Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Growing in the Son's Light

Today's "In Other Words" meme is being hosted by Nina at her site, Mama's Little Treasures. She has chosen a quote from the book of Proverbs.

"In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet." ~Proverbs 31: 19 - 21~

Now this is a Woman of Purpose!

I woke up early this morning with a sense of anticipation. It's a brand new year - a clean slate. As I lay in bed I began to ponder all the struggles and losses of 2007 - having my children and grand kids living with me for several months, then they moved away to be on their own again; moving to a new pastorate - losing all the relationships we had built and starting over again to build new ones; and losing my mom.

It hit me that I had been suffering from a natural depression these last few months - the kind resulting from grief due to losses. Oh, I could still function to take care of normal day to day things. I could even put words together and do some writing. But there was a large lump of sadness inside that kept me from being fruitful for the Lord and my heart wasn't in my life. Unless I had a strong motivation to do something, I let it go undone.

From my lay counseling studies I knew that this type of grief is a natural result of loss; a part of the healing process that can last from just a few months to several years. Everyone experiences it as a result of loss.

I also knew my current depression was different from the angry depression I felt 15 years ago - a heavy black cloud that caused me to want to flee from my family responsibilities and from God's presence. I needed extra help at that time from God, my family, friends and Christian counselors to expose those ugly roots and uproot that darkness from my life.

As I considered all these things, I began to weep. I wanted my joy back. I wanted my purpose back. Joy had gone to seed during the dormancy of grief. Now it was beginning to sprout again. I felt the light of the Son on my face as I studied my morning devotions, warming and encouraging that joy to grow again.

In my e-mail inbox, a writing friend had sent me an exercise to come up with a mission statement for my writing ministry in 10 words or less. Last week, I would have laid it aside, sighed deeply and promised to get at it soon. Today, I accepted its challenge and wrestled with it until I had it on paper.

Encouraging women to build healthy, supportive relationships for Christian growth.

His light burst on my heart. I found my purpose again in that writing exercise. Like the Proverbs 31 woman of today's quote, God has given me tools to use in accomplishing my purpose in life - tools that can help stave off spiritual hunger as well as provide comfort and warmth.

While I still may have down days as I continue to work through the losses, I'm on the upside of it now. I thank God for giving my life purpose and meaning and especially for His warmth and Light.


If you'd like to join us today, simply blog about the quote on your blog site, then visit Nina at Mama's Little Treasures. to leave your URL along with the other participants. Oh, and don't forget check out some of the other blogs and leave a comment!


mamas*little*treasures said...

Good morning bonnie! thank you for sharing so openly and honestly about your grief and loss. I, too, have passed through periods of grief over lost relationships and other pain. I find it so helpful to know that this kind of experience is shared by others who understand. I'm so encouraged that this quote was a starting point for your thoughts on how we can approach the new year with new focus, new enthusiasm, and new purpose. I'll be checking back to see how you are doing and hopefully offer a word of encouragement now and then! Nina

Karen said...

That was very encouraging Bonnie, thanks. I love how God operates like he does. Thanks Karen

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, My dad died in September of 2006... it was the beginning of 2007 before I took the time to rest and enjoy a time of healing. May God continue to comfort you and give you a peace that passes understanding.

I like IOW too. I have said that I feel like it is an impromptu writing assingment. Strangely, the quotes selected often "heal" in a way that I feel they are selected just for me.

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Bonnie, I'm so glad you've shared this today (or a week ago!) I needed to hear it. I really liked the idea of coming up with a suscinct purpose statement - as led by God.

Hopeful Spirit said...

That was a beautiful post, full of honest and forthright exploration. You have been blessed with the gift of discernment, i.e., the ability to discern the difference between what you are experiencing now and what you felt before. That's a phenomenal gift. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Don't forget The Seventh Day weekly blog carnival at On the Horizon! You can submit any post from the previous week by Saturday at noon. It's a great way to gain some new readers. The first two weeks of the Carnival were wonderful and each week it gets better and better. It would be even more successful if YOU participated! :-)

Blessings to you!

Lana G! said...

Beautiful, honest and encouraging. Thanks Bonnie for sharing that through it all God is right there with us.

Amy B said...

Great post, Bonnie!

I love your mission statement. You are a woman of purpose and God has gifted you! Thanks for the encouragement!