“Be happy.”
“Don’t be angry.”
“Be thankful.”
“Let it go.”
“Move on.”
“Don’t cry.”

As if I weren’t trying. As if the thief had not come and taken it all away. As if I weren’t desperately clinging to what remained. As if I were a child holding on to my favorite toy. As if there were a timeline.

As if tears were not the very evidence that I was still a living, breathing soul.

Grief.

It is so beautifully grotesque.

RELATED: This is Grief

Nothing else in life will show you who you are from the inside out like grief will.

Any and all facades will come crashing down around you, leaving you naked and vulnerable for all to see. You can no longer play pretend games. Stripped of such a luxury, you must hide or be seen. There are no other options for the grieving.

Grief is greedy and it demands to be addressed. Any attempts to re-clothe yourself will only magnify what you are trying to hide.

Grief wakes you up in the morning with a fist, and it lays you down each night with a cackling slideshow of memories. It wrecks you to sleep with its symphony of emotionshaunting and off-key.

It never relents. It just keeps playing.

Your eyes open and shut . . . open and shut . . . light to dark . . . light and then dark again, marking the days, but your heart no longer tells time. You must continue on.

RELATED: When Time Doesn’t Fix your Grief

Normal life doesn’t realize you are no longer participating, and so things like getting out of bed, and moving, and breathing are still expected of you. Along with . . . 

“Be happy.”
“Don’t be angry.”
“Be thankful.”
“Let it go.”
“Move on.”
Please don’t cry.”

And dear friends, I know it’s because you love me and you desperately want to see me smiling, but can you please respect the . . . 

Frowns?

The head between my hands?

The clenched jaw?

The labored breathing?

The fetal position crumbling?

Can you love me while I’m breaking?

RELATED: Dear Friend: I’m Still Grieving—This is What I Need From You

Can you applaud a heart that is feeling?

I’m no Tin Man!

My heart is bleeding!

This! This is grieving!!

In Jesus, there is beauty in this loss.

In Jesus, there is freedom in being destroyed.

In Jesus, there is beauty in discovering the ugliest, hopeless, bitter, thankless, selfish, unbending, weeping parts of ourselves.

We are turned inside out so that every last speck of self can be tended to by His gentle, healing hands.

He does not ask us to be fake healed, this man of sorrows, because He is Truth and He knows only He can heal.

RELATED: We Can’t Talk People Out Of Their Grief, But We Can Sit With Them Through it

He does not ask us to put on a show for Him or anybody else, this man of sorrows, He knows we are hurting, and He does not flinch at the sound of our quaking.

Today, I will be brave enough to be broken and vulnerable. Today, I will have the audacity to offer grace to a heart so very weary.

Today, I will have the courage to say, “I’m not OK. One day . . . but not today.”

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Laura Gaston

Laura is a wife, mother of 5, and blogger at brokendevotion. Having struggled with severe depression and anxiety throughout her life, she feels that she has been given a special ministry in helping others who walk down this road. Just as He called, and continues to call her from her ashes and into a life of beauty and redemption, she now hopes to inspire others that Grace has no limits, and that nobody is beyond Christ's reach.

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