Teach Me to Grieve

On Tuesday, I started attending a grief support group at my church. It lasts thirteen weeks and I know it will be beneficial, but it is scary. Really freaking scary.

There’s roughly 10-12 people and I’m almost positive every single one of them is at least twice my age. It’s strange because some of them are there because they are grieving the loss of a child my age.

I’m not good at being open with people, especially people I don’t know well (or at all). Vulnerability is a serious weakness of mine, so being in this group is a pretty big step outside my comfort zone.

In addition to meeting each week, we also have a “workbook” that walks us through personal reflection for five of the six days between our sessions. Each day’s reflection includes a prayer, just a few sentences to engage with God. The prayer for tonight really resonated with me.

“God, the pain of my grief is pressing in on all sides, and sometimes I can’t breathe with the force of it. Lift me into Your arms. Comfort me with Your presence, and teach me to grieve.” (emphasis mine)

The first part is painfully true. Literally. On some of the worst days, I struggle to get oxygen into my lungs. I lay in bed and yell at God over and over until noise no longer comes out. I sit in this overwhelming silence longing for comfort and community.

The last part really hit me and is something I’m going to try to really focus on over the next twelve weeks. I think part of why I’m still where I am is that I’ve tried moving forward in the grieving process, but it’s come with so much force.

I’m in a season of learning about humility. Sometimes I try to shift the focus from Jesus back to me and what is occurring in my life… and then I have a really long day that ends with a 45 minute drive home, a worship playlist full of truth, and straight-up ugly crying because He is so much more than I can ever comprehend.

So I’m stepping back, taking things slow, listening in, and waiting for His voice to teach me to grieve.

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