Keep breathing.  


Such a small 4 letter word that often brings about such painfully intense emotions. Many times I have found that our fast culture does not provide the space or time for grief. I have also sometimes felt the urge to grieve a situation but have not known how to start to communicate my emotions to God or to others. In all honestly, I have sometimes chosen the hidden journey of silence. It can be hard to take the time to process all the emotions that grief brings. However, if I choose to enter into the process of grieving with God and with others I have experienced it to be a healing journey.

A few weeks back, Steve Fahrenkrug shared some great wisdom in his message about how we grieve. I felt so encouraged that as a church we talk about hard emotions that we all carry with us. This is a practical example in how we can live out our value of “living on mission”.

We want to be a community that supports each other and that walks with each other. I have found that when I have had someone walk with me during my seasons of grief, it was a faster healing process because I was not alone. As Steve mentioned on Sunday, when we walk with someone it is easier to be reminded of God’s goodness and sovereignty even when it’s hard to wake up in the morning.

In my personal experience, having someone close to me during a time of grief was essential in the process of healing.  

Having a friend who can point me back to the truth of who Jesus is: someone who can remind me of the cross and the truth that the Lord loves me and has a purpose for my life.

I want to share with you the 4 points that we learned! They are so practical. I also want to encourage you to take these 4 points and a journal and go spend some time asking God to search your heart and start the process of grieving any area of your life that you have felt you have hidden from Him. But don’t stop there. I also want to encourage you to find a safe person you can talk with as you process and heal.  

  1. Embrace God’s sovereignty.
  2. Embrace the way God made you to grieve.
  3. Share the good memories.
  4. Have a heart of gratitude despite our grief.  

I know that talking about grief can be extremely painful and that is OK! It is ok to be sad, frustrated, and even cry.  After all didn't Jesus cry? John 11:35 says, “Jesus wept”. However, when we allow ourselves to walk down the path of grief we also need to use this time as a challenge to our faith to see the goodness of God despite our feelings. This is not easy but it is the foundation to ultimately allow us to grieve well and receive the Lord’s perfect and complete healing. It will allow us to know the Lord in a richer way and to grow and heal so that the Lord can use what was once a painful, intense emotion for His Glory.  It will allow us to minister to someone He has put in our path. It will allow us to walk down the hidden journey with someone that is grieving in the same way we did. Grief does not need to be hidden.

About the Author: Maribeth has recently discovered a love for writing and communicating what the Lord has put on her heart through the written word. Maribeth currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is part of Antioch Community Church. You might find her drinking chai at a local coffee shop with a good book in hand, working at the local hospital as a nurse, or enjoying her new friends. But one thing is certain, she will probably have on some form of pink attire.