A Lonely Place

 A LONELY PLACE, a Parishioner Testimonial for St. Dominic’s Grief Support

The Lord is close to the broken heated: let us give Him thanks and praise! – Psalm 34

The suicide of Robin Williams hit me like a bomb.  My first thought was “no one understood or knew how to help him in his time of distress.”  The reason I want to address this tragedy is because there are so many people who carry burdens of which others are not aware and if they were, would not know how to be of assistance or the person suffering and feeling vulnerable, is willing to share. I speak from experience.

This is the 3rd year in a row that I have experienced deep sadness and depression among other feelings, all around about the same time and for different reasons.  Three years ago I felt as though my heart was broken and I wanted nothing more than to be dead and gone from this world and to be with the Lord.  Trying to understand some situations was beyond me and then I was among people who did not agree with my spirituality but I had to keep on smiling.   It was only the Lord Jesus who got me through those tough times. I just couldn’t imagine life without my Lord.   Since 3 is my favorite # because of the Trinity – I am happy.

I wear my heart on my sleeve and have to learn to throw my heart “over the wall” and have my emotions follow. Being misunderstood is so easily done and leaves me feeling worse than before. The desire then is to stay away from people believing that I will be poor company when in fact they are the ones I need the most. I shared with a friend in New Zealand about this difficult time and was surprised when she shared with me of her own depression, with which she has struggled all her life – and I NEVER KNEW!!  We share a wonderful friendship encouraging each other in the Lord.

I finally came to the conclusion that this is a grace and that I should consider this a blessing for the Lord to use and also to thank Him in all things.   Here is the most awesome part.  When I consider the pain Jesus experienced for all the sins of the world – I also realize that in His great love for us He promises never to give us more than we can bear and then gives us the strength to overcome. It is only through personal experience that I am able to understand another’s plight and the crosses they bear and then can bring them the comfort that we were given by our precious Savior.  “Praised be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation!  He comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received from Him………..”  2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Our Church is filled with many people who carry their crosses of which we are blissfully unaware, most of the time.   How many are so desirous of some comfort?   We are in the best place in the whole world; in the Church, where we can support and pray for one another if only we are aware of their travail. Since I am not, I have decided that I will support in prayer  all who are suffering and are heavy laden – that the Lord will comfort and guide them and to direct me to be a friend in need.   “Be patient in suffering, be constant in prayer” – Romans 12:12

The Grief Support group is just such a place.   Last year I accompanied 2 friends, one who had lost her husband and the other who had lost her father.   Speaking about our losses is therapeutic especially when in the company of like minded people where it is a safe place and expression of thoughts are welcomed.   One thing I have learned, even when I don’t feel like it, to Praise Him anyway!  Praise chases the gloom!

I highly recommend attending a Grief Support session or calling a Priest when the need is urgent.    I will try and smile more often even when I am feeling low and unknowingly then encourage someone else who could be in pain.    

I remember the words of a Priest “I am a unique creation of God” when being introduced to someone. That is what each of us is to God.  Think about it, each and every snowflake which is different as we are, and we are very much more loved than snowflakes.   Our self esteem comes from God alone.  What an awesome God we serve!

“To God, the darkest depths of the human heart are as clear as the page of a book lying open in the sunlight.  He knows us through and through-and loves us as deeply as He knows us!   Rather than hide from Him, let us put our life in the hands that fashioned us and allow Him to lead us in the path of life eternal……….” – Read Psalm 139

Loving Father, You watch over each one of us in our trials and our troubles.  Help us to understand what Your will is, to trust You, and to stay close to You.  Through Christ our Lord , Amen.

ILONA HELMHOLZ

August 28, 2014

St. Augustine!