When Grief Meets Grace

Grief is a funny thing.

Often, at certain times when it is “socially acceptable” to grieve, no tears will come.
You sit there, stone-faced, numb, unable to cry, unable to process.
For example, when the death of a loved one occurs, some sit quietly through the funeral, showing no emotion.
This doesn’t in any way evidence that this person loved the deceased any less than the one who is falling apart on the other end of the pew.
It’s just different for everyone.

Sometimes, the grief will hit when it is not a “socially acceptable” time… Like, say for instance, walking through the grocery store.
All of a sudden, something on the inside triggers an emotional wave, and no matter what you try to do, the tears are coming with a vengeance.
It matters not that people are looking at you as if you have 2 heads. You just can’t control it.

Grief is a part of life…. an inconvenient part sometimes, but it is something that we all must deal with.
When someone we love dies, we have to come to terms with the fact that they are gone and we won’t see them anymore this side of heaven.
That’s the redeeming part.
If we have assurance that they were saved and that we are saved, this isn’t the end! We will see them again!
It doesn’t remove the grief completely, but we “sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” As children of God, we have hope!

It isn’t always the death of loved ones that causes grief. That’s the best example I could use to describe grief because it is one to which everyone can relate.

Sometimes we grieve over the death of dreams.

Growing up, we imagine the way our lives will be.
As young children, we may want to be princesses or super heroes.
As we get a little older, we may want to be a ballerina or the President of the United States.
As we grow and mature, our dreams begin to take shape and we begin to do what it takes to pursue them and make our dreams become our reality.
We go to law school or medical school or get our degree in engineering or education or whatever the case may be.

Sometimes our dreams pan out, and we get to live the life we imagined….but more often than not, that doesn’t necessarily happen.

Do you think the 40 year old working the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant imagined that for his life?
Or the janitor who spends his days mopping and plunging and cleaning at the corporate building instead of being the executive in the corner office, is this the life he dreamed of?
Or the single mom with 3 or 4 kids?
Or the 35 year old who is still single?
Do you think as a child, this was how they dreamed things would be?

All the people in these and so many other situations have mourned and grieved over the death of their dreams.

In my case, and in the case of other women who as of yet are unable to have children, or have more children, grief doesn’t follow the normal process.
We aren’t grieving over something we lost, we’re grieving over what we may never have.
So, for us, it’s a perpetual cycle.
We still have hope that it may happen….but that same hope is what keeps the grief alive and fresh day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Some days, we’re numb to it. We go through our normal routine without so much as a tear shed.
Other days, our pillows are stained and wet from the nights spent weeping and dreaming of children who call us “Mommy.”
Some days, you know, those inconvenient days, we aren’t allowed to spend them in our rooms with the door closed. There are still places to go and things to do…but the tears are right on the surface. Sometimes all it takes for them to break through is the sight of a pregnant belly or a newborn or a toddler.

You may be thinking how silly and ridiculous that sounds, especially considering we see these sights everywhere we go. You may be wondering if we really will cry just seeing a child or an expecting mother. The answer is yes.
Not always, but some days, yes.
We can’t sit down and say, “Okay. I’ve got to go to the department store and the grocery store and the post office and the bank today. Lets keep it together and I’ll pencil in some time for grieving in private tonight.”
It doesn’t work that way.
Oh, I wish it did….but it doesn’t.

Although this grief doesn’t seem to have an end in sight, the great thing is the grace of God is still sufficient.
Just like He can help ease the pain when there has been a death of a loved one or even the death of a dream, he can ease the pain of what may never be.

If you happen to find yourself in a similar situation, don’t beat yourself up over your sorrow.
I used to do that.
Please don’t do that to yourself.
You’re grieving.
Grief is a funny thing, but a necessary part of life.
Give it to God.
He can handle your grief.
He’ll pour out grace upon grace upon grace.
And sooner or later, the grief will diminish.
It won’t go completely away, but eventually, you’ll find that God’s grace truly is sufficient for every hurt, every pain. Even this one.

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3 thoughts on “When Grief Meets Grace

  1. Oh my gosh, you don’t even know how much I needed to hear this right now! Speaking of grieving at an inappropriate time, I’m sitting at work with tears in my eyes because your words are so real and true. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

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