Christian Living

Spiritual Life

What Grief Has Taught Me

Had God not send His son, Jesus, to suffer, I wouldn’t have been able to see Him as good, kind, gracious. Because He did, I have someone who walks beside me and whispers, "I know. I’ve been down this road before." (Author unknown)

I sat in a beautiful ivy league-like library over five years ago and let those few sentences wash over me. The man who penned the words, whose name I cannot remember, had lost his son. I remember thinking how powerful those words were, never imagining that I would be clinging to them three years later. 

Why did God take my Dad? Why couldn’t we experience a miracle? Why my family? Those were some of my initial questions, but as the grief faded, something else started to surface. They were lessons I had learned and grief, the very thing I despised, had become my teacher. 

What grief has taught me…

What grief has taught me is that you’re never ready for its arrival.

Grief is more than a human heart can bear.

You never get over it, but somehow you move forward.

The only way forward is through it. 

Grief is intimate. Sharing certain aspects of it seems wrong because it is now part of who I am. 

Grief strips away any part of you that cares what others think… 

And although grief rips apart anything and everything it touches, it has also been my teacher.

It has taught me that a broken heart is not only full of sorrow but also full of joy simultaneously. 

It has taught me to laugh through tears. 

It has introduced me to the deepest type of friendships. It brings the kind of friends that meets you at a bedside, or catches you as you run away, or finds you curled up in a hospital hallway. 

It has taught me to hold on for dear life the examples of those who’ve experienced grief before me. And hold on for dear life for the ones recently acquainted with grief behind me.

It has taught me to live presently in the moment because there is only enough grace for today. 

It has taught me to slow down, to take a moment to appreciate people and God’s creation.

It has taught me to give as much as I have today because tomorrow is not promised.

It has taught me to speak kind words to everyone I meet because they might be hiding their grief as well.

So although I met grief kicking and screaming, cursing and flailing… It has been one of my most hated companions and one of my greatest teachers.

I will not allow it to make me bitter. Instead, I ask God to fill this wound in my heart with more compassion for others. To let grief carve out parts of my soul that joy will one day fill.

I never wanted grief to come, but I refuse to see it wasted.

And I am reminded once again:

“Surely our griefs He [Jesus] Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried.” Isaiah 53:4a NASB

Copyright © 2020 Christine Perry, used with permission.

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