Grief and Joy
My nephew, Drew Froese, interviewed Don and me for the college group at Westgate Church this week, focusing especially on how we processed our grief with God and then found joy on the other side.
While my first husband was dying a co-worker wrote, “I’m angry that this is happening to you and Jerry; you’re good people.” I responded with another question: “Why should we who believe in Jesus be exempt from the suffering in the world? If we were, everyone would want to be a Christian simply for the benefits rather than because Jesus claimed to be–and history supports his claims to be–God!”
Christ never promised us ease and comfort. Matter of fact, he promised us troubles in this world. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
So how does one work through that grief with God?
We sometimes question God. After Jerry’s memorial I went into a deep funk. “What if everything I believe is a lie? What if Jesus isn’t real, and I’ll never see Jerry again?” After agonizing with that question for several weeks, the Holy Spirit reminded me of Peter’s response when Jesus asked his disciples, “Will you also turn away from me?” Peter’s response: “Where else would we go, Lord? You alone have the words of eternal life.”
And talking to God helps. Of course I didn’t understand why he took this faithful servant home when he did. Jerry loved Jesus and was active in ministry, sharing his hope in Christ until he could no longer speak. But I knew that God’s plan is larger than mine. I had to choose to trust that, and to believe God doesn’t make mistakes.
Nature can help. Walks in the hills or along the beach allow you to cry, pray, grieve in the beauty and serenity of creation. About six months after Jerry’s death I was with friends. A bird lilted a tune outside. “Listen to that happy song,” I commented. Later my girlfriend said “Three months ago you wouldn’t have heard that birdsong.” Her comment encouraged me that healing, although slow, was occurring.
God is faithful; He will never leave nor forsake us. He holds our times in his hands.
He also promised: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
If you have been grieving a loss – family member, job, finances, what truth about God’s character holds you up? Or if you’re in that stage where you have nothing to hold onto him with, how can I pray for you?
Our interview with Drew is below. The part about losing our spouses, grieving, and finding love with each other starts about about minute 24. I found it easier to hear with a headphone than just from the screen itself.
Thanks for hanging out with me. Blessings and hope to you, in Jesus’ name!