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I sat silently on the examination table waiting while my doctor studied my lab results. I broke the silence by making an announcement that caught her off-guard. I told her that my husband had passed away and I was having a tough time focusing. She stopped analyzing my lab work and offered to write a prescription for a drug to help me out. There are drugs to help jog your memory and help you focus, but I didn't want or need to experience any possible side effects of the drugs. I declined.
Grief has various stages, but I never thought cloudiness or lack of focus was one of them. There were times when I would sit down to read the Bible or a book on how to deal with grief, or an article on losing a loved one, and I could not recall what I read. I would read a paragraph or two and my mind would wander off to crazy places, like what should I wear to church? What is that thing crawling on my ceiling? Who won the game last night? Oh my, how could I have forgotten my friend’s birthday? Random, irrelevant thoughts would just keep coming.
My prayer time was another time when distractions invaded my mind, accompanied by all kinds of diversions stealing my focus. My mind flooded with unwanted thoughts—thoughts not about the prayer but more about things that were jumbling my thinking.
When my husband died, my focus died too. I do not remember having one complete thought in my head. I felt scatterbrained. I thank God for wonderful friends and family members who helped me with funeral arrangements, day-to-day chores, and through some of life’s awkward moments.
I tried doing things to keep myself busy. I would attend multiple church services. I would go to my church’s early morning service and then afterward to my friend’s church service. I started taking dancing lessons. I tried going to wellness spas, where I tried freezing my brain and body with cryotherapy. Frying my senses in an infrared sauna. I got skin-care treatments that I did not even understand, but I tried them anyway. I tried binge-watching TV shows. I tried going out more with my girlfriends. I even started looking at dating sites. I am not saying these things were a total waste of my time. Some were. I was trying to replace the loss of my husband by shifting my focus to things that just did not help. I did not know how to deal with the emptiness, the quiet times, the loneliness, and the void.
Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. (Hebrews 3:1)
Jesus had been a huge part of my life with my husband. But without him, I became scattered and intentionally busy. I needed to fill that vacant place in my life. I needed to consider Jesus.
Today, I am in a Christian grief-sharing class with other people who are going through similar grief. Experiencing Jesus in the sharing and caring helps us fix our focus and thoughts on Him. Jesus is the answer.
Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.
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