I’ve heard it said that every person is either going into a storm, in the middle of one, or on their way out of one. Grief is one of those storms. It crashes into our lives after the loss of beloved people or things, and it doesn’t behave in any clearly understandable way. Just as every person is different, everyone experiences grief uniquely. Because of that, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule book. Here are some things I’ve been learning through my own tumultuous journey with loss and grief.
From birth, children are hardwired to speak up to make sure their needs are met. When a baby belts out her first post-womb cry, she asks, “What about me? Do you see me? Will you help me?” Her wailing likely stops when her call is answered with a blanket or as she receives food. When a preschooler says, “Mom, Mama, MOMMY!” he generally isn’t left without a reply. As a child, I asked “What about me?” a lot. My parents nearly embellished a T-shirt for me with the phrase. Unfortunately, it did not continue to be cute as I aged. My first inclination is always to wonder, “What about me?” In the context of Christian leadership, my self-focus can take away from my ability to be effective in seeing and meeting the needs of others: my purpose for leading in the first place.
Originally published December 14, 2017 on the Bridging the Gap Blog. When most people in America think about Christmas, visions of reds and greens (and maybe sugar plum fairies) dance in their heads. This is likely because sometime in autumn, stores begin to fill their shelves with glittering reds, shiny greens, and banners of “Happy … Continue reading The Colors Of Christmas | Jesse Tree
"I'm leaking" I said to my friend one day, feeling overwhelmed with previously mundane things. I couldn't hold the hard inside anymore. Without my permission, tears pooled beneath my eyes, poured onto my cheeks, and fell to my chest. It hurt tremendously to go ahead and feel the pain, but as the salty tears washed over my face, my soul released some of the pressure.