Honestly, my greatest lessons have come during my most difficult losses. Oh! How I wish there would be no more suffering but reality strikes harshly in times of grief. I know suffering all too well. I have lost my grandparents, my parents, my aunts and uncles and even more sorrow with the unsolved murder of my youngest sister and then the absolute worst death possible of my young son. I know what it is to change jobs (to be laid off and to be fired), to lose houses and to relocate over 28 times. I know what it is to personally face cancer and multiple surgeries.
Even though we experience the pain and suffering of grief there is always a glimmer of hope sometimes beyond our understanding as light penetrates the darkness. It is by faith in something beyond myself that I am a survivor and an overcomer. God’s faith is a gift that I am blessed to receive every day.
I choose life over the misery of self pity. It is not easy. I have had my share of pity parties. Grief comes in waves and crests. It hurts. I prepare myself by continually connecting with God as my Lord and Savior. He knows my heart and my weaknesses. He loves me with an everlasting love. I am soothed in His enduring love…even when there is no closure.
There will be challenges ahead…so in times of grief I remember:
1. God promises to be with us always. I believe His promises. (Download handout here. "God’s Promises for Grief Relief")
2. By the grace of God I am alive. His grace is sufficient. My part is to accept, believe and receive his gifts.
3. God will provide all that I need. Over and over again--especially when it seems impossible, when I have no other options or solutions God provides.
4. In God alone I trust. I have learned to turn to God in the bad times as well as the good times. Life isn’t fair. I can’t understand “why” but I will choose to trust.
5. God alone is our source of comfort, peace, strength and wisdom. Keep turning to God for He is our ALL in all. God is our relief from suffering and grief.
7. My value and worth is based in my relationship with God. He tells me I am His beloved and He knows me by name. We are worthy of salvation--the ultimate indescribable gift!
8. Together we will get through our hardest times because we are not alone. God is with us. God will provide someone who cares if we will reach out and receive it.
9. We can become better people because we have experienced hardships. I can be the person who cares. We can seek and find quality relationships as we give and serve. There are many ways to be a blessing and to share a blessing.
10. This earth is not my permanent home and suffering is temporary. I will keep my hope in a future with an eternal perspective. Things come and go, suffering and losses are a part of our journey to everlasting life with God.
11. Grief is a tough refining tool but there is relief, there is spiritual healing and there is always love, light and hope. I will keep God’s promises in my heart and mind.
12. I have become a stronger person by the experiences I have lived. I have learned not to strive for perfection but to be content for even in suffering there is optimal well being as I seek God.
God has divine benefits with a special purpose for each of us. Let God bless you and keep you in His loving care.
Lord, whenever we endure painful difficulties, we ask for you to relieve our suffering as we trust in your faithful love. Help us to grow in your grace as we learn from hardship. Help us remember your promises to strengthen our faith. Bless us and grant us all we need to get through our times of grief. I pray for your everlasting love to be revealed and received in by all. In Christ alone is our hope. Amen.