5 Things I Learned Grieving Again
I feel most compelled to write when I am hurting. And most the time I talk myself out of posting because of it. But maybe I’m most compelled because most of the world is hurting too.
Last week my beautiful Kimmy took her last breath and I have had the hardest time breathing since. With Jesus He turns our tests into testimonies, our messes into messages and He uses our pain for His Gain! We can rest knowing with Christ we will always come out victorious! But what happens when we find ourselves grieving again?
5 Things I Have Learned Grieving Again-
1. We can’t learn how to get through heartbreak.
We don’t just learn to get through heartbreak. We can’t read a book or watch a Dr. Phil show and then all the sudden have all the knowledge to make it through. There is more to it than just reading our Bible and even just learning the scripture. We have to believe it, we have to spend time with Jesus to trust Him and spend time with others who are wiser, who have been through similar loss, and people that we know will build us up. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
To believe is to train and to train is to be ready for the battle.
We can read all we want but until we trust it and believe it, it’s just going to be knowledge and no comfort will come when trials come. To believe in Jesus is to believe on Him- lean on Him, lean into Him. We train for that. To train is to spend time making a habit, making a normal, training our body, our mind, our spirit to act in a way that is not natural to the common man. To train is to succeed in the narrow path.
You can’t expect to run a marathon without training. Ha! Most of us can’t even run a mile without building up to it. Soldiers can’t train during the war, they are sent to training before deployment. Sports teams don’t play games first, they have pre-season and in season practice. Why do we think grieving and loss is any different?
Jesus doesn’t say we may have storms, He says WE WILL. “In this world, you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We must be ready. And to be ready is to know and believe the only One who will get us through it, Jesus Christ.
2. Do more important things.
We spend our days surfing Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest, emailing for work at home, countless hours at sports practices and sporting events, choosing the worldly distractions over people. Choosing to stay home instead of make memories with family and friends.
Choosing social events over church, choosing more sleep over worship, choosing what our friends are doing instead of what will most Glorify God and replenish our souls. We are constantly choosing the world.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
We are calling ourselves Christians when we are choosing the world and ourselves over Jesus Christ and the people He places in our life to minister to. I was recently talking to a trusted friend about a childhood friend’s suicide.. about what to do when difficult situations in friends lives arise that we are making no progress in- caught in depression, addiction, wrong choices, cycle of sins, etc. When they start pushing us out or when we start feeling the need to back away. We hear a lot that “sometimes you have to let them hit rock bottom because they can see the truth for themselves.” I believe this to be true. But for me also, I have seen rock bottom end in death. Several times.
We have to be more people minded. We have to be more compelled to share the Gospel to minister to the hurting and to support the widows. No matter how hard it gets.
Send more “How are you?” texts. Call more. Visit more. Care more. Stop being so busy with everything else.
We can’t fix people. If we spend our time trying to fix people, we’ll end up giving up and feeling defeated as if we failed. Only Jesus can fix and save. If we would just love harder, deeper, more than we ever have, then defeat will not overcome. We need to realize that love is enough. The Bible clearly tells us if we do anything and don’t have love, it’s of no value. Loving brings glory to God for what He fixes, fixing brings glory to defeat. So love.
“[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7
Suicide and young deaths are rampant in our world today. Parents losing their children, children losing their parents, young adults losing their spouses. The end is coming and Jesus will take up with Him those who have called upon the Name of Lord as Savior.
“do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4
“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;” Romans 12:10
Life is but a vapor. We can call someone today and they be gone tonight. Or worse, we could think about calling someone, get “too busy” and they could be gone tonight.
“ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” James 4:14
3. We don’t cause death.
I was told by a very wise Godly woman that I trust very much that we don’t cause death (unless we pull the physical trigger ourselves), but we can cause life in others.. Christ in us.
That has to be our ultimate goal. That has to be our take away. Because we have Christ, we can give Him away to others.. Giving them life, love and light.
John 10:10 Jesus tells us that He came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. As Christ followers, we can give that life through Him in us.
A missed opportunity to call, a plan changed, a last word, not being there.. whatever it might be, we don’t cause death.
But we can be life givers through Christ for His people. Jesus gives us eternal life.
“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7
“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4
4. Be Real.
“37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38 Then He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your Will be done.” Matthew 26:36-56
This moment of Jesus’ life gives me comfort. Jesus knew why He was going through this, Jesus loves us and knew what He was doing. But He still grieved, became distressed, and even got frustrated that His Disciples weren’t seeming to care. I feel all of these things when grieving.
People who haven’t lost love to say “They’re in a better place now.” “We will be reunited with them one day.” etc. I know those things. But it doesn’t take away the pain, the grief, the loss and the hurt of losing them. And being real about it is most important. Jesus was real here, He begged God to take this cup from Him.
But He also followed that with “yet not as I will, but as You will.” and again with, “If this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your Will be done.” We have to be real. We have to trust God with our realness and we have to shine Christ’s light through our realness. And in our realness we have to see His Will. His Will is best for us.
It’s okay to be sad, devastated, heartbroken.. I am completely. That doesn’t make Jesus any less real or important. It just means you love and lost. Hurting means there is love. Doesn’t the saying go something like “I would rather hurt over losing than never love at all.” I would never trade in any days loving those I’ve lost for not hurting at all.
Being real is not weak, it’s not attention seeking- being real in the way that Jesus showed us is God-Glorifying. Be Real in a God-Glorifying way knowing His Will is better. His Will be done.
5. Write Letters.
The Bible is made up of letters and words from those who have passed before us. Paul wrote letters to His churches and those he loved most. One thing of many Kim taught me is to write letters. Thank you notes, thinking of you notes, love you notes, encouragement notes.. any kind of handwritten letter. Even in her hardest days, I’d come home to a letter in the mail.
Don’t just write letters so people will have them when you die, but write letters to encourage those in your life, let them know how much you love them. You love them so much that you sat down and wrote them a note. It takes longer than a text message to sit down and write and that’s important. [This has no spiritual emphasis at all except the examples of letters we have in the Bible.]
I will be forever grateful for the times Kim wrote me a letter, picked up the phone and the hours beyond hours that we spent together- talking face to face and spending real time with each other. I am so thankful for texting and social media messaging where relationships can truly grow deeper over miles and time. More than ever before. A lot of my relationship with Kim bonded in my 12-18 ages over texts and messages. But I will forever cherish the letters, calls, and time spent together burned in my memory, more than any text or message or picture digitally stored somewhere in space but deleted out of sight.