Are you hurting? Mourning a loss? Grieving over a tragedy in your life? There are some critical truths you need to know:
1. God sees your grief. Sometimes the whole world knows a person is grieving—a tragedy such as a diagnosis or a death has made her pain common knowledge. But other times grief is private, kept secret and hidden away. Maybe it’s tucked behind a false smile and an “I’m fine” persona—but underneath the façade, “the grief remains.” Know that the Lord who is “close to the brokenhearted” sees your sorrow. It isn’t hidden from his eyes. Maybe it’s the lingering pain from the break-up of a romantic relationship. Or maybe it’s a deeper, hidden trauma such as the pain of abuse or grief over an abortion. In “Does the Pain of Abortion Ever Go Away?” counselor Julie Woodley offers encouragement from her own story of recovery from abortion and shares hope for women who are suffering through this private grief. If you are hurting because of post-abortion trauma or another secret sorrow, Julie encourages you to hear God’s call: “Experience my grace and my extravagant love.”
2. God gets it—even when others don’t. Well-meaning people can say all sorts of stupid things in a clumsy effort to comfort someone who’s hurting. Rather than bring hope, these shallow euphemisms and empty clichés can magnify a grieving person’s sense of isolation. If you don’t want to be one of the bumblers who ends up hurting rather than helping, consider the insights in Vaneetha Rendall’s “What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Suffering.” And if you’ve been the recipient of similar hurtful comments, ask God to give you the grace you need to deal with your well-meaning friends—and know that he understands even when others don’t.