Strength In the Time of Loss
How do you negotiate loss? What do you do when your experience is less than your expectation? It has been said that trials don't make you, they reveal you. To me, it exposes the "thin places" in the walls of my heart, my spirit and my life. How can you negotiate through these times? Read on...
We have been through an incredibly difficult season in the area of loss. This week, we celebrated the life of my friend, Bill Watson in what can only be described as a celebration worthy of Jesus and of a much loved servant/son of His.
To get through this season, you must accept the fact that you are feeling pain. In my life, I notice that when I ignore emotion pain (or physical for that matter), I become short, my temper is a little less, shall we say, "tempered" and I feel vulnerable. You know what I mean? I am more susceptible in these moments, when ignored, to click in a place I shouldn't, linger with thoughts that are destructive if left unchecked and isolate myself from the very people I need in my life.
For me, pain incites loneliness. I become very isolated in those moments, feeling that I am alone in it and worse, I convince myself that no one else would want to bear that burden with me.
All of it is falsehood; a cold, blatant lie.
It's in these moments that I must remind myself of how to reveal, break and replace lies with truth. I seek to forgive, even myself and I break any unhealthy attachments.
But when that work is done, what is to be done?
I connect. I force myself not to isolate, which is my natural pattern. I seek out friends who I know will listen, tell where I stink and speak love and compassion in the midst of it. I seek out our body - the Fusion family.
I noticed as I negotiated the pain of others this week, as well as my own, that being with the Fusion family has been healing. Every gathering, every time we assembled to set up or clean or break down after an event this weekend, I found myself more in awe and more sustained than I thought I would. For this, I am profoundly grateful.
I would encourage you to not isolate.
Look, I get it. I am well acquainted with pain. You do not pastor for as long as Janice and I have and not have pain that is both personal and pain that is thrust upon you because of intentionally seeking relationship. But let me implore you, in fact to quote St. Paul, I beg you, do not isolate. Seek one another out. Encourage each other. Hebrews 10:24, 25 says,
"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."
Getting together on the weekends and in small groups is even more important now. We need each other to work through our pain. Remember what the Proverbs say, "A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment." (Proverbs 18:1). You see, you may have thought that you need time to process pain alone, but if that season becomes the reason you no longer come together, it borders on a spiritual assault against your own self. You see, you may feel right now that you're good and need no one, but someone in the gathering will need you. For those of you who have been in a "take it or leave it" mode on fellowship, it is time to elevate your game and be present for others.
Finally, there will be many ways we can serve our bereaved and one another. But all of it will be better if we do it together, supporting and loving one another.
Fusion this is a moment where we get to see where we are at. I am deeply persuaded that we are about to step into a season of promise, fulfillment and power. The pathway to that is like everything else: together.
Let's connect and thrive!