This woman, whom I will call Sheila, came to see me because she was having trouble dealing with a promise she had made to her dying mom who had been physically and mentally ill. Her mom had suffered from, among other physical things which debilitated her, anorexia all of her life and she kind of passed the mantel of anorexia onto both the girls. So Sheila has had to deal with anorexia and bulimia for as long as she can remember.
Now there is a number of problems that Sheila is going through but the main one is that her mom actually went into the hospital because of a stroke and then she starved herself to death. She wouldn’t eat for three weeks, then she stopped drinking and eventually she just died. So in a way she committed suicide. But before her mom died, Sheila, who was clean, promised her she would never go back on drugs again.
So the problem is twofold. One is that her mother committed suicide and Sheila wanted to know if her mom was in heaven and the other is that she had made this promise to stay clean and then three years later, due to another circumstance, she fell back on drugs.
I talked to Sheila about forgiveness and explained to her about God’s forgiveness. I talked to her – her mom was a Christian – about the verse from Romans 8 that says we are never separated from the love of God and also the verse from II Timothy that states when we are faithless, he remains faithful.
I gave Sheila my book on mourning, also. Grief is a serious problem for people who have tragedy in their life and I told her that grief is an inner tearing of the soul that we experience in a time of great loss. When loss unsettles our life journey and grief rips through us, God’s intention is that joy will come in our mourning! I explained to her how to come through that.
We prayed together for courage and Sheila forgive her mom for leaving her in such a cruel way. I told her it was a decision she had made, to forgive, and not an emotional thing and that the emotions would eventually follow. It was a very positive meeting and I enjoyed talking with Sheila.
I hope she stays clean and continues to grow in the Lord as she works through her grief. As I said in one of my previous posts, I find ex-addicts to have a lot of tenderness and creativity and Sheila is an example of this.
If your life is currently shrouded in grief, just remember, God’s promise is that joy will come in the morning!