In this series we’ve been talking about Overcoming though the Word of Our Testimonies. Last week I sent an email to you (my subscribers), asking you to share your testimonies. I was surprised and blown away by this particular testimony I received from Christin Baker. Although I haven’t known her for long, it is hard to miss the grace and humility that radiates from her. She is a beautiful picture of what overcoming means. I know you will love her story just as much as I did.
The other day I sent my friend a Facebook message before preparing lunch for my kids. Just a quick note letting her know that I was thinking about her, and that I had a special gift for her birthday that she celebrated a few days prior. Her response stopped me dead in my tracks. “My mom is gone today with God. Pray for me.” My mind was racing. What happened? What went wrong? How could this be? I immediately called her on the phone. It was then that she informed me that her mother had suddenly passed away that morning. We prayed and cried together. Those moments with her on the phone brought back thoughts of my own father’s death when I was fifteen. The memories flooded my mind like a rushing wave… “I love you.” My dad managed to utter these words through his cracked voice as his eyes filled with tears. Those were the last words he spoke to me and my siblings as we headed off to school. We were surprised to see him up that morning. He was battling Hepatitis C and liver disease. Our life that past year consisted of hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, medication refills, and waiting…waiting in hopeful expectation that he would receive a liver transplant. But it never came. Our family den became his makeshift bedroom, as climbing stairs became too much for him. Most mornings when mom took us to school, he was asleep, fatigued from the disease that riddled his body. But that morning he was up, writing in his notebook. His frail body was hunched over as he put his pen down and gathered the strength to stand. He gave us each hugs and kisses, and waved goodbye as we headed out the door. He passed away later that day while we were at school. We all in some way or another have experienced that dark, ominous shadow of grief. The loss of a child, a spouse, a parent, a or close friend. The somber shadow of death and mourning hovers over us, blanketing us with a heavy shroud of sorrow and sadness.
“What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave?” Psalm 89:48
But death does not have the final word. Jesus came and conquered death and the grave by laying down his life for us. He tasted death for a moment to give us the rich feast and flowing fountain of everlasting life.
“‘Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
Since Jesus overcame death and sin, he gives us the power to overcome the grief of loss. This healing takes time. But there is victory on the other side.
3 Keys to Overcoming Grief
Give yourself permission to grieve It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to experience sorrow at the loss of your loved one. A few months after my dad’s passing I remember going down to the living room where my mom was sitting. I sat down next to her. “I miss Daddy,” I told her, and began weeping in her arms. Jesus wept at the sight of Mary’s grief over her brother Lazarus’ death–even though Jesus would soon raise him to life, he wept. He mourned. He was deeply moved at the sight of her pain. Every hair on your head is numbered. And every tear is counted.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 NLT
Stay Connected to Jesus
Remember, Jesus is the true vine. Don’t cut yourself off from him. Talk to him. Tell him how you’re feeling. Lean on him. During the first year of my dad’s death, I talked to God more than I ever had before. Somehow I knew I was going to be okay. His word was a tremendous source of comfort and strength.
“God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Stay Connected to Community
We don’t have to overcome grief alone. It is essential that we surround ourselves with a community of believers who will pray for us. My mom, siblings and I were blown away by the love of our church and school community. The flowers, cards, meals, and home visits truly warmed our hearts. God showered his love on us through our faith community. If someone in your church family has recently gone through the loss of a loved one, never underestimate the power of a phone call or a crockpot meal. They mean more than you’ll ever know.
“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality….Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:13&15
Wherever you find yourself on the journey of grief, take comfort in the healing words of our Savior:
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
If Jesus already overcame the world, then we can overcome anything through his sustaining love and grace. When the shadow of grief clouds your heart and looms over your soul, remember to lift your eyes to the hills. Click To Tweet The sun is still present in the midst of the storm. The light of his love shines through the darkest clouds, revealing the glimmering rainbow of his eternal promise.
“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.” Hosea 13:14a
About the Author
Christin Baker is a wife, homeschool mom, blogger, and passionate lover of Jesus. As a former elementary school teacher and curriculum developer, she worked for years in children’s ministry, and writes children’s articles for a Christian magazine called The Banner. Her desire is to help women discover their true beauty, purpose, and identity through the spiritual clothing of Christ. She writes at garmentsofsplendor.com. Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter