Welcome to our final complete session together. We have a few things to prepare before we can finish our study.
For the Soul:
As we conclude our course, we must discuss what the future holds. Anyone with grief experience will tell you that there will be easy days and harder days. God is there for us during both.
Is. 43.2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Please note that this isn’t a promise that we will AVOID waters, rivers and fire. It’s a promise that God will get us THROUGH these trying times.
Sometimes life seems to throw one storm after another at us, and it’s hard to see the calm time in between. Now, having experienced loss, perhaps we can more readily savor those quiet moments when they come. And it is my prayer that when the storms come, we can turn to Jesus before we get too freaked out.
Let me show you what I mean:
Mark 4:35-41 “That day when evening came, he[Jesus] said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
These were seasoned fishermen. They were having a meltdown, and the King of Kings was in the boat – asleep. He was asleep until they asked for His help. Mind you, asleep does not mean unaware. What would things have looked like if they had brought Jesus into the mix with the first sign of the storm? And, if they really knew that Jesus was the Son of God, what exactly did they think was going to happen to the boat that held Him?
Jesus is in the boat with us. If we keep Him in the loop about everything early on, then He’s onboard and ready to help us.
The same God that calms the seas can calm a heart.
We can look at the rain as a chance to let God shine. And He has promised us a rainbow at the end of the storm. When He brings the rain, we get to grow our faith.
Our final prayer here is “Bring the rain.”
For the Heart: Scripture to memorize as you work through this session-
Is. 43.2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you”
For the Body:
Water: Don’t forget during this session how important it is to hydrate. Water. Water. Water!
For the Mind:
- Holidays and Special Days: Anniversaries, birthdays, life events and holidays are hard during grief. The anniversary of the death is particularly difficult. Be aware. Plan ahead. You may want to mark the day by doing something the person you lost would appreciate. You may feel the need to be alone, but I would ask you to consider being with people who love you.
The anniversary of the death should be set aside as a holiday. Consider visiting the grave if possible. Plan a ceremony. As the years pass, you may or may not still feel the need for this. Be mindful that others who are experiencing this same loss may have a different level of need in this area.
- Knowing you are adjusting: In her book A Passage Through Grief: An Interactive Journal, Barbara Baumgardner suggests that you will know you are beginning to recover when: taking care of yourself is not only OK, but it feels good; the future is not so frightening; you can handle “special days” without falling apart; you want to reach out to others in need or in pain; your emotional roller coaster is slowing down; you skip or forget a ritual such as visiting the cemetery without guilt.1
To Create— (This course is designed for Art Journaling, but you should use whatever media you prefer.)
Do not let this course add stress to your journey.
It’s a Heart Thing:
On page 11/12 make a heart that shows you have a warrior’s heart. Battle-scarred, perhaps, but still ready and able to face the fight. Mine is armor-plated for defense, but I’m ready to unzip it to allow God to use me.
It’s a Heart Thing – (12/12)
Peace in the Storm
On a separate piece of paper, draw/cut out a large heart. Trace around it on page 12/12. Draw a boat in a storm inside the heart on the page. On the cut out heart, draw a boat in calm waters. Color both as you wish. Glue the calm heart to your page, covering as much of the storm as you wish. This concludes our heart activities.
Bring the Rain is our prayer this session. Add it to your art journal.
Stormy Weather– Devote a page to a violent storm, but as you are “arting” this, Praise God that He will be with you when storms come.
It’s a Writing Thing:
Create for yourself a list of ways to get through the harder days.
It’s a Feeling Thing (Stages of Grief):
Pick 1. There are 2 stages of grief left to illustrate. Pick one and use your favorite media to make it come alive. Create a vivid picture that represents that feeling or the way you have found to best deal with it.
- Ps. 107:29
- Prov. 10:25
- Is. 4:6
Select one (or more) of the following scriptures or quotes to illustrate or letter in your journal.
- Ps. 4:8 “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
- Ps. 5:3 “Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”
- Wear your tragedies as armor, not shackles.
- There isn’t enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must decide which one will live there.
- Let go or be dragged.
- Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t have to; it’s not for them.
- For additional quotes, check my Pinterest board “Good Grief – Calm Waters & Storms” 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.