What do you do when the plan you had is 180 degrees away from the plan God is leading you toward?
Tonight I wrote to a dear, sweet friend who is struggling with the loss of some life-long dreams and is trying to find footing for the next step.
So much of our life is encouraged to be on the go- never stopping to reflect- to mourn. We miss a lot by skipping this emotional process. I think that trying to cut it too short, stunting the process all together, and yes, drawing it out too long, prevents the proper healing of our hearts.
Mourning is a yucky business. It’s messy, there are no defined edges, it’s a hard-ugly crying sort of thing, mascara running, sweatpants wearing, hair-pulled-back-no-make-up-wearing experience. But we need to do it. We need to let go of the things we are grasping and gripping so that our hands and hearts are free to receive the better thing, the best thing that God has planned for us.
Mourning for me is often spent in some sort of physical or mental activity. I will cry for sure, but I also yell, scream, even throw things, if I think it will help me release all that is within me. I will yell at God in an ugly way and demand to understand WHY He decided to allow something to happen (or not happen). I am not shocking Him. He is the God of the Universe. He can handle the tone of my voice, my little kid tantrums because I don’t understand the bigger picture.
But I don’t stay angry. Just like a small child who has exhausted himself, I curl up and find rest in the arms of my Father. I don’t have to know all of the answers. I can find peace in knowing the God Who created everything out of nothing has the best planned for me. And sometimes, that isn’t the plan I thought it would be. Or the plan my friend thought it would be.
If we try to hold onto what we want and what God wants for us we will lose something in the process. It could be the sweet experience He has planned, the friendship He has been preparing and cultivating for us. For me, I think of the heartbroken, jilted bride who could have held on to what she would never have thereby missing the precious experience of being loved and pursued by an amazing man.
My advice to my sweet friend was to allow herself to be sad, to be mad, to cry, yell, scream, and trust that God has better. I speak only from personal experience.
God holds us in His everlasting arms as we mourn. We just need to recognize the protection of His arms as He does it.