Grief comes in many forms and for many different reasons, but when it does its progression can feel like a tidal wave. It’s easy to get swept away and founder beneath the surface, and without something to act as an anchoring point you can be lost for a long time.
Coping with the pain of separation is not easy, but I’m discovering more and more that the world really has got the wrong idea about the best way to do this. Chocolate is not the answer, it just leaves you feeling sick. Friends are wonderful, amazing people, but sympathy and ‘talking about it’ leave your head going round in circles. Sobbing your heart out is cathartic, but you end up just as sad and a bit dehydrated. There has to be a better way.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you” – Psalm 39:7
The only answer I’ve found that brings any relief is something taught to me by the wonderful Wendy Mann. You come before your heavenly Father and you tell Him everything, all your pain and disappointment and fear, and you let Him know how much it hurts and how little you understand. Then you give up your right to understand it and ask Him to carry it for you. Only once you’ve dealt with all the rubbish can you accept the truths about your situation.
I found it so hard to believe that I could have waited so long to be given someone to love, only to have them taken away again. It made the whole situation seem pointless, but I’ve come to realise some deeper truths, and to see what amazing things have come from being allowed to love someone.
So, here are some of the things I’ve learnt:
- Notting Hill Carnival is not a good location for a first date – too many half-naked women around.
- Your identity comes from God, and it’s only by knowing who you are and who God says you are that you can be free to love someone else without putting your self-worth at risk.
- I am beautiful, and not just in a ‘from a certain angle’ sort of way, but that beauty comes from having a heart devoted to serving God, no matter the cost.
- I am capable of loving someone and being loved by them, and that being single for 24 years did not rob me of the skills needed to make someone else happy.
- That guarding your heart doesn’t mean keeping everyone away from it.
- The only way to rid yourself of sin is by telling someone about it.
So, my heart may be broken, but I know that God is the one holding the pieces, and I thank God that I was loved by someone courageous enough to put God’s will above their own desires.
“no-one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life” – Luke 18:29-30