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March 29, 2023 Good Grief Wrap Up

March 29:

Stage 9 Gradually Hope Comes Through Page 75-82

Stage 10 We Struggle to Affirm Reality Page 83-88


Where have you seen God in the good, bad, ugly and beautiful parts of your life in this Lenten Season. What have been your AWE (Holy) Moments on your journey to the cross?

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (Prayer for Peace)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Stage 9 Gradually Hope Comes Through Page 75-82

· Read Page 77- to the Middle of Page 78:

· Questions on Page 80

Stage 10 We Struggle to Affirm Reality Page 83-88

· Read Middle of Page 86-87

The Ball (Balloon) In The Box Analogy of Grief

I was talking to our friend Angie about our Good Grief Group, and she talked to me about the Balloon in the Box Analogy of Grief. Angie is a Christian Counselor. She uses a balloon instead of a ball because a balloon will shrink over time. I found this example online.

Grief is a tricky thing to explain. Everyone grieves differently, and there’s certainly no timeline that lets you know how you’re supposed to feel. To show this, Twitter user Lauren Herschel shared an analogy that explains how grief changes over time and why it can still bubble up randomly. Her analogy — and the pictures she drew to explain it — have been retweeted over 3,700 times.

Herschel drew a box (square) with a ball (circle) inside. On the left side of box is a red “button.” When the grief is new, she explained, the ball takes up most of the box and is hitting the button, which represents pain, over and over again. The pain is fairly constant.

“In the beginning, the ball is huge,” Herschel said in a tweet. “You can’t move the box without the ball hitting the pain button. It rattles around on its own in there and hits the button over and over. You can’t control it – it just keeps hurting. Sometimes it seems unrelenting.

In the early stages, the ball is very big. You cannot move the box without it frequently hitting the pain button. It rattles around on its own in there and hits the button over and over again, sometimes so much that it feels like you can’t stop it – you can’t control it – it just keeps hurting.

But as time goes on, the ball gets smaller. It doesn’t disappear completely and when it hits the pain button, it’s just as intense, but generally, it is easier to get through each day.

The analogy can help to be able to talk about how you’re feeling each day. You may say that some days the ball is really big, endlessly hitting the button, and you just have to wait until it gets smaller again.

Holy Moments

Another friend of ours, Debbie, shared this little book with us in her Easter Letter. I would like to share some of the key thoughts with you.

A Holy Moment is a single moment in which you open yourself to God. You make yourself available to Him. You set aside your personal preferences and self-interest and for one moment you do what God is calling you to do. Holy Moments come in all shapes and sizes.

Galatians 5:22-23 The Fruits of The Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Here are some everyday examples:

· Control your temper, even if you are fully justified in losing it.

· Pray before making a decision.

· Encourage someone, coach someone, praise someone, affirm someone.

· Be Patient with a person that drives you crazy.

· Do something that helps you to become a better version of yourself even if you don’t feel like it.

· Give whoever is in front of you your full attention that’s a Holy Moment.

· Begin each day with gratitude.

· Catch someone doing something right and praise them.

· Overlook an offense against you.

· Go out of your way to make a new person feel welcome.

· Take an interest in someone. Ask them about the best part of their day. Ask them about their hopes and dreams.

· Stand up for someone who has been bullied or belittled.

· Write a love letter.

· Clean up a mess, even if you didn’t make it.

· Express appreciation to someone who has helped you. Pray for people who are having a hard day.

· Teach someone about Holy Moments. An easy way to do that is to give someone a copy of this book. Here is the link

Every day I will see the possibility and opportunities to share Holy Moments, and let me say God’s love with others everywhere. There is nothing more meaningful and there is nothing more fulfilling to respond to every situation that transforms it into a Holy Moment. I believe this is consistent with the prayer that I pray everyday form John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…” I pray that the Holy Spirit will break through, touch hearts, change lives, and change our world. When we collaborate with God and when we collaborate with others (loving God and loving others) to create Holy Moments then we will be filled with the Fruits of the Spirit, love, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Yes, I believe people of faith are better off in handling grief. Let me close with this quote from page 79 “The Melody that the loved one played upon the piano of your life will never be played quite that way again, but we must not close the keyboard and allow that instrument to gather dust. We must seek out other artists of the spirit, new friends who gradually will help us to find the road to life again who will walk the road with us.” Let me close with this “God will be with us all the time, in all the places, and all the Ways” we travel this road we call life.

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