I have sat many a long night not knowing where I’d go or how I’d get there after my daughter’s death. I found God’s word to be the only truth I could find to help me see what I had to do to keep moving forward. My marching orders so to speak where very simple, finish well.
While I know that this term “finish well” may sound daunting to a person who is fresh in their grief, but for those of us who are earning our way through the journey, one day at a time, “finish well” carries a very important message. One that we forget when we hit a bump in the road. When life gets turned upside down and we look all around us and cannot find our way.
What does finish well look like? John Terveen said it very well in his book “Hope for the Brokenhearted”. In chapter 12 he reminds us of Paul’s journey and encourages us to finish the race as he finished his. Terveen states that “whatever length our life’s course may be or however challenging the terrain, each of us is called by God’s grace to finish the race of faith, hope and love set before us.
I think about this race I’m on daily and some days I get it right and other days, when the days are dark and I miss my daughter so much and I grow tired of the race; I know that if I give in, I have not finished what God has asked me to do. I have to keep my eye on God and my faith in Him to make the distance. And while I’m on this race, the race I did not sign up for, I am also given the instruction to extend love, grace, prayer and mercy to those who have joined me on this journey.
I find that in the times when it is dark and I have lost my way, it is because I have let the light flicker and lost the sight of my way because I lost my faith. Without my faith, I have nothing. Without my God I would have finished far too soon and the task that I have been given unfinished.
Often I have been tempted to abandon my faith because I got tired and became weary of the long journey of sorrow. Just as a runner who prepares for a marathon, you have to prepare mentally and phyically for the challenges a long marathon will have. The punishment to your body that will result. You need proper nourishment and hydration to maintain your ability to finish the race. It is the same for us on this journey in life that has dealt us a devastating blow like death of a child. We have to find our nourishment and maintain good health to finish the race. We have people to love, grievers to hug, be the hands and feet of Jesus during our race.
In order to keep the faith and press on, we need to take care of ourselves first so that we can care for others, the ones that are put in our path for a reason. To care for and love. To mentor and walk with when they fall. So if you find yourself in a place, like I do, remember to pray this prayer:
Dear Lord: In the face of my suffering, sometimes I question you and your ways. I am troubled and I find it hard to keep going. When this happens, please help me to remember that your love never fails and it never gives up and it never runs out on me. – AMEN
My dearest followers – I too find times when it’s hard to see the path, to find my way – the road looks dark and the weariness of my soul speaks loudly so that I cannot hear what I know is true. God’s love never fails, it never gives up and it never runs out on me. So take great faith in God will not run out on you or given up on you or never fail you. Press on…..
until next time,