Grief is a journey in its own right
Best are we when we accept this is true
Better for us if we don’t resist and fight
Because this journey we know we can do.
Grief has advantages. Like a softer heart emerging as well as better self-understanding. Begrudging the grief journey only prolongs it; the pain. Enjoy new learnings as much as possible. Grief perspectives are unique perspectives.
Paradoxical tensions abound in grief to the point of confusion and of frequently feeling overwhelmed. The journey that was never, ever, desired or even contemplated has come its way, crashing through and crushing our reality. Not only is our experience of life eternally disturbed, to the point we will never be the same again – which is a point of grief all itself – but we must rally resources just to get through the moment. These tensions are polarising, and which way will we turn? And how will we trust God through the journey of grief?
Trusting in grief is a tantalising prospect. As daily circumstances swirl around the source of our sorrow, and we ourselves rally for and against ourselves, the matter of faith can seem too high a bar to reach for and attain. We know in theory that God can help, but our practice of faith is fragile, fumbling, even seemingly futile.
Maybe, perhaps, we are making it harder than it needs to be. Maybe, perhaps, we misunderstand – ever so slightly – what true faith in grief is about. Maybe, perhaps, God wants us to simplify all these matters that input into our lives toward overwhelming us.
Yet the practice of faith is still such an individual one. What works is to search and to keep on searching; to continue asking God, in humility, with allowances for anger, but by the general state of obedience, “How should I live this moment, O Lord?”
We can know that God is friend more than ever to us in our suffering. As we relate with ourselves we imagine God relating with us, as we pour ourselves out as a libation, not one drop of sadness wasted.
Trusting God through the journey of grief is about coming back, frequently, to the fact that we will get through; that somehow we will be made stronger and softer for what we have suffered.
Grief is the shadow of love, and to have grieved is to have loved. God is of both love and grief. He who motivates and energises love will heal us in our grief as we trust him.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.