GRIEF LIKE A TIDAL WAVE
For years, I believed that grief was something that people feel when they’ve lost someone close to them. As I’ve aged, however, I’ve learned that grief is not only a part of life, but also it is rare that any of us escape it. Grief can be the loss of a person, or anything else in our lives. It can come from the loss of a dream, a hope, a relationship, the loss of our innocence, or from being a victim of a crime.
I’m learning that there are just no rules to grief. Grief is organic by nature and affects everyone differently.
It took me becoming an adult and going to counseling to finally grieve the pain I had experienced growing up in an abusive home. Unlearning the lies I was told, the lack of safety, loss of innocence and then going through two divorces, and raising a child who wrestled with drug addiction, and one that suffered other consequences of bad decisions—all of this taught me lessons about grief.
Life can be filled with grief, and many times we hide those feelings or stuff them into our hearts out of self preservation. Nevertheless, grief infiltrates our lives changing our personalities over time.
The fact is, we are living in a broken world and things will go wrong. It’s easy to know this truth, but dealing with its aftermath is a different story. Our hearts will get broken, our dreams will not always come true, we will feel disappointed, people might let us down, or worst of all leave us, through death or otherwise.
Last month I had my one year anniversary of my divorce from a twenty year marriage.
The first year I felt like I was emotionally fine. I wondered if something was wrong with me, because I could only focus on all the positives of the separation. I made plans for my new future and was looking forward to the new adventure and excitement of the unknown.
However, I eventually realized I was actually just in the early stages of grief; I hadn’t even begun to grieve my loss yet. It wasn’t that I was fine, it was just such a huge loss that my brain and heart couldn’t even get to the sad place yet. Over the last year, my new reality came crashing down over me several times.
Over the last two years, God has placed people in my life who I could rely on, talk to and who loved me. I’m not sure I could have made it without each of them. Just last week I was in a place that challenged my belief that I’d ever actually be okay again. Feeling overwhelmed and alone is a huge part of what grief does to us. It behaves like water seeping into every nook and cranny of our beings, hearts and soul.
However, I know this truth, God is the maker of our beings, our hearts and our souls. He knows us in our best places, our worst places and never ever leaves us. He is the giver of dreams and hopes. He has restored my innocence, healed so many of my relationships, and has made me a woman who can love other people because of the empathy I’ve gained from living with grief. He promises to be with us in the darkness; he remains steadfast.
I will hold on to his promises during these hard times. I will continue to look to the hills, because my help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Let’s have hope and hold on to his promises, because he promises to be with us, to answer our prayers and to give us rest. I plan to stand on those promises.
STEPS OF FAITH
Lord God, I come to you in my heartbreak and pour my sadness at your feet. Please replace my disappointment and pain with your hope and peace. Remind me of all the times you’ve rescued me from my grief, and changed my life around. I pray in the future you use every drop of this pain to nourish another person’s soul as you have nourished mine. Thank you for everything I’m learning from my situation and thank you for each person you’ve used in my life to sustain me and to remind me of your love and affection for me. In your very precious name, Amen.
DEEPER WALK SCRIPTURE
Psalm 121, Psalm 139, Isaiah 44:24, Luke 12:7, 1 Peter 5:6-11