19. I’m grateful God replaces hurt with peace.
While reading one of my daily devotionals I learned something about myself. I don’t give myself permission to feel hurt. The older I get the more I reject my own feelings of grief and loss. Maybe it’s because I hate feeling/appearing helpless, or maybe it’s because I want so badly to be whole and happy that I force the past away like Goku’s Kamehameha ;). But through this month I’ve been self-reflecting and noticing some errors in my ways of dealing with situations, and one thing I’ve come to terms with is I’m allowed to hurt. I can give myself permission.
While many of us consider grief to be a negative experience, what if God allows us that for a purpose? What if grief is meant to cover our hearts after we’ve experienced loss and disappointment, until we get new “clothes.”
The Bible talks about the way the people of ancient Israel would put on sackcloth after they experienced a loss. People in the city would see them wearing it as they travelled around, and would immediately empathize, because they’d also worn it during times of loss. But no one would stop them to say, “Take that off! Things will get better,” no, because that would strip the person and leave them bare. The same thing goes for our hearts when we ditch grief without replacing it. Ultimately, God is the only one able to cover that loss and give us a new hope, better futures, and lead us to joy again. He does this in endless ways: He teaches us the innate value we have, He shows us a better way to understand and deal with our problems, He demonstrates a way to live that focuses on loving and serving others so we don’t get too consumed in ourselves. He does it all.
Realizing that even grief and disappointment have purpose, makes it alright for me to experience them. It’s better to wear grief for a time until we’re ready to experience joy, hope, and trust again. It’s worse to deny what’s going on inside of ourselves, and be insensitive to our deepest need to understand and heal. And even in times of grief, we can hold onto the hope that one day we will be clothed in joy. God’s timing is always best, and trusting Him means that even though we have seasons where we feel totally lost, and have no idea what’s next, or what to do, He does. And His plan is always wiser, better, more enriching, and produces more joy, than anything we could plan for ourselves.