Comfort. Grief. Pain. At first glance these words don’t seem like they should be put together…but I’m learning that they all have to work together. They won’t work together from the beginning stages of your grief and you can’t force yourself to be ready to discover moments of comfort. Nor is there a set time frame for when you’ll be ready to take the steps to find comfort. However, you have to acknowledge that there will come a time when you’ll need to begin discovering moments of comfort.
I didn’t even realize that I had been discovering moments of comfort throughout this grief journey. I simply looked at them as steps that I needed to take to learn how to grieve healthy. I have been making choices over the last week or so that I thought were in memory or just doing the right thing, but in fact I was beginning my journey towards discovering moments of comfort.
When I stop and think about being comforted in the midst of my grief journey there are times when I feel guilty. How can I be comforted when I know it wasn’t simply a bad dream? My best friend isn’t coming back. Then, I remind myself that she is beyond happy where she is…she wouldn’t want to be here. After those reminders and a good cry, I lean into a moment of comfort.
How I’m Learning to Grieve with Hope This Week
Fact. I can’t live in a cycle of pain and grieve forever. Fact. She would want me to live life big. Fact. I can’t bring her back by grieving. Fact. She wouldn’t want to come back. Fact. I can’t be closer to her through grieving. Fact. She will always be in my heart.
When I find myself in moments of despair I take a few moments and remind myself of facts like these. Grief is a process, but a process requires forward movement, otherwise it would called a cycle. I know that I am making progress because I can smile when I remember her face. I can laugh when the besties left behind are chatting about our memories of her. However, I still cry when I think about sharing something with her that happened in my day. And that is ok. Grief is a process…not a race.
About a week ago, I started putting together a You Tube playlist as part of my journey of learning to grieve with hope. I added songs that she and I both loved and clung to in the past, a few from her funeral and a few of my favorites as well. Through these songs I’m discovering moments of comfort each time I listen to them as they remind me that I am not alone…God is with me…always. Every once in a while I add a new song that reminds me of her, but I find myself listening to it almost daily. I’ve always had a deep connection to music, so it isn’t entirely a surprise that I found immeasurable comfort in it now.
I started Beautiful Ashes as a place where I could share my heart and be real about whatever was happening in my life, faith and family. Time and time again throughout my life I’ve found comfort in writing through whatever pain I’m feeling. This book study is helping me to discover moments of comfort as I write about learning to grieve with hope.
In the past when I’ve been in the midst of grief I have chosen to numb the pain instead of leaning into the emotions to find healing. This time, I’m discovering ways to lean on the Lord while I walk this journey. I’ve been spending time studying God’s word, writing about what I’m learning, singing songs of praise (and crying through most of them) and praying for strength as I try to find a new normal.
In order to move beyond the pain that comes from grief you must discover moments of comfort.
What I find as moments of comfort are not guaranteed to bring you comfort. Each journey of grief is unique. You have to take steps to discover how and where you’re able to discover moments of comfort.
When I find myself questioning God as to why I have felt so much heartbreak, sorry and pain in my life, I remember that through the ashes of my life God has brought beauty. I’ve also been blessed to have the opportunity to help, encourage and pray for many that have struggled with challenges and decisions that I’ve faced. To be able to say God brought me through and I know He can do the same for you…makes the difficulties worth it.
Some of God’s best ministers are ordinary folks who have gotten their PhD in the school of suffering and now are eminently qualified to help other people. – Pastor Ray Pritchard –
I’ve known for most of my life that I haven’t ever handled grief properly. That is why I began this journey towards learning to grieve with hope with my besties. We’re in the midst of our book study through Grieving with Hope, by Samuel J. Hodges.
Every week we’ll each be sharing our thoughts on the same chapter. It is our hope and prayer that as we learn to grieve holding tightly to the hope we have in Jesus Christ that others will be encouraged and strengthened that are on their own grief journey.