I’d like to think that Grace is where I live now; to me, that is living in love. Provided for us in 1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." Again, I didn’t realize it at the time I did the “thank you letter” but I chose words to put as the letterhead. I’ve continued with them and formalized them as my faith core claims because they showed for me when it came down to what truly does remain after sudden, tragic loss. There were two other core claims that I added: Faith, Hope, Love, Courage, Peace. I added them because they provide comfort for me although the greatest always will be and is love. Steadfast and by my side for what is left of my searching.
My initial pursuit after my loss was to find real Hope in living beyond pain. I left Corporate America, began graduate studies to eventually establish my own clinical practice after my only living son, Nick, goes to college, graduates and I become an “empty nester”. Having hope, by getting back to my educational roots and my early perspectives and leveraging my business career along with my very painful personal loss of my son, Sam, to help others which in turn, helps me. I arrived at this essential component of my own healing, i.e., my own salvation here on Earth from a sermon of my beloved Pastor on a Sunday with a date I do not know. He concluded with the question of are there only two types of people in the world? One, those who need help and care. And two, those who need to serve, to care for and help those in need. Or, he posed, is there a third type? That being, those who serve and help others and then in turn heal or help themselves. From the spiritual journey I am on, there are three types of people in this world. The third became my meaningful purpose and it is wrought with love.
In reading Paul Tillich’s Dynamics of Faith, I became more identified with my meaning of Courage. My line of thought now includes Tillich’s that of the threats to "being" there is loss of meaning and rejection of self for not reaching one’s full destiny… what we all hope to do in a transformed world. I confront my despair, and do so ongoing, by reaffirming my meaningful purpose and the hope for a new destiny to fulfill. This was and is my step of courage.
From Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki’s Divinity & Diversity: A Christian Affirmation of Religious Pluralism, therein lies my fifth claim of Peace on page 121: “Being most deeply who we are, we are open to God’s transformative call toward how we might yet be.” Through hope, faith, love and all the courage I have, I hope to eventually arrive at peace; a beloved being of God, on a reconciling journey to even greater love as "Nothing in life will call upon us to be more courageous than facing the fact that it ends. But on the other side of heartbreak is wisdom.” (Wish I Was Here, 2014) That wisdom to me represents peace. I hope to know yet more when I find it; now nearing four years since Sam died I realize I am closer than I have ever been to peace and I’m living drenched in love. God is good.