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There's Always Hope
2/5/2019 3:00:00 PM by: Dee Lundgren MA, LPC

At 1:30 p.m. last Wednesday I received a weather advisory on my phone—squall coming in an hour. At 2:30 p.m. I could no longer see the Philadelphia skyline from my office.

 

With winds gusting at 50 mph, the squall painted everything outside my window white. Even nearby buildings couldn’t be seen.

 

Loss is often like a squall—it comes on with little to no warning blinding us to any clear path.  

 

We become consumed with overwhelming feelings.

 

Sometimes those feelings lie to us telling us life will never be good again.

 

We can give into despair. This happens all the time—especially with a catastrophic loss.

 

Jennifer lost her young husband to a life-threatening illness one December. She was so immersed in the sorrow and pain that she canceled Christmas. No tree, no celebrations, no Christmas cookies, and no presents.

 

Over a decade later she continues to cancel Christmas, not only for herself, but also her daughter. Jennifer is still swimming in her in pain feeling hopeless.   

 

Sometimes we can fall into the trap of believing the lie that life will never get any better. Then we become passive—giving up trying. We fall into what counselors call, learned helplessness.

 

Loss not grieved can lead to feelings of helplessness. Like the squall, we can’t see what is right in front of us.

 

Naomi in the Bible comes to mind when I think of a person in scripture who gave up trying. Loss upon loss—her immediate family all died. First her husband, and then her two sons. All she had left was her Moabite daughter-in-laws.

 

When Naomi heard that the famine had lifted in Israel, she decided to leave Moab to go back home. However, one of her daughter-in-law’s, Ruth, insisted upon going back with her.

 

The two widowed women trudged along on the dusty road back to Bethlehem. When they finally arrived, we learn that the whole town was stirred. That kind of thing happens in a small town—everything is news.

 

“Can this be Naomi?” the townswomen exclaimed (Ruth 1:19).

 

Naomi silences her friends and tells them to call her, Mara, which means bitter.

 

“I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1:21).

 

Fast forward to the end of the story. Ruth marries Boaz (a kinsman redeemer).  Together they have a child they named Obed. And this boy brought so much joy to Naomi, who at one time thought all was hopeless. The icing on the cake was that Obed was also in the family line of Christ.

 

In reality, Naomi did not come back empty. But she couldn’t see it that way. In her eyes all she could see was pain. Yet, there was hope.

 

. . . and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Blessings to you.  Dee

 

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