As inescapable as quicksand.
No. Worse than quicksand.
More like a tar pit.
Unable to move forward.
And sinking fast.
What happened to my life?
Hopes and plans and dreams
more and more distant.
I feel so helpless.
I see on the horizon what I could be.
I see paths I could take.
A good life that could be mine.
But, I’m in this tar pit,
too broken to do anything about it.
I suppose not too many people these days have read John Bunyan’s book, Pilgrim’s Progress, a Christian classic, and an allegory about a man’s journey through life. One of dangers he encounters is called The Slough of Despond. It’s basically a mud hole of despair and hopelessness. I recall his Slough of Despond as I slog through the mud of grief.
Getting stuck in grief is a common pitfall. It’s easy to let a normal, healthy process turn ugly and fester into something not healthy. It’s also easy to blind oneself to what’s happening and make excuses for staying in it. I know of what I speak. I’ve been there.
I’m grateful for supportive friends who understood the best way to help me out of it was to remind me of who I am in Christ. I might feel weak and helpless. I might even appear to be weak and helpless. They reminded me that I’m not. They reminded me that I am strong in the strength of the Lord. Eventually, I escaped the tar pit because I grasped hold of a vision of myself free of it. In faith, I held on to that vision tenaciously, even when I was as stuck as stuck could be and, at times, not even wanting out.
Some might call it a paradigm shift. I’d rather describe it using the scene from the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Toward the end of the movie, after being shown what would have happened if he’d never been born, George Bailey runs back to the bridge and cries out, “I want to live again! Please let me live again.”
That’s me! That’s my paradigm shift! And, with that, I crawled out of the tar pit of unhealthy grief.
Sara Faith Nelson
Sharing the journey, because, I find there are so many others making the trek through life without a loved one