Grieving. It's not just about mourning the dead. We also encounter great loss when we experience divorce. A catastrophic illness. Job termination. The end of a friendship. The long distance move of someone we love. Leaving a church family. How do we do this well so that we can move on and not be held in grief's grip and allow a root of bitterness to set in? How do we move ahead after being overwhelmed, paralyzed, consumed?
1. GRIEF WILL COME.
Sooner or later you will experience a loss. In one way, shape, or form, it will come. Be prepared, don't be surprised.
2. THERE ARE SOME THINGS WE WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND.
Go ahead and wrestle with God. Ask Him the hard questions. Pray honestly and deeply. Use this opportunity to stretch your faith. Let others minister to you, but beware of people with pat answers. Don't be afraid to seek professional help to guide you through. Reaching out is a sign of strength and courage, not weakness.
3. GOD UNDERSTANDS.
He knows what grief and aching pain is. He watched His precious Son be tormented, bleed, and die for us.
4. TAKE TIME TO GRIEVE WELL.
Take time to feel the pain. Don't stuff it, avoid it, delay it. Don't fear the powerful emotions that assail you. Go ahead and shed many tears. It's the first step toward healing. Until you do this, it will be very difficult to move on.
5. HEALING COMES.
Cherish the memories. Celebrate what was good. Begin to take steps toward a new identity. Start to take all the emotional energy that was spent on grieving and reinvest it into the lives of others. You'll never forget, but it is possible to move on. It's been said that God never wastes a hurt. What might He want you to do with what you've gleaned from your experience? Could your healing be used in ministry to others experiencing the same anguish? Check out 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
Been there ~