PilgrimageNew Every Morning | May 6, 2020
Words of Hope During COVID-19
Cynthia Wilson, on staff at Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church, reminds us to pay attention to the beauty around us during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Have you noticed the beautiful concert that surrounds you?” she asks. Then she reads to us from the beloved chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes, “A Season for Everything.”
I came to realize that the process of grieving loss, of learning to live in the absence of someone or something significant, parallels what many religions call a spiritual pilgrimage. To grow spiritually isn’t simply the practice of reading about the good ideas of others; it is about the way we process the changes in our lives, about the way we travel from death to life as we move from what is lost to what is yet to love. Spiritual growth is about living through a breaking, stretching, aching, remaking process of letting go of that which is gone and taking on a life formed in response to what is becoming.
—Dan Moseley, Lose, Love, Live: The Spiritual Gifts of Loss and Change (Upper Room Books, 2011)
When have you grown spiritually through a difficult life experience? Join the conversation.
And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
—Romans 5:3-5 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Loving God, gather us together and bring us comfort like a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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The growth in my life, both spiritually and emotionally, these past three years is purely and utterly a gift from God. I am grateful for this perspective, another thing from Him. My heart got tugged a bit, Ally, when I read your post from yesterday, hearing of the loss of your mom. My deepest condolences. Yes – Sunday will be tricky. I pray He will comfort you as only He can and that your memories will be so very sweet, rising above the still real sting of loss. What a year you have had – I pray that over time, you will be able to look back over it and see His guidance and sustenance through it all.
I don’t know if the “post-ers” here get the monthly newsletter from the Upper Room Center. It arrived in my inbox a few days ago. The theme for this month is “grief” – and a few of the writings touched me deeply. Ally – maybe this one would be an encouragement..
Oh yes, this current situation which I continue to live within has strengthened my spiritual life. The first few years were barren and I was lost but recently I have noticed an increasing reliance on Him. I have sensed a very real stirring and desire to folllow His will and to relinguish my own desires. Thank you Lord and thank you also fellow posters as you have greatly coontributed to this growth.
Prayers for Jill and thank you for the information regarding the UR newsletter. I do not receive it and will inquire as to why and how to be added to the mailing list. Prayers for you and Larry and your safety and health.
Prayers for Ally as I echo Jill’s missives for you. You have had a difficult year and I pray for you to be gentle with your heart. I pray for God to hold you and strengthen you as your worries and burden are ongoing. Prayers for David as he continues to be weaned from dependence on oxygen and continues his rehab. May his muscles and lungs grow strong.
Prayers for Robert and his family, may they have laughed and loved and shared and gained resilience from one another.
Prayers for Rick and his husband, may Rick keep up with his demanding schedule of schooling and moving and find time for meditaion and prayers.
Prayers for Andrea and her family, may she and her grandson make sweet memories during their time together.
Prayers for April and her family as they continue to revel in the natural beauty that surrounds them.
My mom sounds so very happy in the senior apartment complex. She sits outside and visits with fellow residents and has learned of several monthly events as well as an upcoming holiday picnic. She really needed this move both physically and mentally. Her church is diresctly across the street and several residents also attend.
Prayers and thank you and stay safe and healthy dear UR
These stretching processes. The most significant losses/changes have been the deaths of my parents. The grief process was different for both in many ways. Daddy passed in 1995. He was youngish and we were sure we had a few more years with him, despite complications from diabetes and being on dialysis. Then suddenly, he was gone. The gut-wrenching grief lasted a long time. Mama passed last year in June. She had dementia and was in a nursing home. It was a long good-bye. By the time she left us, I had been grieving for awhile. I think of her every day and miss the person she was. My comfort is that she and Daddy adored each other and are together again. I also take comfort in not having to worry about them in these uncertain times. That is a blessing. What I have learned is I will never get over their loss, but I have learned to live with it and make a new life without their loving presence to guide. Every day I think of something I would like to tell mama, a question I would like to ask daddy. One is never too old to feel like an orphan. I have learned to look to God for my guidance. I talk to God more. I ponder on scripture. These experiences, and certainly what David and I have been through, have helped me to understand that I can rest in the Lord’s presence and in my weaknesses, the Lord is strong.
I spoke with David’s case manager and she got Medicare to approve a few more days of therapy. The more therapy he gets, the stronger he will be when he comes home. Case Mgr. also advised me of some Medicaid waiver programs for which David may be eligible. These can assist with his care at home until he is more independent. Please continue to pray. These programs would enable me to keep working so that we can keep our home.
Jill, thank you for the link. You know this pain. I pray we both have sweet memories to comfort us.
