The Fight to Flourish

Grief work is hard. It seems absurd to make that statement because anyone who has suffered a loss knows how difficult this journey is. We don’t get through grief by happenstance. It takes work to walk this road. After losing my daughter, I read as much as possible as I tried to piece together the broken fragments of my heart. One of those books was The Fight to Flourish by Jennie Lusko

When I read this book, my broken heart was still very tender. Yet, I still learned so many lessons that have remained with me over the years. Perhaps some of those things I gleaned from Jennie’s experience and wisdom will also resonate with you. 

Levi and Jennie Lusko’s 5-year-old daughter, Lenya, died unexpectedly on December 20, 2012. In my mind, this alone qualified them to speak on the fiercely challenging subject of child loss. When my book, Beautifully Broken, was published, Jennie was one of the first people to send me a beautiful, encouraging handwritten note. I was so grateful. Following are some of the things she shared that have guided me in my endeavor to live my life as a legacy and in honor of Melanie. 

While grief and loss will always be one of the most intensely difficult things we will endure in this life, we should do our best to live and flourish. God is not finished with you if you are still alive and breathing. You still have a story to share and others to help, support, love, care for, and influence. God created us, so He understands. He’s right here with us amid the heartache and pain. Even though it isn’t easy, we can fight to flourish.

Jennie uses a great analogy about how we grow plants from seed. If you think about it, what do we do when we begin the process? We dig a deep hole, then place the seed down, covering it entirely with dirt. It’s in total darkness, appearing as though it doesn’t stand a chance of becoming much of anything. Yet, as we begin to care for that tiny seed, water and fertilize it, and provide warmth and sunshine, it begins to thrive and grow. Then one day, we begin to see a tiny green shoot spring up through the ground. This small seed that we covered up in darkness begins to flourish. 

We need to provide the same self-care for ourselves, allowing us the same opportunity to live and grow. It doesn’t mean the darkness will always be gone. God designed us to be a light in the dark, and Jesus is the light inside us. He will be with us in the darkness and the light. We survive by clinging to Him. 

Where are you right now? Are you struggling in the dark? If so, take heart and be encouraged. We can fight to flourish, but to do so, we need to know that God is with us there in the darkness. We don’t do this in our own strength but in His. “Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” Ephesians 6:10. 

My friends, don’t consider giving up. Just think of that little sprig of green shooting up through that deep, dark hole and wet soil. If we allow ourselves to be tended to like a well-watered garden, we will begin to flourish once more. It takes time and grace. I pray you give both of these gifts to yourself. 

Published by pat

Mom. Wife. Honey. Jesus-Girl. Love to travel, cook, make beautiful things grow and spend time with family & friends.

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