Our leaders in Cru have been working hard to make sure all of us college missionaries are cared for as we pour out to so many others. While we’re keenly aware of how much we have to be thankful for—and we know it’s right to keep our eyes fixed on things above—we also recognize that life’s no picnic for anyone right now. We need to process what we’re experiencing in order to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:5). They’ve talked a lot about paying attention to how we are feeling, and have been helping us walk with the Lord through this time.
In an incredible article called “Lockdown Grief,” we’re encouraged to go through a process of acknowledging, welcoming and expressing our feelings that helps get them from silently influencing us and into a state where we can manage them and even use these experiences and feelings for God’s glory. The Psalms are a wonderful guide God gave us for how we can worship Him with not just our praises, but our petitions, our pleas, and our pain. If we feel it, God wants to hear it. The article encourages us not to minimize our loss by comparing ourselves to those who may have it worse. “Big” or “small,” you have lost something!
This was my favorite paragraph: In grief and fear some are tempted to avoid, ignore, or numb the pain through binging Netflix, gaming, turning to alcohol, substance abuse, etc. Brené Brown reminds us, “when we numb the dark, we numb the light.” Grief invites an “evade-encounter” dance. You need some levity in these uncertain times (evade), yet you must also face the realities and impact of your losses (encounter).
It goes on to encourage us to express our feelings through conversations, journaling, exercise, sport, and art. “Grief needs movement to heal…. Some studies show that moving the body actually helps move the mind and soul as well. These outward expressions help soften the immediate emotional intensity and provide glimmers of hope.” As we’ve taken daily walks, the natural world around us has reminded us that God is still in control, and we can rest in His care (Job 12:7-10)