Week of: May 2, 2011
Sharing by: Pam Crawford
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
ONE DAY AT A TIME:
A few years back I experienced one of the most heart-wrenching scenes. There in the front of the funeral parlor were two young siblings lying together as if they were taking an afternoon nap. Tragically, they were not sleeping as their little lives were lost in a tragic car accident just days earlier. I could hardly breathe as I watched this scene, and as my eyes panned over to their parents, my friends, I remember thinking how inadequate I felt to address them. I just wanted out of that line. I wanted out of that room. I felt so helpless and in the end I had no words. I remember thinking, “they will never survive this!” How could they? Because I was now a mother myself, I just could not imagine being in their shoes. How would we help them? Was there anything we could do to ease their pain?
As I wrestled with this scene, God had me reflect on a similar scene that happened about twenty years earlier. A scene where I stood helplessly before two caskets, as I watched my own parents and their niece and nephew bury their children way too soon as a result of an unexpected tragedy. When my brother and cousin were killed, I remember thinking to myself “we will never survive this!” Then God reminded me that we had. He reminded me that it wasn’t words that got us through; it was the actions of those that surrounded us with their love and support during some of our darkest days. So, as I approached my friends, I knew I had to give away what I had received.They didn’t need my words, they just needed a big hug and my offer to be there for them.
When someone is ambushed by grief there is really little we can do or say. We can support, encourage and pray for them, but the grieving process belongs to the one who is hurting. Because we can never understand what is in their heart as it is so personal, so raw; we must learn to be patient with them. The unexpected is just not something we are prepared for as human beings. It’s hard enough when we lose someone who has lived life to it’s fullest, but it is a very different story when death involves a young child or someone in the prime of his or her life.
There is the age-old adage that says, “Time will heal the pain.” Well I am here to tell you by experience, that this is just not true! Time provides an opportunity to move forward with life, but it does not heal the pain!
When we’re ambushed by grief, when we loose a part of us that we were not prepared to let go of, we experience an amputation of sorts and we have to work through living life without that part of us. There is a huge void and every time we experience those “firsts” following the death of someone we love, we relive our pain. Over time it gets more manageable, but it is never easy! Finding our “new normal” is all we can do, and it takes a great deal of persevering through much pain and disappointment. There will be days when it feels impossible, and then there will be days when you realize that you have made it through yet another day. I’m here to tell you that it was only by the grace of my Heavenly Father, that my family and me made it through the past 25 years. I remember those early feelings; we just wanted to die along with our boys. We never ever thought we would get through it, but we have. And, we’re enjoying life void of our loved ones until we're reunited once again. With faith, it has been possible!
With God there is hope and I pray you believe that. I can tell you that there is no magic bullet or secret formula. If you will allow me to, I can share some things that proved helpful to me. It is so important that we understand the process of grief and we learn to grieve well. In the future it is my prayer that God will help me grieve very differently than I did when I was not connected to Him. I have no idea what this will look like, but I know that I want to bring glory to God through the painful process associated with death.
Out of tragedy hope can be resurrected. It takes time, so give yourself what you need. Stick with the basics and consider implementing:
- A daily connection to the Word of God whether you feel like it or not. Get a concordance and look up everything you can on death, grief and comfort. Let God speak to your heart. Get quiet just listen as He wipes your tears.
- Have a daily conversation with God. Pray to Him and let Him know exactly how you’re feeling. He can take it He’s God.
- Stay connected to other believers. If you are not a believer consider asking Jesus to come into your life and surround yourself with people who encourage.
- Allow people to be near. This is not the time to push people away. You may not need their words, but comfort and a helping hand can be helpful.
- Trust God’s purpose in the pain. Remember that God does not waste our pain. Beauty will arise from the ashes in time. The big picture we cannot see.
- Rely on the strength of God as you will have very little of your own on some days. God’s grace is sufficient to sustain you and He will provide people to hold you up when you cannot stand on your own.
- Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to feel.
If God can help me, he can help you no matter what it is you might be going through. He has no favorites; He loves us all the same. After God heals, not time; you will then be able to comfort from the same comfort you have received. Be blessed and be patient with yourself and your situation.
Additional Scripture Reading: John 14:1-4, Romans 12:15, Psalm 147:3, Matthew 5:4
RESOURCE: DVD – www.FlameOn.net
In Christ by grace,
In Christ by grace,