EARLY DAYS were horrible, anxiety-ridden, depressing in the extremes, and life was almost not worth living. There were three reasons, no, maybe five, to live – my daughters and my parents. Any hint of a thought of not being able to reconcile my marriage was more than enough for me to want never to wake up from my nightly slumber – from one nightmare to another. (There is only one thing worse than a realistic nightmare, and that is a nightmare in reality.) Pain, in the form of the slow death of the old life, the life I loved, had intruded. And such death had made itself a home in me. Who was I becoming?
How was I to know that such a journey along death’s road would mean life?
Death was entry to life.
One of the most horrendous memories of that time was a conversation I had with a peer at work. He was Operations Manager and I managed safety. He had been through a very similar experience years before – losing everything to the sudden announcement, “Marriage over!” He told me, “Ah, I see, your journey has begun.” Well, I didn’t want to be on any ‘journey’!
When that occurs – the realization that life as it was is now over – life goes into freefall. Time seems to stop and the emotions of death take over.
Taking a step backwards into the hellishness of the moment, there are so many horrible moments of realization. There is no hope, whatsoever.
So, how on earth can this experience of death lead to life?
When We Join God’s Work
There is a deep condition in converting such an experience of death into new life. This is it: When we join God’s work, by giving up every wish of past, God furnishes our lives with fresh hope for the future: a new life.
This is about starting literally from scratch; it cannot be a new life if we take fragments of the old life with us. We must resist the attractions of the old life and resolve, now, to live under God’s roof, under God’s rules, which is to advance the will of the Lord.
It’s the only way from death to life: to let go of the old life and let the new life come in.
When we join God’s work, by giving up every wish of past, God furnishes our lives with fresh hope for the future: a new life.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.