In the last year or two, I’ve watched friends walk around in heartache. They are emotionally wounded facing uncertainty and on the threshold of a new chapter in their lives for which they did not ask: a broken marriage, the death of a child, miscarriage. To those of you living an unexpected life, I pray you recognize these truths:
First, you need certainty to step into the future. The only true certainty in life that any of us have is that God loves us. In His love there can be sureness, identity and wholeness – no matter your story. And second, not only do you deserve to live a full life, but you can love again. Human love is a product of God’s love, who’s love is infinite. We can each know love deeper, longer and stronger than we can imagine we are capable. Love is not an exchange of real estate in our hearts. We simply grow to add each new love, each new friend, each new child, the rest of humanity. Love heaped upon love – our hearts can expand to hold each gift of love as it is given to us.
I have experienced great love, and for it I know great sorrow. And yet, in my loss, was given the gift of love again – new, different, yet sure enough to build a future upon. I am not promising you a fairytale. And I do not promise you will forget the joy and the pain of what you lost. Make no mistake, when you love someone, you will always carry a part of that person with you. Do not be afraid of this, it is the intangible remnant, a part of your soul that continues to cleave unto that love. So do not be afraid to mourn. A wise motherly friend counseled me once, and left me with a powerful truth. She said, “When you have lost something great, a love, your innocence, you will have days you wake up with an unshakeable need to grieve even decades later. Do not ignore this, do not try to reason it away – embrace it. Mourn your loss where and when it finds you, and then keep moving.”
Dr. Gerald May, MD says, ” Grief is neither a problem to be solved nor a problem to be overcome. It is a sacred expression of love…a sacred sorrow.”
The way out of grief is through it. And it may continue to find you in the quiet and even in the busyness of life. Give it it’s due, for it is sacred. And then continue to live without being crippled by it. Come close to the heart of God and find safety. You are stronger than you know.