Hey everyone, today I am bringing you a guest post! I know it’s been a while since I’ve had a guest write on my blog, and it’s because I stopped blogging back in February to focus on my Substack newsletter, but in August, I started blogging again. Now, I have the opportunity to bring you an amazing writer and a sneak peek of a new book releasing later this month.
Today’s post is by the talented Dorina Gilmore-Young. She and I connected in the Entrusted Women’s Facebook Group, and I’ve followed her writing journey for years now. Dorina’s new book is about grief, and if you’ve been here a while, I’ve written multiple times about grief. And will continue to do so because I believe once you’ve experienced grief, it’s a lifelong journey.
My hope is that this sneak peek of the book brings encouragement to whoever may be grieving. They feel compelled to purchase the book and that it can be a resource to help with the heaviness of grief.
Alright, I’m done now; here is Dorina.
You may also like: Grief – Finding Encouragement in God’s Word
Let Yourself Cry
One of my earliest memories of grief was attending my Grandpa John’s funeral. He died of a heart attack on the golf course. I was close with my grandpa. As a fourth grader, it was difficult to process that he was with us one day and gone the next. I vividly remember my grandma wailing over his casket at the funeral. She was an elegant, measured woman—always meticulously dressed and prepared with a full Italian meal in the refrigerator that she could easily retrieve and warm up for guests. I was surprised that day—and somewhat alarmed—to see her clinging to the casket and weeping so loudly. My uncles, her sons, tried to pry her away. They tried to calm and quiet her. But we all felt the weight of her emotion. She was now widowed twice.
It was not until years later that my mom explained to me that wailing over the casket was a custom in “the old country” of Italy. This was an expression of love. My grandma was not out of control, as some might think in more American settings where crying is subdued or suppressed at funerals. She wailed to acknowledge her deep sorrow and her deep love for my grandpa.
I look back now and see that day differently than the way I initially experienced it. Her tears were not cause for concern, but rather, a beautiful symbol of her grief. We don’t need to be ashamed of our tears.
You may also like: God is Present In The Heavy Seasons
God Sees Our Tears
Psalm 42 was written as a song that expresses a thirst and longing to be in God’s presence in times of grief. The psalmist writes, “My tears have been my food day and night” (Psalm 42:3, ESV). I understand the psalmist’s sentiment here. After my husband’s death, I cried for a hundred days straight. The tears would not stop. When I stood in the kitchen, I cried. While driving my kids to school, I cried. I went to church and sat in the back row and cried. I cried into my pillow at night. Tears pooled in my eyes as I wrote in my journal at dawn.
I turned to the Bible for spiritual oxygen to fill my lungs so I could make it through each day. The words in Psalm 77:1–2 gave voice to my situation: “I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. I sought the Lord in my day of trouble” (CSB).
Psalm 56:8 also helped me feel seen by God: “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book” (MSG).
He sees our tears and records our losses.
Jesus Wept Too
My favorite example of grief in the Bible is when Jesus took time to weep with Mary and Martha over the death of their brother Lazarus. John 11:33 says, “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled” (ESV).
We learn in verse 35 that Jesus actually wept. Jesus knew that later He would raise Lazarus from the dead, but He still takes time to cry with His friends. He knew they needed Him. He entered their pain, and through His presence offered comfort.
Friend, He weeps with you today. The healing often begins with releasing our soul-tears. We can trust the words in Psalm 147:3: “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds” (NLT).
*This post is an excerpt from Breathing Through Grief (releasing Nov. 14, 2023)
Pre-order here: https://amzn.to/45Uhkv7
Details here: https://dorinagilmore.com/breathingthroughgrief/
Prayer For Those Who Grieve
Thank you, Dorina, for sharing your heart with those who grieve. Thank you for sharing your experience and providing resources for those in a heavy season.
Prayer: Lord, I pray for everyone who is grieving. I pray that they feel your presence near and they know that they are not alone. I pray that you will comfort them and that they know you are there to catch their years. Let them cry to you, Lord. Let your love fill their hearts during this season. I pray that those who will need these words find them. Thank you, Lord, for being with us always. In your name, I pray, Amen.
With Love, Heidy
Is a personal development newsletter an interest of yours? With a little bit of poetry? A little of opinion pieces? And some faith-based encouragement? Sign up for my Substack newsletter, “Into My Thoughts.”
P.S. If you would like to write a guest post for my blog, send me an email at email@example.com. I’d love to host you!
Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young grew up in a multiracial family and is a sought-after speaker, former newspaper reporter, teacher, and the award-winning author of numerous books, including three releasing in 2023: Chasing God’s Glory (Waterbrook Multnomah/PRH), Create in Me a Heart of Mercy (Revell), and Breathing Through Grief (Ink & Willow). Dorina leads as the president of the Redbud Writers Guild and the director of Lead Loved, equipping Christian women leaders. She writes for (in)courage by Dayspring and Proverbs 31 Ministries. Dorina chases after God’s glory as a remarried widow with her husband Shawn and three courageous daughters in Central California. Find her at www.DorinaGilmore.com
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