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Across The Editor's Desk: Peace within grief

Agriculture.com Staff 02/09/2010 @ 1:24pm

Timing matters. Shortly after the funeral of a 46-year-old friend and father of four sons who died of cancer in early January, I came home and read an appropriate e-mail message. It was sent to friends of Jane Herlong, a professional speaker and author (www.janeherlong.com) from South Carolina.

Jane, wife of Fellowship of Christian Farmers founder Thomas Herlong, shared 10 thoughts on living in peace regardless of circumstances following the death of her mother and sister within five months last year. The timing of the message was a comfort to me. May it be helpful to you, too. Here's what Jane wrote:

  1. Forgive. Don't live in a spirit of unforgiveness. Acid destroys the container quicker than it will touch the person who has wronged you.
  2. Grieve well. There is a difference between healthy grief and unhealthy grief. I saw my grandmother grieve over my grandfather for years and years. Do not be consumed with a spirit of grief.
  3. Serve others. In the past two weeks, my small church has been affected by seven deaths. I have tried to focus my thoughts on comforting these families rather than my own grief.
  4. Walk in love. As I look back on my 2009, I believe the most powerful thing we can do in order to rest our heads at night is to walk in a spirit of love.
  5. Manage your emotions. The mark of a truly mature person is to harness your emotions regardless of how you feel, because our feelings can make us say things we regret.
  6. Speak the truth in love. We should prayerfully ask the Lord to quicken our hearts if we are to confront people who enjoy gossiping.
  7. Confront the source. When poison is spewed from the mouth, approach the source. Cowards cower in darkness.
  8. Accept unanswered answers. One of the wisest comments I ever heard was made by a friend of mine commenting on problems in life. He simply said, "Sometimes there are no answers."
  9. Let God be your vindicator. Many times your best defense is silence. In the complex world we live in, the only true vindication comes from the hand of God. Let Him be your quarterback.
  10. Discover the mystery. This is the most powerful principle of all and the most difficult of all tasks. Yet it is simple.

The choice is yours. It is all up to you.

Timing matters. Shortly after the funeral of a 46-year-old friend and father of four sons who died of cancer in early January, I came home and read an appropriate e-mail message. It was sent to friends of Jane Herlong, a professional speaker and author (www.janeherlong.com) from South Carolina.

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