Big Idea: While grief is usually associated with the death of a loved one or a friend, it can also become the way we deal with the loss of a significant relationship, loss of a dream or loss of a leader

Burying Grief

For some of us, we don’t grieve outwardly, but instead bury it so deep within us that we don’t even realize it’s there. We think, “I’m fine,” I will just grieve “in my own way” or “when the time comes” or “when I’m not so busy and distracted” or “when I feel it someday.” Sometimes other emotions hide grief.  If we haven’t had an active emotional life, we won’t deal with grief very well. If we are the type of person who never ‘gets excited’ or ‘gets angry’ or ‘gets anxious’ or ‘gets down,’ we will bury grief so deep we won’t know it’s there.

Bursting Grief

For others, grief is explosive! It overwhelms, it cripples. Waves of emotional outbursts come, anger bursts forth, sadness explodes, we yell, we curse, or we hit things. We have frequent uncontrollable reactions that don’t seem to stop.

Whether you are an internal processor who may try to bury grief or an external processor who may try to ‘let it all out’, both are normal, and both can be used as Good Grief… They become unhealthy when they lead to “actions” that are “numbing” or “isolating” or “destructive”- some of these actions include:

Good Grief is recognizing the influence a person’s life has on our own thoughts, emotions, sense of stability, and trust._

Psalm 34:18 ESV “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

The 7 stages of grief: not linear, not a strict process, not just “step-by-step” but a good guideline for what we have all been feeling

  1. Shock and denial. This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings.
  2. Pain and guilt. … “Sobbing sadness at the feeling of loss and feeling that I should have done more.
  3. Anger and bargaining. … “Why is this happening to the person? Why is this happening to me…if this happens, then I will do this, I will be okay if the person just comes back
  4. Depression. … “I can’t work, I can’t pray, I can’t read my Bible, I can’t think, I can’t move, I can’t breathe, I can’t eat, I can’t …”
  5. The upward turn. … “Life has to continue; it has to start again…
  6. Reconstruction and working through. … “I begin living life again, rebuilding what is destroyed…
  7. Acceptance and hope… “I’m at peace with what happened”

Grief cannot be FIXED, it can only be PROCESSED

“Grief isn’t a tractor that can be fixed, it’s a reduction sauce that must be processed”

There are two types of Grief: Intuitive and Instrumental

Intuitive grief:

  • Strong, affective reactions (waves of powerful emotions)
  • Expressions that mirror feelings (more like an open book)
  • Moving forward involves exploring and expressing feelings, progressing through the pain in order to heal.

Instrumental grief:

  • More thinking than feeling (an inward, quiet process, less expression of emotions)
  • Being physical, expressing grief through doing something

Processing grief is about bringing the issue to the surface and talking about it with people.
If you lost a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend, a pastor, a co-worker who was very close to you, don’t grieve alone.
Don’t process grief alone: We will meet tonight at 6:00pm to pray and worship as a community. This is the best thing we can do as a church family.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

  • For me, I spent a lot of time alone processing in the middle of the night
  • Now, I find that my processing with people has given me so much hope


What stage do you find yourself at?
What are you doing to process your grief?
Come to prayer and worship at 6:00pm tonight.

Renovation Update

Renovations are coming to a close. Most of our amenities such as heating and bathrooms are fully functional and available. Finishing touches are still in process.

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