January 27, 2014, changed my life forever. On that day, I had to make a critical decision for my life. Was I going to let grief consume me or strengthen me?
“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek his presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11
In January of 2014, I was a junior at Broken Arrow High School. I had an incredible family, great friends, I made good grades and I was a part of my school’s show choir, so life seemed pretty great to me. I had no idea that my life was about to change forever.
January 27, 2014, my sweet friend Unique gained her angel wings and went to heaven. I was devastated, confused and angry. I did not understand how someone who was the literal definition of perfect could be taken from this earth so soon. On that day I had to make a choice, was I going to let my grief consume me or strengthen me? I am going to be honest with you, my 16-year-old self chose consumption.
What did the choice of consumption bring me? Anger. Sadness. Fear. Hopelessness. Confusion. I was mad at the world. I was mad at God. I was mad at myself. The grief was overwhelming. I did not want to get out of bed. I felt like I was in a never-ending nightmare that was on repeat in my mind. I stopped caring about everything.
Four days later, Unique’s memorial service took place. As the slideshow of memories of my dear friend’s life played, I broke down in tears when I saw the first picture of me and Unique. I had a God moment right there. If there was one thing I knew, it was that Unique loved her God with all of her heart, soul and mind. I knew that instead of being angry at God, Unique would want me to find my strength in our Mighty God, our Prince of Peace.
The road to allowing my grief to strengthen me and not consume me was not clear and flat. There were lots of bumps and curves, even a couple of mountains, but I leaned on the Lord to give me strength. Click To Tweet
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2
Here are some steps to take to allow your grief to strengthen you instead of consuming you. It will not be easy, but your Heavenly Father is right by your side.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12
When your heart is heavy with grief, call out to your Heavenly Father. He is already patiently waiting to hear from his beloved child, you. He wants to help you get through this hard time and bless you with the strength to carry on through this hard season of life.
2. Remember, You’ll See Them Again
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
God promises us that if we believe that Jesus is the son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins to later defeat death and rise from the grave, that we will spend eternity in heaven with our creator. It is a beautiful promise that means one day we will see our loved ones again.
3. Surround Yourself With Good People
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20
God did not design us to be alone. He puts people in our lives for a reason. It is important to surround yourself with good people who can comfort you and give you godly advice during this tough season of your life. Lean on those people, and do not try to do this on your own.
4. Release Your Anger
“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9
Keeping anger bottled up in your heart does nothing but hurt you in the end. In order to heal, you must release the built up anger that has overtaken your heart. Ask God to help you release that anger, so you can be set free.
5. It is OK To Mourn
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
Mourning your loss does not make you weak. We all need a good cry every once in a while. We just have to allow God to comfort us, he is the Prince of Peace. Call out to God for comfort, and he will give it to you.
6. Allow God To Strengthen You
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
God will give you strength even if you feel weak and powerless. Allow him to move in your heart and carry you on his shoulders through this difficult season of life.