For the Soul:
One of the goals in grieving must be to get to the point where thoughts of what we lost are not all-consuming and overwhelming. Scripture shows us that time-weary grief is not a new concept.
Ps. 13.2 “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?”
God is with us to help in this journey. This session, as we get closer to the end of our 8 sessions together, we will spend time deliberately thinking on our loss. Remember the lessons we have learned:
- God will strengthen us.
- God is with us.
- God will fight for us, we need only be still.
- God knows.
- God listens.
With all this in mind, facing the memories of all we have lost will be easier. And please know that you are in God’s thoughts each day, too.
Phil. 4:4-7 gives us a pattern to follow to achieve the peace we so desperately need:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Rejoice, be gentle, push aside anxiety, with thankful prayer present your requests to God.
Does that sound like a tall order? Sure, but He is with us every step of the way.
Because we are not alone as we do some tough work this session, our prayer will be: “With You, God.”
“All of Me” was written by Matt Hammitt after his son Bowen was born with a heart defect. (Bowen turned 4 in September 2014.) This song is such a heartfelt testimony of pain.
For the Heart: Scripture to memorize as you work through this session-
Phil. 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
For the Body:
Back to Basics: During the tough work for this session, let’s just go back to our basics from Session 1:
- Rest when you can.
- Drink extra water.
- Eat comfort foods without guilt, but also consume fresh fruits and vegetables when possible.
I’m adding: Don’t rush the work in this session.
For the Mind:
- Crying: Studies have shown that emotional tears have a different composition than normal tears or tears produced due to eye irritants. Isn’t this proof that God created tears as a means of disposing of chemicals your body doesn’t need? Then why do we work so hard to NOT cry? Tears are a culturally accepted form of mourning, yet we buy into the thought that tears are a sign of weakness. Or we believe that if we were to allow ourselves to cry that we wouldn’t be able to stop. Perhaps by now you realize that the feelings remain if you refuse to weep. So what do you have to lose? Excuse yourself to a private place and give it a shot. It may be exactly what you’ve been waiting for.
- Not crying: Maybe you’re not a crier. Not everyone is. That’s okay, too. This is your journey. Do not force yourself to meet someone else’s arbitrary expectations of what grief is “supposed to” look like. But please be aware that tears can sneak up on you. If they arrive suddenly, let them flow.
- Favorite Joke or Story: There was probably a favorite phrase, joke or story that your loved one told. Finding a way to remember or memorialize that beloved saying is a way of honoring them. You may want to add this to your journal in some way.
To Create— (This course is designed for Art Journaling, but you should use whatever media you prefer.)
The following assignments are optional. Do not let this course add stress to your journey.
It’s a Heart Thing – (8/12)
Heart of You. On page 8/12, draw a large heart. Today we’re going to fill this heart with things that make us think of the one we lost. Words, pictures, drawings, anything that reminds us of them.
My dad inspired me to attend Oklahoma Baptist University. He encouraged my love for art through photography, and he was a 2nd generation Dr Pepper Bottler who loved to bring his daughter with him when he traveled.
Draw a large heart on page 9/12. Inside, draw or describe a treasured moment with the one you lost. Add color if you wish.
As a child, Dad was always “driven” to get to our destination. I recall one day when he was driving. We drove out of a rain storm. He actually agreed to my request that we wait for the rain to catch us. At one point, it was raining on the back of the car and not the front. When the rain overtook the front, he drove on. What a grand gift of whimsy to give a child!
It’s an Art Thing:
With You, God-This is our prayer for this session. Add it to your art journal.
Final Conversations – FIRST, find a quiet space and journal or art about your final conversation with the one you lost. What was said? What was the tone? Put it all on paper, and use our Privacy techniques if needed. NOW, what do you think your IDEAL final conversation would have been about? Journal this conversation.
Favorite Sayings – Add a page to memorialize a favorite quote.
Vitamins – In the back of your journal, write 1 blessing from each day.
It’s a Feeling Thing (Stages of Grief):
- Be gentle with yourself during this session. Acknowledge whichever stages you travel through during this tough work we’re doing.
- You have illustrated 4 of the grief stages to this point. Select 2 more to either illustrate what they look/feel like to you or ways that you find helpful to pass through them.
Dig: Search these additional scriptures to dig deeper –
- Ps. 116:1-8
- Ps. 119:25-32
Select one (or more) of the following scriptures or quotes to illustrate or letter in your journal.
- Ps. 139:17 “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!”
- Heb. 3:1 “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.”
- The heart never forgets.
- You matter. I matter.
- When you are willing to feel it, you can heal it.
- Don’t fake being okay. You only hurt yourself. Be real with what you’re going through, just don’t let it consume you. Balance.
- For additional quotes, check my Pinterest board “Good Grief – Remembering” here.
- My prayer team and I are praying for you daily.
One last thing…
If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, I invite you to meet Him. For more information, click here.
Disclaimer: While I am a certified school counselor, I do not offer this course as a replacement for one-on-one personal therapy. This is an art journaling course designed to approach the grief process through Biblical scripture. If you feel your grief is beyond your control, please call 911 or speak to a health professional.