Some Assembly Required
© Ferna Lary Mills
Simply put: Grief is the result of loss.

It can be from the loss of something as simple as losing your car keys, to something as
devastating as losing a spouse or a child. Grief hits us all at one time or another, to some
degree or another. None of us are immune.

Hurricane Katrina hit America, not just the Gulf coast. Many have lost beloved family and
friends, many have lost jobs, many have lost homes and all their earthly possessions. The rest
of America grieves for those who have suffered such a great loss in this catastrophe. We also
grieve for our own lost sense of security, as we are reminded that our own lives could change
in a moment, depending on the next catastrophe.

That being said, what can we do to move on from this? Whether you have been displaced by
Hurricane Katrina, or whether you have lost a loved one, there is "Life After Loss". It may be a
much different life, but it is your life, and well worth living.

For those whose homes and businesses were destroyed, as well as those of us who have lost
loved ones, there's a rebuilding process required. God has a reason we are still walking around
on this planet. So, we must put back together the pieces of our life so we can get on with living.
(Note, I do not say anywhere that this is going to be an easy task.)

Your life before your loss consisted of .... what? Your life now consists of ... what? Compare
those two for a moment (it won't take long!) and figure out what is left that remains the SAME.
Now, realize that nothing you can do or say or build or dream will ever make your life exactly
the same as it was before your loss. Nothing. But don't concentrate on what is lost.
Concentrate on what is the same. If you've lost all your earthly possessions, loved ones, jobs,
and more, then you may think not much remains the same. But you still have a lot inside of you
that is still the same, even if everything else around you has changed. What is inside of you
that makes you unique? What makes you "YOU"? Concentrate on that.

Your home, your job, your loved ones, didn't make you "YOU". They may have complimented
you, motivated you, loved you, sustained you, or protected you, but they didn't make you
"YOU". That being said, your task now is to take what remains of YOU and rebuild. You aren't
rebuilding yourself, but rebuilding the world where you now reside.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, let me paint a picture with this analogy. Anytime you build or
repair an item, like a bicycle, car, model airplane, etc., the first thing you should do is read the
directions.

Rebuilding your life is a monumental task, but the process is the same. To build a new life for
you (or for you and your family), you have to start with the pieces of what is left and go from
there. So first, read the directions!

"What directions?" you ask.

The Bible is God's instruction manual for living. Spend some time reading His word and find the
"direction" for your life. Spend some time in prayer and ask that He give you the strength, the
wisdom, and the understanding to know what you should do, one step at a time. He has a
process that works, if you follow it.

As important as reading the instruction manual, listen to His still, gentle voice for guidance. It's
like having the Master Mechanic guiding you, step by step. You don't have to rebuild alone,
and only He knows where all the pieces go if you want to truly build it right!

Now, as in every building project, you will find the infamous words: some assembly required.
Rebuilding your life is the same. No, not assembly of actual pieces or parts, but assembly. It's
critical that you meet regularly with other Christians to share your grief, to assemble in groups
to receive blessings to your spirit, to give you hope and strength. There is power in the Holy
Spirit that can fill you only when you are assembled in numbers. Find a church or Christian
group where you can worship regularly. There, you will find food for your soul.

Above all else, move! For some of you this may mean miles, for others, only inches. But move
as close to Jesus as you possibly can. He promises to never leave you or forsake you, and by
His strength alone will you find the strength and the courage to undertake this massive
rebuilding process.

May God bless you and comfort you and give you Peace.


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