It amazes me how the grieving process works. Just the other day I found myself ready to send a message to my Mom. My brain had fully engaged in the thought that I could send her a life update to get an encouraging reply back. It is in those moments when the wave of grief hits you directly in the face, and you stand there soaking wet with the reality that this just cannot happen. Previously, this used to smack me flat on my behind. This time though, the wave was gentler. I am thankful for this.
I will admit that no matter how long someone is gone, that longing for them will always be there. They have been grafted into your being and you are never the same when they are gone. You just have to learn to continue choosing life and joy!
Honesty is also a key component throughout the grieving process, otherwise it can be easy to get stuck right where you are. I got tired of the facade years and years ago. I have never appreciated the facade. Too many people get hurt when we choose to be fake with others. In a natural way to protect ourselves, we have somehow been convinced or told that we must keep the struggle and pain to ourselves. To be blunt, this is the biggest lie that I once believed. I used to be held to this standard as a leader in a previous time of my life. Since I was real and allowed God to use my pain and my story, I was treated as if I had failed as a leader. I needed to not portray brokenness and struggle through some very difficult things in my life. This lie comes straight from the enemy.
God uses everything in your life. He finds joy when you come to him with your pain because one of his favorite things to do is to turn it into something beautiful in time. If we choose to be fake and not be real, keeping the pain and struggles inside, when and where would God get the glory if no one knows anything about it to begin with?
Be real. Be honest. Love deeply. Have compassion for others. Share your story knowing that God can be glorified throughout the messy parts of life. Someone else may need you. Someone may be going through a similar journey and needs to know that they are not alone. Be brave.
God loves to take our mess and turn it into something beautiful. We must be real. We must be honest. We must allow God to use everything in our lives for good. Choose love.