When you find yourself in that awkward place of grief where you are still hurting but you are able to function again, you may find yourself starting to think about the future and what it will look like. It can be overwhelming to think about at first because you know that no matter what is in your future, it will look different than what you thought it would look like.
For some people, that thought alone will be enough to cause them to retreat back into a place where they are just treading in the waters of grief...not going under but not ready to get out either. There is no shame in being in that place of grief, but there is danger in staying there. If you stay there, you will eventually wear yourself out and then almost any stress or change will be enough to pull you under.
For others, the future feels like an opportunity their loved one didn’t have and that drives them to find purpose in the pain and do something with the time they have been given. Staying in the deep waters of grief is not an option for them so they swim for the shore with everything they have. It can be risky if they don’t allow themselves enough time to grieve and regain some of their strength, but no matter when they make that choice to take action, their perspective will ultimately determine their plan.
Let me explain, when someone we love dies, the natural tendency is to look back to where they were and cling to the memories and moments that make us feel close to them. As time passes, there can be a tendency to try even harder to preserve the memory of our loved one and hold on even tighter so we don't forget or so our person is not forgotten. However, as Christians, we know that our home is waiting for us in Heaven and that our loved one is already there waiting for us - made whole and praising the name of Jesus! So, instead of looking back at the grave and trying to cling to the past that we miss, we have the promise and comfort of being continuously in the presence of God and with our loved ones for eternity!! No more grief and no more goodbye’s.
When we fix our eyes on the hope we have in Heaven, we can see that each day is not pulling us further away from our loved one and the memories we shared. Instead, each day is pushing us closer to our future with them in Heaven! So as we move forward with our life, even with grief, we can find comfort in knowing that moving forward doesn’t mean moving on. As long as we are moving towards Jesus, moving forward means moving closer.