Navigating the loss of a loved one

As many of you have previously read, our family has been navigating the pain of loss. We’ve lost a sister, sister-in-law, and Auntie. In the midst of the pain, we are experiencing the beauty of God’s grace. We are recognizing God’s hand in our midst and we are rejoicing in the fact that our loved one is in Heaven with her Savior, completely free from pain.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.

I have hope. If you know Jesus, you have hope. If our loved ones have accepted Christ in their hearts, we will see them in heaven someday. Often, heaven is so hard for us to imagine that we can’t fathom why we would want to go there,  much less lose someone we love to it. Yet, isn’t heaven what we should be looking for?

1 Thessalonians 4: 14-17  For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

Throughout this experience, I have felt the peace of God like I’ve never felt it before.

Yes, I’ve had moments of sadness.

Yes, I’ve cried.

Yes, a lot of things have triggered memories. They aren’t sad memories, though. They are memories of someone that I hold very dear to my heart and will never forget. I have learned:

1. My joy comes from God, not from the circumstances that I face. (Nehemiah 8:10)

2. In my weakness, he is made strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. 

3. He never leaves me nor forsakes me

Deut 31: 6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

John McDonnell once said, “Every problem introduces a person to himself.”

Am I saying that this loss was necessary for me to grow? Absolutely not. Will it cause me to grow? Yes, it will.

Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

I believe that he is well able to bring about good through this absolutely horrible situation. I know that loss is a painful subject, one that many of us avoid, but yet a part of life.

How about you? Perhaps you also relate to loss. I’d love to pray with you in the comments below.

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