On Grieving Main Story
used to think the lessons God taught me through my experience applied only to people who had lost babies. God would send me to talk to a large group of people and I would think, How does this apply to them? This is for people who lost babies. . . .”
I remember one time after I had spoken for a church service that a man came up to me and said how much my talk had meant to him. All the while I was thinking, OK. You’re a man. You’re single. You don’t have any children. I’m not sure why this was helpful to you. But he explained to me about how he had just lost his job, and how important the timing of my talk was for him.
It was then I began to understand that there are many kinds of experiences that bring grief and call for us to trust in the faithfulness of God.
A number of things were helpful in my grieving; journaling my thoughts and feelings, for example. Also taking some time off around the anniversary dates of the deaths of Megan and Michael to allow myself to continue the process of grieving the loss of them.
But I think what had the most impact on my healing was simply giving myself permission to feel. God impressed me that it was OK to let myself feel the pain. And as long as I invited Him to comfort me, it wouldn’t be so horrible or overwhelming. It didn’t take the pain away, but it helped me through it. And every time I let myself feel the pain it was a little less scary than the last. After a while I “got it.” I would start to catch on to when I needed to grieve and let myself do it. It was freeing to know that He gave me permission to grieve, and would help me work through it step-by-step.
It was scary—really scary. It hurt badly. But I heard again and again the phrase that the woman at the women’s ministry conference had shared with me: “Do not be afraid.” Those were the words that He continued to repeat throughout the grieving process. They came to me in so many ways—through a friend, through Bible reading, through songs.
God gave me permission to feel. Then He brought comfort and healing. My part was to allow Him to do that—not to block His love and comfort with my anger. This has powerfully facilitated my healing.