This week I met up for coffee with a new friend who has moved to our city. She is vivacious and fun and so I knew we would have a good time getting to hang out. What surprised me was when she asked me a very good question that left me thinking about something I hadn’t really considered. My new friend is going through something now that I went through a few years ago. Without going into details, it involves a loss – the loss of something you desperately want to happen in your life but seemingly never does (e.g., gettingin the school you want to attend, getting married, having children, getting the job you wanted, having your band signed by that label, etc.). Her question was this: “how did you deal with your grief?”
I’m glad she asked me that question because it forced me to put into words what had been going on in my heart for some time. (It also gave us an excuse to meet up for coffee again to talk further about the topic!) I realize that some of you reading this are not in a place in life where you have sensed a great loss of something you had hoped would be. But I also realized that most of us have either experienced such a loss, or may even be going through something similar right now. It’s hard when we have dreams of how we want our lives to go and plans that we expect to come to fruition and fail. One of my dear friends was part of a band that was about to hit big in the music world when a copyright dispute arose that essentially halted those dreams permanently. When those things we had hoped for do not happen as we had dreamedor planned, we have to allow ourselves to “grieve the loss.” I remember another friend listening to me describe how I thought things were going to turn out and how differently they had versus what I had hoped for. She bluntly said to me, “Nikki – you need to grieve that loss.” Ihonestly had never thought of needing to grieve it. But she was right.
If you are facing something, or have faced something in your past, that didn’t turn out quite as you had hoped or dreamed – let me encourage you with these reminders as you grieve your loss:
1. We live in a fallen world. (Things are not as they should be or how God originally designed them to be before sin started the decay and destruction of all creation.)
2. Whatever I am going through, it is between me and God. (We are all tempted to see those around us who are moving forward and, perhaps, living out what we had hoped for – but that is between them and God. My focus needs to be about “me and God” and what He is doing in me. No comparisons.)
3. God has a specific plan for my life. (I have to make a decision – either He has a plan or He does not. If He does, then I have to trust what He is doing and accept that plan because, well, He is God… and I am not.)
I was recently talking about my journey and this “dealing with grief” stuff to my mother. Because she has heard me talk about this a thousand times, she sighed and smiled and reminded me yet again, “but there is a PLAN… His plan… don’t ever forget that.” I smiled back. She is right. I just need to be available to what all He has planned ahead.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
by His grace -