I’ve heard it said, “As long as there is life, there is hope. As long as there is hope, there is life”.
Sometimes we walk through the valley of the shadow of death and we experience loss in our lives. Loss comes in many shapes and sizes. We experience loss when someone we love dies. We experience loss when a relationship is severed. But we also experience loss when our health begins to fail us due to disease or injury, or when we lose our job. Loss is also experienced when our homes or belongings are taken due to theft or natural disasters. If we live long enough, we will experience loss and we will grieve. Grieving is a process that takes time and each of us grieve at different rates. You may find comfort recognizing there is a common thread of emotion most of us experience when we grieve. Here are the five stages of grief:
1. The first is denial and isolation. If we put it out of sight and out of mind, it helps us cope.
2. The second is anger. As reality of what has happened sets in, we naturally want to blame someone, and we are angry.
3. The third stage is bargaining. We are helpless and we think about the “what ifs”. What if I would have went to the Dr. earlier, what if I wouldn’t have gotten in the car that night. Sometimes we will even try to make deals with God in an effort to numb the pain.
4. The fourth stage is depression. We can find ourselves in a whirlwind of emotions and begin sinking into a painful depression, thinking, “what’s the point of living..I’m just going to die anyway”.
5. The final stage of grief is acceptance. Some people never make it to this stage, but if they do they begin to come to terms with what has taken place and they begin envisioning a “new normal” in their lives and hope emerges.
Are you experiencing a season of grief in your life? I want to encourage you to be patient with yourself as you grieve over what has been lost. Recognize that you will experience many different emotions and it is normal to feel angry, depressed, confused, bitter and lonely. You do not travel down this road alone. Sometimes as we walk through pain, we do not always feel that God is near. My friend–you and I can stand firm on His Word knowing He is with us every step of the way (2 Tim 3:16)! I hope you find encouragement in what Jesus said in John chapter 16, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
It is my prayer that you find your hope in Him, and keep your eyes on eternity!
Thanks for reading today!