I have always been able to cry over “sad” things…the “tears” just come and flow freely. It has been very odd this past week…how the…
didn’t flow for quite a while.
I could feel them in my eyes briefly last Sunday as I watched the footage of the flood on TV…from my Dad’s house…but the actual tears I am accustomed to experiencing from “sad occurrences” didn’t flow freely…
…until this morning…
…Sunday morning. A whole week later……….!?!
As I have sat and cried for most of the morning, in my newly named quiet time place, my “war room,” I literally feel as if there has been “war” in Columbia. I think I have been in “shock” for a week. Please do not feel sorry for me. I don’t think I have experienced this kind of “shock” in my entire life except when our son Thomas was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 5 (our new normal and devastation took a while to sink in). I was 35 when we found out. To say the least, it has been a long time (18 years) since I have been in REAL LIFE SHOCK….and we weren’t one of the ones who lost their home. I just can’t imagine what others are feeling who have lost so much!
I am glad the tears have finally come. For me, that is when “healing” starts. It is called “grieving!” For the people who read my posts, I know that many of you, if not all, are familiar with “grief!” So today’s post is about grief and my experience.
Grief is normal. I have found there are some stages to “grief”:
I have lived in all four of these stages sometimes getting “stuck” in one of these stages for quite a while. What I have learned is that everyone who experiences grief has a different amount of time that it takes to travel this road. The road can be VERY LONG. My desire, from my limited but REAL experience, is to encourage and educate people in very simple words about grief.
YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET STUCK and ROTATE in any one stage.
You have to walk through it. One day at a time. Do not make the mistakes I have made in delaying the seeking of professional counseling if you think you need it! God created us to have people to help “carry the load”…to help “shoulder our burdens”. In scripture Jesus said and taught us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you are weary and burdened, and I will GIVE you REST. Take MY YOKE upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my YOKE is easy and my burden is light” [emphasis added].
So first, go to Jesus. Ask Him to take your burdens. From personal experience, in the early stages of this process you may have to keep “giving back your yoke to HIM,” sometimes every few minutes.
For those of you reading…who don’t know Jesus:
Just talk to Him as if He were your very best friend. Tell Him you don’t really know Him but that if HE is real to “Show up”. Ask Him…”LET ME FEEL YOU”. HE will not disappoint.
In difficult and tragic times when I have turned to JESUS, and heard the accounts of so many that have as well, I can tell you that in those moments “YOU can see and Experience” our HOLY GOD. In the book of Psalms David, who experienced tragic times, asked God to “list my tears on your scroll”. This is the same David that fearlessly defeated Goliath…but who also…lost a child….
he Knew God was with him in both the victories and the tragedies!
Second, find a friend to talk to. Often in scripture, and you may have heard others talk about this, you read about the “body of Christ”. This phrase refers to Jesus lovers who have Jesus in their heart and are called by God…to HELP, ENCOURAGE AND LISTEN. GOD, because He is our Creator, knew that we would need each other. So lean first into God’s loving arms…and second into the “arms of the body”. This will carry you through the “grieving road” you are traveling. Do not buy into or believe the “lie” from Satan that you can handle this…that no one cares…or everyone is too busy! Do NOT BUY THAT LIE!
For the part of the “body” that is reading this post and are fortunate right now to not be on the “grieving road,” by all means “BE THE BODY!”
Offer your time…listen and help. Often it is very hard to “listen or see” but that is the very BEST THING YOU CAN DO. That is why God talks about carrying the “YOKE”. It can get heavy. HE will equip you with the “shoulders” that will “support your EARS”.
Remember, people need to “vomit” their pain. It is not our place to judge or talk a lot. We are to “LISTEN” and then “help” more by our actions than by our words. This has been my experience!
Please today…do not get so busy that you ignore the “grief” in someone else’s heart. It may be hard to see at first but then again, it may be written all over their faces. Know this, it needs to flow out so the healing on the “inside” can begin.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” ~C. S. Lewis
“For in grief nothing “stays put.” One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral? But if a spiral, am I going up or down it? How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.” ~C. S. Lewis