If you’ve read my blog before, you’re likely familiar with how often I talk about mind frame and keeping a positive attitude. In my post about a victim’s mindset, we see how that mindset can be self-destructing. Important as all that is, there are times where it is healthy to stop and just feel the pain.
We’ve all had painful times in our lives. The loss of a life’s work, the loss of a friendship, a victim of abuse, you or someone you love fighting serious illness, the death of someone close to you, the death of your child, the death of a spouse, or in my situation, divorce. All of these can bring us to our knees. And while we may hate it, the pain is necessary.
There are five stages of grief, and grief would be felt in any of these situations.
This can be a bit misleading, however, because it’s rarely felt in order and people will likely visit some of these stages more than once.
The stages of grief are what we experience. But what if we derail our grief? Would we ever move past the situation? Would we ever heal?
As you know, the tagline for my blog is “Real life. Real Faith. Real Women.” Well, prepare yourself, because I’m about to get real. I derailed my grief. One of the first things I did as a single: start this blog. I wrote about hard times, remaining positive, staying in the right frame of mind, etc. And I still think these are all important. But I missed something. I refused to let myself feel too much. Sure, there were moments I’d succumb to the pain. But then I’d say something to myself like, “Suck it up. You’re too blessed to be crying. You have kids and a job. You don’t have time for a pity party.” So I’d throw on a little mascara and a smile, and I’d go on.
By doing this, I’d done myself a disservice. I filled my days until they were so tightly packed that I ran out of time to do much thinking or feeling at all. I kept busy and gave the persona that I was doing well. Until one day I just couldn’t anymore. My body gave out. My mind gave out. I was so physically and emotionally exhausted from denying myself grief, that all I could do was lie there.
Deadlines suddenly didn’t mean a whole lot to me. I wasn’t concerned with keeping appointments. The kids even missed a couple of sports practices. It’s like I went completely out of commission. No matter what I did, or how hard I tried, I couldn’t hold back the grief. I tried reading uplifting things. I tried listening to the amazing podcasts that inspire me. But it didn’t work. And then, I cried.
Grief hit me like a tsunami and suddenly everything I’d tried to ignore for the last five months cashed into me and I crumbled. The pity party that I tell people not to attend, oh yeah. I threw one heck of a pity party for myself. I hated every single moment of it. I cried out to God. I yelled. I sobbed. I mourned the relationship I’d had for eighteen years. I mourned the future we should have had. I became angry. I fell into a black hole of desperation. And it was good.
I’ve realized that I have to let myself feel. There has been a significant change in my life. Of course there are feelings. Of course I need to deal with them. If we don’t embrace grief, we can’t heal. If we can’t heal, we will never move forward. We will stay where we are, carrying the weight of all we’ve lost. We’re not made to do that.
We must remember that Jesus came before us. He felt everything we’ve ever felt. Think about that. Our greatest joys, our greatest sorrows. He’s felt it all. We may think that no one understands what we’re going through, but I can promise you that at least one being does completely understand. Jesus.
Not only did He experience it, He showed us how to handle it. How often we forget that there is an instruction manual. We have the bible! He shows us how to handle the hardest of times with grace. He shows us by example how to keep the faith. He tells us 365 times not to be afraid. Ladies, we can’t get so lost in ourselves that we forget to seek Him. He is here with me through this. He is there with you through your struggles. We only have to allow ourselves to feel to know.
Grief is no joke. It hurts, and that’s a huge understatement. But it’s necessary. My grieving time is far from over, but I feel lighter somehow. I’ve moved forward. I’m beginning to heal.
We aren’t meant to do this alone. If you are struggling, please reach out to someone to help you through it. God created community for a reason. Churches everywhere will welcome you. There are support groups for every situation. And most of all, continue to seek the Lord.
Love and prayers to all of you.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18