No one signs up willingly for grief. Who wants to volunteer for hurt? Yet, grief has an amazing power God uses to shape us into someone we could never become on our own. Over the past few years grief has overtaken me. A loss that continues to chip away at who I am. Is it painful? Yes. Is it not part of my plan? Definitely. However, I consider it now a friend. Grief has taught me what normal life could not. It has given me a strength that I didn't know I had. God has used this friend, Grief, to completely change me. Keanu Reeves has been quoted as saying, "Grief changes shape, but it never ends." He is right, but I would like to add one thought to it. Not only does grief change shape, it also changes the shape of who we are. It never ends, because those changes we carry with us for the rest of our lives.
To soften us. Grief can tenderize our tough side. It makes us compassionate to those around us that are suffering. We gain deep compassion for those traveling a similar path. For me, a barrage of criticism has produced a deeper sensitivity to those around me. It motivates me to build others up rather than tear them down. And yet, even though grief softens us, it does the exact opposite by helping...
To strengthen us. Going through grief strengthens our fortitude. Loss creates gain in the form of an inner strength we thought we never had. If you can go through such a loss and come out the other side, then you know you have the strength to deal with whatever comes your way. Grief creates muscles to help us push through life.
To redirect us. Two years ago I wouldn't have imagined that grief has a way of redirecting our goals and desires in life. My life has switched focus drastically in the past few years. Because of my loss, I am spending more time with my family, building my in-home business, and giving myself to more writing. Grief can put a halt to what our lives are only to give us something else to do.
To give us purpose. Grief can give us a new mission and new passions. We have a purpose. Maybe it is to help others who have gone through the same circumstances to heal. Maybe it is to champion a cause related to our loss. Maybe it comes in the form of people we can love on once we have had significant healing. Regardless, pain gives purpose to our lives.
To make us like Him. He is called the Man of Sorrows, and He wants us to be like Him. No, He doesn't give us grief so that we can drown in our pain. He allows grief so that we can become like Him. Only a man of sorrow can comfort others in their pain. Only a man of sorrow can have the strength to act on behalf of others. God is more concerned with making us holy instead of happy, and pain can perfect us in ways happiness cannot.
If you are wading through grief my prayer for you is that you will work toward healing and that you will allow Him to change you. If you are struggling with loss, here are some links that might help...