God's Will for Me to Grieve
Melissa Taylor

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you." Matthew 5:4 (MSG)

The past year has been extremely difficult. My mother died March 25th. On that same day a part of me died, too.

The months leading up to her death were filled with purpose. While I was going through the motions dictated by my circumstances, one thing was crystal clear: I knew what my priorities were and I was confident in what I was doing. For that season, I was to care for Mom.

I think it's amazing as I did God's will for my life, everything fell into place. Co-workers and volunteers did my job in my absence. Speaker Team members took my place at speaking engagements. My husband and mother-in-law picked up the kids from school and helped around the house. Friends brought meals. The Lord worked every detail out and because of that I was filled with peace throughout one of the hardest times I've experienced.

The way I handled life during that time surprised me. My normal reaction would be to freak out, especially since I have a history of anxiety. If you had asked me before my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer how I would manage that trial, I would have responded, "I'll fall apart. I can't take that." However, I did take it and I did very well. Of course, I had my moments when I cried and days I was physically and emotionally exhausted, but I had a purpose and my mom needed me. I chose to trust the Lord and felt His peace the entire time.

Since Mom's passing, I haven't had quite that same presence of peace or purpose. I still trust the Lord and know peace is available, but I'm struggling some with this new reality of Mom being gone. When my mom died, a big part of who I was died too. I lost her and I lost my position as her caregiver. I often feel uncomfortable, shaken. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe. Many times I have to tell myself that the same peace I had before is still available. God has not left me and despite how I feel, He still has a purpose for me.

Could it be that my purpose for now is to grieve? Grieving isn't easy and even though it's a natural part of life, it doesn't feel natural. It has required stillness and quiet, which is not simple to come by in my world. It's also required an understanding that my feelings are acceptable and it is okay to not have a clearly defined, tangible purpose for this season – other than grieving. I had to give myself permission to grieve and trust that through this God's will for me will prevail.

Life is filled with highs and lows, and God is there during them all. At times His will for our lives is very clear and at other times I think He wants us to seek Him and wait for Him to make it clear. It's during the seeking and waiting that we must hold on to our hope in Christ and claim the peace He offers us.

So for now, I grieve. The way I grieve may change daily, but one thing will not change: I am blessed, just as our key verse for today says. I'm blessed because of what I've lost. And I'm blessed because God is embracing me every step of the way (Matthew 5:4).

Dear Lord, I am so thankful for Your love. Please give me peace during the trials of my life. Help me be content where You have me today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Through a Season of Grief: Devotions for Your Journey From Mourning to Joy by Bill Dunn and Kathy Leonard

An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears by Micca Campbell

Visit Melissa’s blog to catch up on how she’s doing today and find out how you can receive her “Top 10 Ways I can Choose Hope and Claim Peace”

Application Steps:
Don't worry if you aren't sure what your next step in God's will is. Instead, take time to "seek Him and wait." Carve out time to pray, process, reflect, and journal your thoughts and feelings.

Post Scripture in places where you will see them as a reminder God is with you always.

Reflections:
Are you doing God's will in your life right now? How do you know?

Have you chosen hope in the midst of your trial?

If you've lost someone close to you, have you taken time to grieve?

Power Verses:
Jeremiah 29:11b, "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." (MSG)

Psalm 16:8, "I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me." (NLT)

John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (NIV)

© 2010 by Melissa Taylor. All rights reserved.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, Melissa. I understand. My mother went home to be with the LORD 17 years ago. My children were still young. She had leukemia.

It is a terrible loss and to grieve is important. We have not learned that very well in the American Christian society. Most people are uncomfortable around those who are grieving...they tend to avoid you or give you some "Christian saying or verse" which may be true but untimely. We need to learn to grieve well so that we can get on with life afterward--in a healthy way.

God showed me a few things during those months (which unfortunately turned into years of grieving because there was no one there to show me the way.)

One day I was in a local store when I broke down and cried out of the blue. I had to leave the store. It had been a while since my mom had passed on and I asked the LORD why it was still so hard. I believe He told me that I was not grieving my mom's death at that point, I was grieving all the things I had needed from her and she and was unable to give me. I was afraid that I would never receive the things that I needed. He told me that He could give me those things. I never had a "spell" like that again.

Stick close to Him, dear one...He will give you what you need.

with prayers....CJ

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melissa, losing a loved one is a time that we experience undescribable feelings. After losing a best friend to cancer at age 24, I can attest to some of your feelings. God laid on my heart in the beginning of mly grief process, that He wanted me to "Grieve to His Glory." It took many months and years to see what that looked like. But, it allows the death to not be in vain. God can use it and us in the future. My prayer for you is that you will take His offer and choose everyday to "Grieve to His Glory."

