Two days after Thanksgiving, a close friend’s daughter-in-law passed in her sleep unexpectedly. She was in her twenties with a loving husband and two small little girls.
How can you ever be prepared when grief hits?
No matter how old you are and how strong spiritually and emotionally you are, you are never really prepared to face grief. Even when a loved one has been told she has a short time to live, we hold onto hope.
We don’t really expect death.
We are never prepared. Ever.
Grief is Real – Let Yourself Grieve
Don’t try to be so strong that you don’t let yourself grieve. Even those who must immediately start caring for little children of the deceased will eventually need to grieve.
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13
We often feel that as Christians we must be filled with God’s strength and joy. A Christian still needs to grieve. This verse doesn’t say that you can’t grieve.
What it says is that our sorrow isn’t like those who have no hope.
You have hope! You know that you will see your loved one again if they knew Jesus.
Growth Out of Mourning
There are things that you will get out of mourning over your loved one that you will not get any other way.
You will go deep with God as you walk closely with Jesus through this deep valley.
If you allow God to work His good in you, you will find exponential growth beyond anything you could ever have imagined. God is able to turn your devastation into something beautiful as you draw near to Him.
You will never forget your loved one as long as you live, yet you will never be the same for going through this deep dark valley.
Death Seems Unreal
God laid it on my heart to write to you about grief, yet, I have never dealt with it because someone very close passed away.
I lost my grampa when I was only 11 years old but because we lived overseas, my grief was not as intense.
Death just doesn’t seem real.
It always seems impossible that celebrities will die. Yet they do.
It seems improbable that blogging friends will pass. Yet my friend, Mandy Kelly passed in a house fire this year.
It is ingrained in our being that life is eternal. And it is. Either life eternal or death eternal. You get to choose.
But . . .
Because we procrastinate dealing with our eternity, we are never quite prepared to deal with grief.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word. Psalm 119:67
God has so much compassion for us!
Even though you might have gone astray before the death of your loved one, you now can keep God’s Word. That is one of the reasons why as you grieve you will experience growth.
Near to the Brokenhearted
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18
Almost four years ago, I was grieving the loss of my daughter (but not through death).
My heart was broken.
In time the Lord gave me unspeakable joy. It came after days and months of mourning. It came as suddenly in the most amazing way.
The comfort that I felt from God was the sweetest experience I have ever had.
There is no other way I would have received this gift from the Lord. I would never have wanted to walk through this deep valley but I would never have experienced the unspeakable joy God gave me any other way.
God Heals Your Wounds
Believe that God will heal your wounds.
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
When I was 13, I ran through a glass door and my leg was very badly cut. My wounds had to be wrapped or bound up.
That is what God will do for you.
Sometimes it happens very quickly as God undergirds and gives strength. Other times it takes months.
You don’t need to rush the healing process. Time will never diminish the preciousness of the person you lost.
Joy WILL Come. God Promised
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
I jumped the gun. I already told you how God gave me joy!
I don’t think this verse is talking about a literal night and day. It is talking about a period of time in which sorrow will end and be replaced by joy.
The point is to WAIT. Wait and God will renew your strength and you will be able to live again.
Yes, I know that in those first moments and days and months it feels like you will never be able to go on with your life.
I promise. Joy will come because God made that promise to you.
I know this all sounds glib when maybe you are experiencing grief at this very moment. I know that I have no business writing to you about this because I have never felt grief at the level you are feeling it now.
Maybe it is because just as this young girl I know passed suddenly, and how my blogging friend passed in just one moment, and how I keep learning of another and another who has died from cancer or a fatal car accident, that death will come closer and closer until it touches my life too.
None of us are free from experiencing death.
Just as sure as my friend’s tiny baby breathed for the first time today, death is just as sure to the elderly parents, the middle-aged father, the young person we never thought would die.
What I have learned is that you can never be prepared for grief.
Death is stealthy.
Death tricks us into thinking it will never happen to us or our loved ones.
Death seems so unreal yet it is as real as life itself.
You can never be prepared for grief but God is faithful and will give His unmeasured grace.
Grace sufficient for you and me.
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Yes, death and grief are certain in this life but my hope is in Jesus and life eternal that He is preparing for me and you.
Does this resonate with you? How can I uplift and encourage you to move forward with your life? Let me know if you would like me to pray for you.