Loss and Learning

“Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” -Psalm 50:15

Sunday afternoon, my niece moved away. Barring a miracle, the move is permanent and it is highly likely we will not see her often, if ever again. She has left a gaping hole in the hearts of me and my parents. We had cared for J almost full time for the past 19 months (she and her parents lived with us and both her parents worked) and she was the happiest part of our lives.

God has taken away someone I loved almost like my own child. I have struggled with the proper response so much. I know He is teaching and shaping me through all this, but I would have chosen any other method to learn these lessons.

But what am I learning? Most of the time the grief is so overwhelming I can’t do anything more than either hide away and grieve or plaster a fake smile on my face and fulfill my responsibilities. I can’t think and I don’t want to think. But then something like clarity will pierce through the fog of sorrow and I will realize that I am learning.

Learning to balance grief and trust, to feel sorrow without being angry with God, to mourn without hating.

Learning to be thankful for the time I did have with J without questioning God’s goodness and justice in taking her away.

Learning to submit to the trials sent by One who is sovereign.

Learning to open my heart to His love when I want to shut Him out.

Learning to praise Him when I don’t even want to talk to Him.

Learning to rest in Him.

“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” -Job 1:21b

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