February 29, 2016

Grief: Finding Hope in God’s Word and Prayer

My heart aches with grief today. This past week I’ve walked alongside dear friends and families reeling from the loss of a child. One a precious six-year-old boy and another a twenty-year-old young man with a promising future ahead of him. Both deaths unexpected. Tragic. Devastating.

How can I come alongside my friends? I’ve never walked this road. I’ve never lost a child. I can only imagine because I have two of my own.

The desire to comfort filled my heart, but the words just didn’t come. When they did, they seemed trite. Insufficient for a grief so great. So I went to the One who has comforted me in my darkest times.

God reminded me of truths from His Word.

Timeless truths.

Promises that transcend circumstances.

Healing words.

Hope-filled words.

Words that are living and active and penetrating (Hebrews 4:12).

Words that promise not to return empty when spoken and prayed (Isaiah 55:11).

HopeinYouAlone

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“The LORD heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

“[B]ut those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” Isaiah 40:31

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze, for I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:2-3a

And then He gave me this prayer …

Abba Father, when I try to understand the loss of a child, it seems senseless, even cruel. It seems troublesome in my sight until I bring it to You … till I come into Your sanctuary, then I remember that nothing comes into our lives that has not first passed through Your hands (Psalm 103:19, Psalm 139:1-18).

Father, lead  these broken parents consumed by pain, grief, and hurt to You, the One who created their child and loves him more than anyone ever could.

I ask that during this time of deep grief, You supply all their needs according the riches of Your glory found only in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Thank You for Your promise that as they draw near to You that You will come near to them (James 4:8).  Surround them with Your loving kindness. Thank You that Your compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  Great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-24).
 
Father, thank You that those who wait for You will gain new strength.  They will mount up with wings like eagles.  They will run and not be tired, they will walk and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31).  We pray these promises, Father …  for them to walk in Your strength, to be lifted on the wings of Your angels, to be carried by Your love.
 
Thank You for Your promise that Your eyes range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to You. Draw close to them now (2 Chronicles 16:9). Minister to them as only You can do.
 
We stand on this promise for this family:  ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Their devastating loss seems to make absolutely no sense. A life cut short before it’s fully lived. But in Your plan, Lord, somehow it does. We cannot see it or understand right now. But I boldly ask that in their sorrow, pain, and grief, as they seek You, may they find You in a way they never have before. And I ask that You uphold them with Your MIGHTY right hand.  Let them trust in Your plan even though right now seems senseless.  
 
Remind them that, although it may feel like it now, NOTHING will ever separate them from Your love, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither things present nor in the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth or anything in all creation will ever separate them from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus their Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
 
Thank You, Father, that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart You will not despise (Psalm 51:17).  Father, meet them in their brokenness, fill them with love, slowly pick up the pieces and begin to put them together to make a new thing of beauty, whatever that looks like to You, Father.
 
Father, give them courage and strength to believe this promise:  DO NOT BE AFRAID OR DISMAYED FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO (Joshua 1:9).  And Father, no matter where they are or who they are with, as the grief settles may they see You and experience You. Protect their hearts from well-meaning but hurtful words. Place Your ministering angels around every corner so they know You are with them.
 
Help me and all those who love and care for them continue to devote ourselves to praying for them. Prompt us and make our spirits sensitive to pray.  Whenever we think of this child, hear his name, see his school or something he loved, whatever is it is You bring to our hearts, REMIND us to pray for these parents and this family. Thank You, Father, what is impossible with men, is possible with You (Luke 18:27).
 
Finally, Father, we take comfort in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:  ‘Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we FIX OUR EYES ON NOT WHAT IS SEEN BUT WHAT IS UNSEEN since what is seen is temporal, but what is unseen is eternal.’ I ask all this in Jesus’ most precious and powerful name. Amen.

My sweet friends, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share what burdens my heart today. I pray God uses it to bring comfort and hope to you as well.

If you have a family who needs this prayer, please feel free to share it. And if you are one who has lost a child and needs prayer today, please leave your name so we can pray for you.

**** I promised to announce the winners of our “I Know His Name” Bible Study Class Registration today. So below, please find the two winners. You should be hearing from Proverbs 31 Ministries very soon to receive your gifts!!

Cindy H

Mary M

Blessings to you,

Comments

  1. Wendy, I’m so sorry for your loss, but at the same time grateful for your prayer and presence in your friends’ lives. Today marks 7 months since our 20 year old niece, Grace was killed, so your words and prayer are timely. Thankful for His grace which is always sufficient! Praying for you as you grieve too.

  2. Wendy Im sorry for your loss and what a wonderful way God showed up to comfort your heart, and as you continue to pray for those precious people, God will show up to do the same for them.

