Today I smiled … as my heart began to heal.

Today I smiled … as my heart began to heal.

As our hearts begin to heal, we may find ourselves able to smile, laugh and cry all at once. Grief is a process not a place to dwell. The journey of healing is often bumpy and slow, with unexpected turns, until the raw, open wounds fade to dull aches and then only memories.

Listen to your heart and healing will follow.

Focus on the beauty around you:  the ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds, the birds calling, the whiff of honeysuckle in the breeze, and the dance of the daisies along the roadside.

Offer gratitude and be gracious with loving, well meaning family, friends, clergy and strangers as they attempt to comfort, judge, explain, support, justify and encourage you towards a hasty recovery and a new happy life. Please and Thank you are reminders of your love and care for them.

Seek, offer and accept forgiveness from God, others and ourselves as human suffering will often reveal us at our worst moments.

Be kind and generous as a way to shift your focus from your personal pain to the care and concern of another. Helping others helps us even more.

Today I smiled, when a ray of sunshine broke through the clouds, a loved one stopped by unexpectedly, I was able to offer them a fresh cup of coffee and we laughed over the silliness of my mixed matched outfit … as my heart began to heal.

By Joan E Derrig-Heacox

God in Our Midst: Yesterday, I Cried…

April 24, 2012

Yesterday, I cried. I don’t mean that tears welled up in my eyes for a moment. Rather, I sobbed, wept, wailed, moaned and groaned from the deepest place of my being, “Abba, God, I am so profoundly sad…”

It was my intention to write about “God in our Midst” from a place of hope, joy and peace but that is not where I was called to begin. It may well be the conclusion.

Yesterday, I cried. The day began with a sense of foreboding that would not diminish. I called a friend and chattered for awhile, hinting at my sadness, feeling the tears well up until I was able to laugh it off with a dose of gratitude. Still feeling a cloudy mood, I called another friend for company, a shopping excursion and lunch, desperately trying to push back the shadow in my heart. Finally, I could hold the sadness back no longer and returned home to face Grief.

In the quiet of my home, snuggling on the couch, wrapped in my velvety soft pink blanket, grasping my blue velour pillow, guarded by my two loyal dogs, I surrendered to Grief. My sobs and groans were guttural and wretched, calling out to God, naming my sorrow, feeling the cutting pain of abandonment, betrayal, rejection and loss. The death of my hopes, dreams and expectations left me empty and momentarily helpless. Though I felt Alone, I was not truly alone as God, always faithful and compassionate, held my heart, guiding me through the valley of the shadow of death.

What died for me in those moments with Grief was fear: fear of being alone, fear of the future, fear of failure, abandonment, rejection and betrayal. What was born again in me was hope; the hope of a new dream, love and faith and the assurance that at the moment of my deepest despair, God would faithfully love me back into being.

Though my eyes were swollen and red, a calm washed over me, easing the tension and relaxing my body. Grief had been replaced with peace, the peace that only God can bring us when we succumb, poor in spirit, to the God who loves us, heals us and invites us into the divine presence. With God, we can face and pass through Grief, allowing it to wash over and cleanse our wounded hearts so that healing can prevail.

The thing about Grief is that I know it will return, along with fear and sorrow, sometimes when least expected, simply because I am a human being on this earth. I also, know that grief is the pathway to healing, hope, joy and peace when accompanied by God.

Yesterday, I cried, groaned and moaned, poured it all out until the peace of God slowly filled the emptiness of my heart .

Today, I am hopeful… The Son is shining through. Amen

By your grace, may our hearts radiate your love so that we may be healed.


God in Our Midst

Do you wonder how “God is in Our Midst?”

God in Our Midst … Summoned or not, God is always present loving, guiding, healing, forgiving and inspiring us through our experiences. Each month, Joan will write “God in Our Midst …”, a personal story to awaken our hearts and open our eyes to God’s presence in the midst of the ordinary and extraordinary events, chaos, heartbreaks and joy that we call life.

In the next few months, look for the upcoming stories of the “God in Our Midst…” series.

“God in Our Midst … Parking Lot Confessions”

“God in Our Midst … Bull Riding at the Rodeo”

“God in Our Midst … Give Me Life”

The reflections will be posted on the 7th of each month. If you would like to have the “God in our Midst” sent to your e-mail address, sign up by clicking here …

Photo by Joan E. Derrig-Heacox

Deep within the human person is the universal desire to seek God’s presence so as to experience the promise of peace, joy and abundance that can only be known through God. Our desire is God’s invitation to open our minds and our hearts to the divine love, healing and direction that is only possible through God’s revelation of GodSelf.