Perspectives on the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Group
What does it mean to be emotionally healthy? I figured if I was asking myself that question, I should find out. When I read the initial email about the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Course that Grace Women was offering, I was interested. I was out of town for a few weeks and then I saw the course offered in the bulletin again. I know God speaks to us in many different ways and thought God was telling me I needed this study.
In doing the Daily Office, which is a very short, silent meditation, Scripture, devotion and again silent time, I found God in the silence. Everyone has a busy life and mine is no different. Whether it is work or kids or spouses or aging parents or health problems or, or, or…life is crazy and full. I have always appreciated quiet time but didn’t realize how much I needed it. Hearing God in the stillness was something new for me. In Isaiah 46:10, it says to us, “Be still and know that I am God.” Isn’t it great that He tells us to be still? Isn’t it great that we are not God?!
As the weeks went by, I found it was easy for me to open up about my own struggles, particularly with the chapter entitled, “Enlarge Your Soul Through Grief and Loss.” When I was 10, my parents got divorced. The way I dealt with this loss of my family was to not deal with it at all but to put it in a box and move forward. It was an event which was separate from me. However, when I got divorced after telling myself I would never do so, I felt only failure. At the time, it was difficult to talk to God about my failure because I was ashamed and sad. When I shared my story with the group, I found I was not the only one to go through that particular struggle and feel the same way. I was surprised and encouraged to find I was not alone.
In Matthew 26, Jesus deals with His impending crucifixion by bringing friends and asking them to keep watch. Jesus then asked God to take the cup from Him, all the while knowing what He must do. I saw that it was okay to tell God about my grief because Jesus did. I read that it was okay to ask God to take my pain away, even with the knowledge that He may not, or it may happen more slowly than I want. New life comes out of loss. I never thought about how God uses loss to show us the beauty of what is to come, even though that is all around us – leaves fall, Winter arrives and then Spring brings freshness and new life.
I certainly don’t have life figured out but I am beginning to be thankful for the struggles because I know God will bring good things out of them.