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When we do not know who we are in Christ, we will search for an identity.
We find it in our abuse, our career, our role as a mom or a homeschooler, our weight loss—and our grief.
If we allow our grief to define us, we can potentially allow it to become an excuse for isolation, laziness, irresponsibility or even neglect.
What was at first a state of shock now becomes our lifestyle, because we've given grief more room in our lives than it was meant to have. It's become who we are, not what we do.
We need to learn to distinguish events, experiences and emotions from who we really are.
Grief is an experience, not an identity.
3 Ways to Prevent Grief From Becoming An Identity
1. Find out what God says about you.
Find verses that describe what God says about you and write them down.
You can find a lot of verses that express who you are in Christ in the book of Ephesians. I have listed some in this post, 10 Verses About Your Identity in Christ, and even created a downloadable set of memory verse cards for you to print and use.
You can also find my 30 Day Prayer Challenge on My Identity in Christ here, with 30 verses from Scripture that affirm who we are in Jesus.
2. Express your emotions through the prism of Scripture.
Emotions are not wrong, as long as they are under the submission of the Holy Spirit. When emotions are given room to run our lives, we will live in continual drama.
Over the past six weeks, I have been on a journey of learning how to live with peace from the inside out, free from the drama around me and from the anxiety I'd normally feel.
3. Honor your loved one.
In his book Grieving With Hope, Samuel J. Hodges lists ways that we can honor our loved ones in our grief without getting stuck in a continual cycle of grieving.
Making our grief an identity, in fact, dishonors the one we've lost.
We need to honor them by adjusting to a new normal, a new life without them. It isn't disloyal; it is honoring the life we've been given by God.
While the pain of our loss will always be with us in some measure, we can still live in joy.
Grief doesn't have to define our lives.
God wants us to live in the joy and peace He gives, even when we are walking through seasons of grief.
If you have experienced a loss, I encourage you to get Grieving with Hope today and begin reading about how to navigate this difficult season of grief in a way that brings hope and healing.
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her hero. Together they live with their two active boys in the country, where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an Associates of Practical Theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of A Little R & R, where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.
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