“But then I remember this means he is not so far away, and we’re not so far from him, and it makes me smile”.
Mary Katharine Hamm lost her husband in 2015. She was pregnant with her second child.
She recently wrote this article I know will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one.
After reading her story it occurred to me, no 2 personal experiences I have read about grieving are the same.
We who are grieving over a severe loss, walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, enveloped by the coldest, darkest place we’ve ever known. And yet, it seems each of us finds glimmers of light along the way. The smallest speck of light is the brightest because it is the darkest there, illuminating what we would not have seen otherwise.
He is not so far away …
This thought brings a new feeling of comfort.
Heaven may be closer than we think.
Photo by mripp on Foter.com / CC BY
I haven’t lost anyone close to me who gave their life for our country.
But I know many of you have.
What a noble act for your loved one to protect all of us.
When I am feeling annoyed over something small – even sorrowful over something big – I think of the 15 and 16 year old young men who fought in the Civil War and beyond.
They never got to experience life.
These are difficult things to grasp, no matter what your story is.
Christians have hope; a certainty and assurance of knowing there is life beyond here on earth – where God says he will wipe away every tear and there will be no more sorrow or death.
My prayer is comfort and peace for you today as you remember the loss of your loved one for our nation.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Photo credit: Elizabeth Haslam / Photo / CC BY-NC
Has pain caused you to abandon your faith in God?
Because when people say prayer changes things … you wonder why it didn’t change something for you.
It’s something we have to talk about. Because for every person who is rejoicing over answered prayer, there is someone who feels abandoned by God – particularly when it comes to losing someone you love.
This doesn’t mean we don’t pray.
It means we accept.
God is over all things. He doesn’t love you less because your loved one died.
He does love you enough to give you the comfort he promises us.
Photo credit: Leland Francisco
We can be hurting so badly, we don’t see clearly.
Yet, God has ways to bring comfort. Our pain makes us sensitive to the ache in our heart, but it also makes us aware of small pleasures.
The way the morning sun filters through the window curtains, laying patterns on the bed.
The rhythm of rain lulling us to sleep.
The way a butterfly lands on a flower, certain of provision.
These are not small things. They are meant to strike a chord deep within our souls and bring a smile.
This is God telling us He is with us.
Don’t miss the moments. They are all around you!
scrambldmeggs / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
visualpanic / Foter.com / CC BY
MrClean1982 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC
This morning, I read to my 11 yr. old about the tundra.
Most of the tundra is located north of the Arctic Circle – in the Frigid Zone – the coldest regions of the earth.
As winter approaches, the nights grow longer and colder as snow and ice cover the earth. The ground freezes solid.
Desolate. Barren. Empty.
Pain is like that.
Who knew this far removed region of the earth would dance with color? About 400 wildflower species announces to the world that desolation is only temporary.
The existence of pain does not mean God isn’t real. We accept winter and spring. One does not negate the other.
The arrival of spring brings comfort and tells us that God is with us.
Read nature! It helps explain life.
Photo credits: Rich Reid and Norbert Rosing
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
And there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
All these things are gone forever.”
Some memories are unwelcome, dark shadows that creep in without invitation. They make reliving the pain torturous.
If you are a victim of painful memories, there is hope. It is not a pat answer or a quick fix by any means. But you must know that God, the Creator of mankind, provides comfort and peace. The memory will not have access whenever it pleases when you learn that God will help you through your pain.
Ask Him. He hears every prayer. I promise.
If you are a parent, you know how difficult it is when your child is sick. A sudden fever in the middle of the night or a broken arm from a fall – we want to take the pain away. We do all we can to comfort and help our child get well.
God is a parent, too. He is the Heavenly Father. He is not distant from you. The Bible tells us God knows how many hairs are on your head. That tells me He is fully aware of you in a very personal way. When you are in pain, He also wants to bring comfort and help you get well.
A child learns to trust his parent’s care. God wants us to trust His care.
How does God comfort? First of all, it’s incredible to me what people can endure. Some call it the resilience of the human spirit. It’s there because God put it there. Secondly, if we want God’s involvement, we will find many comforting promises that will help us through our pain.
God has made us to work well within His design. That said, knowing those comforting promises help us with pain. It works. Just like a child trusts that an earthly parent will bring them a warm blanket, a glass of juice, a dosage of medicine, we can trust that our Heavenly Father promises never to leave us or forget us.
It doesn’t always feel like that. I know. But only when we see beyond ourselves and reach for something bigger than our pain, will we begin feeling differently.
When no one else understands, God does. When no one else cares, God does.