Today I am Grieving.
This week has been extremely emotional. We had lost a great pillar of faith, our spiritual leader, our pastor and our friend. I knew nothing about grieving because thus far I hadn’t lost anyone close to me. This came as a shock because our pastor was a huge influence on our marriage and our faith in Jesus.
God did a lot of very vital work through Pastor Steve. To this day I can say he is who explained grace to me and my husband; he is through whom God chose to show us how important and easy it is to have a real relationship with God. He also played a huge role in the restoration of our marriage. My husband and I will be forever thankful to him for that.
I did not agree with God for taking him.
I cried once I heard he had passed away. Grieving and crying mostly because I was angry. Angry at God for taking this person from me. I asked “How could you give him to us in time of need, build our faith up through him and then just take him away from us this soon?!”. I was so heart broken. And I still burst into tears when I begin to think about how our church is now left without an amazing spiritual leader.
But I had to come to some kind of progress in my grieving process:
Grieving the loss of a loved one is okay. Me being overwhelmed with sadness was ok. It was necessary. I needed to give myself time to cry it all out. You see, this caused me to cry out to God with desperation. My weakness led me to seek the Lords face.
The Lord comforts:
When I cried out to God for answers, He gently reminded me through a friend that He knows exactly how I feel. He says He has gone through the very same thing and knows what I am going through.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are.” (Hebrews 4:15).
I had to cling to that because it was the only hope I had during in my grieving process.
I heard God say “Why do you put your trust in men?”.
Still, sorrow kept creeping in; how will I grow in my faith now if my pastor is gone? Who will lead my family spiritually? He’s been such a help to us. How will church proceed without him now? Will Steve be replaced by pastor who will care for us as much as Steve did? I began fearing for the future.
Again, I would go to the Lord and this time He would remind me that I was putting all my confidence in a man. “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in men”. (Psalm 118:8). Through tears I realized I was literally saying that Pastor Steve could take care of my spiritual bread but the Lord couldn’t. Jesus want’s me to rely solely on Him not on any man, not even on my husband. Jesus should be where I get my total satisfaction.
I began to remember verses from scripture regarding the Lord taking care of us. He says “your heavenly father knows you have need of those things”. This passage is talking about clothing, food and shelter but I thought to myself, if He cares about feeding me physically, HE SURELY cares about feeding me spiritually!
Trusting the Lord with everything.
I had to make a choice to accept that promise and to trust that the Lord will continue to feed me and my family spiritually.
So what should you do when grieving a loved one?
RUN TO JESUS!
First of all, run to Jesus! RUN! Do not camp out in your despair. Don’t’ stay there! Lament to Jesus; tell Him exactly how you feel. He knows and He cares. Running to Jesus can be standing on your knees, praying constantly, or putting on headphones and drowning in worship music! Which ever way you prefer to run to Jesus- do it! RUN! You HAVE to literally make yourself do that. (If you are physically unable or mentally just can’t seem to take yourself there, ask your spouse or a friend you trust to do it for you; they can read Psalms over you out loud or pray with their hands on you). You will find comfort. Jesus WILL come.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted!” (Matthew 5:4)
“…A man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 54:3)-Jesus knew what grief was.
“He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3)
Second of all, FIND HIS PROMISE TO YOU.
What is he promising in this situation? Is He saying to you that He will provide? That He will help you through this? That He knows your pain? Is He saying He will keep you in His perfect peace?
Find that promise and cling to it. This means you take your bible and you read it until the Lord comes and until the words of that specific promise jump out at you. Dig into the Word as hard as it might be for you.
*Key words here are, take your bible, read it! Find the promise & cling to it. That is how you will find comfort in grieving.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10)
(When I cried and cried, my husband lovingly said to me, “babe, the Lord sees your pain and your fear. Do you think He won’t send us someone to fill Steves shoes?” That was all I needed to hear. I knew at that point that through all this pain the Lord was showing me that I didn’t trust Him. I didn’t.)
TRUST. Just be still and know that HE is God. He is God in every situation. Even in the midst of your pain. *If it helps you, listen to worship music as you are grieving. You have to CHOOSE to trust; it’s a decision. A decision that you should repeat to yourself out loud, many times, reminding yourself and claiming it.
Pastor Steve was so big on “activating your faith”. That is one thing I learned from him- to profess what you believe out loud. Tell yourself you “BELIEVE that the Lord will provide. I believe that the Lord will comfort me. God will take care of me. I am choosing to trust Him.” Speak that promise to yourself. Coach your soul with that promise. And then live like you believe it.
Believing God’s promises.
This is living by faith. Whatever you hear from the Lord as you go to Him in this time of grieving, hold on to it, trust it, believe it and live it.
How long will you be grieving this loss?
People grieve differently. I know that I will miss Pastor Steve a lot and I will be sad yet a while. But, I also know that the Lord is working on sending us a new, spiritual leader for me and my family. I have that hope that my Father cares so much for me that He will be faithful in this.
Drown yourself in the promises of God, and I know for sure that you will find peace as you are grieving your loved one today.