July 1, 2015

When You Lose A Loved One - Peace

This was not my intended post for today. I was going to write about being in the second half of the year and checking up on any goals you had at the start of 2015. But this morning, I felt something in my heart to write some encouraging words to people who have lost a loved one. I actually feel inadequate to write about it because I haven't lost someone extremely close to me. Also I'm not holier-than-thou and I struggle daily with being a Christian. But if I can share a word, that will help at least one person, then that's alright enough for me.

When my uncle died in November 2013, I was distraught. It's not like we were close or anything - I hadn't seen him in years until the September before his death. Before he got sick, he had been telling my mum that he was going to be at my wedding. The whole family was praying for months and months. I specifically used Bible verses to pray, because I was scared and thought that if I could read God's words back to Him, He didn't have a choice but to answer my prayers. (FACT: My Ogoni name means God Answers Prayers).

Anyway, my uncle died and it shook me to my core. For one thing, it hurt to see my mum, her siblings and my grandparents heartbroken. Secondly, I couldn't understand why God didn't answer our prayers. I mean, didn't He say "Ask and it will be given?" My faith and belief in God was shaken!

I stopped praying. I couldn't open my Bible to read anything. Going to church became a chore, and one that I didn't want to do. I was angry at God - and then feeling guilty at being angry at Him.

Eventually though, I remembered the verse about PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING. I was going through a time where I didn't UNDERSTAND why my uncle died, why his family and friends had to be grief-stricken, and most especially why God didn't answer our prayers. I didn't UNDERSTAND. But that verse, Philippians 4:7 says,

7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. [NLT]

I finally prayed. It wasn't a long prayer, but it was what I needed for that season: "God, I'm angry and I'm hurting and I don't understand why. But your peace is above understanding. So please please please, I beg of you, just give me peace. I'm losing my belief, I'm losing my trust. I don't want to, but I am. So you have to give me peace to make it through. Just give me peace."

I prayed this prayer for a long time, and even still do. Whenever someone I know loses a loved one, I pray for comfort, grace and above all, peace to help them hang on. And if you're in that position, that same prayer goes up for you.

Okay, so that's what I wanted to share.

12 comments:

  1. Nice emotional post berry. I lost my mum as a teenager and I was so distraught. I had prayed so hard for her recovery.
    I remember at one of TW monthly meetings, I asked you about ur wedding and you busted out crying. My initial thought was 'Damn the man that broke this poor lady's heart'. But you explained to me that you had lost your uncle. To be honest, I wondered within myself why the emotional outburst, then I concluded that your uncle may have been like your 'father'. But this posts explains it all.

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  2. Thank you for this inspirational piece!

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  3. Lovely post. Truth is, God answers all prayers; it's just that His answer which is sometimes no or wait, is not the answer we want. I can relate to not having the desire to pray or read during trying times.

    The beautiful thing for me that snaps me back in order is when God does not grant the desired answer to a particular prayer request but moves in an awesomly miraculous way in another area of my life. Showing that He is with me and still loves me. Thank you Jesus!!

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  4. Love, love love this post. Very concise yet impactful. I like that you don't come off as having all the answers because when it comes to losing someone, if you haven't experienced it, you can NEVER truly understand the feeling.

    Sometime in January I looked back on my life and gave thanks that my family was intact, in good health, comfortable and happy only for my mum to pass on the last day of the month. She wasn't ill, she wasn't tired nor weak. She was perfectly OK, at least on the outside. To say I was broken was an understatement. I was very very upset with God because I felt let down. I felt like I wasn't deserving of such heartbreak. The reason it hurt the most wasn't entirely because I will miss her per say but because I had made plans of how I intended to spoil her because of the many sacrifices she made for me and my siblings and I was so upset that I would NEVER get to pay for a luxury vacation, have her plan my wedding, see my children etc.... Those are the saddest part of losing her especially as we didn't get any warning.

    Barely 23 days after, my best friends mum passed as well and till tomorrow she is still very broken. She has totally turned her back on God because although her mum was mildly ill, she fasted and prayed etc...and he didn't answer. In almost 5 months, she has refused to go to church, pray, etc...shes just like it doesn't add up.. It is not fair. I don't deserve this. She is actually a model individual/citizen and she feels like its only bad people that lose people but in reality, things do not work that way.

