“Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”
– Psalm 27:3 NIV
God’s response to King Jehoshaphat’s prayer reinforces the necessity of acceptance. “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15b-16a, 17 There are some circumstances the LORD will spare me from having to encounter and deliver me from it (Mercy). Then there are situations where my deliverance will come through facing it, and the LORD taking me through it, but He will fight for me, with me and defend me in what I face (Grace)!
Along with my decision to go through my season of grief willingly, I also decided I would rely on God and learn to look to Him to help me, guide me and lead me through what I faced towards the better day and brighter tomorrow, which I used to write in my journal. When a friend of mine had asked me how I was dealing with the intense emotions of anger during my transition, I told him I challenged myself to see myself in a better place and was resolute I would get there. Wrestling with the emotions from my childhood while grappling with what I was facing currently was not easy to manage. A colleague of mine, who works with the National Family Resiliency Center counseling families through the transition, called that complicated grief.
Complicated grief is the reality of experiencing more than one mental/emotional/circumstantial trauma at one time that makes grief complicated and difficult to cope with. Looking back, I know on my own I would not have made it through all that I went through. But by the grace of God, the support of family, professional colleagues, sharing my experiences with others through workshops, watching inspirational movies, listening to inspirational music and sermons/speeches by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I made it through!
In fact, there were two movies in particular my children and I watched within the last year that made the reality of the transition easier to cope with and progress through. Imagine That starring Eddie Murphy and Mrs. Doubtfire starring Robin Williams are 2 excellent movies to help families discuss the reality of the transition and enjoy a great laugh and the warmth that humor can bring to an otherwise difficult situation to encounter let alone talk about.
I’ve discovered that I am not coping with my grief until I can talk about it. Learning to be transparent, vulnerable and reach out for the hands of compassionate people in your inner circle whom you trust and value will be a tremendous source of strength and empowerment to hold you up and keep you going, progressing and moving forward. Even in the times when you feel like you seem to be going backwards, learning to accept that grief is a process that produces moments of ebb and flow, ups and downs, progress and stagnation.
Acceptance will allow me to be okay with waking up feeling disgruntled, infuriated, or depressed, but understanding this is not where I desire to remain I will take action to make sure I progress from one stage of grief to another until I reach acceptance. Resiliency is the process by which I overcome. It’s not so much a state of being as much as it is a state of mind. My resiliency is fashioned through my resolve to stand face to face with my calamity, embracing the grief, understanding my circumstances will give way before I do, because my God will be with me in my trouble and He will fight for me until I see my deliverance!
May God bless you and help you face the calamity associated with your transition and strengthen you with courage, hope and confidence until He delivers you and grants you victory in what you face currently.