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Posts Tagged ‘grief process’

Love is a word that seems to be so easily dismissed in my brain. Love is one of those convoluted words that seem to carry so many different levels of meaning. I hear love being tossed out all the time. We use it to describe things we like. We use love at the end of conversations and family gatherings. We also use love as a description word that translates into deep meaning.

Love runs deep in me

I would describe myself as someone who loves deeply. I value the word love very much. I do not toss that word out flippantly. I want to be a person who loves deeply. I want to show love to others in a way that they never knew was possible. Honestly, I love loving.

However, there resides a dark place in me that can’t seem to grasp reciprocated love. I dismiss love so quickly that it just ricochets off my guarded heart. As I find great joy in loving others, I see myself as unlovable. Some reasons because that has been the message told to me, and some my own self perception from life. When someone tells me that they love me the words seem to echo without a place to land inside of me.

Dismissing love serves two purposes in my life.

The first comes from the core of knowing pain and wounds that run deep in me. I have experienced grief from loss of relationships I valued greatly. In my efforts to guard against pain, feeling loved has little room to take root. To allow love to take root in me would mean risking pain. Some where along this road of grief I traded in my heart, desperate to know love, for safety.

The second purpose is an extension of the first. Experiencing deep loss, and relational wounds, has rocked my self-perception. In the midst of that pain, I believe in the lie that says, “I am not enough” and “I am not worth loving.” My skewed self-perception and relational wounds have told me that I only worth conditional love at best. Those lies have dictated many courses in my journey.

In the past couple of years, I have learned that the only way to dispel a lie is with truth. Truth has a louder voice than the lie. Truth is sustaining where as lies require me to anchor them. There is only one who has claimed to be “the way, the truth, and the life.

Truth tells me that I am loved. Truth states that we know love “because he first loved us.” Love laid down his whole life so that the vail of my own self-perception would be torn in two.

I am still in a place of wrestling through doubt that the word love applies to me. I still experience pain where that message seems true.

I have known glimpses of love. I say glimpses because I hold loosely to those moments. Fear still has its grip on me. Everyday I pray for perfect love to drive out all my fear. One day I will know in my heart, and not just my head, that I am worth love. Until then, “he is working on me.

How do you respond to love?

What risks come with love for you?

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The last stage of the grieving process is the most coveted place to be. Resolution is the desired end within the whole process.

This is probably the hardest stage to get to. Resolution is coming to the place of acceptance and closure within your grieving process.I say this is the coveted stage because this is the place where you find your breath again. Resolution is the place where you exhale and know sweet peace. Resolution feels like the dawn is breaking on the long dark night of your soul.

Let me remind you that the grieving process is not linear.

Even once you reach resolution, you will find yourself still bouncing back and forth between stages that are unique to you and your pain. However, the hope is that with resolution comes more time in between your jumps. Resolution is not the end of the roller coaster ride that you did not sign up to be on. Resolution is just one piece that is necessary in moving through the wounds of your heart.

Acceptance is a really hard place to get to. Acceptance requires forgiveness, the loosening of your tight-fisted grip on your pain, and letting go.

My father has been gone for over 15 years now. He has been gone for half of my life. It is strange to think that he has now been gone the same amount of time that he was present. As I look back on those years, I see all the time I have spent in the grieving process. I have spent half of my life working on hard sorrow because of the decisions of another. Granted, I have made my own bad decisions that have contributed to the hardship of the process, but I am still facing the battle.

Looking back, I can see how much God has changed me and healed my heart. I have spent less and less time making trips back and forth through the five stages. The storm of my story seems to be seeing more tranquil days.

No matter what stage you find yourself standing in, or maybe for you, taking up residence in, let me assure you that peace is possible. The dawn of your dark night may seem like a dream, but I promise that there are days of exhale to come. Your life may be filled with more than one wounder, striking with more than one arrow, but each wound has its own process and its own resolution to get to.

I can honestly say that I am a completely different person now than when I first entered the grieving process. There is one word I can think of that sums up my process: gratitude. I would not change the depth of intimacy I now know with the Lord for one minute. Gratitude marks the sign of resolution in your life. Thankfulness and the ability to say, “Thank You for my brokenness.”

David was a king in the Bible who knew immense grief. He wrestled so hard through every stage of the grieving process, but at the end of almost every psalm he states, “But I will praise You, O Lord, my God.”

There is a dawn to every dark night of your soul. The hope is that you will one day be able to say, with gratitude, “I praise You Lord.”

The process of grief is your own. Please hear me when I say it is YOUR OWN. Take the good days when they come, and allow the bad to be felt through. No one knows your days but you. Grief has not time limit. I am not saying stay stuck, but please do not let anyone else dicatate your process. Your heart is yours.

How have you known resolution in the midst of your grief?

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Ecclesiastes 1:18 states, “for with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge the more grief.”

I have been understanding more and more the knowledge that evokes grief. With wisdom and really “getting it,”comes with it a deep ache of what should be, or should have been, but is not.

Grief is not a linear process. It has no warning or timeline. It just has a healer. 

In my life I have faced many, what only could be described as, Goliath grief. I have known the deep pain of a broken family. I have wrestled with the grief of broken relationships that I thought were for life. I have experienced grief by walking with close friends in their seasons of grief. I have known grief as life has been lost too soon for friends and family. I have known grief.

Grief can be felt for a short period of time or for what makes life seem like a slow eternity. Grief has no time line. It has no starting or end point, and it is very unpredictable in weight of feeling. Grief lingers in a way that seems to leave one exhausted and full of ache.

What do we do with grief? What do we do with that ache that seems impossible to release? What do we do with something that seems to consume without warning?

I have posted this series before, however, grief seems to be a topic that appears in conversation a lot lately. I think it would be good to revisit grief.

This week I want to talk more about what grief is, what the grieving process is all about, and what to do with something that may have a Goliath grip on your life.

Does grief have you stuck anywhere? 

What are you assumptions with grief?

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