Once I heard Pastor Rick Warren said, “Your biggest ministry is started from your pain”. It’s hard to imagine at first, how can my pain be my biggest service? It was hard to understand, but now by feeling the service itself comes from a friend who have felt the similar pain as mine, I became understand.
During our pain and our grief, God silently put His spirit in us. God gives us comfort and ways to enable us going through that pain and grief. Maybe it’s different for each people with the same problem, but God knows that whatever the way, broken and hurt people are His wounded healer. They who have experienced pain can comfort those who are still in pain—and this will be the greatest service you can do. This is the thing that I’m quite understood recently.
I have experienced grief since few days ago. The cause is a broken heart, loneliness, losing someone I loved. I understand that every event has its own meaning in God. I can’t resist it and I know that behind all this pain and sorrow, there’s God’s beautiful rainbow. However, although I have known it all, although I have known that everything will be okay someday, although I have known that God has delivered me from something that will take me further from Him, it didn’t make my sorrow gone.
People who have been in broken heart must know that to move on from it is not a simple process. It takes time, energy, and lots of work. When I was in broken heart, I watched Pastor Rick Warren’s sermon about how God bless broken heart people. I was so moved watching those video. He reminds me that grief is a process I have to going through, not going over or around it. We should not avoid grief; instead, we should going through it. Sometimes it’s not easy to be honest that you feel grief. I experienced moments when I have to hide my feelings and act as nothing bad happened. I smiled a lot, I do my work as usual, and I do my activity as nothing happened. However, it never swept away the feeling of losing. It didn’t make me to move on. As Pastor Rick Warren said, “If you aren’t going through grief, you’ll be stuck in that step.” It’s happened to me likely. At first, I deny this feeling. I deny my sadness and my feeling of losing someone I loved. I thought that I’m fine and everything will just be fine as usual without someone I loved. However, it was wrong after all.
I often cried by myself at nights without knowing the reason. My heart suddenly ached and my tears won’t stop falling down. I didn’t know what the cause is. I was doing my life as I was, and I didn’t realize that although I’m trying to hide it, every time you lose something, there must be a pain in your heart. There’s a place in your heart that is empty and it makes you feel somehow incomplete. You feel something is missing and your heart knows it well. That’s why I was crying; it’s my heart’s shout, looking for something’s missing from it. As I said, firstly I deny the feeling. I don’t want to be in grief. I thought that grieving will just show that I’m a weak person and I don’t like to be weak. I want to be strong. I thought that God wants me to always be happy all the time. I thought that God doesn’t like see me crying. I thought that God will think me as a weak person in faith if I’m grieving. My brothers and sisters let me tell you that all my thoughts are wrong. Once again, it’s not that way God think. I learnt that our God is the God who knows how it feels to be left, to be betrayed, to be lied to. He is the God who understands all of our pain. Which pain that a man’s being crucified for no reason didn’t have? He experienced all the pain and He knows all of it.
Knowing the fact that our God knows the pain and that He also grieving, makes me feel relieved. I started to admit my feeling and I became honest with myself. I admit that I felt pain because of losing someone I loved. I cried not without purpose, but I cried because I know that a part of my life is gone. Sometimes I was just crying for a while, but sometimes it takes a longer time. I let myself dwelled in that feeling for that moment. I don’t want to suppress my feeling and I don’t want to make my mind take over and told me to stop crying, stop become weak. It’s not about become weak. This is another important thing to realize: crying is not a sign of weakness. To admit that you feel sad, you feel lost; you feel hurt—are not signs of weakness. Broken heart is not a sign of weakness. This was said in a retreat I have joined few months ago. Broken heart is a sign that we have tried to know, to love, and to serve someone but he or she doesn’t accept our try. It’s a sign that we love. No one would feel broken heart if he or she didn’t love. Once again, it’s not sign of weakness and it’s not something you should be shame of.
