There are times in our lives when all we can do is hang on – and when hanging on takes all we have in us. The death of a child or a spouse is one of those times. The unexpected end of a career is one of those times. The death of a marriage or other important relationship is one of those times. And in such times, all we have is what we have left. And we don’t know that that is enough.
As we work through the disbelief, the anger, the hurt, the grieving, we may think we know what we need – escape, oblivion, retaliation, vengeance, something to get us through and out the other side as painlessly as possible. But it’s not a matter of what we think we need. It’s a matter of what God knows we need.
What we have is what is left after loss. We have the love that is still with us, even though it may not be the love we thought we couldn’t live without. And the love we have – love of friends, family, colleagues – God’s love, above all — is enough, even when we don’t believe it is.
The work we have to do has to be done. The grieving. The working through anger. The acceptance of broken hopes, abandoned expectations, a changed texture to our daily lives, a diminished reality, a loss of identity. It’s all there. It’s all real. Our task is to work through it all. And if we allow God to use the dreadful, dismal, overwhelming experience, we come through it all and we are transformed. And we find out who we really are.
The important thing is the hanging on. One day at a time. One step at a time. When we can’t find hope to hang on to, or a sense of purpose, or any joy at all, what is it that we hang on to? God. It’s that simple. And that difficult.