July 18, 2012
“I will…exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.” Jer 31:13 NLT
Tom was very depressed following his wife Elle’s death. For an hour he poured out his heart. Now, catharsis is good; it can show you what needs to be dealt with. But talk alone doesn’t change anything. So his counselor asked, “If the situation was reversed and you’d died first, what would you want Elle to do?” Immediately he replied, “Go on and enjoy life.” The minute he verbalized it a light within him came on and he said, “I’ve been feeling sorry for myself too long. We both hated it when people did that. I’m going to live, find purpose, and get back to church.” He did, and next time Tom and his counselor spoke he had begun to rebuild his life. The pain was still there, but he’d started to transcend it by taking action. Freud taught that the subconscious mind could be freed from painful memories by psychoanalysis. But his premise was faulty because memories, good and bad, remain part of you. Plus, his theory can lead you to believe that your problems can be talked to death without ever having to do anything about them. Some people get through their grief faster than others; sadly, some never do. But you don’t have to be one of them! God said, “I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.” God can reframe your past and give it meaning. He can help you to look back with gratitude, then forward with confidence. How? By transforming painful memories into powerful motivators and sources of future wisdom. Ask Him; He will show you how!