A Reminder About Grief
We covered the chapter “Enlarge Your Soul Through Grief And Loss” in our Emotionally Healthy Spirituality class tonight. It is a challenging chapter that encourages us to embrace the difficulties, griefs and losses of life as avenues of growth and transformation. There is no resurrection without death and although it is often painful and unsettling God will birth something new in and through us even through the darkest of nights.
My wife, Susan, read the following post today from Shauna Niequist, the author of Present Over Perfect and Shalom For The Heart and shared it with the class. We thought it was worth posting here as well:
A reminder about grief: it isn’t linear, doesn’t honor the calendar or the clock or the weather, doesn’t obey the laws of logic or effort. It’s unpredictable. And sneaky. And it lives right alongside joy & hope & good work, & sometimes it’s so quiet you think it’s gone, & then out of nowhere it knocks the wind out of you on a Sunday morning or a Thursday afternoon.
And sometimes it feels tender, like sadness, but other times it feels enormous & powerful, like rage or fire.
I have walked through some soul-altering losses in the last several years, and I’ve been very intentional about walking through them privately-wise voices in my life have reminded me over and over that our private real-time, real-life wounds are not supposed to be bared in public, but rather tended to with honesty & love & truth-telling in private.
That’s what one whole part of my life has been focused on these last couple years: allowing wise people who love me to tend to my broken heart in private. This part of my life & healing will remain private, but I do want to offer this to any of you who are also grieving something right now, maybe as a handful of comfort or hope: some days a very tiny, brave corner of your heart will burn with the faith that it is, someday, going to be okay…& then other days your chest feels like it’s been blown open by explosives, a ragged open wound.
I have absolutely felt both, and quite recently. You’re not alone. Keep going.
In 1983 Jimmy Valvano gave a stirring speech at the ESPY Awards. Valvano, a championship college basketball coach, was terminally ill with cancer. He would be dead less than two months after this speech. His speech is most remembered for his inspiring message: “I will thank God for the day and the moment I have...Don’t give up…Don’t ever give up.”
The title of my sermon this coming week is “Keeping The Faith.” We hang on to God and believe in His love andHis promises. Jesus walks with us, the Spirit guides us, we are never alone. Through life’s challenges, and difficulties, in the midst of turmoil and sorrow, we are encourage to keep going…keep the faith…don’t ever give up.
What do you think?
How does it make you feel?