Being the body

It can be tempting to construct walls around our hearts when we're grieving. Grief is vulnerable and messy. It's not pretty and certainly doesn't present the first impression we'd hope to make. It may seem as if no one else knows our pain. Some words of others may cause your broken heart to sting, even if unintentional. There have certainly been times over the years I have found myself hiding behind walls that seemed like protection, but often led to bitterness and isolation.

I've been reflecting a lot on the way God created us to live in community with others, especially with our brothers and sisters in Christ. From Genesis 2:18, when God declared it was not good for Adam to be alone and created Eve, to Revelation, when God’s children from every tribe, tongue, and nation worship together, and so many places in between, scripture shows the importance of community, particularly the community of the church, the Bride of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12–27 describes the church as one body with many parts, all baptized by one Holy Spirit, each created with different gifts, each of equal importance to the body.

I have found such comfort in the loss community among women who have walked through similar experiences as me and understand my grief in a way many others may not.

And I have also found such comfort among my sisters who have never walked through this kind of loss, yet still have so much care, friendship, and biblical wisdom to give. Women who may never understand what I have walked through, but still understand what truly matters and can offer love and even a fresh perspective.

I am not advocating for intimate vulnerability with every person we meet, nor am I discrediting the incredible beauty of friendship with those who have walked through similar experiences. But I have found that we miss out when we discredit others simply because they haven't been in our shoes.