Updated: Jan 31, 2021
I’m sure this Thanksgiving we could find something to be grateful for. This does not diminish any losses you may have incurred but being grateful puts things in perspective. Is it possible for a person to be sad and glad about the same situation in their life? Yes it is. When you can allow yourself to feel the sadness but still find what there is to be glad about then you find peace. We can experience loss and still be thankful and aware that God has a plan and trust that He has us even in the most difficult times. And yes at some point, if we choose, we can see how what we’ve been through can be used to grow us and make us more compassionate people as we make our way through this world.
There are times in your life when you experience painful losses that are unique only to you. And sometimes, especially as Christians we do not allow ourselves time to grieve. We feel we have to have a stiff upper lip and a smile on our face no matter what. You have to give yourself permission to grieve your losses, your broken dreams and setbacks. It is that vulnerability and nakedness before God that allows us to experience the calming presence of God. When we lay it all before Him He can begin to soothe our hurts and show us hope and guide us into our next unexpected, exciting new chapter. But as long as we “pretend” to be okay with what’s going on around us when we really aren’t, we are susceptible to manipulation and bitterness. And there is the real possibility of getting stuck in disappointment. Sometimes pride will trick you into thinking that it’s okay to go it alone. You don’t need anyone and no one wants to help anyway. True you don’t disclose what you are going through to just anyone but allowing someone trusted to speak wisdom and comfort into your life is not only smart but necessary. Our world can get very skewed when left to our own thoughts, especially in stressful, difficult situations. The Bible says pride goes before the fall. Pride will knock you to your knees and dare you to get up. Then shame will walk through the door to finish you off.
We not only have to give ourselves permission to grieve we should give others permission also. We should help each other as we work through our grief and not dismiss it. To have your feelings dismissed can be very disheartening to a grieving person. The key is to work “through” your grief, don’t get stuck there. Go ahead and grieve but grieve with hope. The only way I know to do this is to trust God and His plan even though you can’t see what He is doing. Even when you are in pain He can encourage and strengthen you. He can show you a way out of grief and turn the light back on in your life.
The holiday season can be extremely tough for those going through a loss of any kind. Let us be sensitive to one another to help lighten the load. Let us be the one that will not dismiss their pain but encourage them in and through it. There may not be a lot we can do but if there is anything in our power the Lord will show us if we are open to it. A smile, a laugh, a good cry or an encouraging “I feel your pain” hug can make all the difference in the world.
I’ve been sad but I know how to get glad! I just remind myself that Jesus can work it out!
Ms Wanda, GAC