Recently, my husband and I have walked through a very sad and unique season of life. My husband lost both of his grandfathers in less than two months time. It was very hard for me to watch the family grieve. Through this season I was overwhelmed with thoughts about what if my last remaining grandfather was to pass away as well. I knew he wasn’t in the best health, but I assumed he had years left to go. Just 6 months after we buried my husband’s first grandpa to pass away, we buried my grandpa. We lost three grandpas in six months.
The personal family loss was hard, but it was also coupled with many other losses within my own church congregation. In ministry, I attend many memorial services for congregation members and their families. During this same season of family loss, our church had a woman at age twenty-three lose a battle to cancer and another member die in a tragic plane accident. My sister-in-law’s sister also passed away during this same time period.
It seemed like death was everywhere and in every circle of my life. My grandpa was the last to pass away in the string of many losses. I can see that the Lord prepared my heart for this very loss. I know many families are like mine, I grew up being close to only one set of grandparents. My first encounter with loss was my mother’s father. Mental illness had kept us from being close for many years and when he passed, I felt relieved. I knew his mind was whole again and he was with his Savior. Emotionally it was still difficult, but I always knew the next grandfather to pass would be the most difficult loss, because he was the one I had been most attached to. Watching my husband grieve only made me wonder how I would ever handle the loss of my own grandfather. I had no idea that this experience that I dreaded was right around the corner for me.
During this strange and sad season, I had looked up a lot of scripture to help the ones I loved. I would pour through the Bible looking for encouragement for those whose hearts were aching. Even in my own devotional time the Lord brought scripture after scripture to me. I was so encouraged and was able to share with others the positive words I was receiving. Now I can see that the Lord was preparing my own heart for the road that was ahead.
I thought the Lord was giving me these Scriptures so I can be used in the situations that surrounded me. It was for others that He was pouring out these verses to me. It wasn’t until my own grandpa passed away that I learned the Lord was prepping my heart and preparing me for the loss that was about to come. He used the ministry that I poured out on others so that He could minister to me in own hard season of the loss.
Death is always going to be a part of my life. Especially in ministry, I know that I will attend many more memorial services and minister to many aching, grieving souls. Because of this season that I have walked through, I feel like the Lord has prepared me for the future. He has shown my heart the healing power of His scripture. The meaning feels so much deeper now. I feel the words with greater conviction and long even more for the glory of heaven.
There are two verses really struck me during this time of loss and I would like to leave them with you. Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Tears were so common during this season and they still come from time to time, but there is such peace knowing that there will be a day when all is made right and all pain will be redeemed. Also, Romans 8:28 spoke to me saying, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I was reminded in those hard moments that God can use all things for good. Even the things we can’t see as good. He uses it. My personal experiences have not been pleasant to walk through, but I know that it has deeply impacted me as a person and the way I minister. The best ministry comes out of experience and I can see how I walked through a hard time so that I can pour out to those who find themselves on a similar path. God can and will use my pain for his glory.