Tuesday, July 24th
Read: Psalm 30
Remember: “There will be pain in the night, but joy comes in the mourning. It’s the mourning process that releases our pain…. If we cannot grieve, we cannot be comforted. When we dull our pain, we dull our joy. When we numb our lows, we numb our highs.
Today I asked my sister, Amanda Stephens, to share her thoughts on grief. She has known about the grieving process since she was very young. When I was 18 and she was 10 when we lost our daddy. It was a shocking and sad time in our lives as we lost him so unexpectedly. However, as she will point out, there are many different types of grief…and it is a different story of loss that she will share:
When we think of the verb grieve our minds tend to associate death- the loss of life. However, the words listed as synonyms for grieve such as distress, pain, misery, despair, and to break someone’s heart, refer to a much broader meaning. As these words suggest, there are many ways to experience grief that are not limited to death. For me, the loss of my marriage caused me to grieve. The hopes, dreams, the promises I once held close were lost. I went through loss, misery, and despair.
Thankfully, according to 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 we are reminded to not lose heart! “For this light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” Friends, those words, that promise, can wrap God’s comforting arms around us in times of suffering and despair, through our brokenheartedness. God is using that very act of grieving to draw us nearer to Him- the very thing we were created for to begin with. A life living for His glory, constantly seeking the Lord, walking in a true relationship with Him.
I believe that not only does He use our grief to draw us closer to Him, but to also prepare us for things to come. Perhaps, like in my case, preparation for a new marriage and family. For someone else it could be preparing for a new baby after a miscarriage. And certainly, preparing us to give Godly counsel to others going through grief. But rest assured that His promises hold true. 2 Corinthians 4:15 says “All of this is for your benefit. As God’s grace reaches more and more people there will be a great Thanksgiving and God will receive more and more glory.” Amanda Stephens (See picture of the new family God gifted Amanda and her girls with after the end of her marriage.)
Rest: Search Psalm 30 for all of the things/experiences the psalmist gained because of his pain and grief. It seems that it is true, joy does come from mourning. Today, can you take time to list the experiences you’ve had with God because of grief and mourning? Can you praise Him for the ways He’s ministered to you in pain?
Dear Lord: I thank you for my sister, Amanda Stephens, and for all of the Soul Sisters that you've brought together here. We all have our own stories of grief, loss, suffering...but luckily, Father, we all have You. We turn all of our sorrow and misery and heartache and mourning over to you and pray for Your comfort and Your peace. Lord, we know that You are faithful and that you will never forsake us. Surround us with Your love and show us Your light in our darkness. And may You get all the glory God when the joy of our hope in You rises above the pain of our grief and loss. In the blessed name of Jesus! Amen