Thursday, January 31, 2019


I'd say grief is a funny thing except that I haven't found anything funny about grief.  I've looked.  Grief is hard. Grief is tricky.  Grief is sneaky.

I've experienced several losses.  The largest one of course being the death of my Daddy in 2000.  The death of Ryan's dad was also very difficult. 

I've grieved the loss of some relationships as well.  Those did not impact me like deaths but they are a loss.  Grief does not have to be related to a death. You can grieve the loss of a relationship or dream.  But today, I'm referring to my specific grief related to the death of my Daddy and Ryan's dad.

Over the last few months I've heard people talk about how hard the second year is.  A speaker at You Are summed it up perfectly "I can do anything once. The second time you realize 'oh crap, I have to keep doing this with him'".  The first year you're in a fog.  By the second year you're supposed to have it figured out and things blindside you.

Here's the crappy news: it keeps happening.  I'm 19 years into my largest loss.  Last Sunday, I looked over at a teenage girl wrapped up in her daddy's arms during worship.  I lost it.  I physically ached.  We hug at our house but there's nothing like my Daddy's hugs. 

Once you experience a life altering loss, grief lives with you.  It's kinda like a flame.  For a while it burns intensely, white hot, it hurts.  Over time, it dulls.  It's like an ember.  And like an ember, it can be stoked back into a full out flame. It can be intense, white hot and painful again. 

The good news is that I get to choose my response to grief now.  In the early days, I couldn't control the flame.  It overtook me.  As time as gone on, I've learned to control it in a way.  I can't control when it will come but I have the strength to control my response.  It's not often now that grief sends me to bed.  I have the strength to respond to my loss by remembering the good times.  Remember those times are a comfort now.  At first they led to more grief and that never ending cycle would send me to bed, sleep was my only escape.

If you're in the intense, white hot, painful season of grief take heart. Turn to God and you'll get stronger.  He'll love you and strengthen you.  He'll put people in your life who will help you feel stronger.  He'll help you remember that Christians don't grieve the same as the world. We grieve with hope of the future.  (But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you not grieve as others who do have no hope.  For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 ESV) And don't worry if you think that's a load of crap right now.  Stay in the Word. Keep praying.  Let others believe for you.  Hold on tight until you can believe it for yourself again. 

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