Loss is a crucible – indeed

By Dave Henning / March 19, 2021

“Loss is a crucible.  It presses into the deepest places from which we loved, causing such pain we often don’t know how to make sense of the despair.  Memories as crystal clear as if they were happening right now dance in front of us, letting us see the beauty of what used to be our life on replay.  But those replays make us cry.  Seeing what once was is as cruel as it is beautiful.  Love indeed is a crucible.”- Lysa TerKeurst

In Chapter 12 (“The Part That Loss Plays”) of Forgiving What We Can’t Forget, Lysa TerKeurst observes that however loss comes, it hurts.  And we all identify with the pain of loss.  Furthermore, Lysa states, loss is maddening, shrinking, reducing.  Yet, Lysa sees a connection between loss and forgiveness.  Therefore, the author explains:

“Sitting in this loss, in fresh grief, can be a good cure for bitterness.  Don’t read that last sentence too quickly or your brain may transpose the words to read, ‘Sitting in fresh grief can be the cause of bitterness.’  While this is true, remember sometimes the way you got in a dark cave is actually the way you find your way out. . . .  Because if loss was the way bitterness got in, maybe revisiting grief will help provide a way out.”

However, Lysa notes, when your personal loss came because of another person’s selfish, mean, or irresponsible actions, sorrow quickly invites bitterness in.  A bitterness that surprises you.  And it doesn’t ask your permission to move in.  Also, at first bitter feelings often feel quite justifiable and oddly helpful.  Because when sorrow numbs you, bitterness at least lets you feel something.

In conclusion, Lysa cautions about the effect of bitterness over time:

“But with time, bitterness doesn’t just want to be something that awakens some feeling.  Bitterness doesn’t just want to room with you; it wants to completely consume you. . . .  bitterness isn’t quickly solved, because it isn’t quickly gotten.  It must be named, opened, explained, and honestly traced.”

Today’s question: How do you see loss as a crucible in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Bitterness wears disguises of other emotions”

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Dave Henning

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