Our neighbour’s cat went missing last night. I heard the whole family calling out for Camo long after I’d gone to bed. I didn’t hear them this morning though, so I’m hoping the ginger feline has found its way back to his anxious owners. Losing a beloved pet is heart breaking. We had to leave our fluffy white poodle – Snowy – with friends when we moved house and more than a year later our children still pine for him, and regularly beg for a replacement pup.

We all lose things sometimes. Maybe it’s not a ginger cat or a fluffy white poodle. It could be your job, or your health, or a once-precious relationship that’s now broken. Or maybe, it’s the loss of a loved one to the ravages of a terminal illness, a car crash, or their time on earth just came to an end.

More than surviving

Whatever the cause, the challenge is in learning to live after the loss and the hope is that we wouldn’t just survive, but rather that we would go on to thrive. If you’re in the midst of a recent loss, the thought of thriving may be too painful to contemplate, and that’s okay. Don’t be hard on yourself and don’t just rush ahead. Take it one day at a time. Allow yourself to feel sad, to cry and feel the loss deeply and at the right time, you will begin to slowly lift your heard and continue living. Embrace the change and allow it to mobilise you and empower you to live differently, but truly alive.

David Roper – pastor and author – wrote recently of his loss of mobility. A combination of back problems left him pushing a three-wheel walker which means he can no longer hike or fish or do many of the things he used to enjoy. David’s learnt to accept his limitations however and he now views them in a positive light. He refers to the apostle Paul who went so far as to boast in his weakness, for it was in his weakness that God’s power was revealed (2 Corinthians 12:9 – Bible).

Seeing our loss in this way helps us wake up in the morning full of faith and courage. It gives us a determination to face the day with confidence, knowing that while there is breath in our lungs, we still have purpose. While we are alive, we can still make a difference for the good in our world. Rather than allowing the weight of sadness to keep us down, let us learn to accept things as they are and be content to thrive in the midst of our new normal.