Permission to grieve

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.

Kept,
Annabel

9 thoughts on “Permission to grieve

  1. Tears streamed down my face as I read your words, I have felt this way for months now and have not faced it. Instead I would cast aside my feelings as foolish and just try to cover them up. Thank you for sharing. I know that the Lord brought me to your site and has ministered to me here. Keep seeking Him and honoring Him in your blog, He is working though you 🙂

  2. My tears have not stopped since I stumbled across your blog this morning. Each post has brought a new set of tears however this post reminded me that it is okay to grieve. It is okay to acknowledge that things are not what I had always imagined them to be. I think I have been “trying to go on living as if it doesn’t matter” and my heart has slowly become harder and harder with each and every turn down.

    • Never Dull,

      Thank you so much for your comments here, and welcome to our community! Know that you are not alone, and while this is a challenging road to walk, it is not without so much hope. Praying for your heart – that you would bring it before the Lord & work with Him in reviving it. May you find the sustaining peace and joy that comes from walking with Him. May your marriage & marriage bed be filled with renewed life. Standing with you, dear friend, in your sorrow – and believing for a future hope and joy.

  3. This post really spoke to me. This idea that its okay for me to grieve over whats missing in my marriage, how I dreamed things would be… Our counselor affirmed this as well and it was very therapeutic for me. For the HD husband the normal stereotype applies, so people have less sympathy (I think) for your situation. I was used to feeling stifled and discounted when I would push for change. Finally I had permission and affirmation to grieve and deal with a very real loss. So thank you for also affirming this principle and encouraging people to actually process and grieve instead of just bottling it up and living as an island all alone.

  4. It’s been @ 9 months sense my husband and I have had sex. My heart breaks everyday, because he told me that he is no longer attracted to me. Well, that comment shattered my world over 3 years ago, and it still baunts me everyday. So, grieving should be something that would help me. I didn’t ask for a sexless marriage, but it is what it is-I guess. Praying that sex will be in our future!

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