GOD OF GRIEF

We’ve been quiet the last few weeks online, but they have been filled with lots of activity. There’s been some crying and some pain. There’s been some fun and some laughter. But there has been a lot of missing Bennett. We are discovering that the hardest moments are the surprise ones.

The moment you do laundry and realize you are not washing his clothes…

The moment you realize you’re on the first road trip without him…

The moment you don’t have to order food for him…

These are just some of the unexpected moments when grief has hit.

But there have been some sweet moments God has blessed us with too. Megan and I were able to get to New Orleans by ourselves for our 10th Anniversary last weekend thanks to some great friends who watched Davis and Reide. It was a good time to enjoy sleeping in, shopping for some things we needed around the house and also visiting the Mississippi River. I never knew that the Mississippi River would be so special to me. But that is where we scattered Bennett’s ashes. He loved it while we were in Memphis and our family will always be connected to it.

While we were there, Megan and I also had lots of time to share how we are processing Bennett’s passing and what we are learning about grief. I know there are lots of you out there that are experiencing grief either over Bennett and/or other things as well. Our heart is to be able to share with you here what we are learning about grief. Perhaps it will help you move forward or even know how to support someone you know walking through grief.

One thing I shared with Megan is that I’m learning that God is the God of Grief. We easily ascribe to God titles such as “God of Peace,” “God of Love,” or “God of Joy,” but we rarely consider the fact that God grieves.

But He does. He grieves over our sin, the brokenness it caused in His creation and the suffering that His children endure (Ephesians 4:30, Genesis 6:6-8, Exodus 3:7). He is every bit the God of Grief that He is also the God of Hope. As I realized this I heard the Lord speak to my heart.

“Ben…I was grieving over Bennett long before you ever were. I’m not joining you in your grief. You are joining me in Mine.”

Let that sink in for a while. I did. I didn’t know what to do with that at first! This was God’s grief before it was mine and He has invited me into it to share in His sufferings. It is here in the sea of grief that I understand Hebrews 12:2 more clearly.

“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3

Jesus endured the cross and The Father willingly endured grief because of the joy that can only be found on the other side. Grief is not bad. It’s not fun…but it is not bad. It points the way to hope and joy. A good friend who is a chaplain in a local hospital told me yesterday that grief is the absence of joy. He’s right and I believe God invites us to walk through the suffering of grief to teach us how to choose joy. Megan and I are learning how to bring joy to the place where there is none just like Jesus brings hope and the worship of the Father to places where there is none.

There is a lot we are learning right now and we will probably post several times in a short period and then take a little break. We love you all and the chance to pass on what we learn as we walk this road. Thank you for continuing to pray for our family and know that we are praying for you too!

15 Comments

  1. Ben, you can ask Mike. While I taught for 34 years, my driving force was prayer in the morning and the Mississippi River as often as I could get their. Even , Baton Rouge has a nice set up to watch and enjoy with or without kids. The tension, stress, whatever I needed to go back on Monday, the Mississippi and talking to God while watch it flow, just melted!!! Now , I have another reason to go and pray!!!!! Just a big Amen!!!

  2. Your God breathed words nurtured my soul today. May God continue to bless each of you. Many, many prayers to lift you up.

    Love y’all!
    Corey, Cheryl, Cade & Claire Britt

  3. So perfectly written, thank you for sharing. Continue to lift you all in prayer. God’s blessings of peace and comfort!

  4. I realized at some point during my grieving for a loved one, that grief is an expression of love…deep love. The greater the love lost, the greater the grief. Just like we jump for joy when something wonderful happens to a loved one, like an engagement or a pregnancy, we grieve when something bad happens and especially when it is tragic. Understanding that grief is a form of love helped me allow myself to embrace grief and the different forms and waves it came in. It also helped me to accept that everyone grieves differently…in different ways and at different times. Much grace is needed for those left behind and sometimes it’s hardest to give it to yourself. Praying for you all.

  5. The Sunday morning that our kids were killed in 2008 Bro. Mike continued the series on the Beatitudes with verse 4: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I remember when I realized that Our Heavenly Father mourned the deaths of Christy, Geoff and Rebekah before they were ever born. We were not created to sin, hurt, grieve, suffer loss, endure diseases or die. “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 have received from God.” II Corn. 1:3-4 So Bill and I have “set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of the faithful.” II Corn. 1:10-11. Thank you for sharing your heart of faith and the comfort you have been given. Love and Prayers continue.

  6. Whatever we choose to call this time, stage, season…. He just keeps on giving and teaching us through it. I love you all so.

  7. Ben and Megan,
    Thank you for letting us into your lives and showing us how to deal with grief. We have prayed for you throughout this journey.
    Meni for the Hansens

  8. Ben and Megan, your precious words have inspired my students and me more than we ever imagined. Thank you for sharing your life with us. We have fallen in love with Bennett and your family. Our faith has grown because of your blogs. We will continue to pray for you and your family. Thank you again! God bless you all! Kelly Hewitt

  9. Beautifully written. God continues to use your family to minister to others, to us. You are an inspiration to us all, your walk with Christ is evident. Continue holding onto Him through the storm, though the seas may rage…because as the old song says…”The Anchor Holds”. Be assured, you are prayed for!

  10. As always your faith & love for The Lord has moved me to tears. Thank you for sharing your lessons with us. Praying for all of you during this time of healing & adjustment to the changes in your lives.

  11. Thank you so much for that post and we will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer as you continue down this road. Much love from our family to yours.

  12. I would like to say being part of this journey with you through Bennett’s illness has made me feel like a part of your family. It may seem impossible but I miss Bennett also. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily. I pray for God to carry your through your pain each day! God Bless!

  13. May 12- When I went to bed last night, God placed you on my heart; when I awakened you were there again. I don’t know your specific need today, but you are in my prayers. I lost my preacher husband over 8 years ago and there are still days that are filled with his memories-joys and sorrows. I know you will never lose the love you had for Bennett. May we keep him in our hearts.

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