Okay, so…one thing I am learning as I have been walking through this whole grieving thing now for almost 3 months is that grief is a very, very personal emotion.  I think it is even more personal and more unpredictable than love.  Ah, but here’s the problem…so many people feel like you have to follow a pattern, or go through certain stages, or act in a certain way, or don’t act in a certain way, in order to be grieving healthily.

There are some in my life who think I am doing great with my grief.  To those I would say that you don’t see me alone as I cry to the Father and ache for Keith.  There are others who think that I am in some stage of denial and will one day fall to pieces.  To those I would say that maybe you are right, but I think I am okay as long as I continue to cry to the Father and seek Him for guidance.

My quiet time today was about self sufficiency…about striving to be adequate without God’s help.  That is a big danger for me as I walk through this new life.  In my reading I was challenged to trust God enough to let things happen without striving to predict or control them.  I am sort of the queen of “striving.”  The definition of striving is to “make great efforts to achieve or obtain something.” Yep, that’s me. So my challenge is to stop striving and learn to wait and trust.

Often I have divided my life into things I can control and the things that require God’s help.  While I like it when all of you talk about what a strong woman I am, the fact is that in this new life I am daily putting one foot in front of the other, and seeking God with every step.  Most days I don’t feel very strong, but I feel safe in God’s plan.  It’s a good place to be, as I have come to realize through the pain of living that there is very little that I can control!!

So, back to grief.  If you have someone in your life that is going through the “grieving process,” be careful not to superimpose on them your ideas of how they should be acting or what they should be doing.  We all seem to work through this process differently.  Instead, I would challenge you to love and support them, brag on them, and cheer for them with each milestone that they set and pass.

I recently saw the movie, “Courageous,” and loved Ed Litton’s words as the pastor in the counseling session when he said (I am paraphrasing), “Losing someone you love is like having one of your limbs amputated.  You recover from it, but you are never the same.”  Ed is a friend of ours from First Baptist North Mobile, and for those that don’t know, he lost his wife in a car accident several years ago.  I know he has lived the words that he spoke and he voiced it for all of us “limbless” multitudes out here in life!

I am grieving. In my own polka dotted, flower infused laughing/crying sort of way, I am grieving.  Yep. It’s Lee Ann Martin grief, and it won’t fit anyone else.  But with God’s help every minute of the day, I am moving forward, and little by little the rough pangs are becoming happy stuff, and I know that’s how Keith would want it.

Blessings, my friends!