    Both of us are first daughters and although we are not responsible for tuition and finances, etc, we have been saddled with new responsibilities we were thoroughly unprepared for. She is coping fine but still intensely angry.

    I do not have answers as to why things happened the way they did but we cannot but seek solace with God. I don't know how console her regarding her loss and I don't know how I stay strong (I know, my job is one hell of a distraction), but for me, I just think of my mum being away as if she travelled for a LONG LONG LONG time. I still feel like we will meet again and we will be reunited. I am actually more encouraged to make it to heaven simply because I NEED to see her again.

    In all, one lesson I have learnt is DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. This applies to every and any thing-Doing your assigned tasks, calling a relative, forgiving someone, buying your man that wrist watch he likes-if you can afford it of course, etc. Cos we don't what the future holds and it will really suck to carry on in life with a truck load of 'what-ifs'....

    My mum lived a very good life and not one person had something ill to say about her. That is how I would also like to be remembered.

    As for my friend, I will continue to pray for her, so that with time she will come to the realization of things just like you did. Its really not about what you deserve because we see innocent children become orphans everyday, and they are equally not deserving. We just need to ask for wisdom to navigate the challenges this life sets our way because they will surely come.

    Sorry for the long epistle.

    P.S You are my friend in my head. Good job on the BLOG! Love it!


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    1. Wow! Honestly, now I think the reason for my writing this post was for YOUR comment! I'm very sorry for your mum's passing, and may she rest in perfect peace. I'll say a prayer for your friend too, because she's obviously hurting very bad. Thank you so much for your comment - like the amount of thanks I'm sending to you doesn't even do your comment justice at all. God bless!

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    2. This part I deffinately NEED to work on...."DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. This applies to every and any thing-Doing your assigned tasks, calling a relative, forgiving someone..." Lord help me to lay down pride.

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    3. I'm also so very very sorry about your mom and your friend's mom. May God comfort your hearts in a way that only He can and give you peace and grace to keep on.

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  5. I think this is so beautiful. I remember the first time I lost someone so important to me. My aunt died in 2010 from cancer, and to this day, her death has affected me and impacted my life in so many ways. Life became a little more empty since we were so close. We use to sit and watch Korean shows, while eating strawberries together. I didn't like them, but she did. I hope your friend is doing okay, and know that she has people there to support her. Just let her know that <3

    xx Bash | Bash Says Hey | bloglovin'

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  6. Great post.

    The closest people to me that have passed on are my uncle and my grandma, both of whom I assumed would see me get married. My grandma was a firecracker but we had a special bond. Our joy is that they both were saved (became born again) before passing. My grandma lived a full life. My uncle passed young IMO from cancer but I thank God we had him for eight years more than they said we would #Godwin, In a way that made it harder - he was more fit than any of us and we took that for granted despite the battle.

    Everytime I think about how long I've been natural I remember my uncle - he always encouraged us to go natural. I had a perm until he died. He always encouraged me with my art and design, I got serious about it after he passed and sometimes I'm like if he could see me now. But the Bible says we have a great crowd of witnesses rooting for us and I believe he still knows:)

    Your prayer is very apt. Great post again.

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  7. It is actually the Holy Spirit that comforts in times like this. We thank God for the gift ever present with us.

    My Baffling Instagram Relationship

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  8. Thank for this post Berry. I recently put up a post on my blog asking how people deal with the loss of a loved one. I havent been able to. I realised that I have supressed how I really feel l, carrying on each day like nothing happened when deep down the void is clearly there. Peace right. The kind that exceeds our understanding. The kind only God can fill our hearts with .. I get that now. I ought to turn to him for healing, for peace.

    You can read my post here: http://epiphany29.com/talk-thursday-dealing-with-loss/

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  9. Thank you Berry. I lost my dad a week to my 5th birthday and in between that, I've lost too many people that I think I can't be affected anymore but how wrong was I. I lost my both maternal grandparents in a space of 3 years and 2 cousins ad well. The most painful so far would be my aunt that I lost last year. She used to babysit me and my siblings and she just died. Till today, I feel like she's still alive and whenever I return to Nigeria (I school in Canada) I will see her.
    I just pray not to loose anyone again because it's a sad experience,. I've never done this before but I just felt like sharing.
    God bless you and cheers.

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