Wave upon wave

Grief and loss can be…well, weird. It stops you dead in your tracks. It disrupts everything. And your norm? Forget about it.

Over the last year, our family has had a TON of loss. It started back in February of 2018 when my dad passed away from a long battle with lymphoma. That was a huge blow. Then, the following week, we had a miscarriage and a hemorrhage where I almost lost my wife. That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.

Six months later in August, my Grannie passed away. Days later, our Aunt Nona passed. Six months after that, my wife’s Mimi passed away unexpectedly. Talk about when it rains, it pours!

Loss upon loss upon loss upon loss. It was pretty tough for a good stretch of life. Explaining death and loss to a four and two-year-old is not fun, let me tell you.

It felt as if loss and grief had come and set up shop in our house.

What could we do? I went to work. Jeg kept busy. We just kept our minds focused on the task at hand: living life. We talked about everything. We prayed together. We prayed over our littles.

We’ve always been taught that there are seasons in your life. That there will be times when things are really good and times where things will just plain suck. Check out Ecclesiastes 3:

“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth: A right time for birth and another for death, A right time to plant and another to reap, A right time to kill and another to heal, A right time to destroy and another to construct, A right time to cry and another to laugh, A right time to lament and another to cheer, A right time to make love and another to abstain, A right time to embrace and another to part, A right time to search and another to count your losses, A right time to hold on and another to let go, A right time to rip out and another to mend, A right time to shut up and another to speak up, A right time to love and another to hate, A right time to wage war and another to make peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 MSG

To me, this season did more than just suck. It was flat out terrible. Grief just came in waves. Right when you were able to get your head above the first wave, a bigger one rolled in to push you back under. Wave upon wave just pushed us further from where we wanted to be, which was on the shore with peace.

I know, the Word says that there are seasons. I said it and referenced it just right up there. But that doesn’t make it any easier in the moment. “Well, why didn’t you talk to someone?” We did and it helped…for a time. But when you’re in a season of grief, and this is solely my opinion, other people have no idea what you’re feeling. Sure they could have experienced the same loss, but the same feelings? Nah bruh. I quit writing. Nothing felt the same, no matter how many folks I sought counsel from.

The biggest thing that has helped our family has been Jesus and leaning on the fact that every one of these family members had a relationship with Him. It’s like in 2 Samuel, when David lost his son. He prayed and fasted and slept on the floor waiting for God to move. When he learned that he had passed, David got up, cleaned himself up, and ate. Most importantly, he worshipped God. It’s his actions that have really pushed me during our season of grief.

His servants were astounded by his actions. They wondered why he did what he did. Why did he worship after he passed? He said:

“…why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife…” 2 Samuel 12:23-24 NLT

He knew that he’d see him again, so he cleaned up and comforted his wife. And out of his season of grief, Solomon was born. The one who’d build the Temple. Literally, the wisest man was born out of grief and loss. How cool is that?

Things are better. Will they ever be the same? No. Not at all. But things don’t need to be the same. We have to grow, be stretched, and experience these things.

Psalms 30:5 says that, “weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.” And later, it goes on to say, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” (Psalms 30:11-12 NLT)

During your season of grief, take comfort in Jesus. That’s literally the only thing that can shine a little light in your valley. He loves you and will never leave you. Remember, there’s joy in the morning.

Have a great day folks! Leave a comment or two just to let me know y’all are still hanging out. Y’all stay safe out there.

When words just aren’t enough.

  
Recently, we had a family in our church who lost a child unexpectedly. Like, he was good the day before, gone the next morning. It’s a terrible tragedy for this family. 

What do you say? You fight for the words of comfort to say to them. Eventually, you let the Spirit do the talking because mortal words have little comfort. You just let them cry on your shoulder and pray. 

I had a similar situation when I was in full-time ministry. A family of four were traveling home from visiting family Mexico when they rolled their vehicle. Only two of the four survived, the mother and teenage son passed. I was in my office when I heard the news and just couldn’t believe it. We prayed as a staff for the family and prepped for the services. Since this happened across the border, it was going to take some time for anything to happen. 

A day or two later, the father and his extended family came to plan the service. I had talked to him a handful of times before, but it was always just a little difficult due to the harsh language barrier. Our eyes met and I stood to greet him. He rushed to me and hugged me. We cried together and that was really just it. No words, just love. That was what he needed at the time. 

When a death in the family happens, it’s like your whole world just stops. Nothing else matters. Your mind definitely isn’t in the present and you just can’t find any words to illustrate how you feel. 

The outpouring of love and support is generally a great one. Your church family is around, food is getting dropped off and you just get to reflect. But what happens afterwards? 

That is when it hits. The reality of the whole situation sets in. They aren’t coming back and generally the outpouring that you had up to the funeral is gone. It’s just you and your thoughts. Where do you go from here? As I stated earlier, mortal words aren’t going to help.

It reminds me of when David lost his first son with Bathsheba. He cried and fasted while the child was dying, but when he gots news of the death, he changed. 

“David got up from the floor, washed his face and combed his hair, put on a fresh change of clothes, then went into the sanctuary and worshiped. Then he came home and asked for something to eat. They set it before him and he ate.”

‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭12:20‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Everyone was puzzled at what was going on. He just replied, “I can go to him, but he can’t come to me.” He took comfort in the fact that his son was in Heaven and one day, he was gonna see him again. 

You might be going through a loss in your family. It might be the loss of a child, a husband or some extended family. I want to encourage you to get off the floor, clean up and go worship. Nothing in the world can replace the loss that you’ve experienced, but God can fill that hole with His love and supernatural peace that passes all understanding. 

Maybe you are on the outside looking in to this kind situation, just get in there and love on the hurting folks. Be those hands and feet to the body like we’ve been called to do. Sometimes all it takes is a hug and a smile to let them know you’re there. 

As always, thanks for reading and comments/likes are appreciated. Y’all be safe out there.