Perception really is everything. But just because we can’t perceive something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Grief is a feeling that at times we may not perceive in ourselves nor may we see it in others.
Grief is Real
Make no mistake, grief is real. Grief is real and doesn’t have to be over the loss of a loved one. God may tell us to go down a path, and with that change may come some grief. Grief over what we once had. Grief over the comfort we lost. Grief from feeling we failed. We may even feel grief in thinking we weren’t good enough to keep what we had, so He asked us to do something different.
Sources of Grief
I have these types of conversations with students in my office All. The. Time. We don’t talk about nursing. We talk about the stress they feel to make a passing grade. The fact that they were 4.0 students before they came into the program, and now they aren’t. Many of them came into the program for a very different reason, but the path is unfamiliar and they suddenly and fiercely miss what they had before school. Grief over the loss of loved ones, changes in family roles and dynamics. The fact that others are working or not working, have a family or don’t have a family, and they feel they aren’t “as good as” their classmates.
I have had and still experience this type of grief in my life. I feel sad at the comfort that my past situation brought us, no matter how much I wanted a change back then. I quickly turn to the thoughts that I am not good enough, or I should have done something better. Sometimes I wish Nephi had talked more about how sad it was to leave the comforts of their home. Or how it became difficult as the days turned into months which turned into years. There is a difference between murmuring against the Lord and feeling grief about a new phase of life.
Discovering Joy in the Journey
I have struggled with the idea of having Joy in the Journey, finding happiness among the uncertainty. For a long time, I didn’t believe I could or would have joy “when I got clients” or “when I spoke.” But even though I love those things, they came with their own set of stressors. Maybe that is why God said to find joy in the journey. Expecting joy as a result may not happen. Achieving something may not be as satisfying as we hoped. Because of opposition, the pains of growth, and the refiners fire, every step is growth.
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I am beginning to understand finding and choosing joy in the journey. I started praying each day to Heavenly Father to show me His love for me. I asked Him to show me so boldly that I could see it. Things began happening.
A student told me I was an answer to her prayer that day…just by the sound of my voice.
I completed several time-consuming and difficult tasks and was able to come home and be with my family.
I went into my kids’ Jiu-Jitsu class and when they went on break, my daughter came over and kissed me.
These may not sound like a big deal, but they were big enough things that I felt His love. I felt that He was helping me. I felt gratitude.
Look for His Love
When you are on a new path and are feeling grief for things once had and fear over things not seen, begin asking God to show you His love.
It will boost your gratitude for your life and give you confidence to keep going.
It reminds you that He is aware.