Monday, July 05, 2010

Words of Encouragment

Originally written for Christy's blog at

The old well-worn words of encouragement from your Christian brothers and sisters might not provide the comfort intended. I hesitate to label them “clich├ęs” simply because scripture is truth and food for the mind, body and soul - no matter how well-rehearsed or ill-timed the delivery may be. Sometimes when grief is fresh you don’t want to hear that “your child is better off,” “she’s with Jesus now,” “you’ll see him again one day,” “you’ll always hold her in your heart,” “God never places more on you than you can bear,” and so on and on and on.

Sometimes you want to hear, “I’ve been there and it won’t always hurt this bad,” “It’s okay to get mad, have questions, and have doubts ... it’s okay to scream,” doubts are normal and it doesn’t cancel out your faith,” “with me, you don’t have to be strong. You can cry, and snot, or thrash on the floor … it’s okay.” “I’ll help you get through today.”

Sometimes complete and total acceptance of your grief experience is all you need to get through some of the tough days and weeks ahead. Other times a simple hug will do. Don’t worry about being strong or acting spiritual. Don’t let the burden of others’ expectations stifle you. If there isn’t a safe outlet to express the hurt or tough questions then journal, join a support group or an online community.

I’ve been there and it won’t always hurt this bad. It is a harrowing journey chocked full of briar patches and pits of despair, but one day you’ll catch yourself smiling. It may just be the same day you found comfort knowing your precious baby is safely tucked in Jesus’ arms.

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