Telling Our Grief Story: The Forgotten Audience
We find ourselves pulled toward others who have lost loved ones like us. We want to help, to listen or to offer guidance. We may even decide to share our experiences in a larger forum.
We blog. We write articles. We speak to groups, but we may not reach the numbers we hope for. And thus, we experience frustration. Or disillusionment. We found meaning in our suffering by sharing what we learn with others, but our efforts aren’t getting much of anywhere.
We must not think our stories are wasted, nor put pressure on ourselves, nor put time constraints on God, for before the stories were written for others, they were written for us.
Know that even if you don’t get your story to the masses, it reached its primary target.
God wrote the story to reach you first.
He was there at the moment you learned your daddy died. He was there when your well-meaning friends said all the wrong things. He was there when you found solace in music, or saw a reflection of your mother in your newborn’s face. God gave you joys to counter the sorrow.
You know your story, how you were mad at God. And then after you yelled at him, you still felt his presence. He hadn’t left you alone. And eventually you weren’t mad at him anymore.
God knows how many strands of hair we have on our head at any given time (Matt. 10:29-31). He knows when each sparrow falls to the ground and says we are more valuable than several sparrows. He took great care to assemble the story you tell about your life.
It may be a grand story, but know even if it doesn’t produce anything useful in another life, it has in yours.
We look at numbers. We look for meteoric impacts, but God leaves the 99 to go after the one (Luke 15:1-7), and that one is you. If your story has produced a deeper understanding of God and better relationship with him, it has been worth it his eyes.
True, God wishes for our lives to be of much usefulness to others, but our job is to abide in the vine, a picture of Jesus. (John 15:1-17). It is the vine – Jesus – who produces the fruit in season. That means in the proper, prepared time. Our job is to concentrate on our how we relate to God.
So don’t pressure yourself. God loves each of us so much, he’s writing a story for our lives and for our eyes. He lavishes love on you, on each of you.
What did you learn in your grief journey that you share with others? Have you ever been frustrated with getting your story out? What helped you press on?
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