There is no Griefshare today for us due to it being Easter. But we did double up our lessons last week. So I thought I would share what we learned in the second lesson.
Grief often takes us places we really didn’t want to go and teaches us lessons we would rather not learn. But we must go there and learn the lessons or the experience will be all sorrow and no joy in the end. We often reach a point where we say, I don’t want to learn any more! And we find ourselves in an identity crisis wondering, Who is this strange person I have become? Let’s look at these issues.
Grief is something we experience, but it is not intended to be our new identity. Oh, there’s Steve, he is grieving. That’s missing the point. When you look in the mirror who do you see? Now that part f you is gone, what is left to work with? The key is to experience grief without letting grief possess you. We must not let our emotions dictate our identity as a person. We must honestly ask, who am I now?
One pitfall to watch out for is using grief as an excuse for self-pity or other more destructive actions and attitudes. We like the attention, we like the pity party, we enjoy the special treatment and the emotional support. We become addicted to it. But by doing this we are in essence hiding from our own grief and not processing it in a healthy way.
Grief is not an enemy to fight or avoid. We must embrace it no matter how much it hurts. But it is bigger than we can handle on our own. We need the Lord’s help, as well as people like we have at Griefshare. Jesus can do what no friend or counselor can do for us. He can and will heal your broken heart.
No one grieves perfectly. There is no outline or lesson plan to guide us through the maze of grief. Grief does expose us for who we are and who we have become though. This is one of the benefits of grieving. It allows us to see ourselves as God sees us. And let me just say this, once you have grieved, you will be able to help others in their grief journey. For me, writing this blog only happened because of what I am going through since my wife died.
God does not punish us to perfect us. God did not take your loved one from you so you could be a better person. But in spite of what we go through, Jesus can use our broken vessels to do something useful. In time this will make more sense than it does right now.
“…the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:3-4