Grief and the Holidays

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Many of you, my friends, I know are dealing with loss this holiday season. The television and radio are filled with joyous offerings and celebratory images but all of it can make you want to scream. This is especially true if you are dealing with a loss during this season which is meant for joy. Maybe it’s not you but those you love who are dealing with sadness. So how do we as Christians deal?

Let me assure you that you are not alone. Part of living the Christian life is that you have people around you who do care even if it seems like they don’t. Often times people don’t know how to help or know what to say. It doesn’t mean they don’t care. First and foremost, know that God loves you. He knows your pain and grief and is waiting for you to give it to him. Talk to him about it. Pour out your heart in a one on one conversation with your Heavenly Father. Find a quiet place, free of all distraction, and talk. Then listen. Sit still under the shadow of his wings and feel his comfort. It’s just you and the one who created you.

Next, know that your grief is different from every other person. Even those who may be grieving the same loss. It’s ok to feel more or less than the next person. Everyone was created uniquely so why shouldn’t we feel differently? Maybe it has gotten seemingly easier for the next guy but the process has taken you on a different path. Don’t feel ashamed nor shame the next person based on where they are.

Reach out when you feel you need to. Surround yourself with those who you know will lift you up. I always recommend a member of the Clergy or someone in your Church family to set aside some time with to talk about what you are going through. Find me on Facebook, I would love to help. Do not brush off the feelings you are having and try some macho squashing, that will only cause the feelings to fester. Reach out!

When you look at life, in the most basic truth, realize that this moment in time, when you are dealing with loss, is miniscule compared to eternity. Light a candle for your loved one and pray for them. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, if you haven’t already, and take comfort in knowing that he has promised each and everyone of his believers eternal life. Eternity is what we will spend, in complete bliss, with fellow believers and our Heavenly Father. We just have to make it through this journey. We can do it together and with His help.

If you find yourself in total darkness and despair, I implore you to reach out to me or someone who can help you. God has called his chosen, who faithfully believe in Him, to walk this journey with you. You are not alone. I promise!

Find some scripture on grief. God’s word will help comfort you combined with your faith. Here are some examples:

Matthew 5:4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Isaiah 41:10  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 43:2  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Psalm 18:28  “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”

Psalm 46:1-2  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”

Revelation 21:4  “ ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Psalm 119:50  “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”

Romans 8:18  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your heart and mind in the knowledge and love of God. May they rest in peace and rise in glory. Have faith that God knows your pain and distress and wants nothing more than for you to call out to him. Let’s walk this journey together and find comfort in knowing that life doesn’t end in Him.

Be blessed,

Deacon Jason Bowden

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