God has a plan for each of our lives. We can’t see the end from the beginning, nor tomorrow from today. All we have is each moment. That is why it is so important that we make the most of the moments we’re given. We never know when we’ll be faced with a last moment. Our last moment. The last moment our child asks to be held. A loved one’s last moment.
Looking back over my life and the grief I’ve had to walk through, I finally am noticing that there was a plan for it all. God doesn’t desire for us, His children, to be in pain. Yet, He has a purpose for grief. Grief causes growth.
Growth is not painless. Growing pains, spiritual growth or growth through education; they all have their own type of pain, some physical pain and others mental. Growing is a part of life. Just as grief is a part of life.
How I’m Learning to Grieve with Hope
In the beginning stages of grief there is no joy to be found. The tears fall from sun up to sun down. You can’t imagine them ever stopping. How could they? Your loved one is gone. Forever.
As time has passed since losing my best friend I’ve come to be able to smile again. At the memory of her voice sharing that they’d finally gotten matched and that she’d be Judah’s mom! Watching videos where she glowed with the love of Jesus. Remembering the moments we shared on the North Carolina beach when we met in real life. These memories bring me joy. It is still laced with pain because I miss her, but joy is part of each memory now.
For the first time since losing my grandfather almost 16 years ago I was able to have a conversation with my dad about him…without breaking down completely and bawling my eyes out. While back home we visited his grave and we reminisced, sharing memories of him with each other. In the midst of tears there was joy. Joy because he is still a part of me. Joy because I was blessed to have been in his life and he mine. Joy because I will see him again.
Joy becomes a part of grief. Eventually.
Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.
That quote has become a very important part of my journey through grief. Why? Because I can’t imagine my life without each of the loved ones I’ve lost. While I am sad that my time with them on earth is over, I’m so very thankful that it happened. So, I smile…most of the time with tears running down my face.
My grandfather and my best friend both had a tremendous impact on my spiritual life. Their love for Him was so evident to others that it has created within me a desire to love Jesus so much that others to see my love for Him too.
Part of my grief journey…losing loved ones…has drawn me to Jesus in a much more personal, persistent way.
One day it will be worth it all. The grieving. The growing. The pain. The heartache. Until then…I will smile at each memory and I will cry when I miss them so much it physically hurts.
Growth isn’t always a forward motion. Sometimes it stops while waiting for sunshine and rain.
I’ve known for most of my life that I haven’t ever handled grief properly. That is why I began this journey towards learning to grieve with hope with my besties. We’re in the midst of our book study through Grieving with Hope, by Samuel J. Hodges.
Every week we’ll each be sharing our thoughts on the same chapter. It is our hope and prayer that as we learn to grieve holding tightly to the hope we have in Jesus Christ that others will be encouraged and strengthened that are on their own grief journey.