Just the word evokes emotion. Sadness. Loneliness. Despair.
Many of you have experienced grief and you know what I am talking about.
This week my church family experienced a great loss. One of our own went home to be with Jesus leaving behind a wife, two children and a whole bunch of people who loved him deeply.
As I have talked with people this week regarding death and loss I was struck by one thing. Many people do not know how to grieve, or that it is permissible and acceptable to do so.
Grieving is a normal, healthy and appropriate response to death and significant loss.
For those of us who are left behind, we need to have an appropriate and healthy way to reconcile our feelings of loss, hurt and sadness.
Many years ago a good friend and ministry partner died. I was visibly upset and crying during and after the memorial service when someone I respected pulled me aside and proceeded to inform me that I should not be sad, but happy for our friend because now she was with the Lord.
The problem with this is that I felt judged and it completely shut me down emotionally.
I didn’t feel happy that my friend was gone. I felt sad. I felt angry. I felt disappointed. I felt confused. I did not feel happy.
I was young in my faith and this was the first experience I had with the death of someone close to me. Unfortunately I took this persons advice to heart and for many years put on a brave face and tried to force myself into believing I was at peace with death.
When we put on a brave face and pretend we are not sad it only pushes us further into despair and resentment.
Grieving is biblical. Grieving is a process. Grieving is healing.
God understands our pain. He knows the depth of our sorrow and He wants to meet you (and me) in the midst of our lament.
In Psalm 34:18 we are reminded that, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
The most authentic thing we can do is to bring all of who we are to the feet of Jesus. He has prepared a place for you to come and lay your head and heart before Him.
Friends, find rest and hope in Christ alone. He knows the groaning of your heart and every tear that forms in your eyes.
Death and loss was not part of His plan, but He will use it in our lives to strengthen our faith and trust in Him and for His glory.
He wants us to come with our heavy hearts and swollen eyes.
Find rest O my soul in Christ alone.
If you find yourself overwhelmed or in need of someone to talk to check out a few of the links below. You are not alone, and you do not need to carry this by yourself.
Grace & Peace ~ Karen