Grieving

DEATH, DIVORCE, SEPARATION, CHANGE

Nothing hurts like losing someone you love due to death, divorce, or separation.

Similar feelings often surface after a major life change such as job loss or a move. The ache inside can feel as if your soul will crush under the weight of a deep, paralyzing sorrow. You may find yourself asking how a loving God could allow such a painful thing to happen. The dull sadness often bleeds into denial or anger. Grief is unpredictable, affecting each of us in slightly different ways.

While it may not ease the pain, understanding that grief is normal can help us cope a little better when we lose a special person or go through a significant change.

SOME HELPFUL ADVICE

HOW GRIEF FEELS

If you feel like you are losing your grip on reality, you might be a perfectly sane person enduring the confusion of grief and pain.

Perhaps you suffer irrational fear, dread or even paranoia. You may feel empty or numb like you are in shock. Grief even causes some people to experience trembling, nausea, breathing difficulty, muscle weakness, loss of appetite or insomnia. Feelings of anger can also surface, even if there is nothing in particular to be angry about.

Almost everyone tortures themselves with guilt by asking what they did wrong, how they might have prevented the loss, or some other form of self-condemnation. Over time, however, you will regain a measure of real life balance.

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WHY GRIEF HURTS

God gave us the gift of pain so that we can react when something goes wrong.

We limp when a leg bone is out of joint to protect us from further damage. In similar manner, losing an important person or going through a significant change can cause our entire system to react as it recognizes that something is wrong.

You might say that the confusing emotions and ache in the pit of your soul are part of grief’s “limp.” The more intimate the loss, the more severe your “limp” will be. The severity and length of your pain is a testimony to the value of the person lost or the importance of the situation that changed. 

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WHAT GRIEF MEANS

Even though it may not feel like it, grief can be a source of great hope. Your reaction against what is wrong comes from a deep yearning for things to be made right. Loss can open us to ultimate wholeness and restoration.

Imagine being at the dentist using a drill of intense pain that ultimately brings health. The drill of grief fosters healing in our lives by raising ultimate issues and eternal questions such as “Who is my true beloved?” and “Where is my real home?”

As believers, we know that a much better day is coming when God himself will wipe every tear from our eyes. On that day “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).

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WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

I discipline my body and bring it into subjection.

1 Corinthians 9:27

God is faithful and He will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able. He will provide me a way of escape so that I can bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

I am a new creation, created in Christ Jesus. The old me is gone and I have been made brand new!

2 Corinthians 5:17

The weapons given to me are mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds. I cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and I bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Tim 1:7

The sharing of my faith becomes effective by the acknowledging of every good thing that is in me in Christ Jesus.

Philemon 1:6