When Loss Happens, Grief Moves In
It’s been 5 years since I last heard my Aunt’s voice say, “Well hello there my Beautiful Niece.” She was sick and her voice was weak. I had called too early in the morning and woke her up–but I needed to tell her that I loved her, she was not alone, and that I would come and take care of her. I encouraged her to go to the hospital if she needed to. My exact words were, “Don’t sit home and die because you feel like you are alone.”
I was headed to day two of a women’s conference. The conference ended at 4 and my plan was and head to her home when it was over. I would stay with her until she was completely well.
At 10:15 that morning, I received a text from her saying, “Heart rate and O2 are better. I feel better than I have in weeks. Enjoy your conference, I love you.” That was our last communication. She died of a heart attack just 4 hours later.
Wrestling For an Alternate Ending
The enemy tries to get me stuck in figuring out what I could or should have done differently.
The questions and second guessing invade every thought.
Should I have gone straight to her house?
Dis she really believe and know I loved her and cared?
Was I being selfish by attending the conference when she was so sick?
These questions echo in my head along with my last communications with her. I come create alternate plans of what I should have done–in hopes there would be a different outcome. I don’t want her dead–but I can’t stay caught up in those thoughts.
Trusting it all to God and finding Comfort
The bible shares how our days are numbered by the Lord. God knew it was her time and that she would be called to Heaven that moment. That wouldn’t have changed if I was there, if she was in a hospital emergency room, or if she’d been completely well sitting on the beach listening to her favorite music. There is nothing I could have done to change the outcome. None of it was up to me, so I must trust God with the details, and allow this truth to provide me comfort.
God Provides Tools to Walk Through the Hard Times
Just before I got the call that my Aunt had died, Lysa Teurkerst had told of an event she had spoken at. A lady who had been through way too much had collapsed in the lobby and was inconsolable. Lysa had been asked to pray over her and all she could do was cry out “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” She shared that sometimes that is the only prayer that will come, but it is also the only one we need.
All the way to my Aunt’s home, all I could do was cry out ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!’ God used Lysa’s story to equip me to walk through some of the most painful days of my life. Until that moment, I don’t know that I had ever been without words to pray–but Lysa’s story let me know it was okay if the only word I could get out was the name of Jesus!
Its been 5 years and there is still such a void in my heart that I know will never go away. There are days, like this one—the 5 year anniversary of her Heavenly Home-going–when the only words I can get out are “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”
He comforts the heart and stills the mind–but only after I call out to Him as my rescuer from the pit of grief that tries to swallow me whole.
He will be there for you too! Don’t be afraid to call out Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!
How Has God Shown Up For You?
Have you ever been to a place where all you could do was cry out ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”? Can you see where He gave you a tool, word, or source of strength that carried you through an incredibly painful time? I love to hear how God has shown up for other people and I’d love to hear your story. Please email me or share in the comments so others can be encouraged too.