Chips Happen
© Ferna Lary Mills
Years ago I heard a story that goes something like this:

Michelangelo was being interviewed about his magnificent sculptures and his superb talent. He
was asked how in the world he could take a huge clump of plain stone and turn it into something
of such beauty. He thought for a moment and said, "Well, if I want to carve an elephant, I just
picture the elephant in my mind. Then when I look at that chunk of stone, I just chip away at
every part that doesn't look like an elephant."

Now before you ask me what in the world that has to do with getting over grief, let me explain.  
Life has many ups and down, both the little bitty ones and the GIGANTIC ones ~ like grief. But
the one thing the ups have in common with the downs is that both of them cause change in our
life. Sometimes, very drastic change. But regardless of the size, every event in our life shapes
and molds us into who we are right now and who we are to become later on down the road.

When a huge event like Grief comes into our life, it's a major change. We are no longer the
same person. Maybe it's a partner missing, maybe it's a hurt not healed, maybe it's an anger
smoldering. But whatever the cause, the result is the same:  We will ALL change. Maybe for the
better, maybe for the worse. HOW we change is up to us. A social person may become a
semi-hermit. A cheerful soul may become bitter. Our goals and our dreams change. Everything
changes. The ME before a death of a loved one is not the same ME after that death has
occurred. But I am STILL ME. I look pretty much the same on the outside, but I'm NOT the same
on the inside.

When I lost my loved ones, I thought someone had ripped out the inside part of me and for a
long time just left a gaping hole inside. In a sense, that's partly true, for there is a gigantic void
after a loss. As in all science, any void WILL be filled. We cannot exist in a vacuum. But what we
allow it to be filled WITH is our choice. We can choose all the negative emotions or we can
choose positive things for positive life changes.  I personally chose to go for the positive and
allow that void to be filled with good things in order that SOME good would come from my loss.
Thus, this website began in order to encourage others during their journey through grief.

Along the way, I learned some interesting things. I learned that I'm still capable of things I never
would have believed possible again. I can love. I can grow in my faith. I can reach out to help
others. God has left my feet on this planet for a purpose and it's my goal to find and fulfill that
purpose. I honestly believe that if He didn't have a really good reason for me to be here, then I
wouldn't be.

Since, there IS a reason (because I'm still here), then it's up to me to try to let this unwanted
change in my life result in something good. The same goes for you, too.

I believe the scripture that state that "all things work for good for those who love the Lord and
are called according to His purpose". Sometimes it's so hard to find any good, but God sees the
whole picture when most of the time we can't. We only see the Now. He sees the Forever. He
knows the things that are changing in our life right now, and although I believe He grieves with
us in our sorrows, He also knows how this change will affect things on down the road, in our life
as well in the lives of others. Maybe it's a relationship with someone close, or maybe it's simply a
word spoken in passing to a stranger. But He knows.

A pastor once told me that God is a lot like this analogy of Michelangelo. He said we are that
clump of stone. That God sees us and in His mind he pictures his son, Jesus. Then whatever
doesn't resemble Jesus, He allows that part to be chiseled away. Every trial, every milestone,
every success, is all part of that chiseling and polishing.  It's HIS goal that we try to become
more like Christ and use ALL the changes in our life for good.

Throughout life, chips happen. That's a part of living, working through the good and the bad. But
life gets better when we allow Him to use those chips to mold us into something better - in
SPITE of our tragedies, not BECAUSE of them.

Maybe that IS our purpose. Maybe that's our only REAL purpose. What better purpose could
there be than that?

May God bless you in ways that you will know beyond a shadow of doubt are from Him as you
walk this journey through your grief. May you also realize that you do not walk this journey
alone. He is there with you to lead and guide you and to comfort you. I say this with complete
confidence, that if you seek Him, you WILL find Him. He promised.


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