This week has been a hard one. We laid my cousin Matthew to rest. It wasn’t easy, and as I sat in the church and listened to the eulogy and sermon I found that several things were on my heart. Now don’t get me wrong, the pastor did a great job. His words were comforting and true to scripture. He did what the family asked and what God required. I just got to thinking about the times in my life that I’ve sat in a church trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with the situation that I faced and the emotions that were threatening to overwhelm me.
So, here’s what I wish someone had told my heart:
Sometimes life sucks! I’m sorry, there’s no other way to say it. Life is messy and unpredictable. Sometimes there are no explanations.
Jesus is near the brokenhearted. If you listen carefully, you can hear Him in the hushed whisper of a friend. Feel Him in the warm embrace of a loved one, and know His presence in the quiet support of friends and family that come and sit silently and share your sorrow. Yes, He is near the brokenhearted.
God can be trusted. He can be trusted to do right by us. He can be trusted with our lives…. and our deaths. He can be trusted with our questions and emotions. The fear, anger, and even despair are emotions that He created. They are valid and it’s ok to have them. Well meaning people may tell you not to grieve. Why not? It’s not wrong to grieve. Jesus wept when Lazarus died! Sometimes it is all you can do to just lay at His feet, wounded and broken.
Your first inclination is to suffer alone. To grieve in private and to try to soldier on by yourself. Be careful–Isolation is deadly! Allow the Lord to minister to you through others. Let people give to you and speak into your life. It helps you and it helps them.
Grieving makes you vulnerable to other attacks from the enemy. Take care of yourself! Remember, not even death (either yours or someone you love) can separate you from the Father’s love!
Yes, life sometimes sucks–but take heart God is good!