When you packed up that UHaul you carried more than just your tan couch up the ramp, you brought along other baggage too: grief, anxiety, anger, and possibly fear. Moving changes everything. Psychologists say it can disturb the deepest foundations underneath your identity. Everything feels unstable and vulnerable: your job and sense of purpose, your community and sense of belonging, even where you would find your late night gallon of milk.
You, my friend, were not meant to carry all that extra weight into your new life. Today, I give you permission to unpack those heavy boxes.
Every loss requires a corresponding grieving period; every dream deserves the dignity of a burial.
Terry Wardle in his book, Healing Care, Healing Prayer connects dealing with our emotions to archery,
“Expressing emotions is like shooting an arrow. The internal energy created from deep wounding is expelled when an individual releases the feelings of hurt. Such release may be initially difficult, but it enables one to rise up and function appropriately once again. Certainly the intensity of feeling and length of grieving varies with each wound; but expressing the motional turmoil is both positive and healthy. However, when the emotions are killed, denied or stuffed, the powerful energy remains trapped within the individual. This ongoing tension often leads to levels of breakdown. Unexpressed feelings eventually produce symptoms of ill health in a person’s body, mind and spirit. When the breakdown does occur, a person may not initially realize what has happened. But the truth is that a lifetime of stuffing has ultimately fractured their lives.”
The good news? Our cries are welcomed, not rejected.
Psalm 116 has a beautiful picture of our Holy Listener:
I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
What glorious imagery! His ear is not only available, He is leaning down toward us, focused on the unique timbre of our voice, listening for our cry.
The truth is that your future ability to love freely in this new land will be determined by how well you unpack your grief. Listen to your slowly simmering emotions. Name them. Then, like the Psalmist who knew the power of the uncensored lament, send it straight to Christ. Send it straight to the cross. He is the only One who can bear our grief and carry our sorrows. (Isaiah 53:4)
Tomorrow we’ll get even more practical. With Day 13 we will learn the how to’s of lamenting like David.
We’re on a 31 day journey toward falling in love with our zip code. Our family just moved down five states south and are loving the warm October. Would you like to come along? Slip your email address (I’ll guard it with my life) into the CONNECT box on the front page and we’ll journey together.