I really wanted to write something light hearted today. But after praying and giving it a lot of thought, I felt strongly that God wanted me to share with you about grief, particularly “hidden” grief.
Hidden grief is a deep sadness we carry with us daily. It’s buried underneath smiles, productivity, serving and even laughter, but it’s always there under the surface. It can feel as if someone has strapped a backpack full of heavy bricks onto our back. The heaviness is overwhelming at first, but eventually we become so accustomed to the weight of it that we learn to function with it. At times we forget that it’s there. We’ve learned to ignore it and so we go about our daily routines with it hidden in our hearts, invisible.
No one knows we carry it but us.
Grief is a complicated emotion and everyone processes grief differently. Grief can be the result of all kinds of different losses, not just the death of a loved one.
What kind of grief are you carrying around with you?
• Death of a Parent/Grandparent, Child, Sibling, or Friend
• Loss of a Friendship/Relationship
• Childhood Abuse
• Domestic Violence
• Traumatic Experience (assault, car accident, etc)
Some of us carry more than one thing on this list and the bricks keep adding up. The backpack gets heavier and heavier until one day we just can’t stand it any longer. The weight of it begins to crush us.
And no one sees.
The dangerous thing about this invisible grief is the isolation of it. For whatever reason…shame, guilt, pride, fear…we have chosen to carry it alone. We are bearing the burden all by ourselves which means an important and precious piece of us remains unseen.
You read that right. Your grief is a precious piece of you because it tells an important part of your story. In fact, your grief has the potential to be the most beautiful part of you. Through Jesus, grief can be redeemed into a beauty that is supernatural.
I admit I’ve had my own struggles with hidden grief, and honestly, this week has been particularly rough. It all started when I saw something that triggered a deep sadness in me; a sadness that’s always there but rarely seen. And that’s all it takes for the tidal wave to rush in. Have you ever noticed that one opened wound seems to usher in even more past hurt?
I wish I could offer you a magic solution to all of this, but that’s not why I’m sharing this with you today. I’m writing about this so you know you’re not alone.
You are seen. You are precious. Your grief is redeemable.
I’m also writing to say this…I’m so sorry your heart is hurting. I’m so sorry that you carry this heaviness around with you. I know it’s hard.
It may be confusing to you as a Christian to have this deep sadness. Why am I struggling with this when I know that Jesus has saved me?
I want to be clear that just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean your grief magically disappears. In fact, it’s possible to have grief and joy at the same time. Grief over the loss you’ve experienced and joy over the hope you have in Christ. If you’ve been a follower of Jesus for a while and you still struggle with grief, just know that Jesus too was familiar with grief.
Jesus was called “a man of sorrows”.
“He was despised and rejected–a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.” Isaiah 53: 3
Jesus carried the ultimate grief. It’s something we can’t fathom or process. When my heart feels weighed down, this truth helps put things in perspective. My Savior sees my invisible pain. He knows when I’m deeply sad beneath my smiling surface, and He is close to me in those moments.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34: 18
But Jesus doesn’t leave us defeated, trudging around with a heavy backpack. He says to come to Him with our heavy burdens.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11: 28
And He says to take heart!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33
It’s also important to know that God wants us to be there for one another, to reach out to others when we are in pain. We were not meant to carry grief alone. Please contact me or any of us at My Journey of Faith if you need prayer or encouragement. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find me on my blog, All Things New, at www.jenniferlegate.blogspot.com.
Thank you for reading what was on my heart today. I hope it has brought you some encouragement. I think next time around I’ll be choosing a more light hearted topic! Haha!
Much love to you friends!