Joy Is Possible After Grief
By Julie Pearson (Founder of Gap Gals Ministry)
Hang on whatever is grieving you today will one day turn to joy! This is one of Jesus’ promises. (John 16:20)
I just graduated from college and landed my first real job at one of the most prestigious clothing retail stores, Nordstrom. I was so excited to work at Nordstrom and as a benefit, see my wardrobe increase with high level fashion, especially at a discounted rate. I was originally hired as a seasonal worker during their half-yearly sale, but I was certain I would be hired as a full time employee. I was one of the top sales people so I assumed a full time offer was a shoe in for me!
The high season quickly came to a finish and it was time to reduce the labor force. I was fighting for that full time position. I was a poor college graduate so I needed and wanted this job badly!
The answer was NO!
How could this be? It seemed like the perfect job for me to gain the sales experience I was pursuing. My wounded heart was wrestling with the NO. I felt like the child in grade school that was chosen last for the dodge ball team. Rejection at its finest!
The loss of a job caused grief to set in. Thoughts of, “I’m not good enough” battled in my mind. My sense of joy and peace began to wither after several other job interviews. The NO’s were piercing my spirit causing so much internal strife. Was I ever going to land that perfect job setting my career into motion?
Grief doesn’t linger forever. God often turns our grief into JOY, even in the NO!
It finally happened. Several months and interviews later, I landed a great first job giving me the experience I desperately needed. My grief was turning into Joy. God had a plan for the NO. I just needed to trust Him in the NO.
Lessons from our past are good anecdotes for our future. I am currently gripping at this core truth again, experiencing lots of NO’s.
Jesus is our great teacher about grief. He was warning the disciples of what was soon about to take place (his death). He understood their hearts would be heavy with grief.
“You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world,”. John 16:24, 33 (NIV)
Jesus uses a great illustration through the birth of a child to reveal His promising truth. Yes for a short time, our labor (pain) can seem unbearable. For some of us excruciating pain. But, the pain of childbirth is nothing in comparison to the great joy of coddling our precious baby across the bosom of our heart. Pain doesn’t last forever and if practiced correctly, it’s replaced with much joy!
Unfortunately, this world is not trouble free. No one is free of trouble and pain! I’m so glad I serve a God who is bigger than my pain! This helps me to pass through those painful moments.
For those of us today who are experiencing great grief, loss, or pain, can you be so brave to open your clenched fisted hand, and give your grief to the one who promises…
One day your grief will turn to JOY!
For more encouragement from Julie, visit her blog site at www.juliepearson.org