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New Year’s Hope for the Grieving

I want to pause to thank all my readers for their support in 2017 and recognize that excitement over a new year might escape us as grievers, especially if our loss is fresh.

The country stands at the precipice of 2018, glancing behind and gazing ahead, but as grievers we likely have been doing that all along, since the day death took the person we love.ToniProfilePic

We rehearse the memories, good and bad, and tiptoe into a future we didn’t predict. We stand between past, where our loved one lived, and the future, an existence without their touch.

But life isn’t without hope. In fact, life is pregnant with hope. As in all pregnancies, we must wait for hope to come to full term in our lives. In recent posts, I’ve shared how hope is being realized in my life and how grief and death don’t have the last word in our lives.

Our pain may seem endless, but in the future we will see the shifting nature of grief in our lives. It doesn’t stay the same. In Grief Seasons: Where to Now? I shared that I am in the fall of my grief. We may wonder what’s ahead as we switch seasons of grief and wonder what form our lives should take. In each season there is a beauty and there’s a challenge.

Will we make room in our lives for new things? That’s a challenge I accepted. I wrote in Inheritance: Holding Onto Stuff that I realized sometimes things do get in the way. We don’t need to pressure ourselves into releasing mementoes of our loved ones, but we need to continue to embrace the process, the journey, of grief. In time, we’ll know what to do. In time, we’ll look ahead more than we look back.

My 2017 got off to a terrible start. On Jan. 6, I learned the book publisher originally interested in my book idea wasn’t going to pursue it. I was devastated. It was truly a grief experience.

The following month, I got sick and didn’t get well. I fought eight symptoms, including my usual chronic fatigue and a new intestinal problem that lingered for seven months. It was during that time that in Will God Come Through for Us? I wrote “He will come through for me, but probably in a way I will not predict.”

I gotta smile when I read that today. That’s exactly what happened. In the space of six weeks, my intestinal problem was diagnosed and cleared, and the eight other symptoms were laid to rest. Incredibly, my chronic fatigue that I’d resigned to live with forever (I was first diagnosed in 2000) also kicked the bucket. The medicine I took for another symptom also took away my fatigue. I also was offered and accepted a job as editor-in-chief of a magazine for kids.

As I reflected on the year, I wrote The Art of the Comeback . Four principles instigated my turnaround, and they can apply to yours, too. We can feel really beaten up by life and by grief. God wants to love on us and revive our spirits. We can enlist his support and trust his timing for a comeback anytime of the year.

So here’s to your comeback – in 2018 or somewhere else in the future. May God shape your experiences to lead you into a new place with new perspectives and new joys. We cannot always understand his timing, but we can always trust his heart.


Copyright © 2017 by Toni Lepeska. All rights reserved.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow…have you been on a journey. When you sum it all up, it is amazing. My journey has been like that also this year. Mine has been learning to see through a child’s eyes again the wonder and amazement of God and His creation. Thanks for shaing a message that gives hope to those who have lost loved ones. I have several friends who fall into this category and your posts have helped them a lot. Blessings to you Toni. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 30, 2017
    • God is working in our lives, Sheryl. When you told me about your focus lately, I knew there was a work going on in you. Sometimes I am not patient with God’s timing, but he knows exactly what he is doing! Thanks for sharing and commenting. You are a faithful friend.


      December 30, 2017

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