If Comfort Does Not Come

If Comfort Does Not Come

For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God. 1 Chronicles 12:22 ESV

Do well-meaning people encourage you to “get over” the loss of a loved one?

If we’re in prayer about our loss, God will show us when we’re ready to move forward. We are all unique on our journey of grief, so our experiences will be different. Even becoming stuck in our loss, for a time, may be what God has planned. He is quite capable of reshaping us when we’re broken.

The path we travel as we grieve may wear us thin as transparent paper. God is able to give us a gathering of an army over the hours, days, weeks, and months along our grief walk. I had to lift my heart to Him and ask, “Who stands with me as I mourn?” I recognized a few. Even if some have blended into the shadows of our lives, never to be seen again, I am reminded to look and see. There very well may be an army gathering to carry us through our burdens of loss.

However, we can’t lean on people first. God comes before, and then He supplies our needs.

If we feel we don’t have enough support, consider this: be a comfort to others as we’re able. Before we know what’s happening, months have gone by and more people have joined our army to stand beside us.

There were stretches for me when I grieved alone after my son, Joshua, died by suicide. This is okay; God knows what He’s doing. I didn’t accept this at that time, but in hindsight, it was a good molding period by God. I learned to reach out to Christ for a deeper relationship as never before.

If comfort does not come, and someone instead tells you to get over the loss, be careful. Some of us will become angry. These folks see our pain and only want to hurry us along to our old selves.

If God indeed teaches His children to comfort others, then the real tragedy is for the well-intended “move forward,” “get over it” people. Please remember this when all we want is to give them a tongue lashing. Or even worse if we believe them and crawl under the covers to hide our shame.

I remember longing for one of my friends to cry with me. “Please,” I begged God. It came one day almost six months after Joshua’s suicide. A fellow writer came over for a manuscript critique of our work. She asked me, “How are doing?” And with passion, she said, “This is the most horrific thing you’re going through!” Huge tears streamed down her cheeks. For me. For my son. We hugged. We sobbed. We both received a perfect gift.

Twelve years have passed since Joshua died by suicide. I still watch for opportunities to pass on the love, and the gift of comfort, to others who suffer.

. . .God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 ESV

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Jean Ann Williams About Jean Ann Williams

Jean Ann Williams lives in Southern Oregon with her husband Jim. Although one of their children has passed on to the Great Beyond, their two remaining children have blessed them with thirteen grandchildren, their Baker’s Dozen. Jean Ann keeps up two blogs: the first is about the writing life Jean Ann Williams: Author, and Love Truth where she writes of how God continues to encourage and bless her after her son’s suicide in 2004.

Comments

  1. Janet K Brown says:

    Great post, Jean Ann. When my daughter lost her daughter, some made remarks that hurt her like, “You’re young. You’ll have other children,” as if that would cause her not to grieve the one she lost. Others recalled times of losing children or having miscarriages, some 60 years before, & they started crying. They understood. Love you, my friend.

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  2. Thank you for commenting, Janet. I’m glad to hear others understood. We do have to keep them at the top of our mind, so we don’t get bogged down.

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  3. Kristin Bunting says:

    This is a beautiful reminder to us all, on many levels. Knowing how to love each other well comes with practice and humility. I am so grieved for you, my dear one, to think of you suffering in the wake of your son’s death. Tears are streaming now. What searing loss you must have felt…still feel. Know that even though we may never meet, I would have counted it a privilege to cry with you. I cry now. God knows it all, dearest one. He’s holding all your tears. Jesus truly is the only one who knows and bears all our griefs. Love to you!

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  4. What kind words, Kristen. Your soft heart touches mine.

    God bless you. Jean

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