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Beloved Unbeliever - Part 2

Guest: Jo Berry

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March 18, 2024

How to Find the Comfort You Need After a Loss

Loss strikes everyone at some point in life. Whether it's a relationship breakup, divorce, the death of a loved one, or another loss, we all need ways to cope and find relief from emotional pain.

In times of sorrow or stress, we need comfort. We need hope, consolation, a hug—or someone to tell us that it's going to be okay.

But we don't always know how to get the comfort we need. So we isolate ourselves. Or, try to fill the void with overindulgences (e.g., excessive eating, drinking, shopping, or jumping into a rebound relationship quickly just to ease the pain).

We try to fill the void with things we think will satisfy. But they are false comforters—they promise relief, yet often turn out to be harmful, unhealthy, or temporary.

And the emptiness remains.

After a devastating breakup years ago, I was so despondent that I actually forgot to eat for a time and had to be reminded. I sat on the couch night after night and lost myself in watching movies endlessly because I wanted to escape reality and not feel the heartache. At the time, I didn't have the emotional resources to know how to move forward.

I was stuck in my sadness.

How can you find lasting comfort, true comfort, after a loss? Here are five ideas to help soothe your sadness and find hope again.

1. Let yourself cry.
Crying is a normal and healthy response to a sad situation. So let the tears come; they bring cleansing and comfort. We are reminded in Psalm 30:5, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5 NKJV). Joy will come again. Sorrow will not last forever.

2. Talk it out.
Talk with a trusted friend or family member. We need others to comfort and support us in our time of need. When someone listens we feel validated. When someone empathizes we feel comfort and relief.

Plus, telling our story releases emotional pain so we can find freedom and healing. Your friends may not know what you need, so tell them. "I could use a hug right now" or "I just need someone to listen for a while." Trusted friends will care and be there when you need companionship.

3. Find true comfort.
We can find comfort in "the God all comfort" as we are reminded in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Prayer is a vital key in your healing process. Ask God to help you and heal your sadness and stress. Trust Him to fill your life again with meaning, purpose, and vision for the days ahead.

Worship also brings healing and comfort. In worship, you're not just singing songs. You're focusing on God, not on yourself. You're entering into His presence with a heart to give—communicating your love, gratitude, and adoration—but you also receive hope, healing, joy, and a fresh encounter with God. Remember, praise precedes victory!

Rest in the comfort of the One who loves you more than you know. The Lord is healing, repairing, and rebuilding your loss-weary heart with the true and deep comfort you need. His love, His presence, and His Word are healing gifts.

4. Write your thoughts.
Writing your thoughts and prayers in a notebook or on a device can be very beneficial. When your feelings appear on a page, they are no longer swirling inside your head—they are outside of you. You can vent your emotions and release your pain in the privacy of your personal journal.

Think about asking God: What do you want me to learn from this loss? What are you teaching me? God has valuable life lessons in every season of our lives, even in the dark times.

5. Be kind to yourself.
When your heart is hurting it's helpful to take care of yourself and remember what makes you feel good. What would best nurture your soul, mind, and body right now? What brings you comfort and joy?

Comfort comes in a variety of ways. Think about your five senses for comfort ideas:

• the touch of a friend's hug, cuddling a pet, a therapeutic massage, or a warm blanket around you as you rest in a comfortable chair;

• the sight of the beauty of God's creation (e.g. out in nature, at an art museum, or on a vacation);

• the smell of freshly cut flowers filling your living room, or the fragrance after rain;

• the taste of your favorite comfort food (for a time) and healthy, nourishing food;

• the sound of relaxing music, the melody of a flowing river, or a phone call from a compassionate friend who's good at cheering you up. Speak encouraging words and be kind to yourself, too.

Change takes time and we all handle transition differently, so be good to yourself in the process.

Be Encouraged
How do you find comfort after life's losses? You get up. You get dressed and you keep on going. Remember what you learned in this post about helpful ways to find comfort: crying, talking, praying, worshiping, resting, writing your thoughts, being kind to yourself, and more.

Remember, you are not alone. Armed with God's comforting truths and His close presence, choose to believe what He says is true and aim to live it out each day.

Some days you will stumble and some days you will stand firm, but no matter what, keep walking, trusting God, knowing that you are one step closer to brighter days and newfound joy.