At the end of Women’s Thing, I stood up in front of a room full of women and told them that what I want more than anything in the world, is for all of us to function properly.
The body will grow when each individual functions properly. I believe my Jesus will come back when the body grows to its full. So, basically, I need everyone to function properly so my Jesus can come back.
Functioning properly. All that means I think – is knowing who you are and walking in it.
Easier said then done I guess.
And – in my experience functioning properly is impossible until we learn the hard process of identifying and working through the disappointments and injuries of life. And I call that skill – grief.
See, the world pressures us to conform through cultural scripts and processes and systems, but also through pain. Since we were kids, the dents and bruises on our souls, the hard things that have happened to us, the painful conversations, the ways that people have treated us, these things have been shaping us, convincing us to neglect certain key parts of how God made us to interact. We have learned to withdraw or conceal parts of us, we have learned to withhold or use affection, instead of letting it overflow from us.
The wounds on our souls train our subconscious-self that walking in our full design is too dangerous.
But – like culture – these wounds only have the power to shape us if we let them. God has given us an incredible gift – a way to make these wounds work for us; a way to use them so that we are trained by them – not only preserving all that is precious about who we are – but learning through them how to walk even more fully in our true selves than we were able to before.
That gift is grief. It’s the art of hurting well.
Learning how to grieve has helped me to be…me. Grieving has been the process of learning how to embrace who I am and the story God has written for me without shame.
I first started thinking about how to grieve when my father got cancer, but I wish grief had been a part of my emotional vocabulary far earlier. I wish I’d begun to practice that skill the first time I felt shame as a kid. I wish I’d explored how grief would help me when we moved overseas. Because instead, these events and a million others, pushed on parts of the way God designed me and taught me to fear the wrong things.
Learning how to grieve hasn’t fixed me. But it has given me a skill that helps me in this process of life. It’s an option I have, a tool for those days when loneliness feels overwhelming or singleness feels like rejection or when my friends and I aren’t connecting, or my boss is frustrated with me – a way to not fear all that pain, to put it under my feet and to let it carry me closer to Him and the me He has called me to be.
Excited is not the right word to describe how I feel about sharing what I’ve learned about grief with you guys. I guess the word is sure. I feel sure. Not sure of my words or teaching, but sure that grief is a gift and a skill that we all must find a way to learn and embrace.
The online resource will (finally!) be available next Monday. It includes:
(1) Six online videos you can watch whenever you want. The videos cover:
- What is grief & why do I need to do it?
- Skills for facing intense feelings
- The thoughts we have about our wounds that make it hard to process them
- How can we help our brains make sense of life’s curve balls?
- Tasks of processing wounds in a healthy way
- Grieving with God
(2) A workbook to help you work through specific wounds in your life
(3) A group study option is available that includes cool conversation cards to help you process with your pals!
This will all be available next Monday! Woohoo!!!