Birthing Healing Out of Grief

They thought if they waited until we kids went to bed, we would not hear. We heard every word, cringing in our beds, almost vibrating to every shouted word. Mom and Dad were fighting again. Often the arguments centered on how they were going to pay the bills. But the significance to us was greater than finances. “What will we do when our home breaks up tomorrow?” I agonized. “Where will I go? Where will my brother and sisters go? Will they keep us together or split us up?” Though my parents never did separate, uncertainty filled my world. Security hung by a fragile thread. The conflict spawned grief that lasted well into adulthood.

But isn’t grief associated with the death of a loved one? Physical death is not the only source of this powerful response to adversity. Grief is a normal God-given reaction to loss, death, or change. It may be a financial loss, deterioration in health, or a loss of self-esteem. But normally the loss centers on the significant change of a relationship. A short definition might be anxiety provoked by loss.

After the end of World War II researchers studied young children separated from their mothers, usually during a temporary hospitalization. Initially the boys and girls protested by crying and calling out for their mothers. Some ran after them or searched them. The next phase was extreme distress, sobbing unconsolably, followed by withdrawal into self, and unwillingness to interact with others. These separation behaviors are expressions of grief. My own grief was an emotional anticipation of separation.

To explore the human phenomenon of grief and find God’s healing, listen to the attached podcast.Birthing Healing Out of Grief

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Premise of Lord I Feel So Small!

A significant number of adults and teens fight a daily struggle to discover their personal significance—including a surprising number of pastors and Christian leaders. They are defeated, and held in bondage by a world of lies. God created us unique, as gifted persons of great worth under his call, loved in infinite measure. Yet, because of sin and deception, we set aside our heritage. The struggle may be initiated in a childhood home by a lack of love, rejection, or demeaning evaluations. It may come from the culture of false yardsticks by which people are measured by touchdowns, org charts, or dollars. The lies flourish in our own minds, emotions, and wills, and are supplemented by an enemy who deceives us about our true worth.

Quick Summary of Lord I Feel So Small!

Can I go on? Should I give up? Is there any hope? The world’s false yardsticks demean and devastate you. Feelings of insignificance overwhelm you. Daily combat with giants such as fear, rejection, and comparison exhausts you. Lord I Feel So Small  explores twenty battlegrounds of significance to expose the lies that demean, to discover the miracle of God’s purpose, and to equip you for a life of unshakable confidence.

Why this blog?

“I was feelin’ pretty small,” said my friend, Ken, a roofer. He was battling to keep his head above water in finding his place under God’s sun, weary of measuring himself by all the false yardsticks of success, education, and accomplishment flaunted by the world’s egos. I could identify. Childhood and youth proved a daily agony of smallness and confusion. Through much of my adulthood I looked through a dark tunnel with little light at the end. For decades I thought the only contribution I could make was by giving blood. I have given over fourteen gallons. At times my battles with depression and smallness made me feel like I was in a deep pit with slippery sides, and could not climb out.

To those who face a daily desperate warfare for significance, some would say “Get over it!” When I described my struggles to a pastor at a recent conference he seemed to say “Get over it, you’re a Christian!” “What is it you don’t understand about what the Bible says?” But his quick solution did not recognize a very real human struggle and the learning curve of a person in process. The fact that the answers are all there distressed nobody more than me, but when I closed my Bible and went out the door, yardsticks flew at me from every corner. They screamed “Who are you? You’re nothing!” My grieving conclusion in High School echoed “God created me inferior. . . evidently on purpose. God loves and values me less than others. That’s just the way it is.”

My agonized cry was “Lord, I Feel So Small! Can I go on or should I give up? Is there any hope?” My daily cries and struggle initiated a search on many fronts. In this blog I will explore twenty battlegrounds that I faced in my quest for significance.

For some, both my own struggle and the truths of the Bible will seem like “therapy speak” where I am encouraging people to “feel better and better about less and less.” But I speak because though God calls each individual to a unique role of power and significance, few find it. Instead we fall prey to living by a false and blasphemous operating manual dictated by the values of the world and those around us. The disconnect stems from a warfare that damages our minds, emotions, wills, relationships, and bodies. When I was a boy the fuse box in the house had circuits that would overload, blowing the fuse, and extinguishing the lights. I long to expose the flawed connection, and for God again to connect us with His purpose and our fulfillment.

 Though what I write seems to be centered on human need, it is really a book about God. Though each chapter begins with an agonized cry in some specific arena, in each case God is the starting place, the process, and the end of the answer. My book is not the answer, but it points to the answer – God Himself as our perfect provision.

I suspect most die having never discovered their true greatness. As I have begun to discover healing, I long to release all of us to our giftedness and a life of unshakable confidence in living, because of our immovable faith in Christ.

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