I’ve been shocked, since the loss of our daughter, by the number of people who have contacted me and sympathized out of shared experience. It has been helpful to hear from those who truly understand, and comforting to be allowed to speak truth and hope to them as well.
Because our dialogue has been such a blessing I want to continue communicating with you all, and decided to add a ‘Page’ just for us who have lost a child. My plan is to share hope, helps, resources, links, and a place to communicate.
I’ve been emotionally overwhelmed reading and hearing others’ stories. I feel I can safely say I understand when you say you will never be the same, because I know I never will be. I’ve read that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other major celebratory events are challenging and depressing for many who have lost a loved one. Reading it and experiencing it are worlds apart. I have lost interest in some things, but I have not lost faith. Faith is actually keeping my head above water and giving me hope and strength. But I can understand how it would be tempting to let the grief and loss overwhelm you. Yet, I believe God is calling me to be an encouragement and help to others who need strength continuing to live with a hole in their heart.
One of the things I read that greatly impacted me (possibly one of Susie Larson’s prayers) was to let my history with God help me trust Him for my future. Journaling (I either write in a notebook or make notes in my Bible’s margins) noting prayer requests and entering the answer, or date of the answer, has always restored praise. Reviewing those answers when enemy darts (doubt, accusation, temptation, guilt) weigh me down gives me peace and hope. The reminder of those answered prayers, says God helped me there, God was with me through that, or God enabled me to bless someone else through that. That history with God underscores His presence – His trustworthiness, and His faithfulness. If I then focus on the truth – God’s unchanging character – instead of my emotion, I can affirm that He is the same past, present and future.
The book of the Bible that has helped me the most since Laurie left us was one I long avoided – the book of Hosea. It was illuminated for me by Bob Hostetler in his book Falling in Love With God. (More about that next time). I would appreciate hearing what books or scriptures have helped you.
Our Daily Bread has a couple of booklets I can recommend:
Finding Peace at Christmas contains Dan Schaffer’s article (excerpted from The Real Spirit of Christmas). You can order it here –http://discoveryseries.org/discovery-series/the-real-gift-of-christmas/
Beyond the Valley by Dave Brannon – also from Discovery House (https://dhp.org/te236.html)