There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV
Our lives are comprised of seasons. Each season brings change. With each change we experience loss, and with each loss we experience sadness and grief. In their book, “Leadership on the Line,” Linsky and Heifetz note that “people don’t resist change…they resist loss.”
Change and loss take many forms:
- Safety, security
- Finances, job
- Role, identity, status
- Relationships (divorce, break-up, children leaving home)
- Death of loved ones
- Support system, friendships
- Health, independence, freedom
- Home, property
- Hopes, dreams
In our efforts to resist loss, we may try to hold on to the past. Or, sometimes it seems that the past holds on to us! This journaling experience is about letting go and opening ourselves up to what lies ahead. Read “The Pearl Necklace” (Download below), then you’ll be ready to begin.
- You can begin your journal with the first significant life change or loss that you can recall experiencing. Or you can begin with your most recent experience (the one that led you to explore Grief Journaling), and allow that experience to branch out and touch other experiences
- Write down what you have lost. Loss has many shapes and colors. Try to describe your loss, in as much detail as possible, including how it has impacted you.
- Allow yourself to feel the emotions associated with your loss: sadness, heartbreak, isolation, loneliness, anxiety, fear, depletion, devastation, regret, guilt, rejection, abandonment, vulnerability, overwhelmed, fragile, helplessness, insecurity…
- In your writing, celebrate all that came with the past season, while recognizing how it has prepared you for your next season.
- Take some time to pray. Imagine yourself offering what has been lost to Jesus, including all of the pain associated with your loss. Place all of it at His feet, and take a step back. (As long as we are clutching/embracing the old, our arms aren’t open to receive what Jesus has to offer us next). Take some time to be still. Allow Jesus to show you how all things will work together for good (Romans 8:28).
- Write whatever comes to mind, including thoughts, feelings, pictures.
Moving through loss takes time. At some point, in your journey, you will be ready to offer your heart to Jesus, so that it can be healed. Ask Him to heal your heart. Give yourself as much time as you need. Continue to journal.