Grief is an Interesting Game
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes..." ~ Revelation 21:4
Okay, let's be real, game is probably the wrong word.
I think I just liked the alliteration.
But, if it did happen to be a game, I would suggest there are very few rules.
Grief can pop back up at any time for any reason. Even seemingly inexplicable circumstance can land you smack back in the middle of any of the stages of grief.
You know the ones I'm talking about?
Emblazoned in memory from the psychology class we took my senior year in high school are the stages of grief as outlined by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross...
and of course,
I think people have been trying to give these an order with the idea that we can somehow traverse the stages and find ourselves at a whole and complete and fully healed end to the journey.
With an eye to eternity, perhaps. In this life, however?
People are grieving so many things these days. So many have lost loved ones. Others have lost their life's work in the wake of shutdowns. And far more beyond.
Our family is experiencing an interesting week.
Last Tuesday, September 7th, was the 5th anniversary of the passing of my mother. Today, Monday, September 13th, is the celebration of life for my grandmother, who actually passed in April of 2020 and I know you understand why we're only now honoring her in a memorial service.
Both of these women are the influencers in my life upon whose legacy the efforts of Mustard Seed Moxie and Praiseworthy Goods rest... built on The Rock... inspired by the life and light of those two beautiful women.
I'll tell you the truth, there was a moment a few days ago it all came back and took my breath away.
What does the Father tell us about grief?
Others will weep with us. (Romans 12:15)
It will turn to joy and we will rejoice. (John 16:20,22)
It is swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15-54)
And, I think, mercifully, we receive glimpses of that victory and that joy even here on earth.
There is beauty in grief. It is, after all, a consequence of great love.
When we're willing to sit with it and be with it in peace, we gain insight not only into the lost, but also into ourselves. There are lessons aplenty we can carry with us, hold near to our hearts, and allow to shape our future.
When we're willing to be with it, in healthy ways, the light begins to break through with remembered joy or laughter.
When we're willing to get curious and seek, we find too glimmers of hope.
It's okay to know the sorrow, in befriending it just a bit, we honor what is lost, those we've lost.
And, it is most certainly okay to find the beauty and light and hope in it, and the certainty that to everything there is a season, as well.
If you need permission, here it is. ♥
1 Thessalonians 4:13 asks us not to grieve like those who are without hope.
So it is, our task, while we travel the valleys of shadow and death, is to yes, live it and know it and experience it, but also to seek hope and peace and joy and light and love and laughter.
Each of us travels our own paths of grief, for myriad reasons, the experience varying through the seasons of life. Nobody can tell you what yours should look like, least of all me. But, hopefully it's a useful bit of food for thought.
And, if we were to lighten the moment a bit, I suppose we could take a lesson as well from the 2015 film, Cinderella. After all, when a lesson is so well articulated, I believe it can be gleaned from any source, even a fairy tale.
Even in our grief, and always, may we each remember to ever "have courage and be kind."
As you travel the seasons of life, may you always, in all circumstances, know peace and joy and hope. May we all.
Thank You for comforting those who mourn.
Thank You, that there is joy in the morning.
May all who are weary and weep find comfort in Your loving embrace.
"Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?" ~ 1 Corinthians 15:55
"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven..." ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
"The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." ~ Psalm 18:2
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥
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