Don't Rush Through The Pain Of Loss

Loss is a part of life.  If you live long enough, you will experience enough losses to know that you can't live without experiencing them, and trying to avoid them is pointless. 

I've also come to understand that most of us often cope with the losses in our lives by almost immediately finding ways to fill the empty spaces created when we experience them.  

A relationship falls apart, and we all too soon seek to find someone to fill the void. 
A dream dies, and we desperately seek a new one, thinking we can't live without it. 
We lose a job, or our career ends, so we quickly seek to find a new one, sometimes taking the first thing that comes along. 

And sometimes, when that doesn't work as quickly as we'd like, we seek replacements in things that help us numb the pain of the loss we've suffered.  

Melody Beattie writes about the way we often seek quick replacements like this: 
We face many losses along the way.  People we love disappear from our lives; we may lose a career, money, or something else we valued.  We can lose our dreams, too.  But looking for quick replacements as a way to avoid feeling pain about the loss won't work. 
It takes time to work through our grief over the many losses we face in life.  We shouldn't rush through the grief process because to do so may do more harm than good.  

We need to give ourselves grace and be patient, knowing that no matter how bad we feel in the moment, the danger of rushing to find replacements for who or what we've lost could result in a more challenging road to recovery.  

And we should trust that God will be with us during our path to wholeness and that God's purposes are for us, not against us.  There will be a respite from the ache we feel from our losses, but we may need to wait. 

The 13th-century poet Rumi put it like this: 
don't drink now 
this polluted water
the elixir of life 
will soon arrive 
I love that poem.  It beautifully states the importance of letting go of our need for immediate relief from the pain of loss and offers a vision of hope that we can hold on to in our waiting.  

May all of us struggling through loss today find peace and comfort as we patiently wait for the elixir of life.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all, now and forever.  Amen. 


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