Do you ever wonder what to do when grief floods your heart at such unexpected moments? I do quite frequently.
Just last week, tears trickled down my face as I sat on my sofa, typing away a blog post to the melodious Canon in D randomly playing on my Pandora music station. I suddenly saw myself dancing with my father, as if we were at a ball. I glanced over at the sunlight streaming through the windows in my dining room and clearly envisioned us. There I saw my father in a black tux, and me in a glistening gown. We were waltzing away, like a ballroom scene out of Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast
But it was only a hopeful wish, a fragment of my imagination. That’s when the tears came because I have no such real memory of a daddy-daughter dance. The realization I was a fatherless daughter struck again, and there I found myself in the unexpected pit of grief.
Can you relate, friend? Do you carry a grief that keeps resurfacing out of nowhere? Do you ever wonder if the grief will ever fade away?
Grief is a complex issue. It seems we as woman struggle to process grief in ourselves, before others, and most importantly, before God. Instead, we deny it, we stuff it, and we try to escape it.
But what if you and I embraced God’s truth about grief? I think we’d be relieved at this revelation: God cares about our grief, and He wants us to bring our grief to Him. It took me many years to grasp this, but there really is a sweet secret in those painful places of grief.
Our grief is a path to resting more fully in the embrace of God’s grace.
Yes, it’s good to grieve because it leads us to the peaceful pastures of grace only found in Jesus, our Good Shepherd. As the well-known Psalm 23:1-2 reminds us, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.” This beloved Psalm reminds that God cares so deeply about our grief. He longs for us to bring our battered hearts to Him and let us rest in his arms, just as a shepherd would tenderly carry his hurt sheep after it has tumbled into a ravine.
Furthermore, it’s good to grieve because it keeps us moving along the path of healing. I’ll never forget what one therapist reminded me years ago in college when I was finally grieving over my absent father. She would consistently say, “Lauren, God reveals in order to heal.” She was certainly right. As I faced the undeniable grief of an absent father, my heart became more open for God’s grace to pour in and heal the wounds. Yes, I discovered back then in college it’s certainly good to grieve.
However, I’m still learning that lesson all these years later as a mother and wife in her thirties.
Grief is really like the layers of an onion; it’s a continual process of uncovering pain and surrendering it to the loving arms of our Heavenly Father. Grieving may seem to be a bitter experience, but it can be all the more sweeter when you allow it to be a path to receiving God’s grace. And isn’t that what you and I all desire at the end of the day? To be found in the embrace of God’s grace?
So, keep grieving, friend. Entrust your grief to God, and let Him keep healing your hurting heart. Let Him carry those burdens you were never meant to bear on your own. Let Him carry all the pain that Jesus our Savior already bore on the cross at Calvary. Let Him grieve with you, and then lead you to rest in those peaceful pastures of His grace.
May you and I keep discovering this truth: grief is a path to resting more fully in the embrace of God’s grace.
Scripture to Savor: “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.” Psalm 126:5
Reflect and Respond: How can you let grief be a path to receiving more comfort and joy from God this week?