From the time I was twelve, until now at age thirty, I have lost three grandparents, my dad, a brother, my mother in law, two babies from miscarriages and many friends. I am no stranger to grief.
As a young girl I used to make my dad promise he would live forever because I just knew I could not live without him. I was certainly daddy’s girl. Little did I know at twenty-one, just three months after my daughter was born, he would pass suddenly of a brain aneurysm. There was no warning, there was no chance to say goodbye.
Devastated doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the emotions I went through. Grief ravaged my heart and mind, it turned my entire world upside down.
The morning after my father passed, I laid in a hotel room in the city where he lived. I couldn’t sleep, all I could do was cry. I couldn’t pray…I honestly didn’t know what to pray. I felt I had been shorted time I so desperately wanted.
I had lost the greatest friend I had ever known.
Thinking of those moments now…my eyes fill with tears as though the immediate sting of grief is still fresh. In the season of losing those I loved, God showed me His comfort is the only thing that will sustain. Those moments I thought I could never live through I found that God brought me to the other side.
In Him we survive grief because He is our comfort.
In the midst of heavy grief, it certainly doesn’t feel like a gift. Thinking of the possibility of losing more people in my life certainly doesn’t leave me waiting in eager anticipation. Grief is hard, messy and often leaves aftermath for a lifetime.
There comes a time in our lives when we see that things, good or bad, happen for our benefit. It’s a lesson that takes time and heart break to learn.
After my first miscarriage, just a few short months after losing my dad, a sweet friend didn’t offer traditional condolences to a grieving friend. She offered me something greater. She offered the words from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
I still remember her speaking these words over me. Words that I share with others who are walking through grief. In the dark places we may not understand why, but God does. We may not always see the purpose, but He has one.
Grief is inevitable. It’s a road we all will walk and feel deeply in our lifetimes. But even in the darkest moments in our lives, God offers us true hope and peace. He offers deep and incredible comfort.
The gift of grief is seeing that our hurts are filled with purpose. Our broken hearts can only be mended by the Father and He is the one who provides us with the greatest comfort when nothing of this world can.
Michelle Rabon is a writer, creative speaker, and artist. She leads Bible studies for women in church and online throughout the year. Michelle runs her online shop and blog from her home in North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and three kids.