On Grief

It’s too heavy for you. You can’t carry this. It’s hard enough for adults. You have to give this pain and heaviness to Jesus.

I spoke these words to my friends 13-year-old daughter on Saturday as she wept over the loss of her 36-year-old aunt.

Today I attended the funeral of another dear friend. As I sat through the service, still stunned by the sudden loss, I was reminded of those words and said them to myself. “It’s too heavy for you. You can’t carry this. It’s hard. . . Give it to Jesus.

It doesn’t matter how many times we experience loss, it never gets easier. It has actually gotten harder for me with each one. Expected or unexpected, death is always a shock to the system. It feels so permanent. . . And wrong.

One of the most comforting things I’ve ever heard said by a Pastor about grief (when announcing the death of a beautiful mama) was that death feels wrong because it IS wrong. It was never part of God’s plan. Hearing those words freed me from some of my anger that day and helped me to understand that it is OK to be upset and feel wronged when someone suffers or dies. The Lord is grieved, too. Death was not his plan—and death will not have the final victory.

Tonight I feel a bit stunned over what has transpired over the past couple of weeks and I’m frankly so fearful of future losses that will inevitably happen over the course of my life. My heart can’t take more right now. It’s too heavy, I can’t carry this, so I’m giving it to Jesus. It’s not denial or an attempt to escape the pain of loss—it’s an act of faith. It’s acknowledging my humanity, my frailty, my inability to comprehend the suffering and separation I have witnessed. It’s walking in the knowledge that this is not the end of the story. God has a bigger, more beautiful plan than any of us can begin to comprehend. He is good, kind, and just. Someday, he will wipe away these tears and we will all experience the healing we so desperately need. Someday, he will make all things new.

If you’re grieving tonight for any reason it’s OK to acknowledge that it’s too heavy for you and that you can’t carry this. It’s too hard. Give it to Jesus.

The Lord is near to the broken-hearted.

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