I’d really like for you to talk to me today. And for taking just a minute or so to leave me a thoughtful comment, you will be entered in a drawing for one bountiful, beautiful gift and five more smaller but meaningful gifts.
What are we talking about? Grief. Specifically good grief.
It’s been said that grief is the one journey we all eventually take. And grief takes each of us on a similarly difficult but uniquely charted journey. The journey may include specified stages, but we walk through those stages in varying orders and for different lengths of time.
Grief is messy and fragile and wearing and hard. It often feels lonely…even when others lovingly gather around and try to comfort.
Various losses and changes cause us to grieve. The most familiar and surely the most weighty source of grief is the loss of a loved one to death. But other losses and changes can surprise us with the degree to which they cause us to mourn. Even if a beloved person doesn’t die, other things may wilt: dreams, relationships, promises, securities, homes, careers, health. These losses take our breath away with the intensity of pain they unexpectedly inflict.
But we’re not alone in our grief.
Truthfully, the only one who can walk the path of grief with us every step of the way is Jesus. A careful look at the story of Jesus raising his dear friend Lazarus from the dead reveals that Jesus experienced the deep emotions of grief (John 11: 32-36). Even though Jesus knew that Lazarus’ death was not the end of the story, He wept over the hurt and loss He saw around Him. And even though He knows your story in full as well, He grieves when you grieve.
But I mentioned good grief earlier, right? What did I mean by that? Good grief is grieving that eventually, perhaps imperfectly, moves us forward. It is grief we experience in the presence of our loving Savior. Good grief slowly but surely brings healing of the heart. It mends what is torn and restores what is broken. It fills the empty places with grace and love and hope and faith and…eventually…joy. It’s still messy and hard and even tearful. But, like the tears we shed so often, it flows. It moves us and doesn’t allow us to grow stagnant for long in our hurt.
Good grief produces good things. Out of it come compassion for others who grieve, tenderness toward others who hurt, appropriate words of love and healing to give in times of mourning, words we didn’t know how to speak before. We learn how to be there, how to serve, how to minister to those who ache with grief.
But that’s where you come in. It’s your turn to talk to me.
I’d like to know what you’ve learned from grief.
Tell me and the others who are reading what you have gained from your good grief. Whether you lost a baby that never breathed earth’s air, a husband too young to pass, a mother who had braided your hair or a dear friend who fought so hard to live, I’d like to know a little about how you walked the journey of grief, but more about what you gained from the journey, what you learned from the bends in the trail. And if you’ve walked the long path of grief after the loss of a marriage, a job, your health or some other treasure, please share your heart, too.
Why? Because I have a feeling that someone is reading who needs to know that there is hope. Someone is hurting so badly right now that they feel they will never stop crying, never love again, never laugh, never heal. And you know that’s not true. You know that if they share their grief with Jesus He will turn their mourning into gladness, as preposterous as that sounds.
And if you’re that person…someone who is so in the throes of grief right now and can’t see your way out…you are welcome here, too. You’re welcome to leave a question or a prayer request or a scripture that you are clinging to today. I want you to comment, too, because you may need the gifts I’m offering more than anyone else.
For leaving a comment on this post that answers one of the above questions and using the Rafflecopter below to complete your entry, you’ll be entered into a drawing. I’m giving six readers a gift on Wednesday, November 9th, at midnight EST. You’ll find additional ways to enter the drawing in the Rafflecopter below. (If you’re reading this post through an email you’ll need to click through to my web site to comment and enter.)
Here’s what I’m offering.
One randomly chosen person will receive a Joseph – Keeping a Soft Heart in a Hard Place gift box that contains the 7-week Bible study, the teaching DVDs, the 10-card scripture memory and meditation pack, a lightly scented heart sachet and a commemorative “tear bottle.” You may want to keep these gifts for you or pass them on to someone who grieves.
Five additional readers will receive the brand new package of ten beautiful scripture memory cards that accompany the Joseph Bible study. I carefully selected the scriptures on these 4×6 sturdy, beautiful truth cards to help heal the wounded heart through consistent meditation and memorization.
I hope you’ll join the conversation. And I hope you win a gift! Really, I do. But if you’d like to order those very same gifts to give to someone you know who could use them…or yourself…you can do that right here. Blessings!
So what good things have you learned or gained from a time of grief? Or, if you’re grieving right now, how can we pray for you?
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Jen S. says
I miscarried our 3rd baby and have had 2 more since. I long to meet our precious angel, but have come to realize that God has a plan and that he has continued to bless us. Through my loss and experience, I’ve been able to help friends and even strangers get through miscarriages.
Thanks so much for sharing Jen. I know that miscarriage is one of those losses that so many experience and grieve from…while so many others do not comprehend. I think it’s only been in the last 15 years or so that women have begun to talk openly about the pain of miscarrying an unborn child…that was loved and anticipated greatly. I know your words have helped someone here. And you’ve undoubtedly been able to give much love and support to those who have needed it in your circle of influence. Bless you for your transparency. 🙂
Tena Trimble says
Thirty years ago we had a still born baby boy. Our hearts were broken and we still cry for him from time to time. One stage of my grief was I was mad at God. I’d show Him! No more praying…no more believing…no more babies. In the midst of my grief I realized that I was pregnant again! A true miracle since my husband and I were barely speaking, much less being intimate.I cried out to God and asked how could He bless me this way when I’d been so hateful. I have never forgotten the words He spoke to my heart…YOU CAN BE MAD AT ME AND STILL HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME.
Jesus truly never leaves us or forsakes us. We are not alone in our grief.
Wow, Tena. That is really inspiring. I love that God can handle our frustration and anger without becoming angry in return. Thanks so much for sharing.