In my earlier blog I identified the first four tips for grieving through the Holiday Season. In this second blog I will continue that work and cover the next three tips. I pray that God will use these tips to help you or a loved one who may be grieving through the upcoming holidays.
5) God can turn our grief into gratitude.
This will take time, but it is true. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work for the good for those who love God. If this is the first time reading that, please re-read it and memorize it. God loves us so much that by the power of the Holy Spirit, God will heal our grieving and will turn it into something that will work for the good. God can do this in many different ways. After there has been healing in life, we can expect that the Holy Spirit will bring somebody into our life who is grieving and who needs hope.
We have had Roman 8:28 moments in our life. The road to parenting was very difficult for us and when we finally did conceive, we ended up with several miscarriages (seven total). Now we give workshops and talk about healing issues and can be hope for others from the healing God granted us.
Try this today: Read Romans 8:28 and write down what it means for you in your grieving.
6) Make time for activities you used to enjoy.
I enjoy teaching and learning martial arts, and I try to go to class every Thursday evening; it is my “group therapy.” After my dad died in Nov. 2005, Thursday night came, and out of habit I went to martial arts. After coming home my wife asked me, “Did you have a good time?”
After a long pause I said, “No, I didn’t, but I went.” At certain times in the grieving process we have to do the things we used to like to do before our grieving started. But we have to balance that out with self-care as well, and it is a tricky balance. As we go through the grieving process, this balance can help.
Try this today: Take a moment to list some of the things you used to enjoy before your grieving started, and pray about which ones God wants you to do this week or this day. If you need to call a loved one to help you with the list of things you used to like to do.
7) Consider the way you view yourself.
You are not the problem; you are precious. Never make yourself the problem. Don’t believe any lies about yourself, and don’t ever tell yourself any lies. We all talk to our selves; that is normal. But we need to ask: are these positive or negative statements? Some common negative self-statements would be, “How could you be so stupid?” or beating yourself up with regrets (“If only I had told her before she died . . .”).
If you are saying these negative things, please stop. Then, start telling yourself some positive things about who you are: you are God’s child, God loves you, God cares for you, you are good and beautiful because God created you good and beautifully, etc.
Try this today: Tell yourself something positive right now! Also, if you use any negative statements (as listed above) please stop those today; they are not helping your healing, and they may indicate that you need to do more grief work.
I pray that these three tips will help the many people who will be grieving through the upcoming holiday season. For more tips on grieving through the Holidays please read my other two blogs. Grieving through the Holidays: Part 1 and Grieving through the Holidays: Part 3