Today's Devotional Thought
May 04, 2011 by Wendy Foreman
Yesterday morning Rachel and I were out on my carport chatting and waiting for a women’s meeting to start over at our church. A car pulled up in my driveway and it was a sweet friend of ours from church. She lost her husband about 2 ½ weeks ago and was in tears. She has been surrounded by her immediate family and church family for weeks and today and yesterday were the first two days without anyone being there since his passing. She said very little and we just hugged her and sat drinking coffee and talking. It seemed to help her and she was on her way.
When we got to the meeting another lady there was sharing how her daughter (who goes to our church) is continuing to struggle since the unexpected passing of her husband a year ago this Saturday. This led to several conversations of loved ones who have gone on to be with the Lord.
I left that meeting thinking about all the ones in my life who have recently experienced loss. I was overcome with emotion so while I was eating lunch I decided to do some reading on grief.
During my time of reading and thinking and praying I began to realize that one of the most painful losses we can feel is the loss of a loved one. But, I think that we can grieve more than the loss of someone we love. I started thinking about some of the losses I’ve experienced in my life. I had a miscarriage before I had my son and I was devastated and to this day I have moments of thinking about that child and how when I get to heaven I will get to see him/her. I have lost friendships over the years and that has been very painful, the loss of our home this past year was terrible and the loss of my husband’s job 2 years ago was life changing for us.
When I think of those things and many others I am reminded of how we grieve the things that we have lost. These things were a part of our lives and were things we loved and enjoyed and they were taken away for whatever reason and sometimes we don’t even know why. Ladies, it not wrong to mourn or grieve. But the question becomes how long will we mourn?
When I think of my friends who have lost loved ones I can look at each one of them and see how each one has grieved differently. Everyone responds differently in grief. Grief is a necessary part of emotional healing. Grieving is hard work and no one can avoid it or go around it. It must be dealt with. Many people in their grieving process start out feeling numb and in shock. You just can’t believe that it is happening to you (and this can pertain to the loss of a loved one or anything else in your life). This can also be seen as denial. After we get past the shock and numbness, we can find ourselves starting to bargain with God thinking we can somehow change his mind. Maybe talk him into making a way for us to get our job back, or helping us to keep our home. If we begin to see that that isn’t working for us then we oftentimes find ourselves feeling angry. This anger can be towards those in authority over us at our job, or perhaps the doctor who couldn’t save our friend or loved one. The final stage is guilt. If only I would have….been a better parent they would have turned out differently and not rebelled. If only I would have gotten them to the doctor sooner or I should have worked harder at my job or my marriage.
Going through these different stages helps us to heal and at the end of them we should come to some sort of acceptance with what has happened. I am not saying that we will forget or not hurt anymore. I am just saying that I believe God will empower us and strengthen us to move past it and move forward into the life he has for us beyond our grief.
Ladies, many of you who are reading this today are grieving in some way. Scripture is clear that Jesus wept with his friends because he felt their emotion and their sorrow. Everything that we feel in our grief isn’t wrong or a sign that we aren’t strong enough. We must go through the process of grief and move on to eventual acceptance. Grieving is real and it is painful and like I have said, it truly is a process. But, we must not get caught in one stage of grief and not move forward.
God created you and I. As we grieve, when we stop and talk with God and ask him questions, we won’t find him angry with us. He will listen and he will comfort us in our darkest hour. Oh my friend, he isn’t shocked by our anger or sadness. God is our rock and even though our emotions change from day to day he remains the same. He understands better than anyone that we need to grieve, but he does tell us in 1 Thess. 4:13 that you may not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
As His children we have hope. This isn’t all there is for us and our loved ones. If they were followers of Christ, they are with Him in heaven and we will see them one day. I am not foolish enough to think that having that knowledge makes everything better, but it gives us tremendous hope even if the pain remains.
Grieve if you are experiencing loss ladies, but don’t stay in that grief. The Lord has great plans for you and He wants you to experience life beyond your grief.