Blindsided by A Doll

Monday, February 06, 2017

Do you ever feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster?  One moment you’re smiling and happy and the next you’re blindsided with the pain of your loss?  That happened to me on Saturday.  I was happily organizing the shelves in our garage and was combining the contents of boxes to save space when I innocently opened up a box labeled “kid’s school records”.  I was prepared for that and knew I could handle seeing the records if I were careful and didn’t flip through and actually read them! But, what I didn’t expect was to find a doll in that box.  Surprised, I pulled out my well-loved and well-worn Raggedy Ann and was suddenly overcome by emotion.  Unexpected tears welled up in my eyes and spilled out over my cheeks.

This doll, my sweet Raggedy Ann, was my very first doll, received at the tender age of four.  It hadn’t even belonged to my daughter, so why did I have such a strong reaction when I found it?  I was blindsided by grief.

As I held her tightly to my chest, my mind went back to the simple, peaceful time before I had known the pain of rejection and loss.  My thoughts circled around the innocence of childhood and how back then, everything was easy… and then, of course, they circled around to my loss and the circumstances that have caused me to grieve.

Wow.  I hadn’t expected that!  I had been having a great morning.  I was happy, cheerful and was enjoying the day!  There had been no thoughts of sadness and I had been focused on the day.  I hadn’t expected to be blindsided.  But, occasionally, it happens, doesn’t it?

So, what should we do when we are surprised by our grief?

Turn to God.  Always. 

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.” (Psalm34:17)

God is so faithful!  He will always give us exactly what we need in any given situation.  Today, while I had that wave of sadness, He comforted me.  When I called out to God (yes, as I tightly clutched my childhood doll close), He reminded me that I am loved.  My husband, who was out running an errand, called me at that very moment and asked if he could pick up lunch for us!  Brought back to the present, by the call and the kindness of my husband, I was reminded of my blessings.  I was reminded that when I occasionally still feel low, I need to focus on the good things in life. 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians4:8)

At that moment I readjusted my focus.  Rather than continuing to dwell on the past and what I had lost, I thanked God for my blessings of today.  I purposely acknowledged what I was feeling, but then, sent praises of thanks to my Father for all He has done.

Oh how grateful I am that on my path to healing God is teaching me tangible and useful things to do when I am feeling low:  turning to Him in prayer, pouring out my emotions to Him, reading His word, focusing on the good in life, trusting Him and listening for His answers, are all things helping me on this journey through my grief.  I can feel His healing and I am so thankful! 

I know that there will still be times in the future when my emotions will dip.  I know, because I have loved so deeply, that I will again feel the pain of not having that love returned, but I also know that my Father is right by my side.  I can count on Him to bring me out of the times when I am blindsided by my grief and into the light of His love.

Focused on Him, Joan

Today’s Questions in The Courage to Heal Series:
Are you ever blindsided by emotions?  Have you been experiencing the unsettling feeling of being on an emotional rollercoaster?  What has God been teaching you during this time?

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18 comments

  1. "At that moment I readjusted my focus. Rather than continuing to dwell on the past and what I had lost, I thanked God for my blessings of today. I purposely acknowledged what I was feeling, but then, sent praises of thanks to my Father for all He has done." I love this, Joan. It's the best thing we can do to acknowledge those feelings and then thank God and trust Him to continue to faithful and to love us. Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor at #LMMLinkup.

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    1. Yes, I had gotten to the point on this journey that I needed to make a conscious choice to remember to look to Him when those moments hit me... Purposely turning to Him has given me my joy once again!

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  2. What a beautiful story, Joan! Glad I found you on the linkup at #mondaymusings. I have a Raggedy Ann doll too...it brings back mixed memories, and reminds me of God's faithfulness in hard times.

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    1. Hi Sarah! Yes, God is always faithful! Knowing that brings strength during the hard times. What an awesome Father we have!

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  3. Hi, Joan. I noticed that you started posting here again, but I didn't see that you shared it on your Facebook page. Is there something I need to do to get those to come up on my news feed? I can totally relate to being blindsided, sister!! Unfortunately, it happens quite a lot for me. My problem is that I am slow learner. You see, my lost love from a family member keeps repeating itself - they leave, then come back. I get hopeful, then they leave, then come back, then they leave. I know that would seem less difficult, but to me the emotional strain of gaining a little trinket of hopefulness, then being disappointed once again is very overwhelming! You would think I would prepare myself better, so as not to be blindsided, but like I said, I am a slow learner. :( Anyways, as you, I have learned to turn my focus on the Lord and His promises to me. It seems that often I gain a better understanding of the reasoning of what He is allowing me to go through each time I seek His presence and peace.(Not saying I always like it, but I do understand it.) Anyways, thanks for sharing. Hope your Bible study group is going well. I kind of wish I could also be a part of yours, as well as the one I'm in...

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    1. Hi Ann! If your'e following The Beauty in His Grip on FB, it should come through your newsfeed. If at sometime you've clicked "hide posts" then it won't show. But, maybe its an analytics thing... The more you go to the page, the more FB will think you want to see the page and then it will put it through your newsfeed. Maybe... Another thing you can do is create a "list" and add the page. Then, whenever you click on the list on FB, every page you've put in there will show. (Do you know what I mean?) Anyway, I'm glad you found the post!

      I'm so glad that you've learned to turn your focus to the Lord when things get difficult. Even if we don't know why things happen as they do, we can count on Him always helping us through!

      Blessings, Joan

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  4. Valerie RichardsonFebruary 6, 2017 at 8:08 PM

    The rich tapestries of our lives and so glad we share the strands of Raggedy Ann! Your well runs deep and thanks for drawing from it and sharing the cup!

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    1. I love to share what He's teaching me, Valerie. Thank you for your kind words! The story of your Raggedy Ann touched my heart!

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  5. Hi Joan - I'm so delighted to find your blog today and wonder how it is we haven't crossed paths before. Or maybe we have and I don't remember? Anyhow, I so relate to your story here and I get the impact of those trigger memories. One moment all is well and the next ... BAM. Love your testimony of God's faithfulness as you redirected your heart toward Him and His truth. He is a good, good Father. So glad I visited you today from #threewordwednesday.

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    1. Hi Tiffany! Thanks for stopping by and it's great to meet you (if we haven't already! LOL) Yes, God has been teaching me so much about his faithfulness. He is indeed a good, good Father!

      Blessings, Joan

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  6. So touched by your transparency in sharing your journey. "Turn to God. Always." Amen and amen. {Visiting from #GraceandTruth today.}

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    1. Thank you, Karlene! It is so easy to get wrapped up in our sorrow. I'm so thankful that God is right by our side. He understands our pain and He offers us His compassion and love. I am so grateful to receive it!

      Blessings, Joan

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  7. God is so good and true even in times of grief we don't understand. Thanks for sharing on the #LMMLinkup this week.

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    1. Hi Mary! Yes, that is something that I am so thankful to have learned! We need not understand, simply trust. God will come along side us and walk us through!

      Blessings, Joan

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  8. Yes, I am occasionally blindsided but I believe that daily we must consciously choose joy and embrace the creator. Beautiful post by the way.

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    1. Absolutely! Choosing joy may not come naturally at first, but, as we focus on God and all that is good, it becomes the best of all choices!

      Blessings, Joan

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  9. Joan- I love this post! I can attest to the emotional roller coaster. Turning to God is always the best thing to do! #Faith'nFriends

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    1. Hi Julie! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, the best thing is always to turn to God. Sometimes I forget and get myself wrapped up in what is happening around me, but when I take a deep breath and lean into Him, the way is so much smoother!

      Blessings, Joan

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