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I think it’s safe to say that none of us anticipated a global pandemic in the years leading up to 2020. Nor did we anticipate that once the pandemic began wreaking havoc across the globe that we’d be well into 2021 with a light at the end of the tunnel that seems close and then not so close, close again, not so close again. It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating. It’s heartbreaking. There have been glimmers of hope of the return to normality and then a new wave more powerful than the last hits and we find ourselves reeling, once again, at the anguish of more distance, more time, more restrictions. *Sigh* 

I’ve been pondering lament and this season we are in for a while now. Grief is incredibly important. There’s a whole lot of the bible devoted to it! (See Lamentations, Job, Psalms, etc) Expressing our pain and frustration is, in fact, the pathway to healing. God, Creator, gave us an enormous wheel of emotions and none of them are deemed ‘ungodly’ or sinful. The way in which we handle them is incredibly important and there are healthy ways to process our emotions, but actually processing them is vital to personal growth, development and healing. So, allow yourself to grieve. What has been lost? What has been missed? What has been turned upside down - that annual family reunion, a job and financial security, the feeling of personal freedoms being taken away, the devastation of this virus and the effects on our mental health, people in addiction, etc. It’s a lot. And it’s ok to be sad. 

The book of Psalms is incredibly encouraging and helpful in times of grief and loss. David sets an example of deep lament, honesty and vulnerability. He gets really real and really raw with God. He asks the hard questions, he fantasizes the brutal take-down of his enemies, he complains about how unfair life feels...and then... he says, “yet, I will praise you” (Psalm 42). David comes full circle in his processing with God. He comes through his pain and returns to praise. 

I pray that as you cast your cares upon Jesus this week that you would truly be encouraged and uplifted in His presence. May you experience the closeness of the Holy Spirit, Comforter, in your grief. May you process the frustration with the astrix of Hope right beside it. Hope in Jesus. Hope in Healer. May you come through it with a deeper intimacy with the Lord and a deep breath of anticipation for the days ahead.

Mike and I are praying for you this week. We are for you. We believe in you. We appreciate you!

Pastor Laura