I have been struggling with grief and forgiveness lately. For the last many months I thought I was just stuck in the grief process. After being in the word and praying, God has revealed to me that I am stuck at forgiveness.
I tend to want to shove my grief, it is part of my nature and I really have to fight it. Like I said I have been grieving for some time now and recently during a Sunday sermon I was reminded that grief is biblical, it is okay to grief. "Jesus wept" John 11:35; the shortest verse in the bible and yet it tells us so much. The emotion that Jesus was feeling as he grieved with his friends in the loss of Lazarus shows us that he was not just God walking here on earth, but he was both God and man. He felt the same emotions that we feel when we experience the loss of a loved one and he expressed it in an outward emotion.
Just as grieving is biblical so is moving on. As a psychologist I know the ramifications of being "stuck" in the grief process and itrarely turns out well. It can hinder ones life and the bible actually tells us that when Sarah died, Abraham came to mourn and weep for her. It then tells us that Abraham stood up. "So Sarah died inKirjath Arba in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. The Abraham stood up from before his dead..." Genesis 23:2-3 (half of 3). As hard as it may have been for Abraham to lose Sarah he "stood up" and had many more fruitful years. The words stood up really resonated with me. As I have looked back on the grief that I am dealing with I find that yes I have cried and been angry and then I have tried to pretend like all is the same and that nothing really changed. I have refused to put myself out there and really actually "stand up" and move forward with what God has planned for me. I find that I have tried to go on as if all was the same when in reality everything is changed.
The hurt, the sadness, the utter-confusion is still there and I don't know what will happen to it, but I do know that I need to move forward with the plans that God has for my life and although that person indeed influenced me for a time, it was only a chapter in the plan that God has for my life. My unwillingness to accept and move forward was really being hindered by a willingness to not forgive. I think for me this step is so key in my grief processes. The forgiveness in this case is so complex that sometimes myfeeble human brain can not understand it. But I know that in order to move forward I must learn to forgive and seek God's guidance in what that looks like. Exodus 14:14 says "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall keep your peace." In everything that has gone on in the last many months that is what I seek...peace. I will work on standing up, moving forward, and working to a place of forgiveness and peace, with God's strength.