Today I’m thinking about loss. In the past few weeks in our church family, we have had two wonderful men go to be with the Lord. Their passing has left a hole in many people’s lives and hearts. So the question I’ve been thinking about today, is what do we do with feelings of loss? We all have these feelings at one point or another, so what are we to do with them?
Well I think one response is to try to bury the feelings. This is where we seek to avoid dealing with the feelings of loss, and where we hide from the feelings or refuse to “feel the feelings”. Another response is simply to avoid the feelings of loss altogether. We keep busy, we seek to move forward, or we don’t give ourselves space to process what has happened. But I don’t believe that either of these responses are helpful or healthy.
For me, I think the best response to loss is to acknowledge it and lean into it. And while this may sound odd, or even counter-intuitive I think it is helpful. Why should I try to pretend that I’m not feeling loss, hurt, and sadness? Why should I pretend that the passing of two men whom I deeply respected doesn’t affect me? The truth is I am feeling loss today – because there has been a loss.
So for me I’m not shying away from my feelings, or avoiding them. Instead I’m acknowledging them and entering into them. This is the only way I believe that we find comfort and hope. Jesus says that those who mourn will be comforted but we cannot be comforted unless we mourn. Unless we actually enter into the loss, acknowledge it, recognize it, feel it, and ask God to help with it.
This is how I think we best get through the difficult times of life. We don’t avoid it, pretend its not there, we recognize it, share that it is difficult, and ask God to meet us where we are at. Because I truly believe that’s what God always does, comes to us wherever we are. So wherever you are at today, may God meet you there, and carry you forward.