Those acquainted with grief are aware of how it can lie dormant for a period of months or years only to come surging to the surface at the most inopportune times. This sort of grief tends to creep insidiously to the surface, gaining a sure foothold before we are aware of its presence.
In the midst of a frantically busy holiday weekend, I was nearly overwhelmed with grief over loss of the family traditions that died with my father's physical death and my mother's Alzheimer's induced inability to remember. How could I have forgotten that the fourth is the holiday that I miss having parents the most; how could I have allowed that terrible sense of loss to advance to flood stage before awareness of it reached my conscious mind? Of the catalysts that open the gates for this type of grief, a dear sister in Christ says it's as though..."we’ve been swept onto the Grief Express, bulleted back in time and soul to those first days..." (Melody's blog).
I was doing a fair job of keeping the grief waters dammed behind a determined smile and a busy schedule, when I walked into my mother's room. In a high pitched, little girl voice, she was singing "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," a song she's often told me was sung to her by her father when she was small. I felt her terrible loss of no longer being a little girl whose daddy adores her, and I turned and literally ran from the room. The pathos of my mother's situation had broken the barriers that had been keeping my own sorrows at bay. When I came to myself, I was clutching the kitchen counter, drawing in deep breaths, knowing my blood pressure was too high. I knew I could not cope any longer with the circumstances of my life and I felt desperate to escape. I was actually thinking I'd just write a note, pack a bag, and go to a motel for the weekend. I pulled out my phone and texted three friends, asking for prayer. Almost instantly my body relaxed, my emotions calmed, my thinking cleared. Next moment I received replies from my friends assuring me that I was being lifted to the Lord in prayer.
The remainder of the weekend was not easy, but I was strengthened to bear the weight of the responsibilities I needed to fulfill, and the grief receded. There is no doubt at all in my mind that this ability to cope came as a direct result of the intercession of my faithful friends who know the power of prayer.
Today I emailed the friends who prayed for me and closed with these words: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord that we have one another. Thanks be to God for Jesus and His availing Blood, for His forgiveness, for His grace, for His mercy and
help. I praise Him.
Scripture: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16).