Living Grief

Eli waling beside Chris' chair

 As caregivers, many of us deal with daily grief and a constant sense of loss. Even though we don't feel these emotions all of the time, they do keep coming back. For me, mine is often sparked by seeing something on my Facebook feed. I'll see one of Chris' friends or a memory and it'll tip my emotional bucket right over. Living grief is one of those things the church doesn't know how to deal with. Well, honestly, who really knows how to deal with it? It's not just going to go away, now is it? :-)

In some hyper-faith circles, grief is pretty much forbidden. Yet even under the old law, it was allowed room. If you lost a close loved one such as a spouse, parent, or sibling, you were given an entire year to mourn. Our culture allows a little time, but then we are expected to be back at work, back at church, or back to our daily lives after a very short time. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

But living grief continues. When we deal with parents who have dementia or Alzheimer's, we grieve over who they were even though they are still with us. Many of us are caregivers of children or other family members who suffered injuries in an accident. They are still here, but who they were is gone. Some such as one of my dear friends care for children who have needed intense care since birth. They grieve over children who haven't had the opportunity to even begin a normal life.

Grief is real. It is constant for many. Grief can be debilitating. Yet day after day we climb out of the cave to provide for our loved ones. Oftentimes, we do this while carrying a load of grief that doesn't ever quite go away. It's there. Nagging. I find it easier to work through and get past as time goes on. But it returns over and over to taunt my heart.

How do we overcome such a sense of loss? Is there no end? Usually, I pull up a few scriptures to help me work through them. Stuffing the emotions will cause a giant explosion eventually. So, I pour out everything in my heart to God. I tell Him exactly how I feel It's not like He doesn't know, right? 

Then I begin to remind myself that He gave us THE Comforter. And He walks alongside us. He is here to help us carry our load day after day. I can toss all my cares and concerns over on Him and ask Him for comfort, peace, and wisdom to make it through each day. (Or each hour...or each minute.) Somehow - He always answers and carries me when I need Him most. God is Faithful.

Today, I'll remind myself that no matter where my emotions run - my heart always runs back to Him. My meditations will be on His Faithfulness and how He keeps our souls. I'll think about how He continues to walk through time with us, by choice. Will you join me?


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