“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Friend to Friend
Beth is one of my dearest friends. She had been married for 24 years when her husband walked away from their marriage. Beth is a very strong Christian and for five years put on a happy face telling everyone, including herself, “That’s OK. Jesus is enough.” She has two absolutely incredible children who love the Lord and both serve in some facet of ministry. And yet, I wondered if she had been the first person I had ever known who had skipped the grieving process that follows the devastation of divorce.
She was not.
Five years after the divorce, Beth and I were talking about some struggles she was facing in a new relationship.
“Beth, I don’t think you ever allowed yourself to grieve over your loss. I know your first husband betrayed you at the very core of what a marriage is supposed to be, but there is still a loss. There is grieving the loss that your children do not have the father they deserve, the loss of investing twenty-four years with a man who betrayed you, and the loss of the dream of what marriage could and should be like—what God intended from the beginning of time.”
Beth is just now beginning to grieve the many losses that accompanied her divorce and her two grown children, are in the process of grieving as well.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in her book, On Death and Dying, notes five stages of grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. But for us who have the hope of Jesus Christ, there is a sixth stage: RESURRECTION!
There is the assurance that God will take the death of a dream and resurrect it for a new purpose: His purpose. But we have to cooperate and place the shattered dream in His hand.
Grief is part of the healing process. I grieved that I did not grow up being the apple of my daddy’s eye, that I was not unconditionally loved, and that I did not get to hold my second child in my arms. Grieving the loss helped me to let it go. But after a time, I had to stop lamenting what was not, and rejoice in the blessing of what is. God had new plans for my life!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV).
Just as God raised Jesus from the dead, He can raise our broken dreams from the dust. Acceptance is not the end of the grieving process for those of us who know Jesus Christ. Resurrection is the end of grief and the beginning of a new dream, a new life, and a glorious future.
Dear Lord, thank you that for me, as a Christian, I don’t have to stop at mere acceptance when it comes to grief. There is more than acceptance…there is resurrection. You take the broken pieces of our lives and make a beautiful mosaic. Thank You for resurrecting my hopes and dreams and making my life much better than I had ever imagine
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Is there any area of your life where you have settled for acceptance?
What are your next steps for resurrection of a dream that died? Using it to help someone else? Making you stronger? Making you wiser? Drawing you closer to Jesus?
Compare the Moses who lost his dream when he was 40 (Exodus 2) and Moses whose dream was restored when he was 80 (Exodus 3). What made the difference? Who was in control in chapter 2? Who was in control in chapter 3?
More from the Girlfriends
I know talking about RESURRECTION as the final stage of grief sounds good, but I also know it’s hard. That’s why I wrote the book Take Hold of the Faith You Long For. The subtitle says it all: Let go, Move Forward, Live Bold. If you feel stuck in your faith or in your life, this book is for you. It’s time to let go of everything that holds you back and take hold of everything that God has already given you and put in you through Jesus Christ. It also includes a Bible study guide which is great for group study.
And for you married or hope to be married, check out the new The Praying Wives Club! Join women all around the world as we pray for our husbands.