Recently I have had contact with several friends who are experiencing great difficulty and loss in their lives. It feels like their whole world is falling apart. Hopes and dreams are dashed, all feels dark and difficult.
We’ve likely all been there. Discouragement, depression, and even despair can dominate our vision. We can feel so heavy, our eyes are dimmed with tears, our spirits numbed with pain.
Yet while we are feeling the depths of that raw pain, there are still laughing children at the playground. The birds are still chirping outside. Friends are still having birthdays. Mozart’s symphonies are still beautiful.
Elisabeth Elliot is a favorite author of mine and she had a mantra through her years of pain as she tragically lost her first husband, and then her second one. She told herself over and over:
Do the next thing.
The dishes still needed washing. Clean clothes still needed to be folded and put away. Toilets still needed scrubbing. Bills still needed to be paid. Neighbors still needed help with this or that.
Keep going. Do the next thing. Don’t give up.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that though you may be experiencing great loss, there is still life all around… life that you are part of. Strengthen what remains.
Strengthen your body. Strengthen your duties. Strengthen your relationships. Strengthen your service. Strengthen your passions and find your purpose. Make a difference. The world needs you to come alive.
I am sorry for what you may be going through. Please receive this virtual hug as your community helps bear your burden. Let others love you and encourage you. We can’t fix what’s in the past, but we can all help each other move forward. We give you our strength.
And when our time comes for heartache and loss, we will look to you to share your strength.
Friend, don’t check out. Strengthen what remains. There is so much life in you and all around you.