Can’t Have it Both Ways…

At this stage in my grief journey I have learned to exercise the “just ignore it” muscle that allows me to scroll through Facebook without taking comments personally.

Most of the time.

But yesterday a grieving mama posted a tribute to her missing daughter complete with a beautiful photo collage and a sweet message that included sharing her feelings.

This mama revealed that her heart was broken, that she missed her daughter and that she was oh, so proud of her and thankful for the years they had together.

Many comments were simply, “Praying for you” or “Love you”.

But one comment stuck out.  This person said, “She wouldn’t want you to be sad.  She’s at peace in heaven with Jesus.” 

Really??!!  

How is that helpful?  

In a single line you have dismissed this mama’s honest and appropriate feelings and implied you know her daughter better than she does.

Of course she’s in heaven with Jesus.  As believers in Christ we know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

But knowing that, trusting that truth makes grief easier to bear, it does not erase it.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “We do not grieve as those without hope.” (I Thess. 4:13)

NOT “We do not grieve.”

Here’s something you need to know: hurting with hope still hurts. The sting of death might have been removed, but it still stings. No, we might not sorrow as those who have no hope, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be sad.

Levi Lusko, Through the Eyes of a Lion

Grief is the price we pay for love.  

Grief is an appropriate and proportionate response to the death (the end of earthly companionship) of someone we love.

If grief is small, what does that say about love?

It can’t be both ways.  

We cannot celebrate a mother’s love and then dismiss her grief.

So my answer to that comment was this:

It’s perfectly OK to be sad.  Death is awful. And missing is hard. Praying that the Lord will bring a special memory-one that has been tucked away in your hearts but mostly forgotten-to mind today and that it will bring a smile to your lips. May you feel the Lord’s Presence today and may He sing a song of love, grace and mercy over your shattered heart

God’s grief over a world of people doomed to eternal separation from Himself was to send His only Son as a sacrifice.

Why was the grief so great?  Why was He willing to pay that price?

Because His love is infinitely greater.  

Image result for image john 3 16

 

 

 

Prayers I Still Pray, Last Installment

Months ago, in my first post about prayer,  I spoke to the difficulty of praying while experiencing great pain.  In Praying Through the Pain I wrote:

I am thankful that before Dominic died I had a habit of praying and reading Scripture.  I am thankful for the many verses that are so ingrained in my thoughts that they come, unbidden to my mind.

So I have continued to pray each morning, opening my journal and my Bible.

Even when I cannot feel the connection, I know God is there.

Today’s post is the final in a short series where I am sharing the prayers I still find easy to pray even after burying a child.

If you comb through the New Testament looking for prayers, you find that they don’t look like the ones we hear most often in church-most New Testament prayers focused on expanding a believer’s knowledge of who they are in Christ and Who Jesus is to them. 

Based on Scripture, I can ask in faith, speaking God’s words back to Him.

THESE are prayers I can still pray, I hope they are helpful for others in similar circumstances.

II Thessalonians 1: 11-12

God, I pray

  • that You will count____worthy of Your calling,
  • that by Your power You may fulfill every good purpose in ___’s life and every act prommpted by their faith.
  • I pray this so that the name of our Lord may be glorified in ___and they in You, acccording to Your grace.

2_thessalonians_1_11_12_by_ktbdesigns-d5voe0h

I Thessalonian 1:2-9

I always thank You, Father, for ___, as I bring them to You in prayer,

Continue to stir up in them

  • work produced by faith,
  • labor prompted by love, and
  • endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Cause ____to know that they are loved by You and especially chosen of You.

Cause the gospel to take root in their lives and go forth from them

  • not in words only,
  • but also with power,
  • with the Holy Spirit, and
  • with deep conviction.

Cause___

  • to keep their eyes on the Lord Jesus and become imitators of Him,
  • to have joy as only the Holy Spirit can given, and
  • to model Christ with their lives to a wathcing world, that their faith in You might become known to the ends of the earth.

Keep ____actively serving only You, the living and true God.  Keep ___’s heart turned to You so that they will recognize the snare of idols and conciously choose to have noting in their lives that rivals You.

i Thessalonians 1_2