Tragedy has such an all-encompassing way of devastating the soul; it destroys and shatters the very core of life; it wretches the gut, evoking extreme sorrow, weeping, and a disintegration of the spirit. It leaves us, ostensibly, with nothing. We know it isn’t true; but it definitely feels that way.
There was a time in my life when I took a two-month leave-of-absence from work because of issues with exhaustion and depression. My wife was pregnant with her first child, ever, and I was facing TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disorder) surgery that would leave my mouth wired shut for at least eight weeks (turned out to be twelve). Two weeks into my leave of absence I was dismissed from the company I had worked with for 17 years…, with two-weeks’ severance pay offered. The surgery for my TMJ was already scheduled for the following month. The morning of my scheduled surgery my wife called from home (at 5:00 a.m.) to tell me she had lost her only pregnancy. We wept. We were at the bottom. We knew the only way we could go was UP. That somehow sustained us; that, along with the company of close friends, our trust in the God who made us, and our church. Over the next few weeks we adjusted to our loss, my intense pain from surgery, and the hope that God would not leave us alone. He did not.
Over time our pain lessened, in all areas…, somewhat. Though to this day we still wonder what might have been had things been handled differently.
The point is this— that Tragedy had a significant effect on my soul in a way immeasurably unlike anything else. Taking some time for soul rest, and recovery, following the devastation wrought by this kind of tragedy, or one like yours is imperative. You will not only need rest for your soul, but people who care for you, and even counselors who can guide you through its stages. (See Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, On Death and Dying, 1969). Do NOT expect your soul to automatically reset, or recovery to come without difficulty. It will not. Do not deny your pain. Live through it as best you can.
But, as a genuine Christian speaking, I can assure you that a personal faith in God makes a big difference. Reaching out to Christ for solace, comfort, and direction will help a lot.
Honor God, honor people, make a difference,
Dr. Gary Davis, President
NEXT— Solutions— part 5, Deterrents to Soul Rest.