Loss is devastating. Grief is enveloping. It’s a feeling like a true punch in the gut, and your very breath is knocked right out of you. If you haven’t known this feeling, chances are you will some day. It’s just a fact of living in this old world. And if you’ve already experienced it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But. Oh my goodness. But can be a wonderful word. But, the grace of God sustains. He has promised to be with us and give us peace. Lasting peace. Here are the 4 ways I was able to cope with loss and grief, and to find rest in Jesus when I had none of my own.
Let it in
Here’s the thing. There will be pain. When my mom died, I couldn’t breathe it hurt so bad. There was nothing to do but sob like I’d never done before and I didn’t care who saw me. Utter devastation. I couldn’t help but feel it. If you acknowledge the grief and pain, then you can express it, which is your healthiest option.
Or you can try to block it out or stuff it down. Don’t stuff, my friend. The pain will make itself known sooner or later. So just let it roll on in. It’s easier to deal with now than to let it build up without acknowledging it. You can only get it out if you let yourself feel it first.
Let it out
It’s different for everybody. I’m introverted so being around lots of people drains me. I recharge by having time to myself. Extroverted people are the opposite and need others around in order to recharge. But no matter which category you fall under, be sure to find some time just to be by yourself here and there to process everything and be still.
And just like it’s healthy to have some space, it’s good to spend time with others also. I don’t know what I would’ve done without my husband. He let me sob into his shoulder until his shirt was wringing wet. He simply put his hand on mine in quiet moments. He listened when I poured out my heart and memories, when I asked why this happened and what I was supposed to do now. He prayed for me. He encouraged me. God blessed me with this man and I wouldn’t have made it through without him.
And that’s how God created us, to depend on one another, and so many people are willing to help bring food, to sit and share memories of good times with your loved one, to pray with you, to listen, to give you a big hug, or to just sit quietly with you and be there.
Make it a priority to take care of yourself. Try to get as much sleep as you can. If sleep is elusive, rest your body. Read a comforting book or watch a favorite show. Open up the word of God and ask Him to speak to your heart as you read.
Feeling the pain, crying, grieving, taking some alone time, accepting support… All of those are good ways to deal with the loss. That cycle may repeat itself, and it will take time, which is different for everybody. But allowing yourself to feel everything doesn’t provide healing.
Healing from the heartache and any regrets you might have can only be found in Jesus. In John 5, Jesus saw the man at the pool of Bethesda who had been suffering for 38 years. And He actually asked that poor man if he wanted to be healed. Can you imagine? Living in misery for nearly 40 years and you get asked, “Do you want to be made well?” Seems like a no-brainer at first glance. Who wouldn’t want to be healed, come on now. But believe it or not there are people who aren’t ready yet. They like throwing pity parties and genuinely want to dwell in sorrow. They like the pit.
So when Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be made well, that tells us 2 things about healing. You have to believe it, and you have to receive it. The man at the pool wanted to get into the water where the angel stirred up the miracle, he just physically wasn’t able. So we can see that he did believe he could be healed. When he told Jesus so, the Lord told him to get up, pick up his sick bed, and walk. Wow! But what if that man hadn’t received it? What if he would’ve said, “Well, I want to but, you know I just can’t.” Have faith in Jesus’ grace, friend.
Believe in His healing for your grieving heart, and receive it. Rise up out of your mourning and walk in His grace.
Keep on keeping on
I’m so thankful that God heals our hearts when we come to Him and receive His grace. It’s not always easy because we can fall back into the pit of constant grieving, which isn’t healthy. An initial time of grief and mourning is needful, but choosing to stay there instead of walking in the life Jesus has given us is dangerous.
Make sure to eat regularly and drink plenty of water. Treat yourself to something yummy and don’t feel bad if you enjoy it. If one day you find yourself laughing, don’t feel guilty. Life is life and you gotta keep on living. Always remember that your loved one would want that for you.
Dealing with grief and loss is not an easy process, but there is hope for continued recovery in Jesus. Keeping putting one foot in front of the other. Pray. Find things to keep you busy that you enjoy. Pray some more. Look through old photos and rejoice over happy times you shared. Get out of the house. Spend time with family and friends. Pray some more. Ask the Lord to speak to you through His word. And pray. Continually receive His grace, and He will sustain you.
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