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Brokenness needs grieving

When kingdom journeys do their job, they take you to a place where you see your brokenness and from there, to depend on God. But to get out of brokenness, you need to be able to grieve. Without true grief, mourning the broken part of you before leaving it, you can’t move on.   We need to l…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

When kingdom journeys do their job, they take you to a place where you see your brokenness and from there, to depend on God. But to get out of brokenness, you need to be able to grieve. Without true grief, mourning the broken part of you before leaving it, you can’t move on.

We need to lead people into brokenness, but we need to move them out through the process of grieving.
Ron Walborn helped remind me of the gap a couple of weeks ago. It’s what humans do. We lose someone or something we hold dear and then we have to grieve. And grieving is hard work; people need to be shown how to grieve, or maybe how to give themselves permission to grieve. And maybe how to be patient as the grief process does its healing work.
A lot of people are stuck coming to grips with their brokenness. And a lot of folks have never exited those broken places by grieving them.
What does this look like? It looks like Susan. She saw a truth a lot of people find needs grieving when they arrive at brokenness “I lived so long thinking I was ugly and unlovable. For years I shut others out, rejecting them before they rejected me. But the truth is, people did want to love me. I wasted all those years and can never get them back.” 

Susan was able to move on when she grieved the wasted years. When grief had completed its work, she was freed to move on.

I’m still in the middle of writing this last section of a book about this, so I ‘d appreciate any thoughts or illustrations from your own life.

Comments (7)

  • I remember we talked so much about grieving on the Race that it would make you want to scream, but it was so necessary. Even in the midst of knowing this when I went to Ukraine this year I popped into the culture without really grieving what I was leaving behind (family, friends, culture, language, Chick-fil-a) 🙂 and around month three I had a total meltdown. For a few weeks I was constantly on the verge of tears and kind of thought I had made the wrong decision in going. Friends from home would tell me of situations and I would feel that I couldn’t do anything and I should be to help. It was then I realized that I never grieved the leaving, letting go of all that I expected and found comfortable, trusting God with friends and families because, let’s face it, even if I were in the US they are in God’s hands not mine. After some serious focused prayer time and letting go of the people, places, expectations my ability to cope with life in Ukraine became a lot easier. There are still days I am homesick, but even now being back in the US for Christmas my heart is there.

  • I left the US and my immediate family for health reasons. I was told to go where I would have a support system (taht included a social medicine system to help me face things on my own financially) Jumped right into having to find a job to survive and have a medical support system in place after trial periods etc… in the midst of survival you don’t really take time to grieve… 4 years later, some areas are aching, and the truth is coming out! I left the ‘gangrene’ that was eating me alive and the stress that I was told would kill me. I left grown children that I adore; who are grieving too and can’t bare the idea that I will not come back. I grieve my teaching, my friends, my church, the ease to have a spiritual conversation, to find a prayer partner, to worship freely… I left soooo many good things it gets to the point where you even forgot WHY you had to leave. It is affecting my health furthermore. I thought I knew what suffering was (lost my father at 8, my mother at 17, left my home country to follow the father of my children, who was engulfed into his profession, faced cancer, and also chronic fibromyalgia, I grieved my health then and fought hard to get it back… Blessings abounded after that as it made my relationship to the Lord so much more real. Today, I am going back on the path to nest in His arms and find strength and perhaps Hope in His Word. And most of all, I am allowing myself to grieve and mentally turning the page, because I realise that it is hilding me back! Your article came on the day I realised that and is the confirmation I needed to make the conscious decision that it is OK to grieve and that only when I will be done with that… will I be able to move ON to what God has in store for the rest of my life. Thank you!

  • Abortion: I’ve had three. I didn’t realize how much this tragedy had created a stronghold in the way I live…even in my life as a believer. It wasn’t until I was sitting in my spiritual fathers house and he had a chat with me about this that I realized. After much prompting and persistence, I decided to complete the Rich in Mercy course…needless to say, it took you through a period of grieving.

    After this period of grieving, freedom came. No longer do signs regarding abortion send me into a downward spiral. No longer do pregnant women make me want to cry. No longer does walking into a store and seeing children’s clothing and gear do I contemplate suicide. No longer…because I grieved and the LORD took my hand and led me through it.

  • This post has been a huge blessing to me today. It helped me evaluate my life and see where I have been avoiding grieving in my life. I got married and was in such a rush to do so because I was so excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend that I didn’t realize how much my life would change once I was married and out of college. I married a wonderful, godly man but I have been extremely sad lately because I don’t have everything I used to. God gives and takes and I know I need to rely on him and not be so greedy with everything in my life, including whether or not I currently have the same social life after college etc. I’ll need to think and pray on it more, but thank you so much for your post and thank you for all the comments everyone! I think it is easy to downplay the hard experiences in your life and not pay it the proper attention to be able to move forward. It handicaps you in the present.

  • Yes, brokenness needs grieving…it is sad that we even have to declare this!
    And yet…it is something we NEED to declare, giving people permission to be real about the losses and brokenness in their lives!

    In my opinion – and research seems to back me up on this – Christians are among the worst at this!

    To Susan I would encourage: God NEVER wastes anything in our lives…not one single moment. He will restore what the swarming locusts have devoured! This is His promise!

    All we have to do is yield up ALL of our brokenness to Him!

    A broken and contrite heart the Lord will not shun.



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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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