Engaging Grief and Gratitude

This season of Thanksgiving looks quite different than previous years, many of us not gathering with families and loved ones around a table. Acknowledging this heartache, Dan and Rachael have a weighty conversation about the necessity of engaging both grief and gratitude.


“Holding both, there are no clean emotions, the complexity of this season does not allow us to give in to either full-fledged grief or full-fledged gratitude, there is going to be a profound mixture of both.” Dr. Dan Allender

“We are to grieve with those who grieve, and rejoice with those who rejoice and sometimes that’s happening in our very body, this sense of both joy and sorrow being sisters in the same home.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“We so often project our own capacity onto God, and God is giving us something of God’s image in our capacity to be with each other in these complex moments that require depth of presence and maturity to hold multiple emotions and multiple responses.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“It could be interpreted that we live in a fallen world where all of the heartache is a form of reminder, awakening to the reality we are not home. We live in the already and not yet, and the already is glorious but we have to have space for grief, especially as we come into this Thanksgiving.” Dr. Dan Allender

“If we can find the people who can bear this reality there is a sense of being together that brings a kind of life and actually intensifies the joy, intensifies the gratitude, and brings life in the midst of a defiance that can at the same time say when we don’t know how to pray, the groaning Spirit groans with a language too deep for words, and we can trust that God is working for the good, so we will look for the true good of God.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“How do you want your own heart …to enter into grief and to enter into gratitude? Defiance, the defiance to enter the grief but the defiance to ultimately say death never has the final word.” Dr. Dan Allender