Wednesday, April 9, 2014

That Long Road From Grief to Growth

“There is no growth without change,
There is no change without loss,
There is no loss without pain,
And there is no pain without grief.”
— Rick Warren
I was going to title this article, From Grief to Growth, but that just sounds too glib to me, because there is a long road to be sojourned from grief to growth. And in many ways the distance from ‘A’ to ‘B’ is not as tangible, for when is ‘A’ finished and when does ‘B’ commence? When is grief concluded? When does growth begin? The truth may be that some grief never finishes; certainly the memory of the loss, though the pain may be healed almost entirely. And it is the truth that growth commences well before we even notice its work in us. But whatever occurs it does appear to us that it is a long road from grief to growth.
It is a long road. There were so many times in my one experience through significant grief, over ten years ago now, where I thought to myself, “When will this end? Haven’t I grieved enough already? When will I be back to normal?”
The truth is there will be no return to that normal – but there will be an awakening to a new normal. The nature of life is that it changes, and when grief is approached the right way that change becomes growth. I like to think that growth is God’s compensation for the losses we have endured. It is something I have experienced personally, and it’s a truth that continues to catapult me in growth. Once loss is recovered from – as much as it can be – the growth aspects can then become a way in which we go about life. Our identities become reformed around loving God’s transformative growth in and through us.
***
It’s a long road from grief to growth,
At least that is the way it seems,
But growth is implicit through it all,
Despite the content of our dreams.
It’s a long road from grief to growth,
But growth is our very goal,
Growth is compensation for the pain,
So in grief growth is our role.
We cannot recover unless we grow. So good is God that he isn’t restoring us to that which we were; he desires to take our hand through grief in order to bless us by growing us.
***
There is grief in pain, pain in loss, and loss in change; but change brings growth. Growth is good.
Growth is the compensation we receive from God for having recovered from our losses. It is a long road. But we will definitely get there if we keep travelling. And to keep travelling we must. Is there any better option? Recovery is the outcome we seek, and assurance of that recovery is growth.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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