brave . . .
In the past few years, my heart has become heavy with the burden to serve and love people who grieve over lost expectations.
Grief when things don’t turn out like we think they will, like we hope they might. Grief over hopes unfulfilled, dreams unreached, status quo not met. Grief when things are messier than we thought, harder than we anticipated, just plain crappy.
. . . when the dream job ended
. . . when that friendship ended in turmoil
. . . when the relationship didn’t end happily ever after
. . . when the bank account moved from black to red
. . . when there’s no white picket fence in sight
. . . when no invitation arrived
. . . when the transcript looks dreary
. . . when the doctor gave the diagnosis
. . . when the baby never got to your arms
. . . when he got the promotion instead
That’s grief. Grieving over lost expectations is real. It’s raw. It’s painful.
Our world has a bad, bad habit of shaming us in the face of grief. The world tells us to get over it, get past it, deal with it, move forward, move on, get through it. Yeah, there is a time to make peace with grief. But when grief is a verb and we put I am in front of grieving . . . it’s active. And it calls for bravery.
To you, dear friends, who grieve over lost expectations alongside me, I say this: to grieve is to be brave. You have big, big, big hearts. And when your yearning to love or give or work or grow or thrive or see or live isn’t fulfilled . . . oh, loves, we walk that road with bravery.
Grieving with bravery means we look grief in the face. Grieving with bravery means crying, if we need to. Feeling our pain and not losing faith. Confiding in community, even when just speaking feels insurmountable. Being brave in grief is taking deep breath after deep breath after deep breath. Sometimes, grieving bravely just means putting one foot in front of the other.
Brave step by brave step.
(God is behind you all the way.)
Linking up today with Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt was brave.