Living in Sorrow’s House- Part 3
Please understand the following words are not advice on how to grieve. Everyone grieves differently, and different stages of the grief process may take longer for some than others. Each loss taps into uncharted emotions. So, don’t let anyone tell you what you should be feeling or not feeling. My only goal here is to share compassion with you. To lend you some of my faith, till your faith is back fully charged.
What I wanted to share with you this week is just a couple of “ah-ha” moments that changed my perspective and moved me to continue to process my grief as opposed to becoming an accomplished “wall builder” and or a professional “feeling’s stuffer.” Which I might add, both professions are easily achieved.
When you have a loss, the pain is great! Many times, unbearable, so obviously, we want the hurting to stop. When we don’t surrender to the pain, we start to build a defensive wall. This wall protects us from ourselves and additional pain. This defensive wall acts as a barrier preventing us from being honest with ourselves and preventing wanting anyone to speak truth/reality into us. In other words, we protect ourselves from facing the truth of our “new normal.”
What despair can do to the human body and mind is incredible. Stress hormones are damaging and can linger. Our memory becomes impaired, our immune system weakens, and high blood pressure and stomach ulcers become common. Digestive issues, skin rashes, weight loss, and weight gain are all side effects. And let’s not forget the slow torture of insomnia. But what despair does to the soul reminds me of something Job said in the book with the same name, in chapter 6:9, 11, “that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off, “What strength do I have, that I should still hope?” In Job’s grief, he didn’t want to go on; he wanted to be free from his suffering. Job lost hope.
Think about loss as being the ultimate disappointment. Disappointment then leads to discouragement, which can spearhead you into depression. I talk about this equation in a book I wrote several years ago, titled Broken Warrior. Disappointment typically comes from projected expectations we have, aka “unlived tomorrows.” As discouragement engulfs us, and we add “stuffed feelings,” you then have the recipe for the perfect storm set-up of depression. Depression is very real!
Keep in mind, too; we have an enemy against us. Understanding the way Satan works will help us with our suffering. He always exploits our thoughts to get us to forsake God. Satan even got Job, a man of great faith, to wallow in self-pity. When we get to that point, we too can have another profession, “tracker of life’s injustices.”
When our heart hurts, our whole body hurts. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, and can even hurt financially. This ache floods our mind and can lead to a lens covering our eyes, to which we become blind to God and His compassion, and His ways of restoration and redemption (much like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Luke 24:13). Our untreated heart can poison our relationships, our decisions, our moods, our abilities, and of course, our future.
So, I guess the summary is; when the heart hurts, life hurts! Maybe this is one reason the Bible tells us in Proverbs, “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Processing grief hurts! As your heart starts to heal, there will be a scar; there will always be a scar. Eventually, the heart begins coming back to life, pumping oxygen to your mind for clarity, renewed energy for your body, and a restored soul.
HOWEVER, IT IS ONLY the Great Physician, Heart Healer, Soul Restorer, Redeemer of All that can bring your heart back to life. It is not your friends or family, although you need their encouragement, and scriptures tell us to care for each other and uphold each other, but it is only the Lord, The Heart Healer, who can renew us.
Stop and put yourself in a position to receive words from Jesus that will strengthen and sustained you. God knows exactly what you need and when you need it. Don’t stop talking to Him because you are angry. Don’t allow the desire to understand why you are suffering or why God would allow this to happen. Knowing God is better than knowing answers!!
The following prayer is from my dear friend Margie, who lost her husband a few years ago.
The Psalmist wrote, “Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Lord, I come to You today to seek refuge. Help me to come close to You. I open my heart, and I lay my anxious thoughts at Your feet. You are the one that can redeem all things. You Father, bring wholeness out of brokenness, beauty out of ashes. You make a way where there is no way. I call on You, Lord. Your Word guards my heart and mind with truth. Lead me to Your Word that will give me peace in this storm. I lean on Your strength. In the saving Name of Jesus, Amen.