May 26 Inspiration

From the Desk of Vickie Doyle, Parish Visitor

Why, What If, If Only

The title of this devotional is taken from Grief-Care Fellowship, a resource that I recently used for Continuing Education. It seems that grief appears differently with each loss or life-changing event; or, at least that has been my experience. There are similar stages of grief and etc. and yet, each new experience has its own unique challenges and learnings for us. Grief is different for each person and the timeline is unique.

My first major loss was the death of my grandparents. Even though it has been many years, I still remember the huge hole that it left in my life. Since that time, I have had several significant losses; deaths of close family members, disappointments, and life-changing health situations. It is at these times that I ask the questions; why, what if, if only? I would suggest that how we deal with these questions will determine how we are going to live out our future.

The 2020 pandemic has caught all of us by surprise. Being an avid reader, I knew the possibility existed but it seemed far, far away. When we lose a loved one to this virus, how can we not ask why? What if I had only worn a mask? If only I had said, “I love you” when I left the nursing home. These are the questions that fuel our grief. Losing a loved love during this time seems more difficult with social distancing and postponed celebrations of life services.

There are no 1-2-3 easy answers or ABC method of dealing with the pain of loss. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will show you which path to take.” We can trust God when we cannot understand life beyond what we see. We sometimes confuse our ways with God’s ways. We don’t want things to change. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. Many of us want to live in a Hallmark movie world.

During this difficult time, there are some things we can do:

  1. Continue our spiritual journey with the Lord. Study God’s word and pray.
  2. Trust God; he is the God of all comfort.
  3. Stay connected to friends and share your own story. It may be just what your friends need to hear. Their story may also be one that God will use in our own lives.
  4. Be the church, as we share God’s love with those we come in contact with.