The Faces of Grief

Grief. A word that many people want to skip over. We don’t want to admit the sting it has on our souls. We want to skip over it and move forward without facing it. I get it. I did this for over a decade. I experienced pregnancy loss for the first time in my early 20s. I was young, unmarried and SO LOST!

There are many faces that grief can take on. There is anger, guilt, sadness, loneliness, shame, fear, bitterness, depression, physical pain, inability to focus, eating too much, eating too little, sleeping to much or insomnia. With pregnancy or infertility grief, I would even say we go through this painful and unique yearning. We yearn for our baby we lost.

The faces of grief can seem so ugly. We want to run away from them. BUT, what IF, what if the faces of grief can be beauty? What if God wants to turn our pain around into a purpose, into a hope? What if you have the power to choose what face of grief looks like on your journey of healing? The thing is, that we do. We have the power within ourselves to choose beauty or ashes, hope or hopelessness, joy or sadness. Trust me, I know this sounds SO hard. I have been there. BUT when I finally got to a point where I could understand this truth, I was set free. Sure, my heart still ached for the babies I have lost (I’m guessing my heart always will), BUT I CHOSE that pain to have purpose. I chose for that pain to be turned into love and a closer relationship with Him.

I chose to allow God to turn the faces of grief I was experiencing to faces of love, grace, joy, acceptance, mercy, courage, hope, healing and health. We need him to experience a different kind of grief, one that is not of the world.

What faces of grief are you experiencing today? Let go and let God love you through!

Embrace Suffering, Embrace God

Suffering is a feeling we don’t welcome into our lives very well. Just hearing the word can send shivers down your spine. At least for me it does. Isn’t it crazy that the very thing we do not want in our lives, is the very thing that brings us closest to God?

I learned a long time ago to embrace suffering. No, it isn’t welcomed in my world either. Like most people, I despise the feeling of heartbreak and emptiness. I loathe the thought of feeling like my soul is lost in the depth of sorrow and grief. As much as I dislike suffering, I embrace it because suffering pulls me into my Father’s arms more powerful than I can even begin to try and understand.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2

I embrace it because God is in the midst of all the chaos when my spirit feels shaken, when my world feels turned upside down. He is there. I feel Him. I seek Him. I embrace Him. When we learn to embrace suffering, we begin to embrace more of Him into our space. We allow Him to come in and fill the empty places with His love and peace. In those moments of feeling completely lost and unsure, He is there.

I remember days where I would wake up completely unsure of what the future would hold. Miscarriage hurt my heart, took away a piece of our family. Even though I carry our baby in my heart, the truth of the matter is that he is not here physically with us. He isn’t sharing in the joys of life. He didn’t get to move to the Pacific Northwest with us and experience the beauty of nature and a different part of the world. That thought haunts me from time to time, but then God. God steps in, holds my hand and loves me. When suffering starts to creep back in, I embrace God. I lean into Him and remember whose I am.

Suffering is not the greatest thing in life, I agree. But, when we are called to suffer and grieve, we are called to embrace a God who will never leave us. We are the closest to our Heavenly Father than we will ever be when our grief meets suffering. So, as you cry and miss your child today, embrace Him. He is near you.

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