We all grieve at one time or another. Sometimes we grieve because a friendship or significant other has left our lives. Sometimes we grieve because someone we knew or cared about has passed away. Lately, majority of the world has been grieving for our Country as we’ve seen and heard of gruesome attacks on the innocent lives of people. We don’t necessarily need to know these people personally to grieve for the hardship and loss that people experience.
The past month and a half, I’ve been grieving. I haven’t been grieving because I’ve lost an important friendship or a dearly loved one has passed away.I’ve been grieving my life away.Sounds strange and a little morbid. But I believe it’s been very healthy for me and necessary- let me explain.
If a person claims to follow Jesus, I believe that at one point or another, we need to grieve our life away.
My first year of college was where the Lord met me where I was at and radically changed my life, for His glory and my joy, and that’s something I will always remember and give my praises to Him for. But, it was a comfortable place. Once I got involved in a great Christian organization and met friends, I became pretty comfortable (it definitely wasn’t always easy, God used that time in college to do some major spiritual heart surgery). But I didn’t experience the weight and depth of what Jesus said to His followers in Matthew 16:24,“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
It was during my sophomore year of college I felt The Lord calling me into not only full time ministry, but calling me into being an overseas missionary. During the next three years, I was able to process with God and wise counsel about where I thought God was calling me, but it was still so easy to say I would go anywhere, do anything for God and the sake of the Gospel while I was learning about Statistics and watching movies at home with my best friends.
It wasn’t until I graduated from college, about 6 months ago, that I’ve been experiencing what it means to deny myself, my desires, my plans for Jesus. God has called me to follow Him to Podgorica, Montenegro for at least the next year of my life and knowing that I’ll be leaving soon, it makes me feel sad to leave my comfort, family, friends, and the luxuries that make up my every day. The beginning of grieving for me was this deep sadness and tears shed that I couldn’t keep the life I always wanted and felt “entitled to” because I knew that God was calling me into dying to myself and laying down everything to say yes to what He has for me.
If a person claims to follow Jesus, I believe that at one point or another, we need to grieve our life away. No matter if that person is a doctor, teacher, barista, or missionary. When we said “YES” to Jesus, we’re saying “I give you my whole life, it is yours and not mine, do with it what you will and how you see best fit.” Which changed pretty much everyone single plan I had, from having a white picket fence to a boyfriend or husband and everything in between in the time frame I saw best fit.
My flesh and human nature wants to be comfortable and wants to settle so badly. That’s where that tension comes from. I know deep down that this calling that God has given me is something I can’t walk away from, even if I try.But it’s hard knowing this is just the beginning of taking up my cross and following Him, no matter what, no matter where, and no matter what it costs me.
During this transition in my life, I’m coming face to face with a lot of Gospel truths and if I’m truly believing those. Everyday looks different as I prepare to go, some hard and some good, like any of us. But I’m learning and convinced more and more of what Paul said,
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him.” Philippians 3:7-9
In order to become more and more like Jesus, we need to walk in His ways. It’s not going to be easy and we are going to have to set aside our desires in order to do the Father’s will, just like Jesus did to save sinners like me and you.
“[T]hat I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” Philippians 3:10
So friends, let us grieve our lives away, because Jesus is worth it.
The cost will be great. The reward will be greater.