Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
Being a spiritual director who focuses on writing back and forth to my clients, I’ve come to realize just how important letter writing is to my work, to the way I reach out to and encourage others.
It’s not just in my personal correspondence with those who work with me in written spiritual direction or the Journal Gently program, but even in the idea that I have chosen to focus on email as my main way to connect with you all outside of this podcast, rather than social media or video.
And so this week, I wanted to share with you a letter I wrote to my friends shortly after Thanksgiving, which I feel is rather relevant now, a few days after Christmas. Because grief has a way of… well, getting in the way. And I wanted to take a moment to address that, to share a personal experience with you, and to offer some journal prompts to help you discern what to do with such grief.
So here is my letter to you.
A Personal Letter From Me to You
While I was in college, a local family welcomed me into their home, and honestly, into their family. We’re talking the grandparents, parents, and children–three generations of adopted kindness.
I ate meals with them.
I served with them.
I studied the Bible with them.
I prayed with them.
I laughed with them.
And then something happened that stole all of that away.
And it kind of came out of nowhere.
And I did not respond well.
Eventually, I took the time to talk it out with God and grieve those losses together with Him, but it catches me off guard sometimes how much it still impacts life today.
Because grief, it has a way of… well, getting in the way.
I can be going along just fine, and then a comment or question sends me into a tailspin and I’m grieving all over again.
And let’s be honest, grief isn’t just about the death of a loved one, is it?
It’s also about the loss of a friendship.
Or the loss of a job.
Or the loss of community.
Or the loss of health.
Or the loss of mobility.
Or the loss of an opportunity.
Or the loss of trust.
It’s all the tiny little losses connected to all the bigger ones.
The trickle effect.
And the holidays… they just seem to amplify everything.
Friend, if yesterday was hard–if a comment or question or memory threw you into a tailspin, too–then I would love to offer you some journal prompts that can help you start to process that grief with God.
- What feels like the heaviest loss to me this holiday season? What grief am I carrying?
- How has my loss impacted my relationships with family, friends, colleagues, God, etc.?
- Are there any “smaller losses” I’m experiencing because of the “big loss”?
- What is God’s invitation to me in the midst of my grief?
There is power and healing simply in naming our losses before God and laying them at His feet. Don’t feel like you need to do more right now. Just name them and see how He responds.
Seeking God together,
Friend, this week between Christmas and New Years is often a slower week—one where the kids are home from school or family is still nearby. And I would invite you to take a little extra time just to rest with God. Think about what grief might be getting in the way of your life, your joy, your healing right now. And simply name it before the Lord and see what He’d like you to do with it.
If you want help with this, if you don’t know how to name or bring your grief to God, but you so desperately want to, then I invite you to join me in the Journal Gently program. While you can join anytime, you do still have a few days left to save $30 on registration by using the seasonal code (listen to the podcast to find out 😉 ). That’s good until December 31. And if you want to wait a week or two before you start, that’s perfectly okay. Just note that when you check out. You can learn more and sign up at lovedoesthat.org/journalgently.
Finally, if you’d like to receive more letters like this one from me on a regular basis, often with things I don’t share in other ways, then you can go to lovedoesthat.org/resources and grab any one of those free resources by clicking on the image. I have a grief journal, some journal prompts for seasons of transition and change, a 30-minute video journaling workshop, and more. Grabbing one of those resources will get you on the email list. I try to email once a week, but I also don’t want to fill your inbox with fluff, so if I find I have nothing pertinent to share, I’ll skip a week.
Okay, my friends, that is all for today—and all for this year. Until next time… let’s encourage one another.
- Free Resources from Love Does That (just click the image of the resource you want)
Learn more and register for Journal Gently, an 8-week program designed to help you use writing as a way to process hurt, grief, and trauma with God.