who would choose to write a book on grief—and how could that be God’s provision?

The third book in my Soul Care series is on grieving. I signed the contract for this series of books in 2018 and the publication of the books was the order set up then. The series idea was born out of a stressful time of caregiving and loss while my dad was in the last stages of Alzheimer’s.

The first two books—Soul Care When You’re Weary and Soul Care for Writers, came out in 2018 and 2019, respectively. I began writing Soul Care When You’re Grieving in late 2019. As I continued to work on the book, the pandemic hit.

I learned many valuable things during that writing journey. I discovered that the five stages of grief that everyone talks about—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance— aren’t really a set process. They’re a list of things that are common to most grieving events. For me personally, I found myself often skipping one stage, like anger, and then waking up months later immersed in a rage that lingered. These stages can be helpful only when we realize what we’re going through isn’t unique, it’s a shared experience. What is not helpful is comparing my process to anyone else’s.

Another thing I learned was the fact that we all grieve differently. As an introvert, I do a lot of my grieving in private. I’m not hiding my pain or purposely pushing anyone away, I’m also not trying to be perceived as strong or something I’m not. I’m simply processing my loss in a way that is natural to how God created me. An extrovert often grieves the opposite way. They usually need to process their grief by sharing it with others. Neither way is wrong or even better, just different. Beyond our personality type, I’ve found we grieve differently every time we’re faced with loss.

 

But what about God’s provision?

 

That came to light beginning November 23, 2020. That day our precious daughter-in-law was killed in a tragic accident, leaving behind our son and their 3-month-old baby. Our family immediately drew together, supporting each other as we began to walk out our intense grief.

In this journey, I found an unexpected foundation of strength from the year of writing this book.

 

These are the things that helped me most.

 

  1. I turned to God. I had learned I could safely take all my feelings (even the ugly ones) to God and He would embrace me. He is faithful to walk through the darkest valley with us—even when we’re angry with Him.
  2. I practiced grace. Giving grace to myself and to those around me and not judging the process of grieving. For so many years I had thought I was doing it wrong. This time, I just took the waves of emotion as they came—without condemnation.
  3. I read the Bible every day—first thing in the morning. I wasn’t in any kind of a formal Bible study, I just picked up the book and read. There is something incredibly healing about the word of God. By immersing myself in His healing words, I found the strength I needed.
  4. I accepted help from others. I consider myself a strong person, so accepting help isn’t natural. But by letting others take care of us, we were better able to cope.
  5. Accept the joy when it begins to appear. One of the hardest parts of grief for me, was when the enjoyment of life began to break through. It felt like experiencing joy was somehow a betrayal of the loss I’d had.

I don’t think there’s anyone reading this who hasn’t experienced some kind of major loss in the eighteen months. But it’s important to lean into God and let the healing begin. When I was ready, God began to once again flood my life with the warmth of His love. He has introduced us to a new rhythm for life—not one we’d have ever chosen—but still filled with beauty and a little more joy every day.

Cathy here! Edie, thank you for being our guest today.

Soul Care When You're GrievingIf you’d like to win a Kindle copy of Soul Care When You’re Grieving (release date is November 2nd!), leave a comment below. 

 

 

 

Edie Melson

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. She’s a writer who feels lost without her camera and a reluctant speaker who loves to encourage an audience. And she embraces the ultimate contradiction of being an organized creative. She knows the necessity of Soul Care and leads workshops around the country on staying connected to God. Her numerous books, including the award-winning Soul Care series and Unruffled, Thriving in Chaos reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on social media & thru EdieMelson.com.

When Words Puddle on Paper

by Cathy Baker

Words hold power.

I can testify to this truth after recently having led a Writing to Heal workshop at a retreat for mothers who’ve lost children of any age. 

Our goal during each session was simple: Take what’s on the inside and put it on paper.

The handout provided a list of writing prompts, such as:

I am…
I wonder…
I hear…
I see…

The prompts were simple—filling it out was anything but for these moms. 

The grieving process differs for everyone. Yet, the commonality represented around the table was palpable as raw emotions puddled on the paper of those sharing their completed prompts. I sat in awe of these courageous women as I listened to their stories of unspeakable loss, and unshakeable faith. 

It was a privilege to witness how God used ordinary writing prompts to stir conversation and put 2 Corinthians 1:4 into action. Simple words and faith-filled sorrow mingled to become an act of worship that arose swiftly and sweetly before the Lord.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When
they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has
given us. 2 Cor. 1:4

 
 
Jan, thank you for inviting me to participate in this ministry. It’s a day I won’t soon forget. God bless you all. 
 
Also, a special thanks to Lisa from Lory’s Place in St. Joseph, Michigan. She was incredibly generous with her time, expertise, and handouts. You were a Godsend, my friend!

Who Will Be Known By Your Adequacy?

Hand me a staff and cloak ’cause I’m feeling like Moses today.

Remember Exodus 4:10-12?

Moses said to the Lord,
“Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the
past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and
tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Recently, I was asked to lead a workshop, Writing to Heal, for a one-day retreat specifically designed to minister to parents who’ve lost children. 

I’ve journaled for years but I thank God I have no experience in this specific area of grief. Soon after accepting the opportunity, concerns began cropping up. What do I say? How can they relate to me? Where do I begin? 

I feel so inadequate. And the truth of the matter is, I am. 

But while studying Exodus 4 this morning, six words climbed from the Book and curled up snug against my concerns: Now go; I will help you…

My responsibility is to prayerfully prepare while resting in the knowledge that it is through my very weaknesses that God will be strong, and above all, glorified.

You will be known by your adequacy. God will be known by your inadequacy.
Cal Jernigan

Is God calling you to do something outside of your comfort zone today? Please share so I can be praying for you and I appreciate your prayers as well!

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