How do you grieve? What do you grieve? Where do you grieve? Do you find yourself lost in grief without a sense of an end? Do you grieve the longings you feel for community, to have a place to belong? Grief is overwhelming at times. I have been there and am currently walking through a season of grief.
I have spent what seems like a life filled with grief. I grieve for lost relationships. Whether the person has died, moved away, or moved on. Letting go of that relationship is difficult for me. I have to go through a period of mourning, once on the other side, I still find times of mourning, but it looks a little different than in the beginning.
My Brother died and took what I felt was my identity. I was his little sister. I could never get away from that identity. Teachers compared us. His friends teased me but also became my friends. Still grieving the loss of such a BIG personality. There is a hole in my life where he once stood.
My Parents died. The hole I felt when my brother died was unimaginably big. And then the sink hole that opened up when my parents died was almost too much for me. Orphaned without guidance. I did not know how to grieve for one parent without feeling shame for not grieving for the other one. I had no one to guide me through because we all grieve in different ways.
Relationships of friends gone. I have experienced this too many times to count. I should be used to it, but I am not. I have had friends stop all communications with me which left me wondering what happened. I have had others (more than one) get mad and walk away. I have had friends move away to other cities and states. I grieve the loss of those relationships because the people that were in my life brought something to my life that is no longer there.
So, when I say I grieve daily, I do. Missed opportunities to grow in a friendship or a relationship is a tough pill for me. I long to be in a relationship that I can openly talk about scripture, that I can share what is going on without judgement, and sometimes just sit with another in quiet worship…
I do have that relationship and it is with Christ and the Holy Spirit. Each time I have grieved over a loss, I take my grieving to the cross. I pray through the process. In my scripture reading this morning I found myself in John 16. I have a habit of reading in the ESV and then changing over to the Message. In John 16, the subtitle says, “The Friend Will Come”. The friend here is the Holy Spirit. The Message says in 12-15, “But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is.” I like the idea that I am holding hands with both my Savior and The Holy Spirit. At the end of the chapter it says, “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
In a world that welcomes strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissension and divisions (to name a few), Christ conquered this world. The Friend He sent teaches us to bear His fruit, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. If we are looking for a relationship that is of this world to satisfy us like the relationship we should have with our Savior and HIS Friend, then like most things of this world we will fail, we will grieve, and we hopefully will turn to the only true relationship we need to satisfy our souls.
There is a time for grieving, and I do grieve deeply for those I no longer have in my life. However, there is a time of rejoicing. I find myself rejoicing at the foot of the cross. He restores my soul, my longings and my life. Join me in grieving with Christ.