A few years ago, I found myself walking a path no one ever dreams of taking– the grief journey due to child loss. Although death is part of the circle of life, child loss, which is an out of order death is particularly heart-breaking.
When my daughter, Melanie ran ahead to heaven unexpectedly my heart was broken in a way I had never imagined it could be. Yet, God in all of his magnificence and wonder immediately covered me in a way that could only be described as miraculous. A scripture I had heard hundreds of times became more than words on a page in the Bible. It became real and was felt deep within my being.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7
This doesn’t mean I didn’t shed buckets of tears, but on those dark days I continued to feel his presence. It was like a shield surrounding and protecting me.
It’s been said that grief is like the ocean. It comes in waves, and you don’t know if the waves will be strong or gentle. During those times when the waves threatened to take me under, I would cry out to Jesus. He knows what it feels like to lose a loved one. Even though he knew the final outcome, didn’t he weep when his dear friend Lazarus died? He knows what loss feels like.
When our loved ones move to heaven, no matter how much we may try, there is no rushing through the grief journey and there is no going around it.
Instead, we must walk through it and allow our Heavenly Father to heal our hearts, step by small step.
One day a few months after Melanie died I was having a particularly bad day. Grief can be a very lonely place. Everyone seemed to be going on about their own lives without a care in the world and here I was sitting outside on my deck with tears streaming down my face. It was during one of these low moments that I cried out to the Lord. I was missing my daughter so much and in the midst of my tears I asked him, how am I going to fill this huge void now that my girl is gone? Within a few moments, the sweet gentleness of the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart:
“I’ll never let you down. I’ll never walk off and leave you” Hebrews 13:5 MSG
Wow! What a wonderful comfort to know we are truly never really alone. If you have found yourself walking this grief journey too, be kind and gentle with yourself. Lean into The One who made you. God is walking alongside us, and when we need it, he will carry us through the valley of the shadow of death.
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Psalm 23:4 NLT
Lord, help me to remember that I am never truly alone. Even on my darkest night you are with me and are close like no other. You know what it means to grieve, and you are healing my heart, step by small step. Thank you for surrounding me and comforting me with your peace that truly does surpass my earthly understanding.
Worship Resource – Goodness of God https://youtu.be/y81yIo1_3o8