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you.

My story about grief is a little different. I have learned in the past four years that the grieving processes can be on going.

My husband became very ill four years ago. The Dr.'s told me he would most likely not make it through the day. I called family and friends so they could say good-bye. Well, God had other plans for him and he survived; however, he is still chronically ill and most defiantly not the same person he was four years ago. He went from being a strong, vibrant, husband and father to a man who can no longer work or play with his young children. He is no longer a "husband" in most of the ways we would define one.

I go through cycles of grieving for the husband I lost. My husband is still here in the physical, Praise God, but I miss the man he was. Funny thing is I wouldn't change our circumstance because of how dependent I have grown on God to provide, and to comfort me and our children. I know without this season I would not have this relationship with Him.

Don't get me wrong, I love the man my husband has become. Our relationship is stronger than he or I thought possible, but I still miss the man I fell in love with 18 years ago.

God has shown me it is good to grieve for our losses, he built us to have that emotion. I think to remind us of how fragile we really are and that it is He who we should depend on. After all He is the ultimate comforter.

Blogger ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Melissa, I know this was no easy task writing all this out. But this was absolutely beautiful! Your heart shone through it and I ask the Lord for it to touch many other's hearts who are grieving right now. But for those of us who aren't grieving...it's helpful to know that when it comes [and it will]...it's ok to grieve because it is a God-given emotion.

Love you girl and so proud of you for stretching yourself to write this. It is awesome!

Nicki :)

Blogger Denni said...

Melissa - Grieve, be still and know that God is your God. Allow him to embrace you and comfort you during this time. Allow yourself time to grieve. Allow yourself time to recoupe. When God has your next assigment ready, He will have readied you!

Much love! DJ

Blogger LisaShaw said...

Melissa,

Thank you for sharing your heart and the season that you are in. I prayed for you as I read.

Your words here say it all:

"Life is filled with highs and lows, and God is there during them all. At times His will for our lives is very clear and at other times I think He wants us to seek Him and wait for Him to make it clear. It's during the seeking and waiting that we must hold on to our hope in Christ and claim the peace He offers us."


Blessings to you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugs to you, Melissa. Allow yourself the time you need to grieve. Grieving cleanses the hurt from the soul, refreshing us with golden memories of all that is good.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOD BLESS YOU MELISSA IN YOUR TIME OF GRIEF

Blogger Familyof6inTX said...

While my waiting and greiveing period are nothing like losing a mother, I am in a similar season of life. I lost what began as a dream job and then turned into a personal nightmare. While ending that seems like it would be good - I'm still trying to wrap up the details and move on. I also have had to allow myself not to overfill my time to keep from dealing with my feelings. Thank you for reminding me that it is ok to be still and silent sometimes.

Anonymous Lori said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. Mom's are the ones who love us unconditionally and hold our childhood in their heart. No wonder it is such a devastating loss. God Bless you Melissa!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes being alone with God and feeling your feelings is one of the hardest thing to do. Dear Lord, help me not to run away from the pain and emptyness of grief but instead help me to let your comfort seep into my soul. Thank You for being there. Thank you, Melissa, for sharing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for the wonderful devotions! I just signed up for them. This one spoke to me greatly, as my grandma just passed in March and I recently found out that my husband has been having an affair since January. I pray to God daily that He will restore my marriage. Both my husband and I took my grandma's death very hard and she was sick for a long time.
Bless you for posting this! Thank you so much!
SE

Anonymous Gaelen said...

It's 9:28pm and I just got done with my day now for my time. I over sleped today so I didn't have my time with God so this is the time. Thank you for today g girl

Blogger angela said...

Wow this is truely amazing thank you for sharing I lost my infant son in January and my life didn't fall apart but only because GOD help keep me together. That I do know I'm so glad to I read your post. :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! What emotion filled my heart as I read your story. Just today I was talking with the Lord for fear that as my terminally ill mother is soon to move in with me, and I take the role as care her giver, I asked myself, "How am I going to do it Lord?"

Less than 2 yrs ago my mother-in-law passed away. She too lived with us. During those 3 yrs she lived with us I was her caregiver. It was a challenge then, and a difficult loss when she past away. Through your sharing, I was comforted, and it was as though my Heavenly Father speaking to me, reassuring me that I can do this, through Him, by Him, and from Him I will find my strength. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to have this time with my mother but, I know I will grieve a great loss when she goes home to be with the Lord. Thank you again for being so transparent and speaking from the heart.

M~

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