40 Days | DAY 34
Hearts broken by loss
Read John 11:25
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”
Over the last few months, I can honestly say I’ve been through one of the hardest seasons in my life—loss. It was a week before Mother’s Day, and my precious dog, Tux, of 14 years, collapsed and died in the floor of our home. Yes, I get he was a dog, but Tux was my very first pet, loyal to the core, and brought so many years of joy and love to our family. It happened so fast. I wasn’t ready. In my mind, I knew ‘it’ was eventually coming, but still, I didn’t like that I couldn’t prepare for such a traumatic and shocking loss.
Fast forward just three weeks later. Brian, the kids and I are speeding 10 hours through the night to SC, in hopes that I can tell my mom, “I love you” one last time before she passes away. This loss was going to be paralyzing, heavier, and dreaded.
My mom was diagnosed in 2012 with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (blood cancer). Over the last five years, WE fought and we fought hard. Yes, WE. Because if you’ve ever had a loved one battle this ugly disease, you fight WITH them. Through several chemo regimens, small victories of a short-lived remission, more pricking and prodding, broken bones, and finally a one last ditch effort of a clinical trial, my mom never gave up hope. She knew Jesus and always gave Him the glory despite her circumstances. My mom’s illness continued to steal more and more of her until God, in His tender mercy, carried her home on June 3rd, 2017 at 6:04pm—a day I will never forget. I’m beyond thankful my whole family was there in the room with her as she wished, but the images of her taking her last breath here on this earth are still very engrained in my head and heavy on my heart.
A loss so difficult, I am still in the process of grieving and healing from it. The death of my mother has been the death of my head cheerleader and best friend, of my children’s maternal grandmother, of someone who undoubtedly loved me with all her heart. In essence, hers was the death of a relationship impossible to replace.
You see, life involves change. Change involves loss. Loss involves death of one kind or another. In 2 Corinthians 4:11 Paul says, “For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.”
Every time we suffer loss, we encounter an opportunity for the loss to bring gain for Jesus’ sake by allowing His life to be revealed in us. Nothing is more natural than grief after a devastating loss, but those of us in Christ Jesus can experience satisfying life again. When our hearts have been broken by loss, we have an opportunity to welcome Jesus’ power to our lives. Perhaps the most profound miracle of all is living through something we thought would kill us. Living abundantly and effectively—a life absent of someone dear, but filled with the presence of the Resurrection and the Life.
My life will never be the same, but any kind of “death” is an invitation to resurrection life for the believer. Thank goodness, the loss of a loved one never has to mean the end of abundant, effective or even joyful life for any Christian. As grief takes its course, joy may seem to pause for a while and that’s ok. When we allow our broken hearts to be bound by Christ, there is hope knowing we will experience joy again! So hold onto Jesus. Don’t lose faith. One day at a time, He will carry us through those moments of heartbreak and loss!
…an invitation to resurrection life…
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