As I opened my Bible today, my soul was feeling barren, where should I look for hope? The book of Lamentations would not have been high on that list… yet, I sensed this was exactly where God wanted me. As I read, so many images over the years flooded into my minds eye; Losses from childhood, teenage years, young adult, right to the most recent of losses which are still so very fresh in my heart & soul.
Loss comes in many forms; the death of a loved one, these types of losses, although the deepest, also tend to bring the most people around to help you in the process… these are “sanctioned losses”, easily talked about and understood in their grief. ‘
But what about those “unsanctioned losses and grief”, those ones not so easy to share with others, not easily discussed, these can be losses from miscarriage, or a child given up for adoption… you know those awkward ones we tend to try to avoid and bury deep within us. Other unsanctioned losses, can be the loss of a dream, when your reality didn’t become your plan and you feel the pain of that loss.
Interestingly enough, I have had each of these unsanctioned losses in my life. When I was a teenager, I found myself pregnant and alone. Although I was not running on a great track record with God yet, I could not have an abortion, I knew intuitively that that was not the answer… so I chose adoption. This began a long struggle with loss as every year for the last 38 years I have grieved the loss of this child, hoping and praying that God was providing everything he needed.
Then as I grew and got married, I discovered that I was pregnant again… I was actually pregnant with twins, there were not words enough to explain this hope and renewal I was feeling. Then suddenly at 16 weeks, I lost one of the twins in a miscarriage… was this really a thing? Sadly, I discovered that although rarely talked about, it is really quite common. How many times I tried to convince myself to be happy… after all I still had one. Yet, that loss never fully goes away.
Fast forward about 15 years, my marriage was failing, and I find myself going through a divorce and totally starting over, once again …loss, made even more painful because much of it was because of my own undoing. Many people don’t realize this but when one goes through divorce, you lose more than just the spouse. Friends choose sides and many many fall away, not knowing how to walk the journey with you, and sadly, many judge situations that they don’t truly understand.
The one thing I can tell you for sure, when you are a follower of Jesus and you experience great losses in life, they tend to drop you to your knees and draw you closer to the Father. My divorce definitely did that, nothing before impacted my relationship with Jesus in quite the same way, and God was so faithful and kind to me. He never rejected me or turned his back on me… He literally took my hand and my heart and led me a new way.
I was given a second chance at happiness and marriage, but this time I was determined to have God in the center rather than on the peripheral of my life. Once again, God was so faithful to me, His mercies were so tender, His grace was more than I deserved… no matter what would come, we had Hope in Jesus.
Then we faced the losses of our homes and our business and our dreams… our plans were dissolving before our very eyes. Once again, grief settled in. “everything we had hoped for was gone…” the book of Lamentations felt like it was speaking directly to me, in language I could totally relate to.
Yet we weren’t done, more losses were coming our way; In May 2019 my 91 year old Mother passed away due to complications with diabetes, and in Feb of this year we had to say good-bye to Mike’s sister as she received her healing from cancer in Eternity with Jesus. Yes, we will see both of them again, but the loss of not having them with us in this life is devastating.
So, before you quit reading and think that this post is just way too depressing, let me change gears a little bit here. Just as the book of Lamentations can be deep and depressing, it is also filled with jewels of hope if we are willing to open our eyes and our hearts to see and understand.
With every single one of these losses I have mentioned above, God has been patient and faithful to me. He has provided the healing balm in every single season of life and loss. The sad reality is that loss is a part of life, not one of us will be spared… its what we choose to do with it that matters.
The son I gave up for adoption 38 years ago, God has taught me to trust and surrender him into His hands. He has even very recently provided information and revelation to me in regards to that whole situation (but that will be for a later post). Point to ponder… God is Good! I can dare to Hope!!
Over the years, I have spoken to and ministered to so many other moms who lost children. God has allowed me to come alongside and empathize in a way one could only do, when they have experienced loss in similar areas. His faithful Love never ends!!
The loss of relationships and the loss of business have both taught me to focus on the things that matter… the people that matter. To have God at the Center of these things, so that it is His plan we are following rather than our own. He is an amazing provider and His plans are truly wonderful!!
I can truly say today that “the Lord is my inheritance, therefore, I will put my hope in Him”, it has also taught me that it’s ok to grieve over the losses in my life, it’s ok to remember… it is in this way I can see the many ways He has met my needs… “it is good to wait quietly for the salvation from the Lord.
Thank you for your Word. Your Word shows me that everything we could possibly feel ourselves is written down to remind us that we are not alone. You are a God who stays with us through All of it.
Even when things feel like they can’t get worse and yet don’t appear to be getting better… as I grieve over my losses, You remind me that Your mercies are new every morning. My job is to open my eyes and see those mercies for what they are: breath in my lungs – eyes that see – ears that hear- a body free from illness… the list goes on and on.
Thank you Lord, that when I begin focusing on these mercies, You put everything into perspective. I love that when Jeremiah penned these words, he included his heart-felt comment that “he would never forget this awful time as he grieved over his loss”.
It reminds me that it’s ok to grieve over our losses, and even remember them. Yet he moves right into remembering who You are and your faithfulness and mercies. Thank you Lord that I can fix my eyes forward onto You, trusting in what I know to be true, regardless of what I am currently experiencing.
Thank you Lord that You are good to those who depend on You, to those who search for You. Thank you that You never leave us and have a purpose and plan even in the midst of these trials. So I will trust You, and wait quietly for my salvation from the Lord.
In Jesus name ❤️ Amen
When you look back at the losses you have experienced, what comes to mind? Do you get stuck in the rut of reliving the pain, or do you shift your focus onto what God has been doing in the midst of it? I hope you can learn to shift focus, because God truly is faithful and has promised that He will bring good out of our trials if we are willing to walk with Him in them.
I can’t ever say that I am thankful for the losses in my life. My heart still aches when I go to my phone to call Mom and have to remind myself that she’s not there. I still ache when I see that baby picture from 38 years ago, and wonder about the man he grew up to be.
I don’t believe God wants us to deny our pain, I believe He wants to invite Him into it. He has the ability to heal us in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. I have become the woman I am today, because I have chosen to allow God to grow me through these times of loss and grief.
He has taught me to become a better listener, to recognize I don’t actually need the answers for someone in pain… I just need to be present with them. Loss has taught me to Love more fully… we never know how much time we have and when God will call us, or someone we Love home… I don’t want to live with regrets.
Most importantly, He has taught me to walk with purpose, driven by a desire to serve Him more, to keep Him central allowing my life to revolve around Him, rather than having Him revolve around me. This alone has been a subtle yet profound shift in my perspective that shapes my thoughts, desires and decisions.
May you also, look deeply at the ways God has been active and present during the losses in your life…. may you trust in Jeremiah’s words, “God is good to those who depend on Him and search for Him”.
Blessings ❤️ Janet. Journey4Jesus
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