Surrender. A word I had never associated with grief. Yet, when you lose a loved one there is little you can do. You can’t bring them back. Rarely can your questions of “Why?” be answered. When considering just these two…it makes sense why grief does in fact require surrender.
My grief in the past didn’t involve surrender. I couldn’t let it go. I didn’t understand why my grandfathers were taken away from me without even getting to say goodbye. I felt like continuing to grieve for them was the only way to keep them with me. I couldn’t imagine my life without them even if it was just in my heartache and tears.
In my mind surrender simply meant letting go of the things that were ungodly. Laying them at Jesus’ feet and letting Him take care of it. Grief itself isn’t ungodly, so why would I have even considered surrendering it?
How I’m Learning to Grieve with Hope
I didn’t even recognize that I had actually surrendered until I was reading through Grieving with Hope. It wasn’t an action that I made by choice. Looking back though I see how taking the step to learn to grieve properly, in a healthy way, caused me to do it naturally.
Learning to find a new normal, forgiving myself in the midst of grief, discovering my grief was shaped by my thoughts, working through regrets that I have and recognizing the growth that has happened within me were all part of me surrendering my grief to Jesus.
Each time I chose to take on a task with my best friend in mind, I surrendered to my new normal. When I’m faced with my favorite question, “Why?”, and I choose to smile and thank God for my loved ones, I’m surrendering to His perfect will. I surrender on the days when I have regrets about what I didn’t do but should have done, by resting in Jesus’ arms thankful for the forgiveness He provides.
This has been one of the most changing process I’ve ever been through.
Walking through grief in a healthy way, guided by the advice, encouragement and understanding of those who’ve lost loved ones of their own, one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.
I didn’t think there was such a thing as healthy grief. I only saw two options. Holding tightly to those you love by not letting go or in a “See ya later” kinda way. I’m so thankful that I’ve found a balance.
My loved ones will always be a part of me, but I don’t have to be heavy laden with grief all the days of my life. I can smile at the memories I have with them, with or without tears in my eyes.
The end of the journey through this book is drawing near. A few short pages are all that remain. My mind tells me that I don’t want to finish them. The final pages of a book signals the end.
It feels as if I will be letting go of something by turning those pages. Yet, I know that a grief journey doesn’t end. There will still be moments of sorrow, but I now have hope. Healthy grief is possible. I can miss and grieve for my loved ones without feeling like my heart was torn out.
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.