Recently, I have been grieving the loss of a friend. Yes, I know my friend is in heaven, because he had an amazing personal relationship with Jesus. That brings all who knew him both peace and comfort. But the sudden news of his passing opened some old memories and emotions, both good and bad—feelings that had not been considered for a long, long time. So, I found myself grieving both the loss and also the difficult season I was in during our journey as friends. It’s been tough.
Perhaps you’ve been experiencing loss. Or illness (yours or someone else’s). Maybe you are going through a season of pain or loneliness. Or you’ve just grown weary from all 2020 has been! It has been a hard year.
If any or all of that applies to you, please know that it is okay to grieve.
It’s okay to cry.
It’s okay to be sad.
Jesus knows your pain, and He knows your heart. There’s no need to try to fake it when you’re not “fine.” Here are a few things I hope will help you during your struggle.
Allow yourself to grieve.
Often as believers, we want to be strong and not show our sadness for fear that it may mislead others in thinking we have lost our faith. Or we may not want to appear ungrateful or inconsistent with what the Bible teaches. Don’t hold that pain in or run from it—it can lead to unhealthy stress and anxiety. In Matthew 5:4, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Those words are true for all of us. Jesus is that Comfort. He will never leave you, even in the darkest of times.
Allow Him into your dark season.
Friend, if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, your very best Friend, your Redeemer, and the Forgiver of your sins, invite Him in. Ask Him to forgive you and claim the freedom that only He can give. Confess all that is on your heart to Him. Draw close. If you don’t have a Bible, look up one online—they are free! I promise, you will not regret for a minute reaching out to the One who died for all of the sins of mankind.
Allow yourself to heal.
You do not have to go through this forever. I was very young when my mother died. Even though I knew she was in heaven, I felt guilty for feeling happiness months after she had died. I didn’t want to laugh. I didn’t want to feel joy. I felt like it was betraying her. I was wrong. The joy and the light-hearted feeling were gifts from the Holy Spirit—He was helping me heal.
Psalm 30:5b says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Allow the sun to rise, my friend. If you find that too difficult, reach out for help. Contact a local church or crisis hotline—even your local hospital will help you get the assistance you need.
Billy Graham once said, “Even in the midst of our worst times, God has not abandoned us. We may feel overwhelmed by our problems and sorrows—but God is never overwhelmed, nor do they take Him by surprise.”
May God bless you and keep you today and always and may you find comfort today in Jesus.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dolly Mink: Years of experience in Christian leadership and service have given Dolly a unique perspective, and she is eager to share her observations, insights, and words of encouragement in a way that honors her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Dolly serves on the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team at River Oak Church in Chesapeake; is the assistant Women’s Ministry strategist for the SBCV; and is the coordinator of SBCV Women’s Ministry Care.