Solace is a funny word; it's a bit antiquated, as we don't hear it or use it much anymore. But this morning, in my studies, it just made sense. I was reading in 2 Thessalonians. In chapter 2, verse 16, Paul says that God has given us "everlasting consolation." I looked "consolation" up in the Strong's thinking that it may mean peace. I was going to use it for my FaceBook Live devotions, "Peace Out." I was a bit surprised that it didn't mean peace at all.
Consolation actually means solace. Well, I had to look that word up in the dictionary as I have heard it before but didn't have a good grasp of its actual meaning. It does mean comfort, which is what my initial thoughts were. But solace means a specific type of comfort - during grief. That's where I could connect with it as a caregiver. We face so many different facets and levels of grief as a caregiver. Many times, there is nowhere to put them. It took me a long time to realize I was grieving initially.
I "lost" my son in that accident back in November 2008, even though he is technically still here. But who he was is gone. There are some different terms for this kind of grief, as it is very different from grieving death. The term I learned was living grief. Others have called it ambiguous loss. No matter what it's labeled or how we define it - it's grief.
Secondly, I had to learn that I was also grieving the loss of life as I knew it. I was working three jobs enjoying living in Chicago, and planning my first-ever trip to Africa. It was all jerked out from under me in an instant. "Normal" didn't return. My son didn't return. My life didn't return. It's okay and healthy to grieve losses of all kinds.
But this verse reminds me that no matter what kind of loss we are facing as caregivers, or those not related to caregiving, God's got us covered. Paul said that God has given us everlasting consolation. It will last forever and cover any situation we face, any loss, any grief, any broken relationship, any new normal - God will console us. I do have those times when I need to crawl up into His lap and let His merciful arms just hold me. I don't need words. I don't need gifts. I just need the God of hope. The God of peace. The God of comfort. And I need Him to hold me. He meets me in those moments where my soul is yielded and waiting on Him - every single time.
Today, I'll remind myself that God's got comfort for all my grief. I'll turn my thoughts to His peace and choose to let it reign over my heart today. My meditations will be on how He has walked every step of the caregiving journey with me this far - and He's not going to quit or bail on my today! I will trust Him with all my crazy emotions and thoughts as He carries me through one more day. Will you join me?
My Healing Testimony
I sat down a few weeks ago and wrote out a short testimony. It's the entire story of how I was so sick in 1986-87 and my mom planned my funeral. We really thought I was going to die. Thankfully, God had other plans! You can purchase and download the eBook from my DFM bookstore. Or you can purchase the Kindle version from my Amazon bookshelf.