The Tenacity of Grief

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about grief… In some ways I think I’ve been moving out of that season and into a new one. Or maybe the current season is so full that I haven’t had time to realize that my heart is struggling. I haven’t taken a moment to do a heart check. To sit. Think. Be. I thought I was doing OK.

But am I?

How is it that I’m going through my day seemingly fine. Everything is normal. Life is it’s new normal. And then “Bam” it hits you like a punch in the gut. Something I saw, something I read, a scripture that comes to mind, or a photograph. And the day is over. It’s all I can do to hold myself together. I want to cry and yell. I want to scream and craw in a dark space all by myself. All in the same moment.

Why is it that grief has such a strong hold?

Why can’t I shake it forever and go on with life?

Why does it have to derail me? Catch me off guard?

Give a sucker punch right when I least expect it?

Why?

I guess I’ll never know the answer to those questions this side of heaven. I know this life isn’t one of ease and painless existence. Life is really hard and painful and sad stuff happens. I’m seeing more and more of this the longer I live… and I’ve only lived 38 years.

Some of my dear friends are going through really hard times right now. Maybe that’s why all of this is coming back. Seeing pain in others brings my own back. It reminds me of where I once was and brings it all back for a moment. That I think I do know that answer to.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. II Corinthians 1:3,4

That I am grateful for. As my pain and grief returns. As I feel my soul weighed low, it reminds me to pray for those I know who are suffering as well. To lift them up before the Throne of Grace to find the help and mercy they need. (Hebrews 4:16). I have learned a thing or two over the last few years. I have witnessed and felt God’s crazy love for me. His faithfulness, His grace, His provision. If I know these things beyond a shadow of a doubt, then I can provide comfort to those who are struggling. May God give me the words, fill me with your Spirit Lord, to help meet the needs of others.

In my weakness I see my need for Jesus. When I FEEL strong, I’m not. I’m just prideful and over confident in my abilities. Grief does stick around, it doesn’t ever seem to let go and it does come back when we least expect it, but God isn’t absent. He designs it all for our good and for His glory. I may not like it, but I’m not the Creator.

But what I do like, is that I can sit with those who struggle. I can hold a hand. I can pray. I can cry. I can provide a tissue and a shoulder. I can give a long hug. All that, I can do without saying a word. And if God gives me words of comfort and encouragement I can speak them.

So I guess the tenacity of grief isn’t only about me. It’s about others too. It puts me in my place. It reminds me I don’t have it all together, I don’t have it all figured out. I’m still missing little people in my life that will never come back to me. And it’s OK to always miss them and it’s OK to cry when I think of them and it’s not wasted. God knows every tear and He knows His children inside and out. And His love is far greater than we could ever know.

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee,

Take my sliver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At They feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) wrote that amazing hymn. She suffered with poor health when whole life and was only 42 when she died. But she was extremely smart and talented, and her life passion was that God would use her to spiritually bless and benefit others.

And as I commit my life Him, may it be used to serve those around me. To know my loss isn’t in vain. God will use it for good in others doesn’t make it all OK, but it does offer peace and hope in the painful.

To God be the glory.

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