What about the stuff that hurts? When I come up against a challenge, and I know it’s going to bring pain…what do I do? How shall I respond when I know my action will bring both pain and progress?
This line of questioning has been the basis of much of my grief work. Every decision, especially the ones that move me along, comes with pain. It hurts to do activities that we used to do, there are points of pain that come with doing something new, and the ache sets in when I do nothing at all.
The intensity of this pain has gotten less as the weeks and months go by. At first, the level of hurt stopped me in my tracks. Now, it is present, but does not take any major place in my mind. I feel it, that’s about it…most days.
There are moments of great sorrow that still hit, even days of moping around in a “funk.” But, for the most part, I am about a 6 on a 10 scale, 10 being “happy.” I have hope, joy, and realize God’s blessing in my life.
Moving along. I progress, most effectively, when I step into the challenges that lay before me. Most challenges are made up of everyday life situations, and the part that makes it challenging is that Jana is not here. For example, in the beginning going out to eat and sitting at a table that we used to sit at was a challenge. It was really hard to be there, alone, even if there were people with me, she was not.
Now, challenges include new ministry to others, thoughts of dating, and enjoying big events in the kid’s lives. The more decisions and steps I make, the less the pain is felt. So, I accept the difficult challenges and even look forward to them.
Living life does not cover up or eliminate the sorrow and pain, it addresses it. Taking steps toward the future highlight my troubles from the past and require me to deal with my loss. There is a balance to accepting these challenges, one cannot take on too much. Becoming overwhelmed would be a negative consequence. So, I would not have been able to meet new women, in a one-on-one environment, in month 2. That would have created quite a problem in my thinking, not to mention the potential trouble in someone else’s life!
I will keep moving along. I miss Jana and, at the same time, I enjoy my life and future. I am able to do the two at once. My emotional scale is tipping in my favor, not grief’s. These days are not without struggles, but I enjoy this life God has given me. I look forward to what He has for me, accepting each challenge as they come, and, on occasion, seeking them out!