Life is hard. Marriage is hard. And, if you re like me, then there are places in both where it hasn’t turned out as you hope. It could be your marriage bed, your finances, or how your friendship looks now. I remember when I was younger I used to always feel so ordinary because I didn’t have a “story” to tell. I was raised by Godly parents and hadn’t really ever done anything “worse” than smoke a cigarette. At some point in my growing up years, however, I remember someone saying that if you don’t have a story yet, all you need to do is keep living.
That’s so true, isn’t it? There is no possible way that you can go through life without experiencing loss, hurt, pain…even devastation. As I have journeyed through my own hurts, both within marriage and without, there have been places where the things I hoped for haven’t come to pass. A few months ago, I was talking to my counselor about the loss of the dreams I had concerning marriage. Dreams about how my husband and I would relate. Dreams about our marriage bed. Dreams about how I thought we would look. And she looked at me and said, “It’s okay – you can grieve.”
As I sat on that couch, crying tears that had finally escaped from behind the dam, it was as if I stood over a grave. And, in some ways, I did. I stood over the grave of the pictures I had in my head for so many years. I stood over the grave of expectations. I had seen some dreams in my heart die. And the truth was that instead of grieving I had just tried to ignore it. I had played the brave face, I had tried to tell myself, “It’s okay, those dreams weren’t really important.” But they were. And losing them was painful.
So I am here to say the same thing to you –
It’s okay, dear friend…you can grieve.
You can grieve the dreams and hopes lost. Something has truly died. And if you try to go on living as if it doesn’t matter, then your heart will begin a slow journey of death.
So find a place to mourn. Whatever that looks like to you – tears, writing, prayers, silence. Drain any abscesses in your heart. And however long that journey takes – go on it. But let me caution you – make sure it is a safe place. It could rip holes into the fabric of your marriage for you to go on this journey publicly. Find a trusted counselor or pastor to allow you to pour your heart out. Or find a closet and get before your heart’s true Father and cry out to Him. Lean on the Eternal Shoulder of Strength. He is faithful. He is steady. He isn’t afraid of your emotions.
It isn’t until you grieve that you can truly move on. You must grieve what has been lost to see what is found. You must mourn what has died to see what truly lives. There is great hope ahead, but you have to let go of the pictures you have clung so tightly to.
I am praying for you today. Praying your heart will be brave enough to face it’s fears, to grieve it’s losses. And praying that, when the grief passes, you will find that indeed joy comes in the morning. Pray for me today too. Pray that I, also, face some demons in my heart and life. Pray that I am brave. Pray that I lean on Strong Arms.