Tuesday Sep 28, 2021
How to Get Through What You’re Going Through | Part 3 | Sorrow: Getting Through Life’s Losses | Chris Voigt
Sorrow: Getting Through Life's Losses
How to Get Through What You're Going Through
September 26, 2021
The Pity Train has just derailed at the intersection of Suck It Up and Move On and crashed into We All Have Problems, before coming to a complete stop at Get the Heck Over It. Any complaints about how we operate can be forwarded to 1-800-waa-waaa. This is Dr. Sniffle reporting live from Quitchur Fussin.’ The meme goes on to say: If you like this, repost it. If you don’t, suck it up, buttercup, life doesn’t revolve around you!
While these words might bring a chuckle, they also reveal how we often respond to people in pain. Grief hurts. Heartache is heavy. Loss is hard. And being there for someone in pain can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, difficult.
Their relationship had always been challenging, but now it felt shattered beyond repair. Not knowing where else to turn, the young couple met with their pastor. He listened as they unpacked the pain, then spoke softly. “Thank you for telling me your story. But I want to caution you against sharing with anyone outside this office. People will judge you. See a counselor for help, but don’t tell anyone at church.”
I wish I could tell you this was just a story, written for illustrative purposes. But this really happened, years ago now, to friends of mine. In the early days of a crisis, seeking help to work through broken trust, they turned to the place they thought for sure they’d find hope. Only to be told to cover it up, don’t talk about it, pretend like everything’s ok. Being there for someone in pain can be uncomfortable, inconvenient and hard. Even for a pastor.
We use expressions like, “Don’t cry over spilt milk.” “Sweep it under the rug.” “Put one foot in front of the other” or “Just keep swimming.” Those catchy phrases that encourage us to forget about yesterday and just keep moving forward have been around forever. They are so deeply embedded into our culture – both outside and inside the Church – that we don’t even stop to consider whether they’re good, right, healthy or biblical.
Grief enters our lives in a variety of ways. Through the death of a loved one, certainly. But there are so many other sources of loss and pain in our world. And yet, death sometimes seems to be the only thing we have permission to stop and grieve. Whether you’ve lost someone you love or not, if you’re old enough to be watching this video, you’ve certainly lost something. Perhaps you’ve lost a job, a home, a dream; a friendship, a marriage, a child. Or maybe you’ve lost money, respect, safety or trust. The list of possible losses is unending. With the reality of so much loss and pain in our day-to-day lives, who has time to grieve? Is there any option other than to just let it go, get over it, move on?
The honest, hope-filled answer is YES! We are in week 3 of our series, How to Get Through What You’re Going Through. This week we’re talking about sorrow and what it looks like to enter in and work through sorrow in a healthy way. And “Suck it up, buttercup” is not part of the process. God never intended for pain to be part of our story. But He does promise to redeem our pain and heal our wounds, if we choose to enter into the healing process that He has designed us for.
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