- Written by Jessica Watts
Loss is a simple yet complex word that acts as a foundation leading in several directions. It is defined as the fact or process of losing something or someone. It has been said that Christians are a bit like teabags; you don't know what they are made of until you put them into hot water. The last couple of days have left me feeling like this. As I have been pondering a few things, it has left me thinking about how life is such a magnificent thing that God has blessed each of us with. But yet, with life comes death, and with death comes a roller coaster of emotions.
Grief feels like a nasty bully that won’t leave you alone until you deal with it; it is a painful emotion. However, grief is a gift given to us by God as a tool to get through the transitions of life. Feeling a sense of loss reminds us that life is precious. There does come a point though where holding on to our loss becomes a self-journey, rather than a trusted God journey. This week, I have had to consciously remember to lean on the strength of God and not the strength of myself. Today marked the 8 year anniversary since Grandma passed away on May 18th 2010. Every year it doesn't get any easier. But every year we get the privilege of being able to remember and reflect on such a beautiful, honourable, kind, loving, faithful Women of God, Daughter, Mum, Grandmother, and friend. Grandma has left behind such a beautiful legacy in her children, and I admire just how much Mum's servant heart reflects that of Grandma. On a day that could be filled with so much sadness, I am filled with so much joy because of the memories we still have and will forever have. And while our time with her was limited, it was some of the best times of my life. Of course I miss her every day. She was such a solid rock in this family. There is definitely a piece missing, but we are so blessed with what we can still carry to remember her by. She will never be forgotten.
As I have reflected and mourned, I have had to surrender this loss to God and allow him to sit beside me and hold my hand during this roller coaster of emotions. I have had to remember that it is ok to feel grief but not to let grief define who I am, or to stop me from living out the life laid out by God. Emotions help us release what we are feeling. They help us to come to a place where we can function again and keep moving forward. Loss isn’t necessarily just defined to the losing of a person, but it could be a job, a house, a pet. There are numerous things that, over our lifetime, would fit into the category of loss. And something I am still learning is that it is ok to mourn these things as well. Because when something is lost, there is a gap. For a while it is uncomfortable. It could be upsetting, frustrating, annoying. It could cause anger and hate. In the moment I definitely wouldn’t call the feeling of loss a blessing. In fact I would say it is the polar opposite. But God really did bless us with the feeling of loss and grief as a way to help with transitions, and to help us grow in our relationship with him. These deep, overwhelming and uncomfortable feelings help teach us to lean into God in all situations, especially during the hard times.
What does loss look like for you at the moment? Where does God fit into it? When faced with loss, God doesn’t require us to stay strong. He doesn’t require us to look ok. He doesn’t require us to forget about it. All he wants is for us to seek him and allow him to journey with us through every turn and loop that the roller coaster takes us on.