The Journey Through Grief

Grief is such a personal journey. Of course people always have their opinions of the right and wrong ways to grieve. The length of time one is allowed to grieve. The truth is that it is as unique and personal as our own fingerprints. The world does not stop for the broken hearted.   A person is expected to put on a happy face, keep their brain focused and just keep going on. There are moments a person who is grieving really wants to just scream at the top of their lungs. There are times a person really wants to retreat to a corner and sob.   As life continues around the individual seemingly in fast forward there is a standstill within them as the scar of losing a loved one has to form over the open wound. Our scars make us who we are.   With each wound in life we are faced with the decision of how do we face tomorrow. I am so glad to have a God who meets me right at the depths of my grief. He mourns with me just like he did with the death of Lazarus along with Mary and Martha. (Found in John chapter 11) He knew full well that he was going to bring Lazarus to life and even better the promise of heaven in his future. Still “Jesus wept” and met them in their grief. He is the only one who truly understands where I am at.  There is no true comfort that comes other than from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   This writing came from a rough day of grief over the recent loss of my father.  There have been many signs and comforts that I believe have been a direct gift from God.  The day after he died my girls and I were driving to the one appointment that we kept for that week.  The sky was beautiful and sunny with just a few white fluffy clouds.  As we were traveling my oldest daughter, Michaela, cried out “Look it’s a smiley face cloud!!”   The youngest, Cora, shouted from the back seat “Wow!”   The cloud was on their side of the car so I had to duck my head some to look out the passenger side window.  Sure enough it was the perfect smiley face.  There were holes in this big white fluffy cloud for the eyes, nose, and a giant upward curved mouth just like what one would make with punctuation on the computer.  The sun was behind the cloud so the facial features beamed with brightness as the rays poured through.  I immediately stated “Maybe that is from Papa!!”  The girls in unison said “That is what I thought too!”  We all three felt a peace and had no doubt that the sculpting and timing of that cloud was a direct gift from Jesus and my dad. The other gift has been hearing the stories of how my father’s life has touched so many others.  As a pastor for thirty seven years he has been with so many through their worst of times and best of times.  He led many to know and trust in Jesus.  You see my father was far from being a rich man as far as the world’s definition of riches.  His treasure was the investment in all the lives of the people he ministered to.  His work in this life was truly everlasting eternal work.  He is in heaven today because of his belief in and relationship with Jesus.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16  The day he died he was still conscious when the emergency crews arrived at my parents home.  He had immediate CPR, medications, and equipment to revive him as he breathed his last.   I truly believe that he had a glimpse of Jesus, heaven and all that he had spent his life sharing with others displayed before his very eyes.  There was no turning back for him.  The grief of missing him hurts.  As a medical professional there has been a struggle within me of letting him down.  The awesome thing is that I know that we will meet again someday and that God’s timing is perfect.  He had finished all that God had planned for him on this earth.  He finished his race well and very strong. Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

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