Leaning into the Lord in Grief + ResourcesAug 11, 2022
The journey of grief was like nothing I'd ever experienced when my sister died unexpectedly in 2008. God has met me in my pain, hurt, disappointment, anger, and uncertainties time and time again. It hasn't been easy, but I can assure you our God is real and can meet you too (see YouTube Praise Pop-In! - Grief).
Since 2008, I have lost other dear family members and friends - some due to normal life/aging and others due to horrific diseases and unexplainably tragic accidents. I clearly don't understand and may never understand the "why" these things happen, but I was encouraged this weekend in a fresh way when my Pastor asked this different question, "now what?". Lord, show us all, now what in the midst of our days.
Learning to praise God in grief has been quite a journey for me and hasn't been easy. Death happens and the world keeps moving on, it's crazy... I remember after my Nina passed, we were leaving the gravesite and my Aunt just yelled out, "Can't everything just stop!!?!?" -- it was so fitting in that moment...
Leaning into God's great comfort means allowing ourselves the space to grieve so He can be our comforter. We must make space for grief as He leads us there to feel, to think, to process, to sit, to be, to remember, to cry, to pray, to read the Psalms, to lay still, to be held by God in ways that only He can...
I've been encouraged to even schedule times for grief especially now amidst married life and parenting. It can seem scary but God is so sweetly there to meet me and create such a gracious space for the grief and these moments of healing. At other times grief can come like a wave so unexpectedly and in those moments, just the same, God is there.
These are two recent and powerful messages that have deeply encouraged and comforted my heart as I process grief on this earth.
How the Church Deals with Heartache - this is a sermon my Pastor shared last Sunday after a mother (41) and daughter (15) from our church family were killed by a mentally ill neighbor. In the midst of our grief as a community, Pastor shared the comfort and hope we can find as Christ followers as we walk through tragic times.
Break the Bread of My Soul - this is a sermon Pastor Bill Johnson (Bethel, CA) gave just days after his wife passed away from cancer. Probably the most raw, powerful, and truth-filled sermon about grief I have ever witnessed. This message touched me deeply and I will continue to keep as a resource to share with others walking through seasons of grief. I encourage you to do that same.
OTHER ENCOURAGEMENTS I'VE FOUND ALONG THE WAY:
- Griefshare has a powerful ministry for local classes and support. I appreciated the daily devotionals that I received in email during the year my sister passed away - click here.
- Lemons on Friday: Trusting God Through My Greatest Heartbreak. Incredible story of country artist, Alan Jackson's daughter who 3 weeks before her first wedding anniversary lost her husband in a tragic unexpected moment after dinner with friends. She shares her journey with grief with such beauty and rawness.
- The Place We Find Ourselves Podcast with Adam Young: #11 Why Engaging Your Story Requires Anger at God
- Book of Job - Especially Chapters 38-40