I have enjoyed catching up with the lives of my Louisiana friends. With each conversation, from the first encounter at the grocery story, there has been a common thread--grief. Some shape or form of grief seems to be present in so many of those I have spoken with.
We often associate grief with the loss of a loved one. Grief can come from many different sources and occurrences. While loss of a loved one may top the list, I have seen those who have lost long term jobs, have broken family relationships, dashed expectations, loss of good health, and on and on. Grief can take up residence at any point where there is a loss of hope for the future. Mr. Webster defines grief as "DEEP SORROW". When loss is significant, deep sorrow can permeate our very heart and soul. The deep sorrow of grief at times becomes chronic and life altering. Often I tell others who are suffering through the valley of grief, "You will never get over it, but you will learn to live with it." How do we move on? One step at a time.
My own personal grief journey has confirmed you must visit the five stages to move on. There is no road map---no set order as to how you walk through
denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance
but somehow, someway, you have to make each stop along the way.
Here is the really good news about grief.---IT'S WORTH THE SUFFERING TO HAVE EXPERIENCED THE BLESSING WHICH COMES FROM LOVING. If you lost your job, the experience of the years spent building relationships, learning skills, and personal growth, are the rewards you reaped. It is ALWAYS better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
SO God knows your heart, God knows your suffering, God holds your tears, He is NOT caught unaware of your grief. Jesus suffered it all---He wept---he was scorned---he was betrayed---he was abandoned---No matter what our suffering--HE GETS IT!
I am praying for those who I have encountered who are obviously grieving a loss of some form. Praying for God's comfort, God's presence, and the balm of His empathy in the days ahead. Into every life a little rain must fall---but He will be our shelter.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.