The Repetition of Seasonal Grief

The most brilliant greens have taken over the Iowa landscape. The farmers have been hard at work preparing their fields for planting. Perfect rows of tiny green shoots have taken over, and soon it will be time for harvest. All in due time.

While the origin of “green shoots” is associated with plant growth, I find its meaning particularly insightful as it also describes the process and ultimate endgame for those of us coping with loss; “any sign of growth, recovery, renewal.” We want this don’t we?

We’re always in the middle of some sort of ‘season’ in our lives; Family, marriage, children, jobs, etc. If you’re grieving you may find yourself revisiting your loss from time to time.  I don’t know about you, but I had no idea my grief would ebb and flow in a way that would jumpstart my pain over and over again. I’ve never experienced anything like this, ever!

The heart keeps track of everything associated with our loss. Sporadic seasons of grief will invade our life.  It might be brought on by a song on the radio.  It may hit you on your loved ones birthday or anniversary of their death. It can be brought on just about any time, on any day.  You can’t shake it off. (I’m picturing The Pink Panther walking under a cloud right now.)  You just feel it clinging to you.

God knows when it’s time to slowly bring the dormant grass, flowers and so on back to life after a long Iowa winter. Surely He loves us enough to do the same for us… I know He does.

While these ‘invasions of pain’ appear to prevent us from moving forward, they actually play a larger role in our growth, renewal and recovery. Our job in this whole process? Persevere. Go to God. Pray. Study the scriptures for sustainment and encouragement. Get help. Call your pastor. Talk things out with a trusted friend. Make arrangements to visit with a grief counselor if you need to.

Romans 5:3b-5

“…because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” 

Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 4

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven; a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

God is not surprised by our seasons of grief, or any other season in our lives for that matter. Are you enjoying a brief reprieve from your sadness, or are you fighting your way out from under a cloud? You don’t need to go it alone.

Dear friend,

The seasons of grief we experience are a continuation of the journey we’re currently on and will always be on.  I pray you will embrace the seasonal clouds when they come, and rejoice when they dissipate. There is a time for both.  Having faith in God isn’t easy, but when we persevere, we can count on Him to grow us, help us to recover and renew us along the way. Continue to persevere. Get to know God. Read the Bible. Cry out to Him and cling to His promises. Don’t give up on God.