Monday, December 12, 2011

confronting grief

Over the weekend I attended the memorial service of a little boy whose life was cut short at just 9 weeks. The service was beautiful. No platitudes were spoken. Honest and real emotions were present. Both the father and pastor spoke of asking God, "Why?" And yet peace was present.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed."
Psalm 34:18

Regardless of my faith and the fact that I know God is in complete control, it is still hard not to question God. I don't think it's wrong to question God. I believe it is important to seek those "Why God" questions in His Word. It has been hard for me to not think of my own children this past week and what I would do. My friend has two girls, the same ages as my girls . . . and her third was a boy . . . my third is a boy. My head knows that God can bring blessings out of any situation, but my heart still asks "Why?"

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." 
Isaiah 55:8-9

"Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely."
1 Corinthians 13:12

I've known my friend, Heather, for 10 years. She lived with my husband and I for a year. I was in her wedding. Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would be attending the memorial service of her little boy.

While discussing the upcoming memorial service with a friend who has also lost a child, she said something that stopped me in my tracks . . .

"Grieving slows us down to the point that we truly slow down . . . literally to a crawl . . . and our souls become still and we assess life and what it is all about. What is important becomes crystal clear.  All the chaos, busyness and distractions of life become absent. It is then that you can truly see eternity and the value of life in a way that you cannot see when grief is absent."

Her comment made me think. In what areas of my life do I need to slow down and reassess? As moms and managers of our homes, we have the job of constantly reassessing our family schedule--what things are important and must do's and what things are good things, but not necessary things. There are so many things I would like to do with my time, my life, etc--so many good and worthwhile things. But God continually tells me, "Not yet. Not this season in your life." When I stop to think about it, my kids will be out of the house by the time I am 51 years old. I will have plenty of good years left in me to serve the Lord and follow some of those dreams and ideas. For now, I want to enjoy my children for the gifts that they are . . . and for children, that is usually through quality and quantity time.

If you have a friend who has lost a child or a loved one, I want to recommend a book that has been extremely helpful to me:

The book confronts many other topics besides death--everything from the grief of divorce to the grief of a disability. The book shares insight for the person experiencing the grief and insights for the friends and caregivers. You can checkout the full Table of Contents on Amazon.

I want to share one more thing . . . it's a song that I hope you will take a few minutes to listen to. It's about life's trials, our doubts in God's wisdom . . . and the blessings that come from the rain.


Kristen said...

That song is one of my favorite songs right now. LOVE it. Hugs to you and your friend, Brenda!

Pam said...

I will be praying for you and Heather. Hold on to His Word Brenda and know that God always keeps His promises!

5Bazocs said...

Beautifully written Brenda... you're a blessing to Heather and her family. Prayer for your heart and for hope and comfort to Heather and her family.

Keshet said...

I am so sorry to hear about your friend. What a beautiful post, Brenda.