Grief – grief is a normal, healthy response to a loss. Grief describes the emotions one feels when one loses someone or something important to them. People grieve for different reasons. Reasons such as:
- Death of a loved one, including pets
- Divorce or the loss of a relationship. This can include intimate relationships as well as friendships.
- Changes in one’s health, or the health of a loved one.
- Loss of a job or financial security
- Even good things, such as retirement, adoption of a child, moving to a new long-awaited for home, etc.
Any loss will bring about a period of grief.
Last week (see link below) I discussed my longing for life to be different. For the past three or four years I’ve gone from one health issue to another. Two of these issues left me somewhat physically challenged. The ability to move about pain free with ease is pretty much gone. I’d shared with my friend my feelings, and my longings. In the course of our dialoging I determined I was coveting, not something God desires. Therefore, I needed to restructure my thinking, becoming more grateful for all the things I am capable of doing.
During my prayer time, God’s Holy Spirit reminded me of the flipside. He brought to mind the word grief. I grieve the loss of a pain free life. I grieve the loss of unhindered physical ability. I grieve the loss of a body which no longer functions as it once did. The good news… Grief is not sin. Grief’s a good thing. The grieving process brings healing. Grieving helps us travel the journey from being stuck in the muck-and-mire of loss to moving forward in life. Eventually discovering joy and gratitude, once again, in spite of our circumstances.
Grief is not a one-time process. There are stages to grief which do not come in any particular order; stages such as anger, anxiety, denial, fear, depression, blame, etc. I wish grief was a checklist. If grief were a checklist, I could say okey-dokey, “denial” ...check, “anger” …check; I’m done arguing and I’m moving on to depression …check. Grief simply doesn’t work this way. We can be in denial and angry one month, find ourselves doing well for six months and before we realize it find ourselves in the anger stage once more.
When does our grieving become something else? The answer to that question lies with each individual. My grief process may take longer, or be shorter than someone else’s grief process. There is no timeframe, no right or wrong when one is experiencing grief. The danger lies in getting stuck in the process.
What are steps one can do when faced with similar situations. First recognize what you’re experiencing. For instance, if grief, recognize it as grief; allow yourself to feel the loss and the accompanying emotions and work through the process. Working through the process could mean seeking a counselor or sharing with a trusted friend regularly. It could mean reading a book on the subject, joining a support group, taking a class on grief, etc. Of course spending time in prayer with the Lord is always a great solution.
If you’re experiencing something else, such as envy, jealousy or coveting, again recognize the situation, name it and call it out for what it is; in this case… sin. Once recognized, named and called out it’s time to begin the work of turning it around. Sin will be worked out as one goes before the Lord in prayer and confesses their sin. Once confessed one must make a conscious choice to turn around, or away from, and do better. Other steps might be to look up and meditate on Bible verses which speak to the challenges. Reading a book on the subject or seeking counseling, especially if it’s an ongoing battle often helps.
For me the answer to the question, “Is it grief or covetousness” is yes. I’ve experienced grief over the changes. At other times, I’m simply being an ungrateful child, yearning for (coveting) what I no longer possess. Thanks to my friend and our dialogue I now have a frame of reference. When the feelings come I ask myself, “Sandra, are you coveting what you don’t have and being ungrateful for what you do? Or, are you remembering what once was and experiencing sadness or grief?” To change my heart from coveting, I will begin by expressing my gratitude for the billions of ways the Lord has watched over and blessed me. I will make an effort to stop looking at what I cannot do and look to what I’m able. I need to make a conscious choice to see all the good which surrounds my life. Seeing my glass full and brimming, rather than almost empty.
I start right now with you; my readers, “Thank you Lord for the opportunity to write and for people who read, like what they see and sometimes even comment. Thank you my friends for being a blessing in my life.
Until next time,
“Don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all. James 1:16-17
Time to Revisit Covetousness” https://throughthebibletogether.wordpress.com/