Good Grief!

IMG_1596 “So that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope…” 1 Thessalonians 4:13 I feared I was slipping into depression last week, and my heart grew troubled within me. Thankfully the Helper (Holy Spirit) revealed to me that I am not depressed, but rather grieving. Grieving is a positive thing for a former professional “stuffer.” It is important for each of us to remember any loss is a death. Loss of health, loss of a dream, loss of a marriage, or as I am experiencing, loss of a church family, are all examples of a “death.” Some losses come suddenly and unexpectedly, and some losses are prolonged and expected. My dad died suddenly. My mom died slowly of cancer. I grieved both deaths (though not always constructively). I grieved for my mom as she was dying. Most of the grieving for my dad was done afterward. There are several stages of grief. Denial and anger are two of them. If we grieve properly, we will eventually come to the acceptance. We’ve grieved the loss of five church families over the course of 25 years. When we left our beloved body of believers at Covenant Church in Hammond, IN, we had a couple of months to grieve before a final decision was reached (calling from God). We recently left one of our most blessed of my husband’s pastorates, (Westminster Chapel in Ball Ground, GA), and the decision was quick and unexpected by some. We have a clear calling from God to move in a new direction, yet the grief runs deep. I am grateful for the growth God is bringing into my life to allow me to process this pain, and not stuff it down deep where it will pop out in destructive ways. I am likewise thankful that as 1st Thessalonians 4:3 states, “I’m not grieving like the rest of mankind, (unbelievers) who have no hope.” I’m choosing to believe in the HOPE of the resurrection power of Christ, knowing He will provide for Westminster Chapel, and for my family and me. I’m trusting as Proverbs 3: 5-6 calls us to: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” What about you? Are you experiencing a loss (death)? Are you trying to stuff it down deep and ignore the pain, or are you learning to grieve (yet not as one who has no hope)? Look to Jesus, our only hope in life and in death.

7 thoughts on “Good Grief!

  1. madenewinjesus

    Praise God that as Christians we can put our hope and trust in Him. For, He is our Rock, in whom shall we fear. I will remember you and your family, as well as Westminster Chapel as you go through this difficult journey.

  2. gayidle

    Praying for you in this transition/mourning time. I know well the heartache of transitioning from one calling into the next…and even into the unknown. Even when we don’t know the ‘next steps’ our Lord does and He is directing and guiding you all the way to His best for you and His kingdom. Love you my friend!

  3. Sharon

    My dear sister in the lord. I’ve learned that He doesn’t always give us the details, but He always gives us Himself to go before us. I’m praying for you and the next step God is leading you in. Thank you for your love of Jesus and your service. Love you my friend.

  4. Equipping The Saints

    Please let me say how sorry I am for your losses. Losses are just that: “losses.” Those who have been taken from us (maybe a poor choice of words) and are in the Presence of our Lord, are in a better place. Still, we miss them. Also, the loss that we experience is that when we join them in eternity, we will not have the same earthly relationship with them. That is why we should make every moment with our loved ones important, loving, and thankful for them. You use 1 Thes 4:13 very wisely. I made a comment to you about a woman ministry team member who died. She had become very close to that scripture. Yes! We grieve when we lose someone, but our grief is not to be like the grief that someone has who has no relationship with Christ. Grief may take longer for different people, and may take years. It is part of our healing process. I am very thankful to God for His leading you to write such important articles of your faith. May He always be your source of comfort. In Christ.


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