Loss. There are so many things to discuss on this topic. I would assume the initial thought that comes to mind would the passing away of a loved one. I feel adequate only to write about what I’ve experienced in my life thus far and fortunately, I have yet to deal with this issue. Because of this, I’m going to focus on relationships here, but there are numerous types of loss, or grief. Along with death, there’s loss of friendships, the loss of identity, the loss of your own walk with God. Loss is something I wish on no one but I know everyone has felt this pain in one form or another. Loss without hope is impossible. The agony it inflicts on your heart is the most debilitating feeling. I grieve for the individuals who have no hope. It must be a stale, numb existence, at best. Luckily, I have tasted this hope and know that is the only remedy but I still find myself contemplating the memory of a time better spent. Remembering the happier moments. I have been sensing this feeling quite often lately.
Before I go further, I almost feel convicted writing about myself so much. Please know, this is not my heart. I don’t desire to make this a sob story of my life because my life is actually quite wonderful. But I have dealt and will continue to deal with very real emotions, just like everyone else. I do hope that whoever happens to read this will identify with it and feel a sense of comfort. So, to continue…
What I find is the more I relish on past events, the more depressed I become and once depression sets in, it is an enormous feat to conquer. When I contemplate the past, I find myself continually wishing for what could have been instead of being grateful that God has allowed me to be living in this present moment. I desire to look to the future and think about a life still to come, full of joy and love. But that is hard for me to do, even knowing that this mindset severely impedes my progress as a Christian.
The most recent loss I’ve encountered has been over the last year. I’m purposely going to be cryptic about this so bear with me. Relationships (every type) are the most beautiful thing about life, aside from knowing Jesus. He designed us for relationship. How wonderful to be able to meet a completely different human being and develop a mutual bond of trust and love. That almost scares me to think about how beautiful that is. However, the loss of a relationship can paralyze you with grief. You experience a significant list of feelings, such as sorrow, hurt, depression, and anger. I find comfort in the fact that these are common in the grief process. These things are very real and very right. I would encourage people to embrace it, because through affliction, we are strengthened and faith can only become sweeter as you draw nearer to Jesus. For me, I know I have felt all these things along with significant emotional withdrawals that haven’t seemed to have gotten any easier. The closer you are to the person and the more love you possess, the more hurt you open yourself up to. For me, vulnerability is key in a true relationship with someone. It involves uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. How can I really know you if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your interests, aspirations, emotions, and struggles? Of course, this takes time. Sometimes, it takes a lot of work but other times, (this is so rare, but it’s the absolute best) there is such chemistry, you become close to and individual at a rapid rate. I’m talking about all relationships here. And even though vulnerability can lead to hurt, this hurt will always prove what’s most important. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3) His kindness and mercy will restore the soul. Let him help you because you simply cannot handle pain alone. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. (James 4:8)
Now, in my dealings with this, I happened to open up my heart too much. I mentioned in my last post, I feel great emotion which is something I am so thankful for but as much of a blessing as it is, it has its drawbacks. I’m finding out through experience, I love things fiercly. Once the guard over my heart has been broken down, I dive deeply into knowing an individual on a soul level. I hate when things are stuck at the surface. It bothers me heavily. I also have found I tend to trust people relatively easily but put much too high of a standard on them which almost always results in dissapointment. This is very soul bearing for me to reveal but I have spent many nights laying in my bed, physically hurting from this pain and feeling like I could never get past it. It is amazing how heavily your emotions can dictate your physical sensations if you allow them.
Now, the greatest thing which frightens me is that I find myself not wanting to heal. I actually WANT to live in past. It sickens me to think I let myself arrive here but it’s the truth, nonetheless. But I’m reminded, over and over again, that God is our healer. He doesn’t leave his children indefinitely in the depths of sorrow. Although his timing may seem mysterious, it has been divinely and perfectly planned.
Psalm 40: 1-3 states,
“I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.”
When I read this, I sense, even now, comfort flooding my spirit. I know God will put a “new song in my mouth” which I look to with great excitement. As a musician, this is something I cannot wait for. The beauty of song is a miracle in itself, and when it’s sung in worship, it accomplishes it true purpose. I believe some of the most impactful songs of worship are birthed out of trial. I know I am called to this. I know these experiences will result in a divine outpouring of new songs. I rest assured that He is positioning me exactly where I need to be.
So lastly, I do wait for the beauty to arise out of my mess and I know God will be faithful to reveal it. I did, do currently, and will still love the individuals from which these events transpired. I love them deeply. But I pray that in due time, this season will soon bring the light of hope and joy, not in any impertinent way that minimizes the loss, but through the deep work in my heart that God is doing for my good, and no doubt for the good of others.
“To love and win is the best thing; to have loved and lost, the next best.” – William Thackeray
“Go back to God, His restoring grace waits for you.” – J.I. Packer