Loss and Gain

By Miriam Rossow, Communications Coordinator
There are so many emotions happening right now. Daily on my Facebook feed I see people talking about crying and laughing in the same day. Joy and grief, loss and gain, praise and anger are all happening now, each day, in everyone's lives. So much up and down in each day. And as the pandemic continues we just keep losing things; entire school years and maybe even summer activities.

Many people are grieving relationships that have been affected as we seclude ourselves, people are sick and dying. People have lost work and income. People have lost activities and vacations. Families are struggling to work at home and keep the kids busy. People are struggling with no work and wondering who they are or who they will be when this whole thing is done. Families are struggling with the closeness they find themselves required to be in.

In my own family I have a college student home early grieving time with friends and independence. I have a high school student who was already home all the time doing online school grieving the loss of the one time she interacted with other people and the loss of a musical production. My middle school student is grieving the loss of school activities like the end of basketball season and an entire track season, end of year field trips, and watching her friends graduate 8th grade. And my elementary student isn't grieving as much as he is just going a little crazy from schooling from home and less people to play with during the day! Both my husband and I are working from home and all four children are doing school at home! I know this is not unique to my family. Everyone one of us has had our lives turned upside down.

There is plenty to grieve. There are good reasons to grieve. We are losing income and work. We are losing activities and vacations. Our seniors and 8th graders will not be graduating in a ceremony. Their accomplishments will not get to be celebrated the way we have always imagined. We are not gathered together in community in our schools or in our churches. We will not be celebrating one of the central celebrations of our faith in our church home with our church family. People are sick and dying and our healthcare professionals are exhausted and strained in many parts of the country. There is plenty to grieve. There are good reasons to grieve.

Amid the loss there have been things that have been gained. As people have been secluded at home they have found time to do projects they thought they would not get to for months or years or ever. Families have been given the opportunity to eat dinner together every night (& every meal for that matter). Students have found they have time to relax, read, and imagine in a way that busy schedules did not allow before. People and families are active and outside. Maybe this time is giving families a chance to heal wounds. Amid the loss there have been things that have been gained.

In my own house we have enjoyed time together as a family around the dinner table and listening to a favorite singer/songwriter/author read from his book each night. We have spent more time in God's word together and more time praying together. We have enjoyed family walks and lots of family games and movie time.

God created us to be people of emotions. He created and gave us all of the emotions we have and in fact He felt those same emotions. He wept. He felt anger. He wanted another way. He was frustrated. He felt alone and isolated. Jesus laughed. Jesus was full of joy. Jesus was fully human with full human emotion. Jesus took His emotions and laid them at the feet of His father. He encourages us to the same. 

I have a friend who talks about noticing your emotions before Jesus and laying them at His feet. I believe this is the right response to have with our emotions. I don't think we are asked to not have the emotions or even to hide them and hold them inside. My friend writes about this process of laying your emotions at the feet of Jesus in Noticing Yourself With God. It's a good read and gives some good things you can do as you struggle with all of the different emotions swirling around at this time.

During this Holy Week take some time and write down things you lost and are grieving. Then lay them all before Jesus. Tell Him the things you are grieving and allow Him to work in you. Then take some time to write down things you have gained. Lay them before Jesus as well in thanksgiving. As you lay all of these emotions before Jesus know that He grieves with you and He is working wonderful gain in your life. Grieve before Him and thank Him for what you have gained. Ask Him to touch your heart so you may see Him working in both the loss and the gain.
Jesus, Judge Me is another example of Jesus working gain in a loss or mistake as it is laid before Him.






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