Responses to our ambiguous grief from the great congregation in the social media world, and in those real face-to-face relationships, vary greatly.
These widely varying responses are to be expected as we interact with each other in the gamut of life – especially as we share our grief for others to know us better and love us if they choose (for to give love is a blessing to both the giver and to the receiver).
The responses we find most encouraging say, to the effect, “Your faith is inspiring, and thank you for sharing your journey.”
The responses that are generally least encouraging are those that seek to minister to us, strange as that might seem.
My writing is generally not written out of desperation, but through a desire to connect with God through deep reflection. In writing I’m able to invite my unconscious mind to speak, because my conscious world copes with this ambiguous grief just fine, or so it feels. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been a student-teacher of grief for nearly seven years now. Maybe it’s because my ministry archetype is to be the wounded healer.
We don’t really need people’s ministry to heal us, but we do need your love and encouragement to keep going. It is hard to give feedback that might bless, because when I go to do it, I often find myself thinking in clichéd terms (“God is good,” “He will bring you through this storm,” “He won’t waste your pain,” etc).
We know these things. We know that God is good, that our Lord will bring us through the storm, and that he will use our pain – we can already see these things.
God is teaching me to be a more thoughtful pastor; to give encouraging feedback of value that tells the person, “Your faith inspires me, keep going.”
There is so much love coming our way and we are deeply grateful.
We know now the effect of writing about the nuances of grief. God is using it to reaffirm we are not denying our reality. We are listening to the Holy Spirit’s illuminating Voice and we are obeying by writing down what we are learning. We are grateful that healing is not one event, but a process, a journey.
So, we do thank you, the reader, for bearing with us the never-ending flow of words with meaning. Somehow it is helping and healing us.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.