Dear Grieving Friend,

October 28, 2016

Dear Grieving Friend,

I don’t know you, and yet I feel so connected to you. I may not know the specifics of what you are grieving, but I understand. Maybe you’re mourning the loss of the baby you never got to hold or raise to adulthood. Perhaps it’s the marriage that ended, the career path you imagined, the health you once enjoyed or the parent no longer here to comfort you. Whatever it is you’re grieving, I understand the feelings involved with looking at a different future than the one you had imagined. I totally get the broken heart you’re desperate to heal. I sympathize with the fears that go along with grief and I know the voice in your head telling you all of the things you should be feeling and doing to move forward.

I want you to listen to me for a minute. We may not be completely healed, but we are doing this moving forward thing well. Please don’t compare yourself to anyone else. We are allowed to be where we are at this very moment. Period. If today we are crying a lot or not accomplishing the tasks we think we should be, that doesn’t mean we are stuck in our grief. What it means is that today we need to dwell. Tomorrow, next week or next month we’ll seek and do, but maybe that’s not going to happen today. And that is okay. Please – let’s not beat ourselves up about this. Grief has a way of telling us what we need. Let’s listen to it, and obey it.

Somewhere along the way, our culture has told us we need to grieve for x number of days and then get “back to normal.” What a load of crap! Grief is not our enemy, and there is no getting “back to normal.” We need to view grief as our travel guide to healing. It will tell us when we need to turn left, turn right, forge ahead or take a necessary pit stop to refuel. If we let it be our guide instead of the uncomfortable thing we try to avoid, I think we’ll have a better journey. I’m beginning to think grief is something we need to embrace instead of flee. I mean, what happens when we try to avoid it? Do things feel better? When we make an attempt to stifle it with food, TV, alcohol, shopping, Facebook – whatever we use to hide from it – does it work? Maybe for a minute, but it’s still there, waiting for us to acknowledge it.

I truly believe grief and joy are more closely related than we think. Grief can be a conduit to grace and healing. It’s always going to be part of who we are now, but it doesn’t have to be an obstruction to happiness and recovery. Instead, it’s going to be with us on our quest for joy and restoration.

I’m often guilty of the pitfalls I’m suggesting you avoid. I feel terrible when I have a day or week where I just can’t do all the things I think I’m supposed to be doing. When grief lassos me and pulls me backwards, I fight it and feel badly about my perceived lack of progress. I forget sometimes that having days where I feel sad or lonely and productivity suffers is just a normal part of the process.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make a list of all of the things I’ve accomplished so far. I’m going to remind myself how far I’ve come and I really want you to do the same. Have you gotten out of bed today? Victory. Have you eaten? Showered? You’re amazing, I mean it. Focus on all of the things you’ve been able to do, even if today that list is pretty short. Let’s acknowledge progress in all its forms. The truth is, you’re brave. You’re strong. You’re capable. I know you don’t want to have to be any of these things, but you are.

Most importantly, I want you to know that God has your back. Believe me, I’ve had my moments where I’ve wondered where He’s been and what in the world His plan is. I mean, come on! This doesn’t feel very awesome and loving at all! But He is in love with you. He’s in love with me. And how deep the Father’s love for us! And He has “extra grace” for us. So hang on, brave one. You’re going to be ok, but be gentle with yourself right now. Trust grief. Trust God. And remember how deep His love for us.

“How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” (click title to play song)

How deep the Father’s love for us

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

 

How great the pain of searing loss

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory

 

Behold the man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers

 

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished

 

I will not boast in anything

No gifts, no power, no wisdom

But I will boast in Jesus Christ

His death and resurrection

 

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom

 

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom

 

Extra grace,

Jodi

 

 

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4 Comments

  • Reply Krista October 28, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    ❤️

  • Reply Amy Werkheiser October 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I am glad that you choose to share your thoughts with us. Thank you for your thought provoking posts.

  • Reply Andy October 28, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    ❤️

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