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Let Yourself Grieve (begin the process of healing)

Pain is real. None of us will get out of here without experiencing it. It can be paralyzing, but when we allow ourselves to grieve, we open our hearts to healing. 

Pain is real. None of us will get out of here without experiencing it. It can be paralyzing, but when we allow ourselves to grieve, we open our hearts to healing. Click To Tweet


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The Ache

In this life we will ache. Sometimes more acutely than others.

I felt it this week. As the caregiver for our 22-year-old daughter who has an as yet unnamed syndrome, I feel it every week to some degree.

Because my heart misses what I see other mother’s experience with their daughters. I will never have that adult-to-adult relationship with her. Rach will never grow to be my confidant. There won’t be those late-into-the-night mother/daughter talks. No sharing of dreams and experiences. No advice sought. And no recipes swapped.

On this side of heaven, our relationship will be forever paused on the mother/child scene.

Your loss may be completely different. Perhaps your pain involves broken relationships, financial concerns, job losses, missed opportunities, or a host of other unfulfilled expectations. 

Joy Thief

Regardless of the cause, such shattering can threaten to steal our joy in life. But thank God that doesn’t have to be our reality. In last week’s post, I addressed the danger of gazing too long at those shattered dreams and missing the blessings still embedded in our days. I wrote about how we need to “recast our unexpected circumstances in light of God’s continued grace and mercy…to focus on the possibilities instead of the disappointments.” I call it mining for the gems. 

And it’s an important practice. Yet the pain of those shattered dreams can’t simply be wished away, nor can the grief. As detrimental as it is to focus too long on those unfulfilled expectations, it is equally detrimental not to acknowledge your loss.

Allow Yourself to Grieve

Grief cannot be swept away with a thought or a platitude. It must be faced head on and dealt with in order to heal and reclaim joy. So allow yourself to grieve. Talk about your loss with a trusted friend, family member, pastor, or counselor. Don’t buy into the idea to “just get over it.”

Grief cannot be swept away with a thought or a platitude. It must be faced head on and dealt with in order to heal and reclaim joy. Click To Tweet

I’ve been dealing with the reality of my daughter’s lifelong disability for more than 18 years now. And most of the time I see the goodness of God in our situation. Still sometimes…sometimes the pain of what we’re missing out on in our relationship resurfaces, demanding to be heard.

As a strong woman, I’d like to dismiss those feelings of loss and plaster a smile on my face. But that doesn’t serve anyone well. Not me, my loved ones, Rachel, or my readers. At times I still need to sit in the grief. I need to acknowledge the loss, so I can notice the possibilities.

Grieving Is Biblical

We see this throughout the Bible. Grieving in the Old Testament involved multiple days. Up to 30 days were spent acknowledging the loss and feeling the pain. And Jesus didn’t shy from expressing His grief and sorrow. The Scriptures note several instances.

In the shortest and in my opinion one of the most beautiful verses in the English Bible, when Mary informed Jesus of her brother Lazarus’s death, He seemingly couldn’t, and didn’t try to, control His tears.

“Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

He wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41) and the judgement to come. And later His sorrow grew so great, He wept bloody sweat from His body in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. He reveals His agony to Peter, James, and John: “I am deeply grieved to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38), and a verse later to His Father, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (vs. 39).

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For Now Sit With the Tears

Because Jesus was well acquainted with sorrow in His earthly life and ministry, He can relate to our grief. In fact the Bible says, the Lord collects our tears. This means He sees and cares about each one.

To grieve is biblical. It’s a natural part of healing from loss. Allysa J. Howard says it this way, “It’s okay to grieve. Grieving is a process that teaches us how to fully surrender our pain to God so that He can heal our hearts.”

So today if the tears won’t quit, sit with them. The Lord can relate and He cares. Let Him heal your heart through those tears.

Tomorrow will dawn with new mercies. It’ll be your day to begin mining those gems still present and moving forward in the comfort and strength of the Holy Spirit. 

Today if the tears won't quit, sit with them. Let the Lord heal your heart through those tears. Tomorrow will dawn with new mercies, a day to begin mining the gems still present. Click To Tweet

“You have taken account of my miseries; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” Psalm 56:8, NASB

Reflections: What recent loss have you experienced? Are you letting yourself grieve? If not, what is preventing you from doing so? 

(Don’t miss next week’s post! We’ll explore a benefit of pain in our lives and what moving forward looks like. Invite your friends along by sharing this post with them and encouraging them to subscribe to the blog (a signup form is below. ) 

By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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2 comments on “Let Yourself Grieve (begin the process of healing)
  1. Britney says:

    Love this encouragement to allow ourselves to grieve! Thank you for sharing.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Let Yourself Grieve (begin the process of healing)"
  1. […] And if we dig further into the three accounts of Jesus grieving I shared in my last post, we have a few more examples of what it looks like to lean into our suffering. […]

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