Cooperating with God in overcoming loss and grief has significant impact on your daily Christian life. This could be any type of loss or grief — death, job change, moving, etc. Therefore, I want to consider how grief can trap us and how to find some steps to healing.
Have you felt the weight and darkness of loss? Most of us have at some level. It can feel very powerless and hopeless.
Some people even sink into an experience called Complicated Grief, meaning they get stuck in grief rather than moving through the grief process into freedom. The enemy would like nothing better than to trap you there.
Finding victory in overcoming loss and grief produces deep faith and increased compassion flowing out of your life. So first, let me share some of my story with you for a picture of the process.
In many ways I grew up fatherless. Although I did have a father, the contact I experienced often contained abuse.
As a result, I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the world at the age of 21. I was delivering pizza for Domino’s, taking drugs, and living utterly directionless. I had no clue how to negotiate the adult world or what made life “work.”
Life becomes painful when hurtful things occur and “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Many questions enter into your mind:
- “How come other people seem to find success in life and I don’t?”
- “Why do I unwittingly say things that draw rejection from others?”
- “Why do my feelings get hurt so easily?”
These statements and other powerless feelings expressed the loss of fathering in my life. I lived in this for a long time.
Then, a father figure did come along in my mid 20s who really began helping me. However, he passed away of cancer a few short years later. This added to my sense of loss.
Finally, after a few more years, God sent a spiritual father into my life that had a huge impact on my healing and growth. I received from him for about 7 years. However, he also passed away of cancer.
Finding My Freedom
These losses seemed to dominate and overwhelm me at times. I’d even had the thought, “It’s dangerous for a person to father me.” Consequently, taking some steps to process grief began to release freedom into my life.
- First, I learned to process my feelings of abandonment and anger that resulted from loss.
- Furthermore, I learned to discover and renounce lies I had believed about God’s nature and character.
- Paradoxically, I found that God’s presence had never left me and now led me forward into new things.
Let’s consider how you might take some steps also.
There are 2 crucial steps for overcoming loss and grief. 1) Recognizing and working through your feelings. 2) Working to embrace God’s character as good.
Work Through Your Feelings
First, understand that everyone deals with the grief process when experiencing loss. This process gives you the path to freedom as long as you don’t get stuck there.
I’ve ministered in Prayer Ministry to many people struggling with grief. Ultimately it comes down to a feeling of abandonment by God. Abandonment expresses itself in statements like,
- “God doesn’t care about me.”
- “Why didn’t He protect me.”
- “God does hurtful and mean things to people.”
Intellectually, we know that these statements lie to us about God’s character. The Word states that God never leaves us nor forsakes us. He only, ever thinks good thoughts about us and not evil thoughts, because He always desires to give us hope and a future. (Heb.13:5, Jer.29:11)
However, intellectual truth rarely sets the heart free.
On the other hand, when you reach the place of facing your feelings and acknowledging them to God you take a huge step. Then, if you will ask God about these thoughts with a truly open heart, He will speak. “God, it feels like you abandoned me. Are you a God who abandons His children? Please speak to my heart about this.”
Embracing God as Good
Finally, there’s a choice. Will you choose to embrace and pray, “God I don’t understand everything that has happened, but I choose to believe in Your goodness and that you always have my very best in mind”?
Consider this quote from Jason Clark, “God is love, His love is always good, and we exist to grow sure of this.” Freedom requires taking the step of faith to believe God is good even when there are many things you don’t understand.
If you struggle with overcoming loss and grief, negative thoughts about God, and anger, please don’t battle this alone. Join a grief group or get some grief counseling. If you have some questions or desire ministry from us, drop us a line.