Mood: not sure
I just read a post from a blogging friend of mine on a forum that we both belong to. She lost her mother about a month ago. It was a rough loss. Her mother had made some wrong choices. Now she's stuck with trying to sort through her mothers things, help her dad move, and dealing with her dad's and her own grief. She's going through a rough time. She just wants to sleep and eat all of the time. She forces herself to "put on a happy face" for herself and those around her. She's lost all interest in things. She wonders if she should still be feeling this way after a month. The other folks on the forum gave her some good advice and assured her that one month was not too long to grieve.
But I wonder. How long is too long. Her post conjured up many memories of the past ten years or so. It seems like since we became missionaries 13 years ago, Satan has constantly attacked. Deaths in our family. Deaths of close friends. Untrue accusations. Misunderstood actions. A stillborn child. A child with cancer. A child with autism. A child with genetic problems. I could go on and on.
Some of the problems have been our fault, some not. All I can say is that we have always tried to serve the Lord. Have we made mistakes? Yes. But we've always tried to do our best.
All of these things cause pain. Grief. Some more than others. Some less. If I allowed myself to, I could grieve forever. At one time I thought that I would grieve forever.
That's where the Lord stepped in. He always knows. He's always there. He knows my comings and goings. He knows what has happened in the past. He knows what will happen tomorrow. He knows how long I need to grieve.
Grieving isn't bad. Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. He mourned for his people. He pleaded for God to take away the cup that He was about to bear.
Grieving is often good. Allowing our emotions to come out is good. Releasing our tears is good.
How long is it okay to grieve? It is different for everyone. Different for every situation. Only God knows what is right for you. Our responsibility is to give it to God. Allow God to work. Listen to God's still small voice. Allow God to bear your burdens. He will, you know. He takes everything that is placed at His feet. Those beautiful feet. Those nail scarred feet. Yes, He knows about grief and He knows about us. Give it all to Him. He may tell us to grieve some more. He may heal our hurts. But, whatever He does tell us to do, it will be His perfect will for our lives.
Thank you, Lord, for grief. It's not usually what we want, but often it is what we need. We need it for so many ways. We need it for You to show us your miracles and Your ways. We need it so that we can help others in the same situation someday. We need it so that You can show us You. Help us to seek Your face when it comes to grief. Help us to seek your will. Help us to lay it all at your feet and to accept the answer that you give us. Thank you, Lord, for knowing what is best for us. Thank you for guiding us. Thank you, Lord, for grief. Amen