My friend has now joined the countless number of those who suffer with the loss of a parent. But my friend is only in her early twenties, and somehow when you are in your twenties, death seems a far distant reality. Death doesn’t often invade the thoughts of those who spend college evenings cramming for tests and late-night runs to the pancake shop.
Death is hard no matter what your age. And for those of us who’ve experienced the loss of a parent, we know that there is a significant tearing away of the foundation of our childhood that throws us into a grief-filled search for stability. The loss of a parent brings a jolt to our sense of security in the old and familiar comforts from the past.
In the wake of her loss, I sent my friend a few notes that I hoped would help her to process her loss. Perhaps you are walking the pain filled path of a similar loss today, or know someone who is. Maybe share these thoughts with them?
Precious Friend ~
Allow your heart time to process and reflect. The pain will continue to deepen for awhile, but there will come a day (it is on down the road) when you will recognize that the pain is accompanied by peaceful acceptance, then eventually a type of healing. Don’t feel guilty about having such deep sorrow right now, that sorrow over losing your loved one is a right and good response.
Your sorrow is a holy expression of love for a good gift from your Heavenly Father, and it is right to grieve such a precious loss. Your earthly father was a good gift from God for a special season of your life (James 1:17) and now is the season for weeping (Eccl.3:1–8). Don’t try to run from the pain. Lean into the pain, but as you do, remind yourself that Jesus is well acquainted with sorrow and desires to shoulder this for you (Isa. 53:3).
Invite Jesus into the deepest places of your suffering and experience the fellowship of suffering that yokes your heart to His (Phil. 3:8–10)
In your sorrow, there will be days you feel overwhelmed with the loss, but fight to continue clinging to the truth of God’s providence, sovereignty, and love (Rom. 8:22–39). Remind yourself repeatedly of His love and faithfulness that He displayed on the cross.
Don’t be ashamed of the grief, but grieve as one who has HOPE. Hope is a settled confidence in God’s ability to bring life from death. Hope is based on His steadfast love for us. Focus on that love and He will provide you with the hope and faith you need to navigate your pain and loss.
The Father sees your suffering, He knows, and He cares. Although you cannot see it now, He will use your pain for His glory if you allow Him to. If I am truly committed to God’s glory, and my will is surrendered to glorifying Him, no matter what, then I will fully embrace every affliction He appoints for me (Ps. 119:75).
Love and prayers for you, dear one ~
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