Good Grief !?!
Is there anything good about grief?
You don’t have to look very far to find people who are gripped with grief, sidelined with sorrow, or paralyzed with the pain of tragic loss. My heart aches for those affected by the recent shootings. News stories of all types of tragedies seem to fill our social media feeds by the second. It can be easy to forget that we encounter folks every single day who are also experiencing pain and suffering from loss.
Loss of any kind has a way of altering our perspective. Our vision can become clouded in the wake of devastating circumstances, and we can become blinded and bound by our grief, but loss can also help us see more clearly by sharpening our focus on what is truly important in life.
I have experienced two extremely difficult losses in my life, the loss of my oldest son to suicide and the loss of my husband to cancer. Wrestling through the pain and sorrow of both losses has changed me significantly. It has given me an entirely different perspective and newfound purpose for my life.
With each loss, as the days and weeks went by, I found it increasingly difficult to focus my mind and think clearly. I felt sick to my stomach often as waves of sadness would wash over me. My emotions would bubble up from deep within and I would find it more and more difficult to keep them under wraps.
With each loss, I was filled with dread as I fought the reality that I would not see them again on this side of heaven. I wanted so badly to pretend it was not true but trying to run from the pain did not make it go away.
I once heard a friend and mentor of mine, Randy Creamer, say something profound about pain and suffering that struck me right in the heart. He said that “Redemption is not living as though it didn’t happen, it’s living differently because it did happen.”
Here’s what I have learned from my experience with grief... a devastating loss permanently changes you. You will undoubtedly see differently and live differently going forward.
The question is what kind of different do you want?
From my perspective, here’s the way I see it, there are two options…
You can try to run from your pain, but you can’t hide. You can try to ignore it, but it won’t let you. You can choose to sit in your pain, but if you stay too long it won’t let you go. If you let it, your grief will swallow you alive leaving you blind, bound, and imprisoned for the rest of your life.
You can choose to take steps forward to live differently in your new reality by embracing your pain and looking for and implementing the life-changing lessons that can only be found in the midst of your suffering.
So, is there anything good about grief?
It may sound strange to you, but it has been in my darkest places of brokenness that I have seen the brightest light. It has been in my darkest places that my sight has been redeemed and my vision has been made clear to sharply focus on the truly important things in life.
I am not the same. It has made me bold. It has made me strong. It has made me fierce. These are words I never imagined I could embody. Although I would not wish to go through those experiences again, I am also keenly aware that I would not be the person I am today if I had continued to choose Option #1 to deal with my grief.
I encourage you, my friend, to choose Option #2. Embrace your pain and suffering. There will be many days you will not feel like doing it or even care to. It will take every ounce of determination that you can muster, and I can assure you that it will be the hardest thing you will ever do. But I promise that if you intentionally look for and apply the lessons to be learned in this season of grieving, those lessons have the power to redeem your darkest places of brokenness by empowering you to live differently and shine boldly and brightly because of it.
Sending you hugs today and prayers for strength, endurance, and perseverance for the days ahead, dear one! 😘
You are bold. You are strong. You are fierce.
Genesis 41:52 NLT
Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.”