One decade ago, God gave me instructions to “get it out of the drawer”…the little book I had written in 1998 called After “Good-bye”, and to use it as the foundation for creating a teachable method for transitioning through grief. When I began to facilitate the After “Good-bye” curriculum at my church, I recognized that every participant either (1) had been told by a doctor that their Loved One was terminable or (2) had lost their Loved One unexpectedly, with no warning whatsoever.
In addition to grieving their loss and attempting to adapt to the void created by the loss, each group had additional issues associated with the way in which their Loved One died, prompting me to create two other grief-related courses. One was called Saying “Good-bye”, for those who had been warned by the doctors that their Loved One’s days were numbered. The other course was called No Time for “Good-bye”, for those who had no warning, and, therefore, no opportunity to say what needed to be said.
The umbrella branding of the three-course offering was called B.E.H.O.L.D…Believe and Experience Hope Optimism and Love through God’s Deliverance. Whenever we allow God to deliver us anything that prevents our best life with Him, the results are truly something to behold. Grief is no exception. And so I offer you my own definition of the action verb, “Behold!”, which depicts the reality of what I experienced with God and from God as I sought Him throughout my seasons of great loss:
Open your mind as well as your eyes; engage your senses as well as your sight, in order to experience the full impact of a powerful promise, a miraculous event, or a life-altering manifestation. Prolong the experience by savoring the aftermath, so that you may enjoy increased awareness and the continued benefit of having witnessed the workings of an awesome God!
That He can and will deliver you from the grip of grief is both a powerful promise and a life-altering manifestation of His love. When you have benefitted from the experience of navigating grief God’s way, the benefits continue as you are compelled to compare where you were to how far you’ve come, and when you recognize that, along the journey, you have been changed!
I invite you today to believe, and experience hope, optimism, and love through God’s deliverance from the grip of grief. It is not done through one miraculous event, but through a series of deliberate actions and activities that produce gratitude for what was, what is, and what will be. It is a platform for great personal and spiritual growth, and it is the workings of an awesome God!