When My Heart Breaks, Where Is God And What Is His Plan?

While we process loss and grief, we may wonder where God is. But He stays close to help us. After we receive His comfort, we can comfort others.

When My Heart Breaks, Where Is God And What Is His Plan?

May 19, 2022

Recently I suffered a loss. As I look around at my circle of friends, I’m not alone. Some losses happened long ago, while others are very recent. And although our losses vary in intensity, they always carry heartache and pain. Because of this, anyone who has lost something, or someone, grieves. 

I used to think of grief as a negative emotion, and one that should be avoided. But grief, like loss, is unavoidable. So I’ve learned to look at it differently. While I don’t wish loss or grief on any of us, I’ve seen how grief carries the power of connection

Grief connects us with God.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
     he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
     and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18-19 NIV)

Whatever trouble caused our loss, the right response is to cry out to God. Over the last few weeks, I’ve poured out my sorrow, grief, fear, frustration, disappointment, anger… to the One who stays close to the brokenhearted. As I shared in last week’s blog, I didn’t hide my feelings, or apologize for them. I’ve learned God’s broad shoulders can take it all. 

But along with sharing all my emotions, I asked for God’s strength ~ sometimes even for a double portion of it. I’ve needed to lean on Him so I could:

  • bear the pain
  • process the sorrow and grief
  • surrender the fear and anger 
  • trust Him in spite of the frustration and disappointment

It hasn’t been an easy process, but with God walking with me, it has been productive. Paul said it this way:

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 ESV)

Grief connects us with each other.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)

So many kind people helped me process this loss and grief. The most helpful words came from those who understood my pain, because they experienced something similar. It inspires hope when we see examples of others who successfully weathered the pain of loss. When the time is right, we can be those examples for others. And we can comfort them as the Lord did us. 

We can:

  • stick close and listen
  • share a simple, “Me, too.”
  • point to the God of all comfort
  • pray for the process of healing

The pain of loss connects us in our humanity on a deeper level than any other shared experience. In times like these, God created us to reach up, and then out. When we do this, we can bear all things.

Wherever the road leads us next, whatever the trouble we may find in our path, may we all remember to reach out to the One who sticks close to us when our hearts break. May we freely receive His comfort, so we may freely give it to others.

 

When My Heart Breaks, Where Is God And What Is His Plan?

May 19, 2022

While we process loss and grief, we may wonder where God is. But He stays close to help us. After we receive His comfort, we can comfort others.

Recently I suffered a loss. As I look around at my circle of friends, I’m not alone. Some losses happened long ago, while others are very recent. And although our losses vary in intensity, they always carry heartache and pain. Because of this, anyone who has lost something, or someone, grieves. 

I used to think of grief as a negative emotion, and one that should be avoided. But grief, like loss, is unavoidable. So I’ve learned to look at it differently. While I don’t wish loss or grief on any of us, I’ve seen how grief carries the power of connection

Grief connects us with God.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
     he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
     and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18-19 NIV)

Whatever trouble caused our loss, the right response is to cry out to God. Over the last few weeks, I’ve poured out my sorrow, grief, fear, frustration, disappointment, anger… to the One who stays close to the brokenhearted. As I shared in last week’s blog, I didn’t hide my feelings, or apologize for them. I’ve learned God’s broad shoulders can take it all. 

But along with sharing all my emotions, I asked for God’s strength ~ sometimes even for a double portion of it. I’ve needed to lean on Him so I could:

  • bear the pain
  • process the sorrow and grief
  • surrender the fear and anger 
  • trust Him in spite of the frustration and disappointment

It hasn’t been an easy process, but with God walking with me, it has been productive. Paul said it this way:

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 ESV)

Grief connects us with each other.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)

So many kind people helped me process this loss and grief. The most helpful words came from those who understood my pain, because they experienced something similar. It inspires hope when we see examples of others who successfully weathered the pain of loss. When the time is right, we can be those examples for others. And we can comfort them as the Lord did us. 

We can:

  • stick close and listen
  • share a simple, “Me, too.”
  • point to the God of all comfort
  • pray for the process of healing

The pain of loss connects us in our humanity on a deeper level than any other shared experience. In times like these, God created us to reach up, and then out. When we do this, we can bear all things.

Wherever the road leads us next, whatever the trouble we may find in our path, may we all remember to reach out to the One who sticks close to us when our hearts break. May we freely receive His comfort, so we may freely give it to others.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Teresa on May 20, 2022 at 7:18 AM

    Shirley, I love that God has broad shoulders too and He is always here for us in all situations to provide support and love. I also love Philippians 4:13 it is a verse I go to a lot when I am feeling overwhelmed.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on May 20, 2022 at 10:17 AM

      Thank you Teresa. I know you have also taken sorrow and grief to Him. Philippians 4:13 is such a treasure ~ and one of my all time favorites. Blessings! 💕

  2. Emmanuelle Jette on May 20, 2022 at 8:37 AM

    Thank you for your beautiful post, Shirley. If it’s OK with you I’d love to share it with our Griefshare group in Virginia Beach. Your words will help them in their journey of mourning. Love you!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on May 20, 2022 at 10:19 AM

      Thank you Emmanuelle. Of course you can share it ~ with anyone you think it could help. God put these words on my heart because I also needed them. I’m so thankful we have such a caring and compassionate Heavenly Father. Blessings!💕

  3. Lindsay Landis on May 22, 2022 at 6:49 PM

    Love the gift of connection that God brings … especially when there’s such a longing for what will come out of something so painful. Was just thinking today about how those who have gone through grief and loss usually are the first to want to comfort & serve someone else going through it … like you this week Shirley. Thanks for your insight and example 💞

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on May 23, 2022 at 12:49 PM

      Thank you Lindsay. I actually hadn’t made the connection for myself ~ I had in mind all the people who comforted me. Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. I’m grateful God gives us opportunities to comfort others. It helps us heal. 💕

  4. Jenn Hutchins on May 25, 2022 at 7:53 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Shirley., and for your vulnerability. And I’m so sorry for your loss! Your beautifully crafted words really synchronize all the things we can learn and experience through grief. It is a wonderful reminder for me to reflect on the growth I experience through such pain, though I don’t enjoy it. I know our family is so grateful for the love God has shown us through the human connections during our suffering this past year! .Thank you!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on May 25, 2022 at 11:25 AM

      Thank you Jenn! Our family’s hearts will be forever bonded with yours.❤️

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