Warning! Raw and Real Writing!
Do we really understand grief in it’s fullest form until we experience the death of someone?
Most likely yes… but layers of life’s shocks and abuses and misunderstandings about all of those things can catch up and compound grief when you have the tangible, physical loss of someone to death.
If you happen to have several people die consecutively, your pain is intensified. Processing it all takes courage and help.
And, often, those who are grieving face hard realities about things they didn’t deal with in past years or DID deal with and now, need to let many more things go.
It’s life in full color… real life. Not the one painted on the canvas other’s look at externally. The canvas of the heart.
I truly think that the reason we see some people who are afraid to grieve with fellow Christians is that they fear it communicates some kind of unbelief. Hmmmmm…
John Piper explains a different and wise insight when he says,
“The sobs of grief and pain are not the sign of unbelief. Job knows nothing of a flippant, insensitive, superficial Praise God anyhow, response to suffering. The magnificence of His worship is because it was in grief, not because it replaced grief.
Let your tears flow freely when your calamity comes. And let the rest of us weep with those who weep.”
Grief and tears and anguished sobs are not the signs of weak faith, but normal and healthy responses to the brokenness of this world.
It’s natural to grieve the losses and pain we experience in this life. Denying ourselves the freedom to grieve not only harms us, but denies us the opportunity to experience the kindness of God’s presence in the bitterness of our pain.
Refusing to weep over loss keeps away those who would weep with us and him who promises to wipe away every “river” on our cheeks.
Withholding empathy and mutual sorrow over a loss is either extreme denial about your own pains, or a secret “punishing” of those who are hurting and look messy, maybe even needy in the moment, pretending “it’s not that bad.”
Friends… It’s bad, sad, makes you mad. Grief.
I live in the land between some rather intense “present pain” and future glory.
I live unsettled, tender, sad, and at times a bit fogged in my pain and losses, but I am truly at peace in Christ’s presence.
I trust Him in my brokenness, my shock, my remunerating of “why, what, when, how” will the sadness fully sneak up on me again, and smack me in the feelers! Yes… holidays and special days can sneak in with tear bouquets too.
Obviously, perfection is impossible in messy grief, and many will want you to do it far away from them.
It’s hard to navigate and hard to express without lots of running liquid from both eyes and nose. Add in dry sobs and the difficulty in putting the right words to what you feel, expressing them at the right time. That’s Grief.
I am waiting for the day of absolute wholeness and redemption in the coming of Jesus. While I wait, I grieve in faith.
I do believe it’s possible to dishonor God by allowing grief to crash into unbelief and bitterness toward God and others in their own grief (which really is sin), and I don’t have to respond that way.
When we worship God in our grief and vulnerably yield to him, making him worthy of our trust, I believe that He sees our sadness, anguish, behaviors, and our deepest sorrows — when we choose to rest in his goodness and true knowing of the effects of pain, even when our circumstances feel hopeless — we bring glory to his name.
Having hope doesn’t mean we won’t grieve.
Having hope means we grieve with the confidence that God “will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you,” (1 Peter 5:10).
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the U.S.A and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.