A word to the broken-hearted:
It’s okay to be sad about what you have let go of and left behind in your journey forward.
I know. I know. The super saints among us make it feel like when the change starts to come that all you’ll feel is joy, and all you’ll want to do is rejoice. The testimonies are clean and crisp and SURE; and you sit there wondering if there’s something wrong with you cuz you feel a WAY.
It’s not; they’re not telling the whole truth.
The honest to God truth is that transition is messy and painful. You feel sadness because as toxic or unproductive or ungodly as those relationships and places and things might have been, they were comforting and comfortable to you. And you’re learning to live adjusted to not having them anymore—at the very least the way they used to be. And sometimes (like in my case) not having any of those things at all.
It hurts. Even as you become confident is what is ahead of you, what’s behind you still stings.
And it’s okay.
It’s okay to mourn what no longer is. Why? Glad you asked! First this: Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time and season for everything under the sun. Included in that everything is “a time to mourn” (Ecclesiastes 3:6). So you have the right and option to weep over what is no more. I said option because many of us don’t choose it; instead we cling tight to denial and the show of pressing forward, which brings me to reason two: not mourning in season causes you unnecessary complications in the next season.
The thing about feelings is once activated, they need to be acknowledged. Acknowledged—not acted upon or acted out, not given free reign, and not provided precedent over the word of God. Just acknowledged. To not acknowledge them is to live in denial, and to live in denial is to shortchange yourself. The word says that we must worship in spirit and in truth. What truth is there in lying to yourself about what’s happening inside your heart? How can you ascend the Holy Mountain without a pure heart?
Funny story: You cannot.
And also? Feelings left untended will make themselves known. You will find yourself fighting those feelings even as you follow the Lord’s lead into the next season and up to the next level. And that spells disaster! Maybe not disaster that others can see, but disaster inside you that spills over into every aspect of your life—feelings left unattended alter your sight, your perception.
“But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” Matthew 6:23 NLT
How great is that darkness? Pretty huge, I’d say from experience.
So allow me to encourage you: acknowledge the pain, acknowledge the change, acknowledge the sadness you feel even as you press toward the mark of high calling in Christ. The things that no longer serve you used to, and you’re learning how to live without a pacifier, a crutch, a longing, a thing or person or place or opportunity that you thought you needed but you do not. The Bible said it like this:
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
In order to give it to God? You have to be honest about what is there. Otherwise you’re hugging the hollowness to you, and the pain becomes a problem, the hurt a hinderance. It grows roots—and those kind of roots bear fruits eventually that poison the garden of the goodness assigned to you.
Mourn and let it go.