January 23, 2018 Lily Garay

Grief in the Garden of Our Hearts

There are days where your soul feels at war with itself. We will all undoubtedly experience grief in the form of someone’s death, the loss of a dear relationship, or perhaps a major life change. However, sometimes in the name of Jesus, we shove aside our grief and sweep our emotions under the rug claiming that “Jesus has it.” But in doing so we do not truly allow ourselves to process or heal.

This is never the intention of God for our hearts.

Before Jesus’ crucifixion, He went to the garden to pray and process. In this passage we see how Jesus fully experienced and accepted grief when He prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Mt. 26:39 NLT)

The process of acceptance and healing looks different for everyone. As an artist, I found myself writing song after song about my experience with a tough breakup. Around 1 AM one night, I wrote line after line until I had a finished song. It was so raw and yet a part of me knew I had to share it with the world.

As tends to happen, I jumped to the end result, thinking, “I wonder what my mom will have to say about these lyrics. I wonder if my friends will think I’m too sensitive. I wonder if my ex will think I hate him.” With phrases like “sorry that I called” and “we got way too intimate,” I knew I was bound to turn a few heads as I prepared to release my new song. But my focus shifted from processing grief to concerning myself with what others might think. By doing so, I was subconsciously rushing past the grieving process and not fully healing.

Instead of shoving our grief aside, we should bring it to the One who says, “I love you right where you’re at, but too much to let you stay there.”

Sometimes we get so caught up with the end goal of something that we lose sight of the healing process that Jesus is walking us through. My songwriting process transformed from simply writing lyrics when I realized that it was something God could use to comfort and bring healing to many, including myself. By letting Him take something that was once a mess, it became a message. As Paul similarly expressed, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Cor 1:4)

Whether it be through an artistic piece, a sermon, or over dinner with friends, God can use our grief for His glory. Everything we create or do or say is a beautiful reflection of His restorative nature.

Like Jesus, let us go into the garden bringing our grief to the Healer and allowing ourselves to fully embrace the process as He does His work in us and through us.

“even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.”
Psalm 139:10

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About the Author

Lily Garay Lily is a Junior studying Organizational Leadership with a focus in Business Administration. She is passionate about creative expression and helping others develop a passion for the arts as well. Lily hopes to continue writing and making music that brings healing and encouragement to all.