Holiday Season - A Grief Shared //
As the holiday season approaches, I think it’s important to acknowledge how hard it is- and will be for some people. People who are walking through this season without the people around that we'd thought (or assumed) would always be. Because, yes, It's going to be super sad. Things aren't ever going to be the same. But life continues regardless- and these dates roll around whether we're prepared or not.
Personally I feel as if it's virtually impossible to foresee the emotional hurdles (that seem like ambushes at the worst of times) that wait for me. So many things that could seem so small for others- like songs, places, clothing- trigger other thoughts... hopes, dreams, plans, things that could have been- the what if's.
What I've been learning, though, is that we really shouldn't be surprised by difficulties, betrayals, or spiritual warfare. Peter straight up spells this out for us. In 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NLT) it says; "Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world. 1 Peter 4:12-13 "
This is nothing short of a huge encouragement in my eyes. "..these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering.." -what a great partner to have!!
One notable aspect of grief, from my perspective at least- is the desire to isolate. It's what's easiest. Nobody wants to be that guy who feels as if they're bringing down the 'mood'.
Being by yourself seems easier because the only person that would have to be influenced by your grief is you. Alone.
Don't you see something wrong with this?
None of us were ever supposed to go through any of this alone. Sitting in grief enables you to dwell in grief. Dwelling in grief enables you to be feelings-focused.
In fact, Proverbs 18:1 NKJ tells us: "A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment."
When the weight of grief was fresh and heavy on my heart, the first to offer love and support should I need it was from the church family. I didn't understand at first why these people actually wanted to share in my suffering- so I actually shook it off as 'fake' love.. I was like, ‘these people are just trying to make themselves feel better, or they just wanna know about it but don't wanna actually be here for me’ (Sorry to my friends if you're reading this LOL, i was maaad at the world- ur all so precious to me!).
When I stepped out of my own bubble that was nothing short of a huge pity party, I realised, no. That was a lie of the enemy, and this was for real. Because, the beautiful, wonderful people around me, they too live in this hurtful, shameful, sinful world and have felt the sting of pain, and they know what it feels like to be in need of some lovin'.
So, just know this holiday season that if you're grieving someone, or even grieving someone who's still alive (that's a whooole 'nother ball game, and i feel you).. you aren't alone, and you aren't meant to be alone. This season will pass- literally. And it might hurt. Actually, it will probably hurt. But that doesn't mean you need to dwell in it. The best thing that was said to me in some of these times was "don't feel bad for trying to be happy, for having fun" and that was a game changer for me. Your loved one would want you to be smiling!!
Above all else, Jesus really is the reason for this season. This may be a hard season, but, man is it a beautiful story. Jesus came to Earth, He has lived among us, He has felt THIS. And He is with you. Above all our understanding and feeling, He is GOOD. Perspective is everything. You can totally do this season.
Be blessed these holidays!
You are SO loved.