Have you seen someone smiling, yet within the smile you recognized sadness? Have you heard someone laughing, though you knew the heart was not healed?
“Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.” Proverbs 14:13
Repressed grief occurs when a person has reason to grieve and needs to grieve, but does not grieve.
The person with repressed grief exhibits negative lifestyle patterns but does not know why. Examples may be distancing from others, playing the clown, using mood altering substances like alcohol or drugs, engaging in mood altering behaviors like gambling or compulsive spending.
Only by facing the truth of your painful losses in life and by going through genuine grief will you have emotional healing.
In the bible, the Psalmists prayed this prayer.
“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me.” Psalm 43:3
Everyone has been created with three God-given inner needs – the needs for love, for significance, and security. When one or more of these needs is no longer being met, we naturally feel a sense of loss.
Unmet need = Sense of loss = Feeling of grief
Throughout our lives we will incur numerous losses. Although we need to feel the pain of our losses, we do not need to be controlled by our losses.
Instead, we must rely on God’s promise that He will meet our deepest inner needs.
“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
We were all created with three God given needs – for love, security, and acceptance. When people fail us it can cut at our self-worth because we look to them to meet the needs only God can fully meet.
Losing a relationship is always painful but can be devastating for some. God does bring people in our lives to reinforce our inherent needs but they are not meant to take His place as the only source of love that truly satisfies.
It we are dependent on people to meet our love needs what happens when they leave?
If you are feeling lost and rejected over a relationship loss turn to Jesus. He offers you love and acceptance. He will never reject you. Ephesians 1:6 says you are accepted in the beloved. The Lord wants to reaffirm your value and worth in Him. But it won’t be found in anyone or anything other than Him.
True identity does not come from relationships but from a relationship with our precious Savior Jesus Christ.
Many wounded believers are bound and shackled in their souls, carrying invisible scars from a painful childhood or past. They have mastered the art of medicating through various means so as not to face the awful reality of the roots of their hurt and the excruciating emotional pain that it brings. What they don’t realize is that they must connect with the emotion of the event so they can grieve and heal.
When we are unable to connect emotionally, we are in denial – minimizing, protecting to avoid the pain. This is what most of us have been doing all of our lives – running away thereby bypassing the grieving process altogether unable to move forward. However, it is the grieving process that gives Jesus access to step inside our pain – to love us, comfort us, wipe away our tears, as He lovingly begins to replace the lies, the messages that have polluted our hearts and minds which have robbed us from seeing ourselves through our right identity as precious children of the living God.
To grieve means to mourn a loss, sorrow, express feelings of grief, sadness or regret. It’s a cleansing process that heals the soul and allows us to come to terms with the wreckage of our past. As we sorrow and weep over the losses, the walls of self-protection begin to come down and the burdens we have carried are removed and given over to the Lord. Then God’s word begins to come alive in our hearts in a real and tangible way. Our faith is renewed and hope is restored as we start to take God at His word as He heals and restores our hearts, while we hold fast to His promises.
““The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To console those who mourn in Zion, To give beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for heaviness. That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3