Loss is part of this life. It just is.
Sometimes grief overwhelms us and we have no choice but to go there. But sometimes, we bury our grief deep. And we just don’t deal with it.
Or we inflict pain on those closest to us … or on ourselves.
When Jerusalem fell, the people experienced horrific loss. Months of siege resulted in famine, starvation, and ultimately reduced mothers to cannibalism. When the wall was breached, those still alive were raped, brutalized, slaughtered. Those who were spared were marched more than 500 miles to Babylon.
As Jeremiah watches this unfold, he stays close to God, but he also grieves.
My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city. (Lamentations 2:11)
He sees God’s hand in this pain.
I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light. Indeed he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long. (Lamentations 3:1-3)
He is honest with his loss.
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember the, and my soul is downcast within me. (Lamentations 3:20)
And yet he holds onto hope.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning: Great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)
What would it be like if instead of burying your pain, you brought it out to the open? What would be like if you could deal with it honestly, authentically? What would it be like if today you took some time to yourself, just for you?
Stop burying the pain, or taking it out on others … or yourself. Like Jeremiah, write it out, all of it. And, if you can, recall what you know to be true about God, and hold onto it. Begin to deal with your pain by lamenting your loss.