Several years ago, my friend Ashley nicknamed me "The Boss of Loss." I was sitting across from a couple of friends, soothing myself with Panera's hot coffee and scones. On this particular day, I was mourning my infertility. I was feeling down and in a low place.
As I struggled to put words to my pain and understand why I was once again struggling with something I thought I'd accepted, Ashley noticed a pattern. She pointed out that in my short life, of nearly 30 years, I'd experienced a good amount of loss.
I'd faced the loss of my health due to cancer and the loss of my family due to divorce. We all knew that. But I'd also lost jobs, friendships and relationships with people who I wrote tributes for upon their passing. My short life had faced many goodbyes.
I knew that each time something ended, it was hard on me, and it was getting harder each time loss came. But what I couldn't find were the right words to articulate how I felt. It all felt jumbled up and confusing.
Words for Grief
Thanks to the patience and wisdom of listening friends, and mentors who heard my pleas, I began to realize that feelings birthed from loss were called sadness, sorrow and grief.
Like anger, sadness is one of the emotions we often try to push away. It's easier to say "I'm fine" than to tell the truth - "I'm sad." Most of our families, churches and communities didn't teach us or give us permission to express our grief to one another, or even to ourselves. We often equate sadness with weakness and a lack of boldness and grit. But God's Word says differently.
King David's words in Psalms and Hannah's heartfelt plea in 1 Samuel are two good examples of people talking to God from a place of loss. All throughout the Bible, we meet people who are weeping, crying and expressing deep grief. Jesus himself faced deep sorrow to the point of death. To be human is to face loss at some point. To grieve is necessary for healing.
None of us like feeling sad or facing grief, but the God of comfort will help us when we do. Even in those most sensitive places where our hearts feel ripped out, a "Boss of Loss" can meet healer, comforter and prince of peace.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I hate loss - I know you do too. That's why you experienced it - so we can hope in a life that never ends. Help comfort me until that day when all loss, last days, closures and goodbyes are gone. Give me strength to find the words to invite you into my sadness. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5, NIV
This devotional first appeared in the Monday Morning Survival Guide. Subscribe to get next Monday's devotional emailed to you.
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