Wednesday, August 17, 2011

17th August

I feel a bit like my hedge trimmer today. It’s cordless and doesn’t seem to hold it’s charge for very long. I’m going to try leaving it on charge for an extended period of time and see if that will help. I think that’s what I need as well. More time with the Lord. I made my prayer walk around Kedleston Hall again and that’s now becoming my regular exercise routine. I remember a few weeks ago I only managed the short walk and that was quite exhausting. Now I’m beginning to get stronger covering the longer 3 miles in under an hour without much effort, but I still notice the hilly bits. If I can keep doing this 3 or 4 times a week that should be a good first step to recovering strength and fitness after so many months of sitting immobile by Jane’s bedside.

But in general I still feel rather low which is perhaps not a surprise as I have to be real about what’s happened and what I’ve been through. But what is reality? Do I have to live with the so called experts’ theories on grieving? If so do I work through the 5 stage model or does the 7 stage fit better? But how can the apparently accepted stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance mean anything at all when I’ve yet to discern even a hint of the first three? All right, I suppose I may have gone through the denial thing as part of the spiritual battle before Jane died, but that would be peculiar now as my faith in Jesus Christ is at the very foundation of everything that I believe in. Jane is in heaven… period. I saw her die; she’s gone and not coming back until the Lord himself returns to planet earth. And that’s exciting! Also, I don’t understand what I could have to be angry about when Jane has been so wonderfully blessed and God is so marvellously present and at work in my life. And what could I possibly try to bargain for when both Jane and I have been given everything we need to live for eternity? The Lord himself died that we might live. But depression… maybe a little as I remember being horribly depressed before I met Jane 40 years ago and have often found this to be a bit of a weakness when faced with adversity. But that doesn’t make it right. It’s simply one of my many battles and can be overcome. Acceptance? I’ve known since the day Jane died I would have to move on, so what’s that all about?

Ok, so obviously this type of model may prove extremely helpful to many people and possibly, just possibly I’ll find myself recognising it fitting my life in the coming weeks and months as it’s still relatively early days. But I don’t think so. Indeed there is a much simpler way of seeing things. I believe that grieving is simply a way of saying goodbye and that may take a long while to do properly. But in essence the Lord is able to carry me through this season and he is working for good in my life… even today. The Lord is the source of all that’s ultimately important in my life not Jane, no matter how important she is to me.

Psalm 13 ‘O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.’ (NLT)

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