Grief is strong. When grief hits it can take me down to the ground. Swiftly, I am out of breath and drowning.
Grief does not play fair. I make deals with grief, it can come when I am prepared, when I am ready to take it on, we have an agreement. Grief does not always abide by that agreement.
Grief is a thief. It sneaks in, uninvited, like a bull in a china shop, breaking our agreement and tries to steal my joy.
This is what I have learned about my grief. I say “my grief”, because everyone has a different grief visiting them, not all griefs are the same.
I have learned to give grief a time limit, especially when it shows up unannounced and bullies me into a puddle of tears. I give my grief time and attention but with limits. I give myself permission to cry, a lot if I need to. I give myself permission to be sad, very, very sad, if I need to.
And then I invite grief to leave.
These are some ways I encourage my grief to leave; I go outside and soak up some nature. I listen to praise music, I read the psalms. I take a walk/run to get some good brain chemicals active. I count my blessings. I do something creative. I feed my soul. I pray.
I don’t always feel like I want to do these things, but I do them. I am persistent, I keep at it until grief finally gives in. Until it packs up it’s baggage and leaves.
So today, I am being persistent, grief swooped in yesterday and knocked me to my knees, but today I am standing. I am inviting grief to leave without taking my joy with it. Having cried myself to sleep last night in the wonderful arms of my understanding husband, I am sitting in my garden this morning. Worship is music playing, I watch the birds drink from the sprinkler, and the momma and poppa swallows try to keep up with the feeding of the littles. I am preparing for a prayerful walk/run with psalms of praise running through my mind.
I will not let grief overtake me. I have so much to be grateful for, I love my life, I will not let grief rob me of my joy.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Ps 23