Share – As I put away the Christmas decor, I grabbed my deceased son’s stocking and stuffed it in a bag. A wave of grief overcame me as the holiday sock began to signify the hole in my heart since Grant’s passing. The recent season brought reminders of Grant’s absence.  His smile used to radiate brightly on the holiday card. The jovial spirit that encompassed him was missing at the Christmas feast. It was clear that celebrating the holidays, birthdays, and events without his presence would now be new waters to navigate. I knew that it would be helpful and healthy to call a fellow grieving mom and that she would understand the feelings that I couldn’t even put into words.  I cried gut-wrenching tears into the phone, “I just want my life to be normal again.” She said in a loving but firm voice, “Sweetie, I understand, but It won’t be. You have to make a new normal.”I was relieved that someone else understood my plight, but I thought,” “How do I attempt to make a new normal when one of the pieces to our puzzle is missing?”

Insights from Above – I grabbed a puzzle and tossed it quickly into the giveaway box. My 12-year-old daughter, Ella, looked at me in shock and said, “Mom, What are you doing? That is still a good puzzle.” I replied, “It is missing a piece right in the center.” To which she said, “Yes that’s true, but you don’t throw out the puzzle just because a piece is gone.” I have thought about her words as they have pierced my spirit convincing me to not give up on celebrating life just because a piece of our puzzle is gone.

Application – I recently purchased a 1000 piece puzzle and was reminded once again that working a puzzle takes effort and determination. It was overwhelming to hunt for the parts that fit together perfectly; however, I felt compelled to continue to attempt to piece it together. God gave me insight that it is in those times that when I “just show up” that He will be able to “do a work in me” and help put me back together again. If I don’t try to live again, then God can not do His part to restore me.  I am finding that half of the battle is just having the courage to live life without Grant in it. There have been those social situations that I have turned down because I just didn’t feel ready, but often those were times that I could have grown in my loss. Allowing the Lord to do the repair has meant changing the expectations of what my reality should look and feel like. The good Lord also revealed to me that the memories from the past are a blessing to be cherished and that part of my healing is to give myself permission to make new ones. Trusting Him means that I will commit to do the work even if I can’t see all the pieces of my life puzzle fitting back into place.

Grounding Scripture – Jerimiah 17:14-  “God pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise.”

Scripture Thoughts – I am reminded that only a friendship with Jesus can put me back together and restore me. To my surprise, the end of the scripture encourages praise. This is such a difficult thing to do when the intensity of hardship that I am experiencing weighs so heavily on my heart.  God revealed that I am not praising for the problem but instead, giving my appreciation for his presence in the midst of my trial. I am reminded of God’s greatness and glory in the midst of my hurting heart. I have experienced His love through a hug, a card, an unexpected rainbow in the sky, my son’s favorite song being played at the right time.

Prayer – Thank you for the truth of the living word as it medicates my soul. I am committing to allow You to put me back together and to continue to celebrate all Your love for me in the past, present, and future. Help me today to be pieced back together and to glorify you in the process.  Amen

By Deana McGarr, Copyright 2019