Friday, March 21, 2008

Awakening to Joy!

Wednesday night was spring break from "church". All activities take a break because so many are gone..and there is no child care available.

I'm a GriefShare leader at FBC-McKinney and we were to have a night off, but in my spirit I knew it was not the right time for our group to take a break. So many in our group have fresh hurts...less than a year since they experienced death and separation in their lives. They are just beginning to speak of their loved one without tears! I thought an art project...a collage' of their loved one...would be helpful for those who can't find words to journal about their grief. I brought the idea to the group a few weeks ago, and everyone seemed excited and really thought it would be worthwhile.

As each one worked through the collage' process on Wednesday evening, I watched as they lovingly arrange pictures on their canvas. Each one spent time looking at the pictures of their loved one...their hearts and minds full of memories and of happier times. Each one...staring into faces of those that are gone...feeling again the weight of their loss. However, there was something deeper I could see working in the group. They were smiling. Not happy, giddy smiles...but quiet, thoughtful smiles.

There was small talk around the table. They spoke of their loved ones. They explained to each other why they'd chosen the picture they were gluing. There were explanations regarding greeting cards they were cutting apart, or what the words, cut from magazines, meant to them or their loved one. What I saw from each person was a quiet, inner joy.

Their joy, evident in the college' process, was deep. It was not joy built on happiness. Their happiness (their hopes and dreams ) lay torn and shattered on the canvas before them. There was no pleasing arrangement of their pictures that would bring their loved ones back. They could not glue together their broken lives and dreams.

As I looked at each "work in progress" I prayed for each person as they worked. I knew each was thinking about their unrealized hopes and dreams. Dreams that revolved around those pictures. Yet, I also knew that those broken dreams would open the door for God to give them better dreams Dreams they could not see or value until they had been through the "dark night of their soul." With the help of those broken dreams it would put them in touch with what they (what we all) most long for...better dreams...God given dreams that generate a new unfamiliar feeling...joy!

"Dreams for good things may shatter, but our pain will always have a purpose. It will not go away, but it will do its work. It will stir an appetite for a higher purpose - the better hope of knowing God well enough now to love Him above everything else...and trusting Him no matter what happens." Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams

They didn't know it or recognize it that night...but God is at work in their pain. He is perfecting them...He is loving them. He is calling them into a deeper more intimate relationship with Him. He longs for them to know Him better. To want only Him and His purpose for their lives. They will eventually recognize the joy that is slowly taking root and growing in their soul. They will know what "new dreams" God has planned for them. I not only saw joy Wednesday night - I saw healing...God's healing.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning to dance in the rain."

1 Cowgurls said:

brandi said...

Oh Debi...I am in tears. I can't belive that somebody holds me up to God the way you do. I don't understand how God has taken away my baby Charlie, but so tenderly blessed me with you and your prayers. I don't understand him at all. I love you!!