Over the weekend at my book signing event, I spoke with a woman who told me no one was interested in talking with her about her grief surrounding the death of a close family member. She was specifically speaking of her family. I have no doubt God brought that woman to me so she could talk to someone. We spent about 20 minutes talking about grief, death and how good it is to have someone to talk to about such things. We also spoke of how good God is, even in our pain. She shed some much needed tears. When she left my booth, she was visibly relieved that someone had taken the time to talk with her and let her speak of things others would not allow. She was smiling! I do not condemn her family. They are hurting too and simply do not understand how good it is for them all to talk about their loss.
I want to take today to encourage all of us to let people talk about their grief. There is nothing wrong with grief. It is a natural response to a loss. I know talking to someone about grief may hurt us. I know it may be uncomfortable but you have no idea how you may be helping both yourself and them. When we don't talk about our pain, it wedges itself deeper into our hearts creating wounds we were never meant to bare. Those wounds manifest in our behavior and in our relationships. When we don't allow others to talk about their pain, we keep hurting them. I don't say any of this to condemn anyone, I know how sad and sometimes uncomfortable it is to let someone tell us something painful, especially if we don't know each other well. However, in order to help others, sometimes we have to lay aside what we want to do or don't want to do and do what is compassionate. When we allow people to talk about their grief or any other negative emotion they may be keeping from the world, we make their heart more free and we help them to heal! You may be the only listening ear they have!
Now for those of you who are in pain but remaining silent, I have some things I want to say to you too. My purpose is to see you healed! If you are refusing to talk about something you need to deal with and someone is giving you the opportunity, take it! Why let that pain fester inside your heart anymore? Why walk around with a wound you were not meant to bare? Silencing your pain will only lead to more pain.
Let the words come out! Let the pain and the tears come out so that your heart and your mind will be cleansed of grief or whatever other negative emotion has a hold on you. Talk to those who love you and let them talk to you - there will be much relief on the other side of that conversation. Cry out to the Lord! He already knows your pain anyway. Trust me when I say He can handle your pain and your anger. He can also heal you! He has done so for me and He will do this for you too!
I want to leave your with a thought:
In silence and suffering, pain continues and abounds. In speaking the truth and in speaking about our pain; life, freedom and healing come! Put your pain to death, you are meant for life!