Saturday, January 30, 2016

And So It Goes

Have you ever had an awesome and horrible day at the same time?   It's what I like to call my most horribly awesome day ever :)    Horrible because of the pain, but awesome because of the healing.   Bad because your mind and heart goes places that you don't want to go!  But by going there, it allows your heart time to process and continue to mend where it has been broken.  I experienced a moment of unexpected grief today out of the blue when I happened to hear a song that I had not heard in years.   If you know me, this just got my mind to going and thinking and I felt like I should share in case it would help someone else :)

Grief is a strange thing.  We often associate it only with physical death.  But grief is so much more than that.   It is the thing we struggle with on a continual basis when we lose something that was dear to us.   When a relationship is ended, a friendship is loss, a situation happens out of our control that takes us to places we never intended to go.   Grief is defined as keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.   And grief never seems to manifest itself the same way or at convenient times.   It can come upon you when you least expect it, triggered by the small and most seemingly insignificant things.

Grieving is always given a negative connotation but the truth is that only by allowing ourselves to work the grieving process are we capable of moving on from what was to what is waiting for us.   Allowing ourselves to hurt and to feel is the only thing that will break down the barriers that we put up so quickly around our hearts.  Our natural instinct is to protect ourselves.    We have all heard "fool me once, shame on you.  fool me twice, shame on me".   We pride ourselves on become "hard" or what we like to call "smart".   We make blanket statements like I will never allow that to happen to me again.   I will never trust anyone again, etc.

When we suffer the physical loss of someone, we grieve and struggle with feelings of permanent loss.  The loved one that was taken is gone never to return.   We have to find the sense and the peace in the loss.  But we have our memories to heal us.  Physical death touches each of us at different times and there is something in us that makes us sympathize with other people because we feel a kinship because of our losses.

Losing something relationally brings grief in such a different way.   Our grief often takes us to places of isolation.  Leaves us feeling that there is no one who understands what we are feeling, or that no one has experienced the kind of hurt that we have felt.   Because of how broken our hearts are, we tend to try to bypass the grieving process altogether and pour ourselves into other areas of our lives, hoping that by staying busy and preoccupied, the hurt will just turn numb or go away altogether.

But grieving will happen one way or another.  It will happen by choice or by force.  You can allow yourself to feel the pain, the hurt, the rejection or you can stuff it all until you no longer have room to contain anymore.  Grieving will always bring a degree of pain, but it also brings cleansing and healing if you allow it to.  

God gave us grieving as our way of working through our struggles.   Grieving reminds us that we can still feel, that we are not emotionally dead.   By trusting in our heavenly Father and turning loose of the controls that we have around our heart, we begin to slowly allow the grieving to turn to realization and that realization then to healing.    The realization step is so important because in early stages of grief, we go through anger and denial.  Hurt is so raw that we are in danger of either becoming consumed by it or of shutting down altogether by refusing to deal with it.    When we get to the place that we are ready to accept the reality of our situation, then we are ready to take a step in a new direction.

That direction is then determined by the choice we make and that is to become bitter or to become whole again.   Neither happens to us overnight and honestly we all probably wrestle back and forth between the two.   But whatever we commit ourselves to is what will win out.   The enemy would love for us to succumb to the anger we feel when we face our reality.  He wants us to see only the unfairness of the situation or better yet, drown us in guilt that we caused the situation and we are to blame!

Our heavenly Father wants us to allow ourselves the freedom to grieve, experience the hurt, release the anger and allow Him to help us to move into healing.    He is faithful, patient and kind with us.  We are His children and His heart grieves for us and with us.     Grieving isn't pleasant but it is necessary!  

What situation or situations in your life have you failed to grieve over?   What is the condition of your heart?  Have you allowed yourself to truly face the reality of your situation?   Going through these steps will not break us like we fear, it will actually give us the freedom to walk into a new situation without bringing the baggage of the past with us!

Allow the Lord to minister to your heart and bring you to a place where He can help you let the healing begin :)

In this thing called life with you my friends-
April Phipps

P.S.  I have attached the song that started my journey today :)  It is one of the saddest, yet most beautiful songs I have ever heard!

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