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The Women of Faith Keys for Living books are designed for those looking for help and for those looking to help, the Keys for Living were created to help you … and help you help others. The Keys are great for personal study and growth, small group studies, and for teaching and training purposes.
What to Expect in the Keys: You’ll discover God’s wisdom and guidance in a simple format.
- Definitions help you understand the topic from God’s perspective.
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LIVING AT PEACE WITH LOSS
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Will grief never end?
Do you feel like your grief will never end?
Are the losses in your life a continual source of sorrow?
The pain of losing a loved one is often too difficult to put into words. In our grief, God comforts. These Keys for Living show how to move through the grief process and how to handle your emotions. Discover the comfort and promises of God’s Word and how to help others cope with loss.
How do you cope when a deep or tragic loss leaves you feeling empty, angry, or alone? Healing is a journey, and while there are no shortcuts through the process of grief, God promises not to leave you in the valley of despair. God wants you to place your seasons of sorrow in His hands. He promises to take you from pain to peace and into the light of a new tomorrow. These Keys for Living will teach you to navigate the stages of grief, how to find comfort, and how to help others overcome loss. Are you ready to let go, say goodbye, and find peace from the losses in your life?
Moving through the grief process takes time and commitment to “stay the course” until the goal of grief is accomplished. Working through your grief is not an easy task. It’s difficult and it involves dedication, and in your pain and sorrow you wonder if you’ll ever be whole again.
Be assured, God has a plan for you during this season of pain. He’ll give you strength to persevere through the hurt. He’ll give you the strength to see that the present offers stability and significance and He’ll enable you to move into the future which holds new and promising hope! He’s promised you a peace that passes all understanding. Grief work involves a step-by-step process of walking through the sorrow and into healthy emotional healing.
Who has not questioned the reason for pain and suffering in the world? Certainly some people have become hardened by their losses, while others have become softened—God used their grief to cultivate in them tender, understanding hearts. Only days before His own death, Jesus traveled to the grave of Lazarus to comfort his two sisters in their loss. Jesus was not only deeply moved in His Spirit, but He was also weeping with Mary and Martha. It may seem paradoxical that Jesus—the Son of God, the one who turned water into wine, the one who multiplied the loaves and the fishes, the one who raised Lazarus from the dead—could not avoid grief in His own life. But the prophet Isaiah foretold that Christ, the coming Messiah, would be a man who would understand grief well for, indeed, He was…
“A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”
(Isaiah 53:3 NKJV)
What Is Grief?
- Grief is the painful emotion of sorrow caused by the loss or impending loss of anyone or anything that has deep meaning to you.
“Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.”
- Grief begins in your heart as a natural response to a significant, unwanted loss.
- Grief is a God-given emotion that increases with knowledge about the sorrows of life. The wiser you are about the grief that people experience, the more you yourself will grieve.
“With much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” (Ecclesiastes 1:18)
- In the New Testament, the Greek word lupe means “pain of body or mind.” When Jesus told His disciples He would soon be betrayed and killed, they were filled with grief.
“The disciples were filled with grief.”
What Is Mourning?
- Mourning is the process of working through the pain of sorrow that follows a significant loss.
“Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning.”
- Mourning (also called grieving), is a normal, healthy process that lasts for a period of time. God uses mourning in order to produce the ultimate healing of deep distress and sorrow.
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.”
- Mourning evokes compassion and expressions of comfort from others. When Lazarus died, Jesus and many others came to comfort Mary and Martha.
“Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.”
- In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word abal means “to mourn or lament.” Jacob’s favorite son was Joseph. When Joseph’s brothers told their father, Jacob, that his favored son had been killed by a ferocious animal, Jacob went into deep mourning for days … and ultimately years.
“Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.”
What Is Chronic Grief?
While we are grieving, a prevalent problem may be that we don’t want to talk about our grief or let others see our sadness. We don’t want to appear weak … so we mask our emotions! Yet if we delay sharing our sorrow, our healing will also be delayed. If we are going to be “authentically human,” we need to be able to share the truth about the heaviness in our hearts. If we have chronic grief, we are emotionally stuck, and we need to be set free. That is why Jesus’ words about truth are so freeing … even when applied to grieving.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
- Chronic grief is an unresolved, emotional sorrow experienced over a long period of time as the result of not accepting a significant loss or not experiencing closure of that loss.
“The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.”
- Chronic grief (or incomplete grief) can also be an unresolved, deep sorrow experienced over a long period of time and characterized by misconceptions that result in a failure to move through a grief process.
Steps to Letting Go
Grief is an intense emotional suffering caused by personal loss. It involves acute sorrow, deep sadness, suffering, pain, and anguish.
Bereavement can be defined more specifically as the grief that follows the death of a loved one. This chapter will focus primarily on that aspect of grief.Bereavement is a difficult time. The bereaved person will often feel that his or her experience is unique, that no one has ever endured such a loss or suffered as he or she is suffering. There are cycles of healing to the pattern of grief, which permit the sorrowing person to recover in due time.
- Talk about the history you have shared with that which is lost. Acknowledge that history as a permanent part of your past but no longer a part of your present.
- Express any unfinished business regarding the past and resolve any remaining issues or feelings (such as regrets, resentments, grievances, or guilt), emptying them out and bringing them to closure.
- Choose to forgive whatever offenses you may still be harboring and let go of any thoughts of revenge.
- Release the past to the past and commit to cease trying to make it a part of your present and your future. Trust these words …
“You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.”
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God desires to give you hope as you face life challenges, problems and difficult trials. The good news for us, God specializes in redemption and transformation. He takes that which was lost and restores it. He takes that which was dead and gives it life. He takes that which had no hope and rewrites its story. This is our God! As you pray today, ask God boldly to transform the thing inside you that you want to see changed forever!
Thank you for your interest and support in Women of Faith. We pray God will encourage, equip, and empower you with His life-changing truth.