Imagine being in a desert, feeling lost, craving the familiarity of the past and desperate for the wandering to end so you can get on with your life. Life After Loss: The Land Between, Willow’s Wednesday night class, addresses the process of moving through the desert of loss after experiencing a significant life change such as the death of a loved one, end of a marriage, loss of a job, or other painful circumstances that have left you reeling. The three-week class, which begins July 16, offers video teaching by Jeff Manion, pastor and author of The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions.
When life is not as it was
In his teaching, Jeff calls out the story of the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land to describe being in an undesired, transitional place. Unable to go back to Egypt, Israel is incapable of moving forward. We may not be traveling through the Sinai desert, but we often find ourselves in difficult seasons of transition. “It’s a place where life is not as it was and the future is in question,” says Jeff. “And you’re trying to regain your balance.”
“While the circumstances of our individual transitions may be drastically different,” says Deb Gerlach, who leads the class as part of Willow’s pastoral care team, “our human responses to unwanted, unwarranted, unanticipated change or loss are universal: We grieve, we protest about how unfair life is, we rail against a God who ‘promised’ to protect us, our child, spouse, marriage, health, home, or job, etc.”
Journey of trust
But what if the dizzying and disorienting times of life that we dread are the times of transition we most desperately need? “It’s a journey of trust,” says Jeff. What if these “Land Between” times are there to remind us that God is present before, during, and after these difficult changes in our lives?
Life After Loss: The Land Between offers insight and guidance on how to respond to God during your own seasons of difficult transition, and provides biblical insight into how you can find God in the midst of your pain and trust Him even if you feel you’re stuck.
“It’s during our times of greatest need that God does some of His best work in us,” says Beki Grissom, who helps oversee Willow’s Life After Loss workshops. “Painful? Yes. Time consuming? Yes. But it’s well worth it. None of us would have chosen the painful experiences that have come our way, but by facing our loss head-on, we can steward our pain in healthy ways—and experience a deeply meaningful life nonetheless.”
The Land Between meets at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, July 16, 23, and 30. Register