Inside “The End”, Part 10

(Read Part 9 here)

It’s been a year since I learned that Midday Connection (a program on Moody Radio that aired for over 20 years) was ending.  Last summer, I spent my time in my chair, in some shock, mourning the loss of my mission, community, and identity. This summer, I’m mourning these things in different ways.

I spent the winter after Midday Connection ended with a surprisingly busy unemployment season. I filled my days with things that I felt were life-giving: spiritual direction, working at a clothing store, organizing homes, leading retreats. I also spent time in counseling and meeting with my own spiritual directors. I sought out compassionate, wise people and spent as much time as I could with them – even when I wanted to hide away in my depressed fog.

Job hunting was difficult – especially since I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. I poked around, applying for various jobs at different organizations that I liked. Even though it hurt to get a rejection letter (“we’re going a different direction”), there was some relief when I knew that particular door was closed. I have great admiration for people who keep putting themselves out there – applying, interviewing, waiting. It’s *hard* work. My counselor once said with understanding that job hunting is like “working 24/7 at a job that you hate.”

Starting a new job has been energizing, overwhelming, both confidence-building and confidence-crushing. I’m often lonely, trying to not compare my unique Midday Connection team with my new team. I tell myself daily, “This is just going to take time.”

This grieving thing is hard work. And it’s still there a year later. Recently, someone asked me, “So, you have a new job, you’ve sold your house to live closer to work – things are looking up! Can you now see that this was all worth it and you’re better for it?” I wanted to cheerfully respond, “Absolutely!” But, instead I could only honestly say, “I’m not there yet.”

I anticipate that I’ll be in the “not yet” for quite a while. But, I’m so grateful for the glimpses of connection with new coworkers, excitement of selling our home and finding a new one, getting closer to finding my stride at work with my new responsibilities.  There’s so much that I’ve gained in this year – and I’m grateful. And sad. And grateful. And sad. And grateful…

10 thoughts on “Inside “The End”, Part 10

  1. Sondra McCarty

    Lori….you are such an inspiration. It’s good to grieve and I pray you will with God’s guidance take all the time necessary for your heart to heal. Thank you for the insight. My heart aches with you and I shall probably never understand why Moody Radio would rob the listeners of such an insightful program. I do know IVP is so very fortunate to have you. Love you girlfriend!!!!

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  2. Julie S.

    I’m not there yet… So good that you can say that. I’ve walked through some very painful and difficult storms in my life and well meaning friends would share thoughts with me like yours did. At times I felt guilty – thinking I “should be there.” But, through the grieving and healing process, God showed me that the “I’m not there yet” was right where He wanted me to be. “I don’t know how to do this,” became the theme of my life. But through those times my relationship with Christ grew so much deeper and stronger. Praying for you on your journey and it’s wonderful to read your heartfelt blog.

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  3. Roberta Simmkns

    Oh, Lori! Such a deep, profound, honest, transparent encouraging and real GIFT you have given us with your words and wisdom. Thank you for taking the time to allow us to walk with you through this and learn from it.
    Thank you . . . you have nailed both the potential trap and the potential joy in facing grief . . . and not burying it. Thank you, thank you , thank you.

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  4. Lori, Thank you for the vulnerability and transparency in your blogs. I have grieved with you three since last fall, and still unconsciously flip on WMBI at noon, just hoping the last 9 months without MDC has all been a bad dream. I am still working on forgiving MBI, but am not there yet.
    14 years ago I experienced a significant and permanent health loss, and went through some of what you mentioned – friends, or people I had always thought were friends, MIA and silent as if it were catching; friends who were dismissive about my loss because “At least you have ___.” (Fill in the blank); others I hardly knew who stepped up to the plate.
    I learned to keep my grief to myself, but 7 years later I finally had my first meltdown. Unfortunately it was on my dear but bewildered husband’s birthday, kicked off by spilling coffee all over my clothes where I had no access to clean ones. It had to come out someway, as I had spent the previous 7 years “looking at the bright side” and making sure I was pleasant to be around, not a downer. Sometimes that bright side is overshadowed by the loss, and THERE IS NO TIME TABLE to get over a loss. I truly believe that sometimes we don’t get over a loss, we only can get beyond it to a place where the pain is not quite as poignant.
    Keep writing, Lori. It is cathartic for your readers and probably cathartic for you too. You will always be in my heart as a sister in Christ.

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  5. Lori, thank you for just being real with us and not trying to be what you think people want you to be. I still cannot listen to the noon show on Moody. It makes me feel so disappointed and sad. I was blessed and encouraged and uplifted so many times by you ladies.

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  6. With grief on the table I sense it may never end. The challenge will be to integrate the pain into the reality of living. And to allow it to be an unexpected element of our stories – whether welcomed or not. It is as if we are asked to be hospitable in our own souls to these difficult ‘guests’ within: disappointment, unpredictability, change, loss, rejection, pain and the like.

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  7. Regina Glover

    Wow. I just discovered that The Midday Connection was canceled! God sure does have an interesting way of speaking to us sometimes. I was talking to him about my desire to leave my job and go in a different direction, but not knowing where. I have grief issues. He told me to go to the TMC which I haven’t listened to in years. I looked online and discovered the cancelation. I’m so glad I obeyed Him because Lori Neff’s blog blessed me tremendously. We may not know the direction that we will travel, but we know Jesus who is our Spiritual Director. He is our Light guiding us through the path intended to the destination that has already been arranged. Trust Him.

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  8. Pingback: Inside “The End”, Part 9 – Lori Neff

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