Grief kept knocking – let it in

By Dave Henning / May 9, 2023

“Grief kept knocking.  And when I finally let it in everything got a little clearer and I finally knew what I had to do.  I had to put the unrealistic picture of this person and this relationship into the flame of grief.  And plan a funeral.”- Lysa TerKeurst

In Chapter 12 (“A Million Little Funerals”), the last chapter of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, Lysa Terkeurst stresses that the very grief she spent years avoiding actually helped her move forward.  Furthermore, when Lysa let grief in, what felt numb for so long came alive in waves of honesty.

Above all, Lysa notes, it’s utterly unhelpful to point fingers at your offender and try to make them change.  And the longer you do this, you miss getting to know and acknowledge who they really are.  In addition, it’s impossible to draw appropriate boundaries with that person while holding onto your made-up version of them.

However, the problem isn’t that they fail to see you vision for them.  Rather, the problem exists because you refuse to see them as they really are.  Thus, Lysa counsels, approach each situation with its own dynamics.  And use what you’ve learned from God’s Word, trusted counsel, and the discernment of the Holy Spirit to make a healthy determination of what to do.

And plan a funeral.  Here’s how it goes for Lysa:

  1. Acknowledge what isn’t.
  2. State out loud what disappoints you and how unfair the whole situation feels.
  3. Give yourself permission to cry as many tears as you need to.
  4. Uninvite the image of the person you’ve held onto.
  5. Acknowledge the person is unwilling or incapable of what you desire for them and your relationship.
  6. Release the person to be responsible for his/her life.
  7. Allow yourself some time to feel sad and to grieve.
  8. Cry out loud what you’re releasing.
  9. Say aloud what this new space allows you to receive.
  10. Commit to setting and maintaining good boundaries.
  11. Conduct another funeral tomorrow if needed.
  12. Bring it all to Jesus.

Finally, Lysa exhorts, “receive [your] tomorrows with a little more healing and a lot more life.”

Today’s question: Describe a situation where grief kept knocking and you let it in.  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes

About the author

Dave Henning

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