I had a lot of fear around losing my parents since childhood. I would get on my knobby knees, cup my little hands together, shut my eyes tight and pray that God would take me before them. I imagined in my young mind that the pain of losing my parents would be unbearable.
I shared these thoughts with my mother and she exclaimed that she’d prayed the same prayer as a child! She went on to share with me how the loss of her father was a turning point in her faith walk. While she mourned in her own way, she discovered Spiritual strength through praying, fasting, and Scripture. I can attest that my faith shifted when I lost my father as well.
Yet, isn’t it strange that my mom and I initially used an incredible tool — prayer — out of fear instead of love? Instead of praying for God’s power, love, and a sound mind, we asked that He entirely remove us from a common reality of life. We had an earnest expectation of pain greater than we’d ever known so we wanted to avoid it all together, even trade our own lives to escape it!
That, my friend, is how fear distorts everything. It convinces you that you’re so weak and small that there’s no way you can handle whatever challenges lie ahead. We are all mortal (unless you know something I don't know!). Since death is final and there is nothing you can do to prevent it for someone else or yourself, loss is definitely a life experience that can make you feel extraordinarily weak and hopeless.
While God doesn’t promise sadness will never stop by your doorstep, He does promise that He will always be with you in the midst of it all. And loss, while I don’t wish for it, made me incredibly aware of God’s presence and peace that surpassed all understanding.
The experience made me realize that His power wasn’t just available to me at my point of pain, but always. Every day, every hour, every moment I could access Him. People often say that missing a loved one after loss gets better with time. All I can say is, for me, as time passes, it’s gotten different. I still have moments where I wish I could ask my father a question or would love for him to take part in some milestones in my life. But I’m not overwhelmed with sadness when I have them. I guess that's what they mean. The longing never goes away, but your ability to accept it and balance it with fond memories improves over time.
The pain, frustrations, sadness and emotions that come with loss are REAL. Sometimes, you can’t just ‘get over it.’ Ignoring those emotions or pretending to be OK, when you’re not, isn’t the best way to cope. While prayer and Scripture are powerful spiritual resources, professional counseling and therapy are incredibly beneficial as well.
I pulled together 21 Scriptures to go along with this post that offer solace and strength if you're facing a similar process -- no matter what stage you’re in. Whether you’re like I was, and afraid of potential future losses or experiencing a recent loss, know that you are not alone. You are loved so very much and you can find solace and strength to win the battle against fear.
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