Tuesday, July 12, 2016

If you're suffering loss

I began reading this story about the same time last week when the details of tragic national events spilled into every news outlet one after another with no time for breath in between.

Honestly, I didn’t want to read this chronicle, because I believed it would be sad. And I was already sad. Sad from the realities of this old broken world, from the first anniversary of my dad’s death, and from a seeming brigade of hard life events his death has recalled.

 

But I opened my e book reader because I know several of their family members, and though much of the story I’d heard reported real time as it unfolded, I didn’t want to face the relatives without having read this account of the jagged journey they’d lived through in these past years.

What I found? Yes, it was sad. I can’t distance myself from the incredible pain these folks suffered and are in many ways still suffering.

But much greater than the sadness, what I was left with when I finished their story was its essence embodied in the book title itself, Hope Heals.

Katherine Wolfe and her husband Jay share her miraculous survival of a brain stem stroke only a few years ago when she was in her mid-twenties. She writes in the prologue, “My experience has caused me to redefine healing and to discover a hope that heals the most broken places: our souls.”
 
Their journey of healing helped me in ways I’m not even sure I can explain. Perhaps Jay touched on it when he wrote, “. . . in the breaking of precious things, something even more precious than we can imagine might be unleashed. Perhaps in the breaking, we can find the healing we long for.”

I believe we do.

I felt empowered in new ways after reading the book to face my own less profound yet persistent version of suffering.

My writer friend, Marion, says that when we suffer a loss, it opens up the other losses we haven’t fully grieved. I suppose that’s what I’ve been dealing with for the past year. In my early life I shoveled a lot under the rugs including childhood trauma, and I’ve been dealing with it as I could having had much prayer through the years, but losing Dad threw me into a new awareness of many other losses.

Grief itself involves wrestling with the permanent altering of expectations. We struggle. We fight. And if we’re open to the hope Katherine shares, we face it and somehow transcend the brokenness into a new kind of life. Not the life we had before. It’s gone. But a different life with possibilities never imagined.

That is what Katherine and Jay offer us through their sacrificial sharing from the grief-shattered land they’ve traversed. From this cracked and arid place, they offer us a drink of living water.  Yes, the “breaking of precious things,” but from it healing.

Joni Eareckson Tada says of this book, “. . . you now have a guide. . . Hope Heals may well be your most treasured companion through great trial and pain. . .”

David Platt, author of the New York Times bestseller Radical (and University of Georgia graduate, just had to get that in), says, “Jay and Katherine are a raw yet refreshing testimony to the unshakable trustworthiness of God amidst the unimaginable trials of life. This book reminds all of us where hope can be found in a world where none of us know what the next day holds.”

Just so you know, I have no sponsored links on this blog, so what I’m about to tell you, I will receive from it no financial remuneration.  If you are dealing with loss and suffering, go HERE and buy the Wolf’s book. Don’t hesitate, just do it.

So, now, since I’ve read the book, I can face the Wolf’s relatives, but so much more than that, reading it has better enabled me to face my own grief.

Thank you, Katherine and Jay.

“Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength (increasing in victorious power); each of them appears before God in Zion” (Psalm 84:6-7 Amplified).

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