Smack in the middle of the 80’s big hair and electronic music era, my childhood best friend Renee and I spent an entire audio tape pretending to be radio DJs.
I guess I always wanted to do podcasts!
I decided my girls were finally old enough to hear a little of this lovely tape last week, which as a bonus also included an “after school special” on not taking drugs…complete with a 1800 hotline.
Well, I was totally prepared for them to laugh, to look at me like I was an alien and possibly make a vow to themselves to never let their friends hear it. I’m used to and cool with those kinds of reactions.
In the middle of our listening time (which by the way, was going exactly as I’d predicted), we heard something unexpected.
My mom and I talking together on the other side of the tape.
Since she’s been gone for awhile now, it had been sooooo long since I heard her healthy and of course, an even longer time since I was a little girl with her.
In the recording, she was scampering after me to take a bath and I was distracting her, trying to get her to talk in a silly voice instead, which she finally did. We then sang My Favorite Things from The Sound of Musictogether and she lectured me about my homework and the tape was turned off.
In a matter of seconds of hearing her comforting voice, tears started brimming in my eyes, a polar opposite reaction from our laughter only seconds before.
I asked my wide-eyed girls for a few minutes to myself so I could just remember those times in thankfulness and sorrow. It was a great time, and even though I normally don’t “like” to cry, it was good for me to face that, even though the hardest part of that loss has already been dealt with.
Why did I allow myself to go there again even well after my initial grief? Because I know something important about loss that I want to help youwith today.
When grief hits, a time of reflection is a necessary step in the healing process.
Only taking that time can bring the closure we need to take another brave step in the right direction.
Today, maybe you too are processing a loss of sorts. Maybe your loss is fresh even right now.
You’re going through a painful divorce, leaving you feeling like the loneliest soul alive…
You’re dealing with the loss of a sibling, a parent or a child and the ache just won’t go away…
You’re going through illness or mobility issues that are keeping you physically or emotionally down…
Or maybe you moved far away from everyone you know and love and it just feels so distancing.
If you lost your job, you may feel depressed on top of the grief, since for so many people, their job really does cause more grief than even a physical loss.
Whatever it is you’ve been grieving…
I genuinely know that ache.
And I know something else, something hopeful.
How you process the grief you carry says everything about the way you will move forward.
So let me ask you,
How have you processed your grief?
Have you taken time to look at your grief issues square in the face, no distractions, nothing stopping you, and just allowed tears to roll or the sadness to really fill you for a few minutes?
If not, you just need to do that.
There’s no other way through grief than through grief. No, that’s not a typo, it’s the truth! 🙂
And in your grief, know this, too…
Know that God made you well. You can withstand it.
Jesus even felt anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane in his own moment of loss. He felt grief when He watched His friends process a brother’s death.
God also says that although we have grief, it is accompanied by hope since Jesus conquered death on the cross. After death, we believers will be raised with Him in glory and wholeness for eternity. (Is 53:3, John 11:35, Luke 22:44, 1st Thess 4:13).
So this grief that we have as Christians actually has a huge amount of hope intermingled. It sets us apart as having an eternal destiny with our Maker which is of far more eternal value than any earthly losses.
And also just as encouraging…
You have hope for the next season of your life that can begin right here and now! As you read this, you need to remember something important – you’re still here!
Of course you can totally choose to not face the grief and let addictions settle in…
And let sadness rob you of your daily right to productivity and joy…
And use all your time left to feel sorry for yourself.
Or you can face yourself and your grief situation with bravery. If you need some help doing that, that’s why we’re here. Message us for a coaching or therapy visit to do just that.
And in the meantime, here are five ways to keep your grief moving in the right direction!
- Let it ride. Deal with it now and not later. Remember that God has equipped you with tear ducts and poetic license for a reason. If you don’t, you may find yourself headed toward an addiction in another area without realizing it.
- When you process your pain, limit the time you spend on it, especially after the first few weeks. Filling a page or two of a journal, giving yourself a half hour for tears or a venting phone call or playing a few songs worth of sad music may help. Try to limit your grief time so you have energy for the rest of your day if you are also working or caring for children. Try not to make yourself sick over your grief. If that keeps happening, see a counselor.
- Don’t stop getting self-care and sleep after the emergency is over. You may need physical time to heal or have funeral arrangements you can’t take a break from. In cases like these take at least five minutes of prayerful meditation and deep breathing. Be in the moment and allow for peace to slip in.
- Tell others in your life if you think you may be becoming depressed so they can pray for you. Reach out to us in need. We have a grief expert Melissa Jansen right on staff although all of us are versed in it.
- You are a son or daughter of the King so know that as you grieve, God gets it and will bring the peace, comfort and new mercies each day that you need to not only survive but to thrive. Yes, isn’t that wonderful? You can still thrive in many ways during seasons of grief so take care of yourself.
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