A few days ago, when I attended a women's Bible study, our group leader mentioned that sometimes it's healing and therapeutic to simply lay our troubles at the feet of Christ. She suggested that as we listened to Natalie Grant's song, Alive, we lay down on the carpet and surrender our cares to the Lord.
So there we were, 15-20 women quietly laying on the floor in prayer when suddenly a flood of emotions erupted unexpectedly inside of me. This is when I laid in a puddle of tears. When I begged for grace in the middle of my grief. Deep, dark anguish over my mom, Dolly's, recent diagnosis of malignant, stage 3 brain cancer with a bleak prognosis.
Although I felt a bit embarrassed by this open display of emotions, I knew that grief comes like waves, which we cannot always control. There are times when I am able to hold it together and keep those tears at bay, but other times when it feels like a tsunami ripped through my heart.
When I returned home from church, I contemplated my own sadness over various struggles in my life. This led me to research what grief truly entails and how we can embrace this season in our lives, instead of running from it or avoiding it. Interestingly enough, I tripped upon a website, The Grief Recovery Institute, to gain much insight on the 40 life events that can cause grief.
Here are some life experiences that lead to grief:
- Death of a spouse, child, or family member
- Personal illness or injury
- Job loss
- Change in financial status
- Child leaving home
- Change in residence
- Outstanding personal achievement
- Loss of pet
- Change in health of family member
- Begin or end school
- Losing something of value (ring, car, photographs, etc.)
- Infertility or miscarriage
Perhaps, you have encountered a recent loss of one form or another? Or your dreams and plans have not turned out as you had hoped for? If you are enduring a season of sorrow, trust that you are not alone. In spite of my saying that you are not alone, I do understand grief and how there are moments when you do feel as if you are alone. When the world goes on living, dreaming, laughing, and moving forward, yet we feel as if our lives have come to a screeching halt. When the dark clouds hover over us and we have lost our spark of joy.
What brings comfort to me is knowing that during our seasons of sadness and loss, God is with us pouring out His grace. As we seek His sovereign face, He offers us mercy. "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
Yesterday, I felt as if the Lord met me smack center in my grief when I watched a YouTube video for those who are grieving. The inspirational speaker was Zig Ziglar who said, "Grief is not a time when you need to be strong. It's a time when you need to be human."
Immediately, the salty tears rolled down my cheeks. Giving my own self grace, I allowed myself to feel what I feel. Being human is giving ourselves permission to grieve. To not bury it, push it aside, or pretend that we are fine when we are not. Being human means that we rest when we need to rest, we honor the emotions that God gifted us with, and we provide ourselves however much time, love, and attention we need to grieve. In every season of heartache, every circumstance with pain, God's grace is enough for you and me.
"My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9 (MSG)