“We begin the healing process when we step out in faith, allowing ourselves to be transparent.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 1, 2023
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9
Depression is the first cousin to grief. It’s like the heaviest winter coat you could ever imagine wearing. After my daughter ran ahead to heaven, it was hard to manufacture feelings that weren’t genuine. It hurt when I looked around and saw that everyone else’s life was moving on. How could everyone else be moving forward when my life was in a significant holding pattern? When reality sets in and we must begin facing the world, it’s often unbearable. So, what do we do? We become a member of “The Maskateers Club.” One of the ways grievers protect themselves from managing the myriad of emotions we experience is by wearing a mask.
We live in a world where people simply aren’t comfortable around grief. They don’t want to talk about it or let you experience it to the degree necessary for healing. Our society typically wants us to get over it and move on.
In the book, Finding Meaning, David Kessler shares, “Our hearts know how to grieve, but our minds work against us. Wouldn’t it be great to feel more love and compassion for ourselves in grief? Instead, our minds tell us ‘it’s all your fault’ and fill us full of regrets.”
That is why finding meaning in the healing process is so gradual, messy, and ambiguous, which is what his friend, mentor, and co-author, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, thought. David and Elisabeth co-authored two other books together. Their second book, On Grief and Grieving, applied her well-known five stages of dying (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) to the grieving process.
We wear our masks not just for ourselves but for others. We don’t want to make those around us uncomfortable, so we smile on the outside even though we are crumbling on the inside. Even though it’s scary, we must remember – we are children of God, and He longs for us to be our authentic selves. It is in our weakness when He is made strong. We begin the healing process when we step out in faith, allowing ourselves to be transparent. Being vulnerable can be terrifying, but it is also freeing. When we take the chance and remove our mask, letting others see who we really are, it is our first step toward healing our broken hearts.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:9).
Father God, even when I feel overwhelmed, remind me that you’re here. Help me to remember I can be my authentic self, the child you made me to be. Give me the courage to remove my mask as a first step in allowing my heart to be healed by you in Jesus’ precious and mighty name.
Are you hiding behind a mask today? Consider connecting with a trusted friend or family member and take that first step to share your authentic self with them.
Ryan Ellis: Gonna Be Alright
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