“Inner anguish . . . forces us to embrace God, out of desperate, urgent, need. . . . God is never closer than when your heart is aching.”- Joni Eareckson Tada
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”- Matthew 5:4
Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller conclude Chapter 11 of Boundaries for Your Soul with the third category of sorrow. Next, they discuss turning sadness into your ally.
3. Sorrow in response to losing a dream. Alison and Kim encourage you to give attention to the loss of dreams that can no longer come to pass. Perhaps you carry disappointment about unfulfilled dreams and expectations. Or a gap exists between your hopes and the reality of life. Whatever the cause, the authors urge you to be present to the part of yourself grieving this loss. Even though you must say goodbye to what might have been.
In conclusion, Alison and Kim note that when the presence of your Spirit-led self transforms your sadness, it becomes your presence and strength. Furthermore, when pain causes you to draw near to God and experience His power, that pain becomes redemptive.
Therefore, when you befriend a sad part, God uses your pain to cultivate gentleness within your soul. Hence, this leads to a gentle spirit with others. And it makes you more like Christ.
In addition, the authors advise, create space in your life for mourning when you experience the grief of loss. They exhort:
“Lament signifies faith, not weakness; it shows you’re hanging on. Set an intention with yourself — that whenever you feel pain, you’ll check in with your sad part and invite Jesus to draw near. The resulting connection matters so much now, as this grieving part of you experiences afresh God’s loving- kindness.”
Today’s question: How do you notice God’s closeness when you feel inner anguish? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: Envy, an attention-getting signpost”