Disclaimer: Yes, I am a Mental Health Professional, but I may not currently be your personal provider and this blog content does not create a provider-client relationship. This blog content is for educational purposes and should not be seen as medical advice. You should consult with your personal licensed mental health provider before you rely on this information.
As I was reading my Bible in a year devotional by Nicky Gumble, I was so moved by a story he commenced with about a water-bearer and cracked pot. The story goes on to share that for the past two years the man carried two pots that he hung on each end of the pole and one pot was cracked, therefore the cracked pot was never able to deliver a full portion of water. After two years, the pot was broken hearted and felt like a failure and told the water-bearer one day that he was ashamed he was never able to fulfill the water he was intended to carry and therefore made the water-bearer do double the work. The water bearer told him that he knew his flaw all along and decided to plant seeds on the path his water would spill out from. He proceeded to tell the pot; it was because of his watering that he was able to decorate his table with all the beautiful flowers the cracked pot had grown. Without the pot being cracked and just the way he was, the beauty and grace in his home would not exist (YouVersion Bible in One Year 2023 Nicky Gumble).
As I read this, I automatically thought about the people that are grieving and mourning a loss that maybe was unexpected or that they knew was coming but didn’t change the pain they still felt. It reminded me that God can use our brokenness. It was also an encouragement that He knows and understands grief more than we might ever be able to fully comprehend. The Bible shares many verses about grief but there are a couple that stands out to me so profoundly and that is Psalm 147:3 which states, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”. Something I share with all my clients is that yes, the Lord created us with many emotions, but He doesn’t leave us alone with those emotions. He provides us with His word as comfort, community to support us and freely gives us Himself! He truly does heal and bind up our aching bones.
When people have experienced significant loss, it can be attributed to the feeling of a limb literally being torn and how significant and purposeful is the word of God that it states He binds up our wounds. The word also states, “blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). The Lord is so close those who are grieving and when we can’t go any further, He lifts us up on wings like eagles and wraps us in His warm embrace.
Grief can be one of the most challenging, burdening and isolated emotions but the Lord can still bring peace, redemption and light in season that feels so dark. If we allow Him to, He can bring us closer to Him as we allow Him to bind up our wounds and comfort us.
Mental health can be at risk during a time of grieving. However, with an open and willing heart, the grieving can be healed day by day. Opening up to those whom you trust, can lessen the burden of feeling like no one else understands the pain that is being endured. Although not an easy task, eating to refuel the temple, can also help as a healthy diet has been proven to improve mental health as well as increase better memory. When capable, taking a walk outdoors or even sitting outdoors with a friend, pastor or loved one, can help boost one’s mood and increase better sleep. Lastly, giving grace when grace is needed.
There is no set timeline for experiencing integrated grief so if one day, the tears come like a flood, let them come, accept them and don’t force them away. Our temple was created to feel, process, release and heal and tears are not shameful, the word even says He will gather every tear in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). Grief is an emotion, a season, a time when feelings are experienced that cannot be placed in words and some things we will not know until we see our Father face to face but until then, we can trust that He is always faithful to carry us through into the next season He has for us and that we can trust His plans for us are always good.
Although the grieving season can feel like we are a cracked pot and don’t feel like we are doing enough or making other people around us carry the weight, that is not how the Lord see’s us. He sees our cracks, He knows there will be seasons where we will need more help but through these grieving moments, He can use them, He can minister to our hearts in the midst of pain and after a season, we can produce a beautiful array of wild flowers.