I am a people watcher. I admit it; I’m a gawker! I can pass time staring at strangers, observing facial expressions, the way people dress, and how they interact with others. You can tell a lot about a person when watching. But even when observing moods and attitudes, there is no way of knowing the path others have traveled without time and conversation. Everybody has a story! It seems the older I get, my life takes on chapters; the elementary years, the teenage years, and on it goes.
One chapter in my life story began on a Sunday afternoon the fall of 1995. I had just reached the three month point of pregnancy. My husband and I had told our children, ages nine and four, and had decided to announce our news to our friends at church that day. Following church and lunch, my husband went to hang out with guys over fantasy football. Not long after he left, I began to feel pains. I went to the restroom to hide from the kids; I didn’t want them to worry. In a short time the pains progressed, and I delivered a teeny, tiny baby.
It’s been seventeen years since that day. I can share that story now comfortably, but for a long time I couldn’t. When it first happened I was in shock and then angry. I was angry at God that He hadn’t prevented it from happening. I was a good person, mother, and wife. I didn’t deserve this. But in the days that followed, my anger diminished, and I began to lean on God and tell Him my sorrow. I wondered how others managed grief without the hope of Christ. Sorrow hits us all sooner or later; it’s a part of life. It may come from different directions, but grief is grief. It knocks us over unexpectedly and we have to choose to get back up. I could not, and still cannot, imagine facing grief without the hope of Christ, knowing that He is all-knowing and that He doesn’t wish bad for me. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
Life pulls its punches, that’s part of living on this earth. But when we have faith in Christ we don’t have to carry our sorrows alone; we can cast our burdens on God. Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall” (NIV).
I know that during this chapter of my life I had to cast my cares, anger, grief, and worries on Him over and over. I went on to have another miscarriage just months later and then wasn’t able to get pregnant again for eight years. Three years ago I had an even more difficult loss when my sister-in-law passed away. She and I had been friends since high school. I am grateful that I didn’t have to question God’s love for me this time. I knew to cling to it, and knew He would carry me through.
Whatever form of grief you’ve experienced, it’s real. No two people express grief exactly the same. Some seem to manage it better than others, but that doesn’t mean their loss is any less. No matter what stage you’re in or how you process your mourning, I want to assure you that although life will have its pains and difficulties, God PROMISED He’d “never leave us or forsake us” (Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV). Cast your cares on Christ, and He WILL help you get through the pain.