Pandemic Grief

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We’ve missed out on several things the last few months.

 

Events have been canceled. 

Kids activities postponed. 

Family vacations seem like this far off distant thing of the past. 

 

Disappointments abound in plenty. Showers, weddings, trips, and parties. Spring sports for our kids, school, the last day for seniors, graduation ceremonies and parties… Even funerals looked different.  

 

So many disappointments. 

 

I wonder what you’re doing with your disappointment? 

 

I stuffed mine. Shoved it deep inside, and put on a big girl “it’s going to be ok” face. And it was ok. Until it wasn’t anymore. 

 

Put enough pressure around me and eventually everything I stuff inside me comes spewing up like the pressure cooker letting off steam. 

 

As the pressure built up, the steam finally blew out. On the surface it looked like the little things were bugging me about my life. Little things like the messy laundry room, unfinished basement, and clutter filled garage. But really it was the disappointments. Big things, like a family trip to Florida and a friend who passed away. Big things, such as the relentless pressure of staying home, feeding children, and getting groceries during a pandemic. 

 

Disappointments that life wasn’t going the way it was planned. 

Plus, the added pressure of no end date on the horizon. 

 

You know, satan loves disappointments. He loves them because they take our eyes off Jesus. They take our eyes off the things we DO have. They take our eyes off the good right in front of us. 

 

When we are stuffing, stewing, or straining over disappointments, satan is winning. We MUST not let him keep us in that trap. 

 

That day when the pressure got too much and the steam rolled out I realized I had been stuffing the disappointments instead of dealing with them. I realized I needed to get them out. I needed to stop pretending everything was ok. Because hello, it wasn’t  ok. 

 

Here are three things I did… maybe they will help you deal with disappointments.

1. Get them out — Disappointments are similar to sin. If left hidden inside they  eat us alive. If left inside satan has an advantage over us. He can keep us trapped in our mind. We must get them out.  How to get it out might look different for each of us. Make a physical list on a scrap piece of paper. Write a list in your journal. Type it out in the notes on your phone. Somehow get it out. If you are a verbal processor share it with your husband or a close friend. Pour them out to Jesus.

2. Grieve them — This grief will also look different for each of us. It might look like setting the timer for 10 minutes and having a cry. A. Good. Ugly. Cry.  It might be going for a long walk and pouring your heart out to the Lord. Let yourself be sad. It’s ok. Take the time you need to grieve over that list of disappointments — maybe even a couple days. Be OK to just be sad. 

3. Move on — We can’t stay in the grief phase forever. Have a couple days of sadness and then move on. Obviously each person’s moving on will be at different lengths, depending on all that you have to grieve over. The Holy Spirit will show you when grief becomes self centered. Sitting in a mud puddle and whining doesn’t promote healing. {I might know from experience. Ugh.} Like grief, moving on will look different for each of us. But I do know it includes looking at what is right in front of you and being thankful. Ask yourself, “What has gone well? What can I be thankful for today?” A grateful heart turns our eyes away from the disappointments. A grateful heart shows us that, really, this is a special season of appointments. 

Satan wants you to stay stuck in this trap of disappointments. Believe me, disappointments abound right now. It’s this strange mix of something we’ve never dealt with before. It is history in the making.

God has great things in mind for redeeming this time, but we need to deal with the disappointments first. We can NOT let satan waste another day of this special season in our life right now. . . Get those disappointments out, grieve them, and then, friend, let’s move on! 

**Article first published in the Spring Titus2Newsletter**

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