Friday, February 10, 2012
When my late husband died, I felt this hurry and rush to get rid of his stuff. Someone I respected greatly in my life had shared her story how God had led her family to remove all of her deceased husband's belongings from her home the day he died. It helped her healing process immensely. Knowing this, I thought if I want to get through this and heal I need to do the same. So I went through his belongings and gave things away, all within the first week. Months later I was longing for his Bible, and wishing I kept his shirts to make a blanket for my son. It wasn't the right time for cleansing. And I learned it the hard way.
Now 14 months later I am downsizing. In preparation for selling my home, and reducing my living space by almost 2/3, I am needing to clean through. While I removed almost all of my late husband's belongings immediately, there are so many things I still have which were ours, or my personal belongings which are a symbol and memory of the life we had together. Some of them are little things like pictures, our original towels we registered for and cards he sent. And there are other things like the first couch we picked out, our baby grand piano which I taught my step daughter how to play, or his desk.
As I prepare for the move, I'm throwing out, donating and selling a lot of things. I recognized that it feels really good. I had been dreading dealing with all these things, and ultimately starting over where my possessions are concerned. But its been healthy, and I have felt a lot of healing. See there is a time to cleanse your past, to wash away what was, and let God begin a new work. When God prompts you to take that step, and clean out, it will be refreshing. It may still be hard, there may still be tears, but in the end you will feel lighter, and refreshed. It took me 14 months to hit the place where the cleansing came and brought refreshing! I feel lighter, excited, and ready to close that chapter of my life, in a way I wasn't aware of before.
Another important lesson I learned was that what God directs one person to do is not a formula or "the" standard. I need to hear from God for myself, and let Him work His healing through me in the way He knows is best. Each one of us widows is different. We may have a common bond, and understand the hurt and pain, confusion and despair. But our lives, our marriage, our loss of our spouse is a unique experience. We need God to lead us through the grieving process. There is no formula for healing. There is no typical way that grief appears in our lives, or our children's. Each one of us have a different story, a different experience and a different path to healing. My prayer for you is that you would hear God's voice behind you leading you down your path. And as you listen that you would experience His promise to you:
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,3
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness