Although we usually associate loss with death, loss comes in many forms. Perhaps your loss is related to a broken relationship, a health situation, a life change, or some other challenge. No matter how loss comes, working through it takes time.
Following are some tips to help you successfully navigate loss:
Grieve Your Loss
Sometimes we relegate the emotions associated with loss to a distant corner of our hearts and minds, but grief needs to be handled. Grief is not limited to loss by death. Other types of loss also require the grief process. Loss isn’t something you just “get over.” Allow grief to have its way with you.
Learn from Loss
Often, we want to move through and beyond loss rapidly, but, if we allow it, difficulty, loss, and hardship are teachers. We learn lessons about ourselves, and we learn through the response of others to loss.
If you don’t feel you have learned from loss, honestly assess to see if bitterness and anger are serving as roadblocks. By releasing these negative emotions, you change your perspective.
Avoid Getting Stuck
Do you know those for whom loss defined the rest of their lives? Each person deals with loss uniquely, but those who allow loss to freeze them in suspended animation halt forward motion. Process. Grieve. Remember. Mourn. And then, move forward.
See the Good
Most of us cannot fathom the loss of a young child, but last week, a family dear to our hearts experienced this devastating loss. During a time of remembrance, the father spoke of the goodness of God and God’s ability to bring good out of tragedy. Despite their broken-heartedness, they believe and trust this to be true.
How can God’s goodness and the death of a child fit in the same sentence? How do we understand the juxtaposition of death and good? Only by trusting the faithfulness of God can we reconcile the two.
Even when you experience loss, good can come from it. As with most difficult circumstances, you may not see positives while you are in the middle of heartache and grief, but as you move ahead, you will recognize the good.
Regain Forward Motion
During the last eight weeks, I’ve been off my foot, in a boot, and out of the gym. As a result, I’ve lost muscle tone and am learning to navigate walking on a foot that has a new configuration. I haven’t mastered a smooth gait yet, but I am determined to do so.
Regaining forward motion after loss is similar to learning to walk again after foot surgery. Just as I have protected my foot for weeks, perhaps you are guarding your emotions and secluding yourself from those who ask more questions than you want to answer. Regaining forward motion takes courage and effort. Ask God to help you as you take those first tentative steps into a new normal. He is available to support and encourage as you navigate beyond loss.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:18 NLT).
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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