The Pity Party was a Bust–part 1

I’ve been attempting to write about something for six months, but have not been able to until now. My first attempt came around Father’s Day, and then took another stab at it at Christmas, and only now do I feel like I might possibly have something meaningful or profitable to say. How many of us know it’s sometimes “therapeutic” for us write or talk, but… depending on what we have to say, it’s not always profitable for others to read or hear?! Sometimes it’s just better if we keep some of those things between us and God. I’ve done some of that in dealing with the grief and loss of my dad the last 3 ½ years.

This Thursday would have marked my dad’s 54th birthday. Little did I know that my life would drastically change the summer of 2006 when he committed suicide. It has been a process to get through painful reminder days like, the day he died, Father’s Day, Christmas, Veterans Day, and his birthday. There are many opportunities during a 12-month period to face the loss and deal with the emotions and the grief. He is in my thoughts and close to my heart on most days, but when the big “reminder” days are approaching, I seem to always get an achy, cringy flutter in my stomach. It still remains a lonely feeling knowing he’s gone. Even the good memories are painful sometimes. Some people are able to rejoice that their loved one is with Jesus and gone to Heaven, but it hasn’t been that easy for me with my dad. I have never known pain like this in all my life. It is much easier than it was the first year, and healing is definitely taking place, but in all honesty, I am still so sad when I think about how he died and how unhappy he was.

I often think about how I would even get through life—especially tragedies or other difficult circumstances—without a personal relationship with the Lord and the support of family & friends. It’s beyond my comprehension how I even survived so many years without God in my life. And family and friends, well…

We all have family and friends that are negative, naysayers, and do nothing to help us out of the doldrums, but the ‘friends and family’ whose support we need are the ones who see you spiraling downward and don’t play along with your feelings and baby you, but instead will slap you across the face and tell you to wake up (so-to-speak)! I’m referring to the kind of friends and family that will speak into your life in a way that you get your eyes focused on eternal things, rather than the temporary hurt and pain you’re feeling. Eternal things never change, but circumstances and feelings are probably the most temporary things in the universe! I’m not suggesting temporary things don’t matter, but God and His Word are our firm foundation… and that’s where we find our hope in a world that is constantly shifting and changing. Thus, making it very important what we focus our time, energy, and our thoughts on.

Whether I like it or not, life DOES go on without my dad. I have children and a husband who are counting on me—and need me every day. I homeschool my teenage kids, work at my church, serve in church, and try to have some recreational time in the process. Just like anyone else, I also need to get dinner on the table, clothes from the hamper to the laundry room and into our closets, etc. Sometimes I labor just to get in the shower. All that to say that I’m not exempt from having to deal with these feelings of grief and loss. In fact, I get frustrated with myself sometimes because I feel like this whole process of healing is taking way too long. I mean, HELLO, it’s been 3 ½ years for crying out loud, and I still cry, still miss him, and it’s still painful. But if I’m so immersed in my own anger and pain, what good am I to anyone else? Seriously, if I can’t snap out of it, life will go on without ME too—whether I’m alive and breathing or not! That’s a statement worth re-reading for some people.

The world doesn’t stop because of anything that any of us deal with. Maybe you have a difficult situation you’re dealing with in your life that has been keeping you from living your life to the fullest. Maybe you’ve been spiraling downward into oppression or depression and don’t know how to break free of it. In the economy of today, maybe you’ve been looking for work or foreclosing on the house. Maybe you have a health issue and it seems like healing will never come, or you’re hurting because a relationship in your life is broken and you’re not seeing the promise of it being restored. Maybe this is you and you haven’t had someone bold enough step in to “slap” you out of it.

Let me help. I’ll be that person. Love me or hate me for it, my pity party was a bust, so yours is too… they always are! It’s OVER!!! It’s time to think on ETERNAL things.

Psalm 143:8-10 ~ If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice, I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in you. Point out the road I must travel; I’m all ears, all eyes before you. Save me from my enemies, God—you’re my only hope! Teach me how to live to please you, because you’re my God. Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.

More next time…

by Julie Larson

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