Learning to Grieve (part 1) – Loss

Grief_post_fGrief is kind of a funny word for me to be talking about at this point in my life.  I have three healthy young boys, a beautiful wife, and a loving church that cares deeply for me and for my family; yet in many ways I find this word inescapable.  As I’ve engaged in counseling with various individuals, couples, etc. it seems that grief is almost always present to a degree and as I’ve thought deeply about my oldest son and some of his disabilities, grief has been a close companion to me.  David Wiersbe said, “Nobody has a predictable journey through grief,” and I have found this to be true.  It seems that grief takes many different shapes and sizes over the course of one’s life and yet as sure as the reality of death and loss, grief will always be present in this fallen world.

Grief has been defined as a “multi-faceted response to loss.”  That loss could be a loved one, a physical possession, or (as in my case) an expectation or a dream.  For me the dream / expectation was that of a normal childhood and normal development for my oldest son Micah.  Just the other day Amy and I had a meeting with the school to discuss Micah’s needs and after an hour and a half of discussion, evaluations, a little bit of wrangling one thing is absolutely certain in my mind, we have both suffered the loss of a dream / expectation for Micah.  Micah’s IEP lists him as having severe difficulties in speech, and several other areas so much so that we are still trying to figure out how we can best help him.

In the first few years of my experience with Micah’s disability God was hard at work teaching me the discipline of waiting, which I wrote extensively about here.  It seems that as I enter into a new chapter of Micah’s life it is time for another lesson, it seems that it is time for me to learn how to grieve.  As I said earlier grief is a multi-faceted thing and no two people’s journeys are exactly alike, so this series of posts won’t be about “How to grieve” but rather it will be about what I have learned about my own grief with the hope that some of these lessons will speak to others in grief as well.

One of the most important lessons that God has reaffirmed to me through this process is the fact that whatever darkness I may face in life, Jesus has already gone before me and experienced the fullness of that grief for me.  In other words Jesus will always meet me in the depths of my grief.  Steven Curtis Chapman wrote about this through his grief over the loss of his daughter when he said, “When you realize the dreams you’ve had for your child won’t come true, When the phone rings in the middle of the night with tragic news, Whatever valley you must walk through, Jesus will meet you there.”  The presence of Christ in the midst of grief is what allows us “grieve as those who have hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

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October 31 2010 04:00 am | Devotional and Learning to Grieve

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