Your life was all together.
It made sense, at least to some degree.
A huge chunk is gone,
or you have something new to fit in where there’s no room.
The change may be desirable or undesirable,
intended or one you would have done anything to avoid.
In any case, major changes disturb the layout of our lives.
How do we cope?
I used to picture this situation like attempting to replace a missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle.
But I soon realized the jigsaw perspective isn’t the best.
Can we ever find another piece that fits exactly like the one that went missing,
whether it’s a relationship, position, valued item, or opportunity?
Even if we found a piece the right shape,
wouldn’t it be printed with a different picture?
And if we are given a new piece, how can we ever fit it in?
Yet, that’s what we wish and hunt for, isn’t it?
To get things back to “the way they should be”?
We try to force new relationships into being just like the old.
This puts undue pressure and unrealistic expectations on the new.
That’s how I responded after fire damaged our house.
Others thought I should be happy to have new kitchen cabinets,
but I liked the old-fashioned old ones.
The pain couldn’t be resolved until I said goodbye to what had been
so that I could welcome something else.
But not the same.
As long as we insist inwardly on having it "the way it was,"
we face one disappointment after another.
We end up filling our empty space with discouragement,
If we’ve lived very long,
we’ve seen people respond to loss in all those ways,
even if we haven’t ourselves.
And whether we observed or experienced it,
we know it is not a happy life.
Perhaps the first step is rejecting the jigsaw theory.
Whether we like it or not,
to heal and regain our balance in life,
we must accept the fact that our lives will never be quite the same.
But we know what happens if we stop there,
stuck in the awareness of our endless loss.
We also need hope
that as we trust God,
He will enable us to take the next steps,
steps that will move us beyond our pain to a new kind of joy.
But, more about that next week.
Until then, you might like to read Psalm 46.
Here are a few of the verses.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. . . .
Be still, and know that I am God;
Psalm 46:1-3 and 10 NIV
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