In a season of rejoicing, is there space for my grief?
Easter has come. Jesus is risen! The rejoicing has begun, ushered in by the “alleluias” echoing off the domed ceilings of our worship spaces, the world draped in springtime hues as we celebrate and feast. Our God has conquered the grave! We know it in our minds, we profess it with our lips, we believe even in the deepest parts of our being that it is true. And yet, in this season of abundance and rejoicing, those of us with hurting hearts can’t help but wonder: “is there any space for my grief?”
None of us can escape it in this lifetime; it’s the reality of living on this side of heaven. Infertility, though, brings with it such a unique, personal, interior type of grief that can leave our hearts lingering at the cross even as the hope of the resurrection dawns. It’s a grief not often validated in other spaces in our lives – a grief that can hang over moments of rejoicing and pierce us with sudden isolation. Too often it is minimized, tossed aside or awkwardly shrugged off.
Yet, when our risen Lord arrives at the upper room of your heart and enters into the uncertainty, hurt or woundedness there, he is not put off by your sadness. He understands it. Emmanuel: God with us. We love and are loved by a God who acknowledges the process of grief as necessary to our humanity – so much so, that he wept at the tomb of his friend, even knowing the miracle that was to come, that he himself would perform. He comes not to discard your grief, but to validate it. Your grief is NOT too small, or untimely or illogical. It’s not something he expects you to move past or overcome. He only wishes to take part in it with you.
He invites you into his own woundedness as he presses your fingers into the holes in his hands and his sides, and with earnest humility he waits to be invited into yours. For the beauty of Easter is not that it leaves the cross in the past, but that it transforms the cross from a thing of ugliness to a hallmark of victory.
So if you find yourself grieving during this Easter season, with the hope of the resurrection seemingly just out of reach on a distant horizon, know that you’re not far from the risen Lord. You’ve never been closer. He is waiting to transform you, dear friend. He wants to heal your heart. He may not take away the cross, but he will take away its ability to defeat you. Nothing may change but, I promise, everything will, when you invite Jesus into your grief.