On Dealing With Grief

Note: I plan to finish my series on writing good fiction, but right now, I feel God calling me to write about something that I have been dealing with lately. 

. . .

We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.” ― C.S. LewisA Grief Observed

Recently, over the past week, I have dealt with my first significant experience with death. My great grandma passed away. 

She has been experiencing health problems for a while now, and last month, she was rushed to the hospital after being found unconscious. I thought, as she was recovering, that we were past the worst of it, but a couple of short weeks later, she passed away.

The funny thing is, I can still remember her vividly. When I was younger she used to come down to visit on a regular basis, and I can still remember times when she’d come over for the holidays or go to the mall with us, or go to the photo studio with me for Christmas pictures. She stopped visiting as often as she got older, but I still remember the times that she did. Meanwhile, the last couple of days in the present have felt like a blur, like they’ve all blended together in some sort of surreal dream.

Nonetheless, in the midst of it, there’s still a peace. 

Before my great grandmother passed, she used to read books by pastors such as Joel Osteen and Max Lucado. She had a next door neighbor who used to talk to her about Jesus, and my great grandma once told us that she knows Jesus and is confident about where she is going when she dies. And as a Christian, this gives me some peace. 

I’m not going to use this post to give easy answers to life and death. Nor will I try to turn this into an opportunity for some sort of lesson. However, I would like to take the chance to say that if you’re going through a grief of your own, I get it. It may be different than mine, but grief is still grief. I would also like to note that as Christians, there is hope for us when a Christian family member or friend dies.

Revelation 21:4 says of Heaven, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Meanwhile, in John 14:2 Jesus says, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” 

Death is never easy. It is one of the hardest things we have to deal with on this earth, but it is not forever. Someday, God will abolish death when He creates a new Heaven and a new earth, but in the present, God will give us peace when we morn.

In the beatitudes, Jesus gives comfort to those who experience trouble on this earth. 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:3-12. 

If you’re mourning right now, take comfort in Jesus and give yourself grace as you grieve. Death is never easy—but as Christians, we can find hope in the fact that it is not forever.

Someday we’ll see our loved ones again, in the biggest family reunion of our lives. 

“Christians never say ‘good-bye’, just ‘until we meet again’.” – Woodrow Kroll 

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Three Day Quote Challenge #2: Day Three

“Home is where the heart is.”

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What does it mean to be home? For many of us, the word has positive associations. Many of us, when we hear this word, think of close family members, such as our parents, siblings, grandparents, and maybe a family pet. For others, we may also think of close friends—people who have watched us grow up and who have always been there for us. Still for others, we may think of a particular place that brings back found memories, such as our church or our house that we grew up in.

For the Christian, the word has an even deeper meaning. Home, for the believer, is all of these things and more. It’s a place that we’re traveling to, as we walk down the winding road of life. It’s the place that we anxiously anticipate, where we’ll be united with our Heavenly Father. This point is beautifully illustrated throughout the Bible and in numerous Christian novels.

Jesus paints a picture of Heaven in John 14:2-4, giving us a glimpse of what’s to come.

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.””

Nonetheless, we cannot discount the journey. In the midst of the greatest ups and the lowest downs, God has each of us here for a reason. We are all fellow sojourners, called to make an impact and touch the lives as we make our journey home. We may be called to a variety of vocations here—from writers, to musicians, to business men and women—but if we know Jesus, we’re all heading to the same destination. No matter how insignificant you may feel, your life matters. In this dark world, you’re called to be a flashlight. Each one of us is called to be a spark that lights a fire—lighting the way like streetlights to help others and and know their Savior. 

We are called to fight the good fight and run the race of faith. We are called to make a difference, following God’s footprints and paving a way for others. We are called to follow Jesus, trusting Him and clinging to Him as we live life—always ready to welcome others into the family of God.

We were made for something greater than this life. We were made for an eturnal home.  

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”—Hebrews 12:1 

Nominees for the last day of the quote challenge!

Processing The Journey 

Consecrated Tree 

Juni Desiree