Julie, I am thankful that grief chased you to God. and am thankful also that your mom is happy in her new situation. Great blessing. For Robert, BJ, April, Andrea, and Rick, may they feel the Lord’s presence today and know that we love them. I’m thankful for a God at whose throne of grace we can come. Blessings to all!
I was listening and “walking ” along with Cynthia as she spoke of the discoveries she finds in nature. They are the same ones that we find on our walks. This year the awakening of the earth is more beautiful than I remember it, maybe it is because I am taking time to be intentional to discover God’s artwork unfolding before me.
Happy Nurses Day and week and month to Rick!! The theme this year is The Year of the Nurse. Congrats and thank you for choosing nursing!! Many prayers for you as you continue on with your classes and other changes in your life.
When have you grown spiritually through a difficult life experience? with every job application/acceptance or rejection I have grown to trust God more and more. After some time, it may be weeks or days or years, I thank Him for rejection…yes, He knew the future and stopped me before I encountered what unfolded. The same with acceptances, they turned out to be ones where I felt really good about joining and contributing to the new teams I worked with and people I met. I pray to continue to listen to God and trust His guidance with every decision before me.
I just addressed cards to my daughter and daughters-in-law commenting of being awesome Mommies to their children and how much we love them. The role of parents these days in guiding their young children seems to be much more challenging than what I remember….bless them for looking to research since then and now so that they many be the best.
I am reading “The Undoing Project” about two psychologists and their research on heuristics (Heuristics are simple strategies or mental processes that humans, animals, organizations and machines use to quickly form judgments, make decisions, and find solutions to complex problems. This happens when an individual focuses on the most relevant aspects of a problem or situation to formulate a solution) in judgment and decision-making which demonstrated common errors of the human psyche. It is causing me to rethink how I make decisions….including errors. It also reinforces in my mind to take decisions to God in prayer. So much data these days…how to interpret and apply in my life.
Ally, I listen to the media’s reports on COVID-19, but your posts help me connect to the unpublished effects on what happens after a recovered patient leaves the acute care hospital. I pray for you and David during your pilgrimage through these days.
Jill, I pray your school work is going well and that the school-year will end successfully. I also pray for wisdom for schools as they make decisions for returning in the fall.
Andrea, what fun to plan for a sleep-over with your grandson! Everyone will be refreshed after this experience. May your bonds of family grow closer.
Julie, I feel your happiness as you tell of the changes your Mom is experiencing in her new home. I pray that you may soon have a new living situation, one without fear of safety.
Robert, so nice you can connect with your family via technology. It means so much to hear voices and spontaneous replies as you talk.
Lou, I pray that you are doing well as you connect with others on a daily basis, through work or as a friend just checking in. May your family be safe.
For all others in our UR Family, may you feel hugs from all of your “siblings” here and of course, our Heavenly Father. Blessings to all .
When have you grown spiritually through a difficult life experience? I would say that, working through PTSD, as well as my Alcoholism. It was a huge life changing experience and I thank God for the many blessings that have come out of it. I returned to my faith, have grown spiritually, and I am working towards Christian perfection, as John Wesley describes it. This journey I’m on now with returning to school has had its challenges in these times. I must admit I get overwhelmed with the news and the constant chatter on social media. This week I turned them all off and returned to prayer and meditation. I learned that starting the day and turning to God throughout the day, I feel more productive. I was feeling guilty being in school and not working as a nurse. A friend reminded me that my calling is what is of importance right now. I know that crooked paths have been straightened and mountains have disappeared for me to be on this new journey. I have to stay focused on the work at hand. I give God all the Glory for that.
Jill, thank you for that post, and the information, I was able to sign up. I think it will be very helpful with our Stephens Ministry team. I also recieved a new book I had ordered yesterday, called Finding Meaning, The sixth Stage of Grief by David Kessler. A fellow Stephens Leader recommended it.
Julie, I’m so happy your mom is settling into her new place. I sensed you are happy as well. I do pray that you and Megan will find your own safe place one day soon. You are a blessing to all.
Ally, I am so sorry for missing that in the reading yesterday. I do so try to be intentional and my heart goes out to you especially with all you have been dealing with. My prayers are with you and David and I too wish you all the sentiments Jill expressed so well . You have been a bright light to all here.
April, Thank you for your post and your nature adventure with Cynthia. I made it my meditation this morning. It has been an amazing spring and I created a photo album as a screen saver of the many beautiful sights and sounds of this Spring.
Robert, I’m looking forward to hearing about your reunion.
Blessing to all my brothers and sisters here and those that visit, may you all find sanctuary here as I have.
Can’t type today. Reunion was great. Amen to your posts and than you!