When It’s Not “Okay”

There are times in your life when, no matter your disposition, things are going badly.

It doesn't have to be okay. Source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=25234&picture=woman&large=1
It doesn’t have to be okay.
Source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=25234&picture=woman&large=1

When no amount of positive thinking or committed action is going to change what’s in front of you. You’re in a great amount of pain, and there is no relief in sight.

That pain is the threshold for what Saint John of the Cross called a “dark night of the soul“, and if you’re not ready for i-

Scratch that. You won’t be ready for it.

The deep and heart-rending pain of losing your child. The final door closed on a long-held dream. Losing your house.

These events rock your foundation. When that happens, there is an internal wrestling that will make life messy and imperfect. In the Hebrew Scriptures, Jacob stood at the ford of Jabbok after losing his home, and being threatened with death by his own brother.

Legend says it was an angel that came and silently wrestled with him. Just as day was breaking, Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”

The angel knocked Jacob’s hip out of joint, and it renamed him Israel.

Jacob was renamed Israel, because he struggled with both God, himself, and humans, and came through.

Grief is like that. To bless means “to make holy” or “to bring prosperity to.” Grief doesn’t ease until it reveals you to yourself. You cannot let it go until it makes some part of your life more holy, until you are stronger.  Take your time.

It’s not that the pain stops. It won’t. Your strength and capacity to endure the pain will increase. The moments of pain will eventually be broken by more and more moments of peace. You will walk differently. Your identity will change.

Until then, lean on some support and take your time.

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