Initially, the pain of child loss is so severe, that it is easy to wonder if it is survivable. Many women say they know, if it happened to them, they could not survive it.
I want to tell them: Yes, you can.
If I can, you can.
We just have to.
But here is something to think about:
Surviving is a good thing. But just surviving is not the ideal and does not mean we are growing.
Surviving is not enough. Just because I have survived, does not mean I have grown.
Yes, I am still standing. Now what?
What does God want me to do with this?
“We often spend a long time in the spiritual valleys designed by our Father. Why does He lead through the shadows in theses valleys? It seems He has designed them to conform us into His image and purpose. The duration of our days in these valleys is often determined by the time it takes for us to learn how to yield joyfully. Some of our valleys take us longer to pass through than even our Father intends. Still, He will keep us in His valleys until we begin to experience contentment with the direction and even the degree of difficulty. His will is for us to come to all endurance and all longsuffering – with joy! Those who have traversed many valleys will tell you the secret to joyful longsuffering. It’s the same secret David discovered: ‘for Thou art with me.'”
“We really never get over our great griefs; we are never altogether the same after we have passed through them as we were before. Yet there is a humanizing and fertilizing influence in sorrow which has been rightly accepted and cheerfully borne. Indeed, they are poor who have never suffered, and have none of sorrow’s marks upon them. The joy set before us should shine upon our grief as the sun shines through the clouds, glorifying them. God has so ordered, that in pressing on in duty we shall find the truest, richest comfort for ourselves. Sitting down to brood over our sorrows, the darkness deepens about us and creeps into our heart, and our strength changes to weakness. But, if we turn away from the gloom, and take up the tasks and duties to which God calls us, the light will come again, and we shall grow stronger.” –J. R. Miller
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble,
by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
7 thoughts on “Survival is the Starting Point”
I haven’t rediscovered language for joy yet. But I can testify that God is able to take away bitterness and replace it with peace and even contentment, things I thought impossible the first year after the death of my son. And those are wondrous things! Even more wondrous to live them in circumstances that seem unsurvivable, as you described. It is God’s grace to us.
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Yes, Joy is harder to express. It goes deeper even than grief. And joy doesn’t feel like what I expected. I never knew joy & grief were so closely related. Wondrous things, indeed from our Wonderful Lord! ❤
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Our only son has been gone from this earth now for 5 months. Your words really speak to me. I’ve been asking myself what does God want me to do now. It is very difficult. It is indescribable. It is very painful. I am just clinging to Jesus .
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Teresa, I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear son. Five months is a small span of time but I know it can feel like ages and ages when we are hurting so terribly. For now, as the storm of your loss rages at the peak of its fury and the valley of weeping stretches before you long, dark and deep, you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do – cling to Jesus. As He does the work in your heart that He purposes to do, He will make it plain how you can best serve Him. I believe the first and most important thing He would have us do is to be a witness to His goodness, love and mercy even as we weep. The world needs to know that God is good and that He knows what He is doing. Honoring and praising Him in our pain is a gift we can offer our Lord that pleases Him and strengthens us for whatever else He might have us do. Stay close to Him. He will not fail you.
I love this Kim! Yes, at first (after the initial sense that we cannot survivive) survival is the goal. But, like you, I don’t want to just be a scraggly tree that manages somehow to escape utter destruction. I want to be a fruit-bearing, shade-giving specimen of the faithfulness of God.
“You shall be oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendour.”
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Sometimes your words are sheer poetry. Thanks, Melanie.