    I remember when I lost my youngest daughter in 2009, it was a very devastating blow to me personally and my faith. I knew God would never leave me, that He was in control of all things that pertained to my life but it was rough. Everyone else’s lives moved on after the funeral and went back to their lives. I think the one piece of advise from someone who has been there…continue just being there for them, never be afraid to speak their loved ones name and share the special things you remember about them. Its when everyone goes silent about our precious loved ones, that we tend to think no one cares and that is not true. Some just don’t know what to say and you know what? That is okay. Just be there and listen and remember that their brains will be in a fog, where they cannot even think about what to make to eat, or for that matter…remember to eat. Every day things become hard to do and its as if the mind has left all sense of reason. There will be days where they can only just get through it. It takes well over a year for the mind to function correctly and sometimes even longer. When I went through it, I didn’t eat or sleep for month, so it was really a waste of time to even have anyone bring me food. About 6 months afterward, that would have been nice to have meals delivered but by then, like I said, everyone has gone back to their routines and forget or don’t even know the struggle is still with them to do daily life. Sometimes just being there to listen to them talk about the child is what is needed. Someone who cares that we miss them, someone to share that life that was taken away far to soon. It’s the hardest thing I have ever had to get through, but with God, I can say that after 6 years, I am finally on the other side of that grief, although I miss my precious Stefanie with all my heart. We will live the rest of our lives without someone who was a daily part of our lives, and it leaves a hole that no one can fill, especially on Holidays, birthdays and life events that we are missing out watching them go through. We grieve the losses of those experiences and they come up time and time again. So be patient, keep praying and never be afraid of saying their names and talking about them. We want you to talk about them, we don’t want anyone to forget that they did live and were here.

    Blessings to you and those families. I lift everyone up daily that has to face the day without their babies. God is faithful and He will bring them through and good things come out of these hard times.

    • Oh Kari, your words bring 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 to life. Thank you for this wisdom- on spiritual levels as well as practical levels- for meals 6 months + down the road. For long-suffering… just being there throughout the long and winding roads. Abba, cover precious Kari because the process of missing her precious Stefanie doesn’t end. Flood her and her family with visions of Stefanie dancing with Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

      Wendy… my heart aches beyond words to read this. Thank you for sharing your heart of grief and turning it to prayer. I will also be praying for your renewed strength as you continue to be at their side. I love you.

  3. Stephanie Daniel says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am so thankful that God is with you so in turn you can comfort your friends.
    I want to say Thank you for posting this. I have two friends who each have an 8 yr old daughter with brain tumors. One of the little girls will die soon. Her system is shutting down. Her family is enjoying and treasuring every minute they have with her. I have been in turmoil that when the time comes to offer my sympathies that I will come up void. However, today I open your email and this is before me. The Lord knew my heart and knew I would need direction on how to handle this. Thank you for having the heart you do and for allowing God to work thru for his glory.

  4. Janet Florine says:

    I am so sorry for your loss Wendy, the scriptures you posted were ones that I clung to when my son was tragically taken from us on Christmas Eve 2013. The only hope I had was in the Word of God and knowing that I will see Nick again one day. Thank you for this post Wendy. Lifting you and your friends all up to the Father in prayer for comfort and peace, knowing the Father loves us so much ♥

    • Janet, I’m lifting you and your family up in prayer now. I can’t begin to imagine what you and these other families have endured. What a down payment you have in heaven with your precious Nick… xo

      • Janet Florine says:

        Thanks for your prayers Noelle ♥, Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study girls helped get me through, it is so wonderful to be part of the family of God. I don’t know how people do it who don’t know the Lord!! God bless you!! ♥

  5. Heather Conn says:

    Thank you Wendy. As usual your words are comforting and prayer so beautiful. I ask that the Wyrick family be lifted in prayer during this time of mourning. As well as their friends and church.
    Heather Conn
    Easley SC

  6. Lana Miller says:

    this came at a perfect time for me. I lost my son Drew a year ago and I am a mess daily still. He was 28 and one of the most loving people you would ever want to know. The hole that it has left is huge. I thank God and my friend Jesus for being there for me. Please pray for comfort and Gods angels to surround me daily. I thank God that I had him for 28 years

    • I am praying for you Lana! Keep walking with Jesus and He will be very faithful to surround you with comfort! He is so faithful in being just what we need at the right times as we walk through losing our children. Blessings over your body, spirit and mind, may He give you strength, His strength! ((((Hugs))))

  7. Melissa Henderson says:

    Praying for comfort for you and for the families. So sorry for the loss of the loved ones. Thank you for your heart filled words and prayer.

  8. Beautiful words of comfort, Wendy. In this case, the losses so great but our God is so big! In my life, I have lost two brothers within the last five years. I believe God gave me a word of encouragement this morning. Personally, I get stuck thinking about them. And the Lord impressed on me that moving on with my life doesn’t mean forgetting them. I have people around me now that need me “present”. God impressed on me that I need to establish a new normal in my life, and move on. I will never forget my two brothers. They will always be in my heart.

  9. Prayers for you and this family’s loss, it heartbreaking to even try to comprehened. Someday we all will have the answers to unexplained tragedy’s. We must trust in Father God and pray that He will hold up this Family in Jesus’s Name🌹

  10. Susan G says:

    You’ve said it all beautifully Wendy… Praying for your two friends and their family.
    I love Jesus’ words,” in this world you will have troubles, but take heart, I have overcome the world!”
    In His love

  11. Please pray for my cousin, Emily, she has had 3 miscarriages in the last 9 months. He most recent loss was last week. Although she had not met these babes, she is devastated. God has made Himself so real to her these last few months and her love for Him has grown so much! Please pray for her and her family. Thank you!

  12. Wendy, I’m praying for this families today. My niece died when she was 5 and I remember how devastating it was to our entire family. Loss like this is so difficult. Even when a heavenly reunion is guaranteed, it’s still in the waiting.

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