Bearing the reality of loss in grief,
In order to experience the reality of relief,
Means we can’t fast-track, stifle or postpone,
That grief that means a reality we groan.
Grief is a reality that I am positively sure God meant for our good in this broken world of ours. I can say this having been touched by God in grief eleven years ago, to know that in the pain of that reality where I groaned day after day, month after month, there was a relief that could only come from God. Such a relief was available for the moment of reliance. Such a relief was also, ultimately, from a present-day viewpoint, a sustainable relief.
God affirms us in our growth and development, probably never more so than via the tests of impinging realities that seem wicked, onerous and harsh; yet their purpose is divine.
The catch-22 is, the moment we begin to get angry at God, and worse, stay angry, is the moment we start to lose our way. Groaning has its purpose. If we can lose our lives in the present torment, we gain much ground of endurance for future moments of torment.
I don’t think there is any ‘rocket science’ in learning to embrace grief. We all experience losses and everybody’s losses are relative. Only we can experience them. But if we accept the loss – with a childlike faith – as it comes – the best we can, for none of us meets grief well at all as we are learning – then God will bless such a response with growth.
Such a growth in the resilience of grief realities is never an overnight process, but it surely does happen. We are not only made more resilient, but more resolute; not just stronger, but softer; not just more compliant, but more compassionate, also.
It doesn’t really surprise me (or Sarah for that matter) that I can walk alone of a morning, in the week of my dearly departed son’s demise, and experience the fullness of God’s joy. People may think it remarkable, but we always read people’s grief through our own experience and perception. All our experiences of loss and grief are different.
When I say I’m doing okay, I mean that I want to embrace the sorrow as it arrives, and that, in between times, I am content with feeling normal.
Whether I’m feeling ‘normal’ or sorrowful God’s grace is sufficient; the Lord still governs my reality, so “it is well.”
We are unafraid of the gut-wrenching, soul-sobbing sorrow we are bound to feel. It is our reality. God is with us; he is for us and not against us. We know that God can use our reality for his purposes – even now – when we are courageous enough to bear the reality.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.
As I typed most of these words Nathanael was with us, in the room.