Is it possible to get over grief?

Sara Alexander

It was an early Sunday morning in college when I received a phone call that no child should ever have to receive.

“Sara, your dad had a heart attack this morning. He died instantly. You need to come home.”

I was three hours away from my family and absolutely frozen in my shock and pain.

Bad news has a way of doing that to a person. It could be a phone call with devastating news, a pregnancy test with disappointing results, or a job that didn’t come through. We find ourselves in a dark place wondering how we will ever survive the pain. Yet when we let God into our grief, He can bring blessing from our pain. Psalm 30:5 reminds us that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

God wants to walk through our grief with us instead of leaving us to hide in the darkness alone.

An Example of Strength Through Painful Grief

The story of Ruth is a great example of a person who walked through painful circumstances and found joy on the other side. After tragically losing her husband, Ruth finds herself facing another loss as her mother-in-law, Naomi, decides to move back alone to her homeland. (Ruth 1:11-13) Ruth does not want to be left behind again. With determination and courage, Ruth travels with Naomi to a new and foreign land.

I have often wondered how Ruth found the strength to take those bold steps of faith. So often, grief causes us to freeze up and remain stagnant in our pain and doubts. But we can learn from Ruth’s story that God wants to walk through our grief with us instead of leaving us to hide in the darkness alone.

Don’t Allow Your Grief and Pain to Sever Your Relationships

Ruth chose to go with Naomi instead of staying behind. It is so much easier to hide our depression and pain instead of receiving comfort from our loved ones. However, God is “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

Opening up about the hurt inside can be a scary thing to do, but it is a vital part of finding healing in our grief. 

Learn to Ask “What” Instead of Dwelling on the “Why”

I spent so many years asking God why He allowed my dad to die at such a young age. I thought I deserved more time with my dad than I had been given. But through the help of a great counselor, I learned that healing would never come if I didn’t shift my focus and begin to ask God what He wanted to teach me through my grief.

“Why?” is a question that may never be answered this side of eternity, but “what?” opens my mind and heart to the work that God wants to do in me and through me. Since I believe God will continue to work things out for my good, I can trust Him with my greatest hurts and pains (Philippians 1:6).

If you find yourself having a hard time, regardless of the reason, remember Jesus wants to walk with you through your grief. Do not hide in the shadows of darkness, but step into the light. As Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

If you want help, connect with someone right now or visit the Care Room at your NewSpring campus this Sunday. 

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