When all hope seems lost, Lord, I turn to You.
When faced with unimaginable loss, I remember this is not the world You created. Your vision did not include death, disease, sadness, tears, anxiety and loneliness. You grieve for this fallen world just as we do for circumstances that simply don’t make sense.
When tears fall for loved ones we miss, I remember Your Son.
Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
He grieved with his friends over their loss, over His own loss, even though He knew the end result of resurrection.
You sacrificed Your Son so we can one day live eternally in Your intended world: free of death, disease, sadness, tears, anxiety and loneliness. (Revelation 21:4)
You bottle our tears. (Psalm 56:8)
You are near us when we are broken-hearted. (Psalm 34:18)
You are a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:8)
Grief is unpredictable. The waves are calm some days, then out of nowhere gain the power to knock me down. Suddenly, I “come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me” (Psalm 69:2). Since my mother in law passed away, two other friends have lost immediate family members. And most recently, a sweet family lost a child. With each loss, my heart breaks for them. And with each loss, my own grief intensifies.
Before experiencing loss myself, I had no understanding of the depths of pain a person feels. Now when I hear of another person’s loss, flashbacks fill my head.
Falling to my knees, crying out to God to wake me up from the terrible nightmare.
Wrapping my arms around my kids as they dissolved into tears when my husband told them the news.
Crying, praying, and mouthing along to worship songs on the drive back to Hurricane.
Losing it in the funeral home when I saw her for the first time.
The numb feeling that lasted for days.
Hearing my youngest ask when Grandma would wake up.
Watching my kids fill the casket with pictures so Grandma wouldn’t be alone.
Sitting in the front seat of the car as my husband drove to the church, wondering how people were just going on with their lives.
The waves that continue to wash over me at unexpected times, like catching a glimpse of her picture that I’ve seen a hundred times but brings me to my knees every once in a while. Or when I hear someone else is suffering.
I know this isn’t a feeling unique to me. In the wake of a devastating loss in a community I treasure, a couple friends reached out and shared their pain. We all belong to the grief club, and we can relate to each other. Another family’s loss breaks our heart because we understand a fraction of the pain they feel. It’s an indescribable pain we would never wish on anyone.
In these moments, the enemy is waiting to taunt us. The enemy wants to feed us lies. The enemy wants us to believe our prayers weren’t answered, that God isn’t good, and plants a hundred other tiny doubts.
Here’s what I’ve learned through my own experience:
God is always good, even when the circumstance is not.
God has a purpose for the pain.
God is faithful.
God loves His children.
God feels our pain.
His way is better, even when that seems ridiculous.
God sees all; we see little.
Whether you are grieving yourself, have had your grief resurface, or are walking beside grief, hold tight to the One who is holding you.
If you are angry, give it to Him. He can handle it.
If you have doubts, give it to Him. He can walk you through it.
If you can’t understand why, ask Him. We may never know this side of eternity the answer, but He will fill you with peace.
Turn to Him, not away from Him.
The song “My Hope Is In You” by Aaron Shust helped me through rough times. You can listen to it here.
Prayers for all families grieving everywhere,