One of the biggest lessons I have learned through grief is grace…
“I was really praying that he would live through the holidays,” a friend told me recently. “Really? I asked, “I was kind of praying he would live forever.” She meant well, but her comments came at the end of a long day and there just wasn’t a lot of grace left in me to give. I snapped and immediately regretted it, cutting the conversation short so I wouldn’t snap again.
The myriad of comments I have heard have ranged from “life goes on,” at the visitation; to “you’re young, and I’m sure God has someone else for you,” and “do you think that the kids will even remember him?” If there is one lesson that I have learned through the last few months, it’s that surviving grief is going to take a lot of grace. People mean well, but the words don’t always come out right, and when emotions are high as they often are right now, feelings are bound to be hurt.
But God is giving me grace and the strength to respond with, “It’s okay, we understand,” even when I don’t. And in the quiet hours when I am alone, God allows me to look back and see that yes, they meant well even though the words probably didn’t come out the way they meant them.
Sometimes the comments that hurt the most are the ones that are true. The “we all wish we could help you more, but we know you need to learn to do these things on your own now,” comments that resonate through my mind when I am alone at night. I have learned to do way more things on my own this year than this independent woman ever cared to. They are right, I do need to learn to do all these things on my own, but my mind hears those words constantly these days (I don’t really need to be reminded by anyone else).
And then there is grace. I lay awake and think about how many hurtful things I have said that were well intentioned and how much I wish I could take them back. And I pray that God would allow me to forget the things that they have said and just have grace for them… because I have been in their shoes more time than I can count. I know I have to have grace for them too.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Has God ever given you the strength to have grace in moments you wanted to lose control? Has he opened your eyes to see how hard it can be for people to reach out to you? Has he helped you to have the voice to say, “I understand,” and given you the ability to truly understand where they are coming from when they speak?
Most of all, I am thankful for the people who have taken time to reach out to me, even when they didn’t have the right words to say!
This season is hard, I won’t deny that… but I am thankful for the many lessons that God is teaching me along the way. I couldn’t do it without Him… and HIS GRACE.