Formerly, I felt shame telling my friends about my broken heart. I thought that they will mock me; they will tell me that I shouldn’t feel that way. I thought that they will avoid me after knowing the fact. I also afraid that my image of faithful and loving person will suddenly changed in their mind. I was afraid if they think what I have done is not sincere; that I was a bad person. A lot of fear comes in my mind when I started to tell my best friend about what I feel. But you know what, may be some of your friend will be just as what you think, but mostly they won’t. If your friends are really your friends, they will not see your sadness and broken heart as something to be shame of. They will accept you as who you are, they will welcome you; embrace you with their love and care. This is what I never imagine before. At that moment I know and I become enlighten that I have friends who understand me.
It comes a time when I really feel depressed. I told some of my trusted friend to pray for me. One of them not only prays for me. She asked me what has happened. She can sense my hurt, my sadness and my grief. I was afraid to tell her at first, but then I told her what I feel. It’s amazing how she treated me. I know that she was also experienced broken heart before. She comforts me and she said that it’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to cry, to grief. She knows how it feels when you lost your love. She understands that, that’s why she also understands me. She didn’t say many things. She just let me tell her my story, my sadness, my worry, and anything bothered me. You know, the most touching moment is the moment she said that it’s okay to feel sad; the moment she understand me, not judging me. The moment when she convinced me that it is okay, it’s all need process. Healing needs time. She can say that because she has experienced it. That’s the moment I felt really accepted and loved. My friend didn’t judge me for my feeling. If your friends judge you for what you feel, maybe you should just stop tell them about your feeling. Look for someone who will accept you, hear your story and comfort you; not someone who will judge you and tell you to stop grieving.
Well, when I write this I have to admit that my pain hasn’t healed thoroughly. I know it needs time. I promise to myself that I won’t suppress my feeling and I won’t get over it. I have to go through it. That’s what makes me move on. That is the way I’m not going to stuck at that feeling. That does how I avoid bitterness consume my happiness. I know that God wants us to live fully and peacefully, but He also understand the moments we grief and feel sad. God never ask us to be happy all the time, because He understands that there’s always a time for everything. There’s a time to cry, there’s a time to laugh. It’s all the part of life. Everything will just pass away. However, when you feel broken heart, don’t be afraid or hesitant to grief about it. It’s okay and it’s healthier than keeping your sadness inside and suppress your feeling. I won’t tell you to stop feeling sad. Feeling is just feeling, it has never been right or wrong. You cannot tell your feeling to not sad. Feeling is your reaction for something happened. What you can do about your feeling is asking God’s grace to comfort you with His love and peace. There’s no pain will last forever. Everything will be healed in time. Then, this is another important point. When you are in grief, try to serve more. Serving will not suppress your feeling, but serving will comfort you from inside. People may comfort you with their words, but serving will comfort you from your inner heart. In my grieving moments, I keep working and do my job as usual. I also do my hobbies: cooking, reading, writing. However, there’s a time when I came to my God and tell Him my sadness. There’s a time when I need to call my friend and looking for their acceptance. There’s no burden you can handle by yourself lighter than if you share it with others.
Finally, just as what I said before, the way of healing may be different for each person. The period of grieving also may be different. It’s important to getting closer to God in the moments of your grief. He will show you what’s better to do. He will lead you to someone or something you need to meet. He will comfort you and show you the way of healing. As for me, I have decided to look for Him closer. I want to visit places where I can feel closer to Him. I want to have reconciliation retreat to help me throw away the bitterness. I want to do anything to make me closer to Him; that’s what I told myself to.
Maybe you have another way, it’s okay. The way of healing is different for each person, as does the period of healing itself. Somehow I believe that this grief will be an opening door for a great life I’ve never imagine before. Somehow I have faith that what’s good has been near. I didn’t know the future, but I do believe that when God holds my future, I shouldn’t feel worry or anxious. Because I know that God is a Loving Father. He loves me and He will give the best life for me. He won’t lead me to meet a snake when I asked for a fish. He won’t give me a stone when I asked Him for bread. He is a Loving Father. Trust your life to Him, and He will surely bless you abundantly.
At last, this is the verse Rick Warren started his sermon with, and I want to close my writings with this verse; hoping it will be a blessing for everyone who mourn:
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
Enjoy your life, learn from it and serve through it. 🙂