Your Personal Pace, Part 4

I don’t want to do this. I really don’t. But I must. It’s where the Lord has me right now, so I must address this part of anyone’s personal pace.

What do you do with your grief and loss? How does that impact your personal pace of life?

It used to be that when I experienced grief and loss, I did my best to “weep with those who” wept, but wouldn’t grieve much because we “don’t grieve as those who have no hope.” Both of those biblical quotes true and poignant …. and so easily misunderstood.

You see, like many of you, I’m a Pastor. Loss and grief is something my people face every day. Over the years, when you don’t have any grasp on what it means to be “blessed” to be someone who “mourns”, you tend to just pull up your boot straps and just move on.

Until, that is, you end up suffering a loss, or a spattering of losses that cause you to emotionally come to a grinding halt. A painful, yet powerful, lesson I’ve learned is that loss and grief must impact your personal pace. If it doesn’t, something’s wrong.

I don’t mean to sound brash or harsh, but having been one who thought others grieving should get over it and move on, I had to learn that if God grieves, so do I grieve. I can grieve now, as the losses occur, or I will grieve them later, more painfully, and maybe at greater cost to my own health.

I mentioned a few sentences back that this is where the Lord has me.

  • Two church member funerals in two weeks
  • Three funerals in a month
  • A case of cancer gone wrong for one lady I pastor (after four surgical procedure in two months to remove masses, now they will do a full mastectomy)
  • A staff member’s uncle who died suddenly this week
  • My son, whose leg is fine and will be stronger, but who is missing much of his 13th Summer
  • A Pastor in my city who hangs on the brink of life in an ICU after a massive brain hemorrhage 10 days ago
  • A man I pastor who survived a quadruple bypass a few months back and was ready to go back to work right when the need for a pacemaker came into his picture.

I now realize that when I face loss and walk through it with the people I lead, it impacts my personal pace. If I don’t allow room for it, I pay for it later. What does it mean to “make room for it”? A few things:

  • I cry when I feel like it.
  • I slow down my schedule to account for the time spent with grieving friends and relatives.
  • I admit to others that I don’t have all the answers.
  • I do my best to give myself grace to not feel “on top of it” all the time.

This is a piece of personal pace that I don’t like, but I believe it’s a really important one. Is there anything you would add to the list of “make room” allowances?

5 Comments

Post A Comment