What Are You Grieving?

Updated June 24, 2023

Todd and I were sharing a meal with some friends during this last year and the wife said her counselor had told her grief was like poop, we need to do a little every day or else we become emotionally constipated. I instantly latched onto that idea and started wondering how much else was building up in me I was preferring to ignore, rather than pass?

Was disappointment or envy, competition or pride building within stories I didn’t like and couldn’t control, until I was literally exhausted and unable to spiritually fight? I began to crave more self-awareness. How could I tell the truth when I was afraid? Or sad? Or anxious? What does that kind of daily confession look like and would practicing it change my emotional fatigue in a way any treat I might give myself couldn’t?

I started to be brutally honest, at first just with myself and God. I would say aloud or write down statements like this:

I am afraid they think I am better at something than I really am. I might disappoint them.

I want something that isn’t mine. I will delight when someone else enjoys it.

I am anxious about (this child’s) future. I can’t control what happens to them.

I am sad… or I am mad… or I am… Soon, the confessions I would’ve rather not had, instead of bringing shame (I can’t believe I am feeling/thinking/wanting this) when confessed, brought lightness. My friend’s counselor was right- it felt like a bowel movement, stinky coming out, but necessary. Confession began to look like grieving, (a broken heart over where I had fallen), and grieving began to look like confession (sorry, Lord, for longing for what isn’t.)            

With all the grieving and confession came the unintended benefit of capacity. I want more capacity, because capacity increases impact. When I am not carrying what isn’t mine to carry, I have more room in my heart and mind and hands to hold what God entrusts to me.

What are you Grieving?, Reckless Faith Moment
About Author

Beth Guckenberger is the Co-Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries and founder of the Reckless Faith Movement. Beth and Todd have a large family they’ve formed through biological, foster, and adoptive children. She is an author and speaker, sharing her experience as a mother, a missionary, and a student of God’s Word.