Spending time with loved ones, going to brunch, and learning from others are among some of my favorite things to do in life.
Earlier this week, my mom, sister, and I were lucky enough to all have some free time to have brunch together.
My sister and mom are some of my favorite people to talk to. I love talking about life with these two because they both have such deep insight and wisdom. Both have been through excruciating grief, yet both came out of multiple harsh grief experiences stronger and better than before.
As we were talking about our grief ministry, my sister shared a verse that is personally very meaningful to her, Psalm 55:17, “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.”
The reason this verse is so meaningful to her is because she lived it out in experience. After the death of her fiancé and our sister (they died 3 weeks apart), she didn’t hear from God for almost an entire year. An ENTIRE year!
How many of us would have become frustrated, grown bitter, or simply given up? She didn’t. She shared with me that she knew God loved her and was listening to her, so she felt compelled to keep pressing on.
I’m glad she did because she’s a wealth of wisdom and knowledge about harsh grief experiences! Had she given up on God, she would’ve missed out on so much wisdom and some very powerful life lessons…lessons she now shares with thousands of people!
Several things she and my mom shared at our special brunch date made an impact as I intently listened.
By the way, everybody you know has a life story and rich life lessons you can learn from. Anytime I meet with someone, I like to come away with at least one new thing I’ve learned from them.
Brunch was a jackpot of lessons. As I listened and talked with my sister and mom, I learned so much.
Here are 5 lessons I learned at brunch that I think are very valuable:
- It’s totally okay to be in deep grief and distress. There’s an entire book in the Bible (Psalms) where David didn’t “get over” his grief. God allowed David the freedom to deeply grieve. God didn’t rush David or tell him to get on with life. Allow God’s Word to validate your grief…especially when people around you don’t (or won’t) validate it.
- Grief changes people. You are guaranteed to become a different person: you’ll either choose to grow from grief and become a different (better) person…or you’ll choose to wither up and die and become a different (bitter) person. You may also yo-yo in between these two scenarios as you process your deep grief…and that’s okay! It’s completely up to you what kind of person you’ll ultimately decide to become of the two, though.
- One of the best things someone can do for a griever is to go get them and treat them to a soda or coffee. Just being there means so much to a griever. My mom credits her friends who regularly did this for her with tremendously helping her overcome her deep grief after my dad died. In addition to God, family and friends can be an important lifeline to a griever.
- When you feel all alone and your family and friends aren’t measuring up in being there for you during grief, know that God half designed it to be like that so He can meet your deepest needs…and He designed the other half so family, friends, and His church can meet the other half of those needs. My sister explained, “If people had come through and been there for me 100% of the time, I never would’ve realized my need for God or developed the rich relationship I enjoy with Him today. If I hadn’t had to wait for God’s timing, I wouldn’t have known the treasure of trusting Him and His deliverance as much as I did. God wants to be your hero during times of grief…stop desiring that from your loved ones and let God be that hero!”
- Don’t allow people to rush you through your grief or to control your grief or life. Both my mom and sister shared stories of people wanting to take the steering wheel of their grief and make life decisions for them. Both are glad they chose to give the steering wheel to God and allowed Him to guide and direct their grief and lives. My mom is especially glad she didn’t allow others to make major life decisions for her. She shared, “I don’t believe my kids would be in ministry today and serve God like they do had I allowed others to control my grief, my life, or their lives. I also wouldn’t have drawn as close to God. It probably would have been easier—but easier doesn’t always mean better.“
What valuable lessons have you learned throughout your life or grief? Who do you know who could be a source of wisdom, insight, and great knowledge of life or grief lessons for you? Invite them out to brunch this month or call and invite them out for coffee, ice cream, or a soda.
It’s always a great privilege to learn from others and to hear their life stories and experiences.
Always learn as much as you can through grief and throughout life! Both are extremely valuable!
Gratitude & many blessings,
©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it and encourage others!
For more encouragement:
Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net
Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief
Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617
Kim’s FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
Kim’s grief blog: http://www.griefbites.com