In a single moment, the life we live and the plans we make can fail, crumble…shatter.
I’ll be honest with you, this week was a long moment of such shattering. Everything I planned regarding something fell to pieces and I felt fragile to the point of the pieces of me going everywhere. I’ll be honest again- I didn’t handle myself in a way I would have expected or a way that I was pleased with. But we each have that moment, something that shatters a dream, a goal, a plan and we can’t do anything about it. We can try to pick up the pieces as they fall and break on the ground. We won’t be able to. We can be angry, but anger can’t change circumstances. We can only grieve initially.
We can grieve the loss of relationships, the loss of a loved one, the failure we had made, the loss of a job, the diagnosis, the misfortune. Let me tell you this, dear friend or stranger who reads this, when you go through difficulty and something like what I speak of, grieve. Don’t bottle it up. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen. Be angry. Be upset. Be discontent. Grieve! GRIEVE. Go through that time of processing the loss or the pain. Allow yourself to mourn. Cry. Weep. Fast. Sleep. Exercise. Whatever. Just don’t turn to something to grieve like alcohol, sex, drugs, or other addictive or unhealthy behaviors. Truly grieve. Then get up. Fight through the tears if you have to. Its okay to not be okay, but know that grieving cannot last forever.
I can tell you from experiences in my life, one of which was recent, that if you don’t grieve, you won’t heal. If you grieve, it will be painful. We don’t like pain. We don’t like coming to terms with things that have happened. Grieving is painful but it is necessary to survive and move forward. Very recently I had to grieve something, something that was a plan and a hope for the rest of my life. I had to grieve the loss of something that I didn’t understand. In my grief, I wept and cried for days. I couldn’t eat much. I barely slept. What’s amazing about grief though, is that when you grieve you can choose to be alone and just suffer, or you can seek out community and God. On my sleepless days and nights, I read the word…A LOT. I read Bible app devotionals. I prayed and I journaled seeking God’s wisdom, clarity and peace. Oh how good peace feels when you finally allow God to move and move boldly in your life.
That’s where I am at today. I grieved, I wept, I cried, I lacked understanding, and I even lacked peace for a time. But in time, with our struggles, God meets us where we are at with whatever we face. It might be subtle. Or he might show up boldly saying “I AM”. I am a firm believer that God has a purpose and uses moments like these to shape our story. We can choose to let things dictate and define us and even destroy us. Or we can, sometimes even painfully, allow God’s refining and redeeming love to transform us through our grief. He can use whatever shattering things have happened to create in you something new and beautiful. Its hard to see at the time when we are still fragile or broken, hurting, and lost, but God absolutely loves us and is wanting us to let him take the lead. Still grieve. Still process. Still be upset. God is not afraid of our emotions or turned away by our humanity. He meets us where we are and beckons to love him through the pain. In the midst of our pain, he meets us with with peace. We don’t necessarily have closure, the answers we seek, the person we love back, the job we want, or the future we dreamt. But let me tell you this: every time I have gone through something, the only constant has been his love for me. The only thing that I have found is peace when I trust him to write my story, one far better that I could even dream. Whatever you face today, its okay to grieve but allow God’s peace to work alongside your grief and I promise you, you won’t regret it.