Releasing Grief | Walking With Those Who Weep
Have you ever walked through a season of grief?
Days you can barely wake up, crippling grief?
Or maybe you’ve walked through that season of grief with someone.
I’m talking real, messy, nearly-unbearable-grief.
One thing we have lost in our culture is the acceptance of true mourning. We need a period of time set aside where we can be comforted, sustained, and carried through seasons of grief. Seasons where we can truly begin releasing grief.
My heart for this post is not to share “what to do”, but more so to share my experience of trudging through that grief for myself through the loss of my dad at age 24, how I released (and am still releasing) it, and what it’s been like walking through seasons of crippling grief with those closest to me.
Through seasons of infertility, miscarrying, or holding the hand of one of your closest friends as she went to bed married to her college sweetheart with two beautiful children, and woke up a widow. Or the hand of a friend who found out she was expecting her family’s first grandbaby, then months later, losing her mother to breast cancer before she ever got to meet him.
The grief there is no way anyone could walk through alone.
Where do you even begin releasing grief?
I love what author, speaker, and quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada wrote:
“God, like a father, doesn’t just give advice, He gives himself.”
He becomes a husband to the grieving widow (Isaiah 54:5)
A comforter to the barren womb (Isaiah 54:1)
He becomes a father to the fatherless (Psalm 10:14)
He becomes the bridegroom to the one waiting on their spouse (Isaiah 62:5)
Healer to the sick (Exodus 15:6)
Wonderful counselor to the confused and depressed (Isaiah 9:6)
But He doesn’t stop there…
He gives us this same power on the inside of us, to give to others, as said in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
“God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
This is what you do when someone you love is in anguish.
When someone in your village is suffering.
When we’re trying to begin releasing grief for ourselves or for/with others.
Silently or outwardly.
You respond to the cry of their heart by offering them yours, just as Christ did for us.
You give yourself.
You give your time.
You show up.
You keep showing up.
You celebrate victories.
And mourn the loss with them.
You check-in, you send the text, you make the call.
You stop by, share a dessert (or six), and maybe, their first laugh in weeks.
You pray for them.
You pray WITH them.
And, you wait.
You help them start releasing grief by allowing them time to grieve while standing next to them in the fight to wholeness that has already been won for us through Christ.
Because you see, real, genuine, selfless love-the way Jesus extended it to us-is rarely convenient.
It’s messy. It’s selfless. It’s hard.
And many times, it’s unseen.
It’s taking their burdens and their heartbreak not unto your own shoulders, but instead lifting it up to the arms of Jesus when they don’t have the strength to do so on their own.
It’s reminding them that the heart of God’s character is good. Always good.
And he is able to restore even the darkest of situations (1 Peter 5:10).
And turn beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:1-3).
Releasing grief and allowing yourself the opportunity to truly grieve breeds growth when we open our hearts to healing from the only One that can truly heal the depths of our wounds.
If you are walking through a season of grief, it means being vulnerable.
Being honest with yourself.
Being honest with others.
And being honest with God about where you are. (spoiler alert: He already knows!)
Not isolating in the depts of this season of grief.
Or running away from the healing arms of God.
But leaning on your village to lead you back to His heart, and remind you that the heart of life is good.
That HE is good.
As tempting as it may be at times, as God’s children, we are never called to grieve alone. We, as children of light, will never have to navigate dark waters or brave the storm as children of the darkness because we are children of light. (Psalm 119:105)
Maybe someone you love needs that reminder today.
Maybe someone at your office, in your class, or in the walls of your home needs that reminder today.
Maybe YOU need that reminder today.
That reminder to run back to the arms of the only One who can truly heal the depths of your wounds through the waters of grief.
If you are in a season of grief, pray this prayer out loud:
Father, I ask you to reveal to me anyway I have run away from your healing power in this season of grief. When waters seem to be rising over my head, and my pain seems louder than your still small voice, I ask that as your child, you remind me of your goodness. Right now, I thank you for (name 3 ways God has been good to you in the span of last year). For it is your goodness and love that saves me from my troubles and guide me on a safe path (Psalm 143:11-12). Thank you, Father, that each morning you will remind me of your love as I put my trust in you, and who You are (Psalm 143:8-9) and that you will show me how to navigate through waters of uncertainty (Psalm 143:10), and you have promised never to leave or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). In this season, Lord, I pray Your peace that passes all understanding to flood my soul, as you continue to mend my broken heart as only You can do (Psalm 147:3).
In Jesus Name, Amen.
If you are walking through a season of grief with someone, pray this out loud over them:
Lord, I lift up [name] to you. Your word calls us to “Bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). As I walk through these waters alongside [name], I ask that you would give me the words to speak over them and that they would be words that are filled with eternal hope that only you can give. It is a promise in your word that You will wipe every tear from their eyes (Revelation 21:4). Show me how to be your hand extended in this time, and may every act of love I show, point them back to Your Love. Lord, I release this burden off of my shoulders and into your loving arms where true emotional healing comes. Guard my heart to walk alongside them in this journey, but not allow it to rest on my shoulders. Show them your love in this time in a way that only you can.
In Jesus name, Amen.
We’re Matt and Dayna. Life Enthusiasts in the pursuit of a life enriched in God’s sustaining grace, empowering others to pursue the same. Two very imperfect people who wake up with bad breath, have days (sometimes weeks) of losing our patience, modeling to the world, each other, and our children, a life that points to Christ through our imperfection.
Most days you can find us chasing after our little heartbeats, Luella and Chase (4&2) This dynamic duo plays a big part in the heart behind The Pause Pursuit; a ministry empowering couples and families to slow down to pursue God and each other. In a media-saturated world, the comparison game is real, but so is real life. The Pause Pursuit is a safe place that combines the two. Where real life meets the sustaining power and pursuit of a real Jesus.
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