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A season of grief

“We grieve because even a temporary separation is painful. We miss our children when they go off to college. We miss our parents when they retire and move to another state. It’s only natural that we should miss our believing loved ones when they are promoted to eternal life in heaven. We know we will see them again, but in the meantime, we grieve.” Michael Youssef 

 The last couple of years have brought great loss into the lives of many people. Family members and friends fell to Covid. Jobs, income, and opportunity were squelched. Extended periods of isolation and fear wreaked havoc on mental health. Any one of these things or others might have left you experiencing a season of grief. 

 If you are dealing with feelings of great loss, here are some things to remember: 

  • Grief looks different for every person. Recognize how you are being affected and give yourself time to work through the process at your own pace. You might have a decreased capacity to handle “all the things,” so be gracious to yourself and manage only what you can.  
  • Don’t grieve alone! Confide in someone you trust. And if you can find someone who relates to your loss because they’ve experienced it too, this can be very helpful in moving forward.  
  • Even in times of grief, there is a place for joy. Laughter. Memory-making. Goal-setting and goal-reaching. You are not relegated to only sadness and despair. God will provide the bright spots, so open your eyes to see them … and let yourself enjoy them. 
  • Read Scripture! God’s Word is filled with promises of encouragement, hope, and deliverance. Here are just a few verses to get you started: 

 “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure…. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:8-11). 

 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). 

 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). 

 “Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life” (Psalm 119:49-50). 

 My prayer this week—Lord, in any time of grief, help me remember that you are there. You are a shield and source of comfort and hope. Help me find grace for others during this time, and for myself. And help me always recognize how far I’ve come with your help … and how you’ve used my time of grief for good, for a purpose.