Finding hope in grief.

I can remember the moment I got my first set of car keys, that freedom at my fingertips, dreaming about for so long that this whole new world of possibilities and responsibilities was opening up. That’s the thing about keys is they unlock something for us, they give us access to something. 

Today I want to talk about a difficult conversation, a difficult topic, “grief”. Most of us, when we think about grief, we think about death and the loss of a loved one. But the truth is, is grief is so much more than that. 

“Grief is about letting go of what is in the past that w’e’re capable of reaching for, to what’s in the future. Grief is actually the bridge that we take between the pain of loosing something, and then the hope of something in the future. “

Asheley Edelen

Psychology defines grief as the process we go through to deal with loss and loss can be of anything, whether it’s a dream, a plan, a job, a loved one, or a momentum, but it’s just a loss. And then the thing for that is, even that definition of grief for me is too narrow because it doesn’t talk about what the purpose and the meaning behind grief is.

For me, grief is about letting go of what is in the past that we’re capable of reaching for, to what’s in the future. Grief is actually this, this bridge that we take between the pain of losing something, and then the hope of something in the future. Right now, as we experience all this uncertainty in the world and all this loss, we’re surrounded by loss, loss of life, loss of connection, loss of relationships, loss of jobs. All this loss around us is a time where we need to grieve. 

In this three minute devotional, writer Ashley Edelen talks about how she found hope in grief.

The loss of a loved one, loss of jobs or relationship can tear the fabric of our life. When someone dies near us, the color of the world can fade when grief comes. We all ask a thousand questions; why? Could I have done anything else? Did we have another minute? How to get out of this abyss of a situation? How are you feeling? How to rebuild your life or move into the life you have?

Sometimes, in grief or even in the fall of a loved one, we quickly see God’s hand, and at other times we feel that we do not see it at all. The mourners in Lazarus ‘ Tomb asked the same questions as the us, and let us not forget that Jesus also wept (John 11: 12).11:35). Mourning serves a purpose and can find that this goal is the open path to healing. This goal can be anything; it can be something we need to do, someone we need to help, or something we need to believe in. Anyway, grief means finding that meaning so that we can heal, and for this, we need Hope.

God has all the answers, and we don’t, it seems. We are looking for reasons and “why?” become higher if we do not understand it. Why grow in number and volume. Why did God let this happen? Why Does God take the right people so fast? Why? It’s just human for us to doubt our pain and look for a reason – this is part of the healing process we have to go through. Understanding loss is all we want to know, and yet we don’t understand it.

In Christ, we all have the Hope above all that this world can contain. God is so much greater than the pain in which we live, and he feels our sorrow. Christ died for us so that we could receive and make moments like grief … something we can get through. In faith, through Christ, hope genuinely exists. The pain will slowly go away, and our broken hearts will be healed forever. So like my first car keys, grief is the key to unlocking this whole new world of hope of the future.

So today, I want to invite you into an uncomfortable space, a difficult conversations of grieving together, because while each of our stories are different, each of the losses we have experienced are different. Our grief is not unique. All of us are grieving right now. And so I want to invite a communal time of grief this week just to sit in this uncomfortable space to take the pain that we’ve been experiencing together to grieve and to bridge and to access in this hope in and future of tomorrow. So come join me this week and grieve. Grieve the losses. We can have the hope that God offers us.

Ashley Edelen
Ashley Edelen

Ashley Edelen is an Environmental Sustainability and LCA Analys. She is a pastoral Resident and regular contributor at 21st Century Church.