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Both Grief and Hope

On the day I called, you answered me;

my strength of soul you increased...Psalm 138:3 (ESV)

Sometimes I stop and stand in silence, taking a moment to reflect on what I am feeling. At times, naming my emotions can be an easy process. I am filled with joy in some moments...times when I am watching my children grow and discover new talents or new strengths...times when I am celebrating with friends.

There are other times when I am swallowed by grief...when I have lost a friend or a friend has lost a loved one...times when a tough diagnosis is being faced. Times when my community seems to be broken and hurting.

AT others times, however, I am moving between emotions, not sure which one is holding me back and which one is moving me forward. There are times when I am sitting with two strong feelings...when I have both hope and grief holding my hands.

I can grieve for a loss or for a situation I find myself or my community facing. I can grieve over uncertainty. Grief and fear can walk together through my soul and work to keep me wondering if love or joy or peace will ever return. I begin to fear people and places that have never stirred fear in me before.

Then there are times when I am walking with both grief and hope. I see all that is lost...I see the hurting...I see the wrongs. I also see the possibilities, though. I see the goodness and the love that is rising above the pain. I feel hope gripping my hand and hear my name being called as I look past the pain.

Grief still exists. It has not vanished from my life. Hurts still reappear...sorrow wakes with me some days. But hope is also nearby. Grief has not erased all love and joy and peace from my life. Hope dances in with new glimpses of people walking with moments to tell someone I love them.

We can know grief and still walk with hope...

Reflective Writing:

When have you felt strengthened in your faith? What gave you that feeling of becoming stronger or feeling renewed and hopeful again?

When you called out from a place of hurt or grief, how did God bring hope back into your life? What people help you find hope when you are struggling?

How have you been a source of hope for others?

Where Grace Found Me

When emptiness is all I feel,

you fill me…

become the breath

that sustains

and the pulse

that brings life

and the small

glimpse of light

that is enough…