Lenten Journey: Loss and Grief as Expressions of Love and Care

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dearest Family and Friends,

As we all know, change is inevitable and a normal part of life. In 2010, changes in my life led me to begin writing weekly scriptural meditations and, in 2011, to create my website Seekinggodspresence.com (Seeking God’s Presence Healing the Wounded Heart.) Many of you have been devoted to reading my meditations and I am very grateful. I hope you will continue as the meditations take on a new flavor during Lent: Loss and Grief as Expressions of Love and Care.

After significant prompting from many of you, I applied, was accepted and am currently participating in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) as a Chaplain Internship. Serving as a Hospital Chaplain has made me acutely aware of the experiences of LOSS and GRIEF as expressions of the LOVE and CARE we have for each other.

As we enter our 2013 Lenten Journey, my mediation writings will be changing format as I begin reflecting on the theme of Loss and Grief as Expressions of Love and Care. I hope you will continue to read, reflect and mediate on my writings as I share my personal stories of loss, grief and the grace of hope and love as they flowed forth from the depths of my suffering and the tears of my sorrow. Because we are created with the insatiable need to be loved, to belong, be accepted and to offer our Self as love, we experience losses and grieve deeply.  

My first meditation, emailed to you on Sunday, February 17, 2013, Loss and Grief as Expressions of Love and Care: LOSS OF PRIVACY will be on the experience of loss and grief as I surrender my deeply held desire for privacy to tell my story as an expression of my love. Scary? Oh Yes! Absolutely!

First and foremost, I ask that you pray that I will have the courage to open my heart, be vulnerable, and share my Self through personal stories of loss and grief as expressions of my love and care for you so that we may all seek God’s presence and heal our wounded hearts.   

Secondly, I ask that you hold me in prayer as I serve the hospital community and develop the skill, competency and unique pastoral presence of a hospital chaplain. It is my hope to complete 4 units of CPE over the next year.

I am deeply grateful to my family and friends, most especially those who held my hand, listened patiently without judgment, loved me unconditionally and bore the burden of sorrow with me. Furthermore, I experienced God, not as the One to remove suffering, but as the presence of LOVE through others and the beauty of creation to faithfully journey with me through the darkness of suffering, towards the light of hope and into the fullness of Love again. “My soul shall be healed.”



Remember this: We Are God’s Beloved Children

Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that

we may be called the children on God.

1 John 3:1

 Love is the deepest desire of our hearts. We seek love through relationships, nature, success, praise, drugs and objects. Yet, we are left wanting, our desire unfulfilled.  To be the Beloved, the love that fulfills our heart comes from understanding and knowing ourselves as first and foremost, children of God. Oh, to be loved as the Beloved by God, our Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We are so deeply loved by God; loved into being, loved into an earthly family and loved into a heavenly eternity. Not a moment passes that God is not radiating divine love within our hearts. Beloved: seek and receive first the love of God so that we may accept and appreciate ourselves and others as the Beloved, children of God.

Dear Jesus, help me to seek and accept myself and others as God’s Beloved child so that I may radiate Love in my thoughts, words and actions regardless of life’s circumstances.  Amen

Joan E. Derrig-Heacox

Seeking God’s Presence – Healing the Wounded Heart