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Surviving the “Land Between”

Posted: March 6, 2017

It’s a strange and raw place…that “land between.” It’s a lonely and dry desert; caught between our old normal and longing for our glorious destination. It could be a myriad of things that brought us there like divorce, bankruptcy, death, move or any other painful loss. What once was familiar is gone, and the unknown future looks bleary, sad and perhaps even hopeless.

You and I don’t want to be like the Israelites wandering around in the desert for 40 years lamenting the meat and melons they left behind and yet fearful to embrace their promised land. While we are in that dry and lonely place, how do we move toward the hazy horizon to make our new destination a glorious reality?

The “land between” is a hard place.

In the last four months of my grieving journey I have seen and experienced many glimmers of hope for my good future, but also many setbacks caused by the deep pain of a horrific loss. Let me share some personal survival insights:

  • We cannot rationalize or use logic to remove our pain. When our hearts are broken our feelings are separate from our logic. Only God can heal the brokenness. The hard part is that we all want to “hurry up and heal” but we have to give our feelings time and rest.
  • Get help. Go to a Doctor to make sure there is nothing physically wrong with your body. Perhaps you need more iron, or magnesium or something to help you through the long nights and this rough spot. Go for body massages to get rid of the toxins and reduce the cortisol levels.  Pursue whatever help you can get in order to give you strength through this rough period.
  • Reach out to your tribe. This is no time for pride or to be self-sufficient. When people watch you hurting they feel very helpless and want to help. Ask for it, you will be surprised how much they want to help.
  • Stay away from quick fixes. Stay away from the fridge, alcohol, bad drugs, isolation or freaky movies. When our bodies are in distress we need to reduce and remove any stimulation that will increase our heart rate and fuel more cortisol. Think comfort, healthy food, exercise and lots of quiet rest.
  • Read the Bible and books on Hope. Look up all the Bible verses on hope and read books that will remind you how much your Heavenly Father loves you and is beside you as you embrace your new glorious future.  Even when we don’t feel like there is hope, God’s promises will remind and assure us that He has a good and hopeful future for us. “So I pray that God, who gives hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
  • Ask friends to pray. Grief comes from a broken heart and only God can heal it. The power of healing prayer reaches deep into our spirit and into the root of our pain. I am so blessed to have people in my life that take time to pray for me and with me. Seek out those people, ask and be willing to receive. It’s hard and humbling to do that but so necessary and powerful.

Pain is temporary.

In the same way that bones heal, trees grow back and the seasons change, this painful period in our lives will also change. In the same way that winter is almost done, spring is just around the corner. I see it on the hills and I feel it in my heart. Hand on dear reader; it’s on its way.


Posted in: Fear, God's promises, grief, Hope, pain, pray, Prayer, rest, time

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