I was awakened this morning praying for friends who are walking through valleys of grief right now.
Grief is one of those subjects that is hard to describe and talk about because it is so deeply felt and experienced. Some feelings and experiences are too difficult to fully put into words.
Dealing with different levels of grief in my life from family who have forsaken, my paralysis and the trail of physical devastation it has and continues to cause me, and my own marriage falling apart and watching it implode one horrific decision at a time…and I know the journey of grief.
So a few thoughts from my heart:
Grief is necessary.
We have multiple Bible passages speaking of lamenting, sorrowing, mourning and grieving. It is an emotion that God Himself experiences, and one that allows us to process our losses in layers and waves…instead of it all being poured out upon us at once. We could not handle it.
Friends are needed.
Not the Job’s friends people…those who try to figure out the “why’s” and “what if’s” and the “you should have’s”…
Did you know in Jewish culture you were to go and mourn with others, but you were not to speak until they did? And you were to let them lead the conversation. If they wanted to talk of their grief, you did. If they wanted to talk about the weather, you did. You were to stay silent until they spoke no matter how long. And you let them lead the conversation. Job’s friends did well at first…and then they started in.
Friends who will sit with you, and let you sit in silence, or speak of your grief or anger or pain or confusion…and just BE with you in those moments are priceless.
Let your friends love you. I have done this wrong…and I have done this right. I assure you of this….this is your season of grief. Give yourself that space and lean into your friends who you know to be safe for you.
Loneliness is soul-deep and at times, crushing…smothering.
You have entered a new identity, that most around you cannot understand the depths of impact on your daily life. You are now in the epicenter of the storm. Others feel the intense ripples on impact, but over time, those ripples fade away for those around you. And that is normal!! You need surrounded in the onset of your trauma, but over time, as that eases up, you realize that it is still very much daily for you.
This is part of the journey where you MUST realize this for yourself, but…it is necessary to remember it for others also. You cannot realistically expect others to feel as you do, or you will become bitter. You cannot expect to “get over it”…instead, you learn strategies to “get through” it. Those triggers, or layers, or circumstances – that throw you into a wave of grief…you DO learn over time, how to navigate. And you learn to do that a little quicker with the journey of time.
I cannot put anything specific after “is” because it would be too limiting. The above point of loneliness in grief – whether that is emotional, physical, cultural, or spiritual – is truly where He is. There is a fellowship of suffering with Christ and it is difficult to communicate. He knows. He is.
One of my favorite names of God is “I AM”. He has been my Comforter, my Counselor, my Father, my Confidence, my Strength in extreme weakness, my Guide, my Light, my Companion, the Faithful and True, my Redeemer, my Healer…and on and on. He has held me, sung over me, encouraged me, and overwhelmed me with His steadfast love. He doesn’t care about titles or abilities or job descriptions. He loves and cares for His faithful and His ways and purposes are higher than mine. He has my heart and I trust Him.
He has been and always will be…all that I need. In my deepest times of loneliness, when my heart grieves so longingly, at times, for what I think I would have chosen for my life, I remember that He too grieves with me, and collects my tears – that is how precious they are to Him – for the losses we experience in this broken world.
And He simply is…whatever He knows I need.
Sweet friends, I am praying for you and your grief and that you may feel the arms of Jesus around you!