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Three Tips for Living Beyond Grief

Many of us anticipated and even braised ourselves for the worst Christmas ever this year. Our loved one is missing from the annual Christmas gathering, and this sobering reality makes us sad and angry. I want to share with you what I heard my big Sis, Laine, share with her family. 

Tip 1–Intentionally Direct Our Attention On Who and What Remains

 

She made an intentional decision to celebrate and appreciate what and who she has with her right now during this season. She misses her husband of 51 years deeply. Yet, in the midst of his absence, she charged her family to honor their dad and grandpa by cherishing what they collectively have as a family. As a family, they embraced each other with heartfelt loving memories and thanksgiving for their opportunity to mourn and celebrate fond memories together.

Focus On Those Who Remain

Tip 2–Recognize the Power of One Step

 

They’ve seen hard days before. They are living beyond grief. My precious Chakuwa, in all transparency and admission of her dark days, still declared that she knows beyond a doubt that it is only by God’s grace and His help that He gets her up and out of bed when every foreboding thought reminds her that there’s nothing to get up for; Yet, the Holy Spirit, with her own willingness, infuses her with just enough strength to pull back the covers, sit on the side of her bed, stand up, get dressed, and step into the day the Lord has made for her to live. 

 

Many of us have felt this same way. And we, too, attest that we felt the Holy Spirit help us will ourselves forward. During this festive Christmas season, we come face to face with a decision: 

                  Do I let my grief and the enemy’s underlying desire to destroy my joy and sap my strength so that I’m no longer useful to myself, my family, and God’s kingdom work? 

                  OR

                  Do I decide to celebrate the love I have with and for my beloved absent one  and embrace the family and friends who still needs the beauty and presence of Me? 

It’s tough, and thinking about living and thriving in spite of our pain seems impossible. Yet, living beyond grief is possible.

Tip 3–Observe Those Who Continue To Thrive After the Loss Of A Loved One

 I offer you this gift: I pray that the Holy Spirit allows you to see or remember someone who is thriving after losing the love of his/her life or the fruit of her womb (a child) or a parent gone way too soon or a bestie or confident or a sibling or whoever has left a hole in your hearts. Watch how this person moves through this Christmas season. If you can, ask them how they do it. Inquire about how they find the strength to see themselves as participants in their own future.

 

I pray that you accept the grace that the Lord has provided for you and allow yourself the blessing of healing and restoration. Today we may hurt so bad, but the sun will come out tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, one day in the near future. We can miss our loved ones and still live a full life that embraces God’s will for our lives and God’s sovereign will for our loved ones’ lives. We will not perpetually get stuck in a place of grief, but we will thrive and live out fruitful lives by the grace of the Lord. Our loved ones wouldn’t even want us to mourn them so desperately that we lose sight of ourselves and the divine plan the Lord yet has for us. 

 

We may hurt, and the pain may linger for a long while, or it may revisit us at some of the most unexpected times, but we must submit to God’s love, resist the devil who seeks to make us one of the living dead zombies. If we do this, the enemy of our soul will flee from us. If we do this, our joy will blossom again, and we will find that renewed strength for our new journey. Remember, the enemy seeks to destroy us in any way he can, so let’s not help him do his job. Let our joy arise, for the Light has come through Jesus Christ. 

 

I pray for you. 

I hope the three tips for living beyond grief have comforted and encouraged you during this Christmas season.

 

Singing, Joyful, joyful, Lord, we adore Thee. 

 

 

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