Post by: Karina Allen
I feel as though I and several friends have gone through a season of loss of varying degrees. I, personally, suffered a great deal of loss in Baton Rouge’s devastating flood last August. I, along with countless others, are still trying to recover. I lost my vehicle and most of my furniture. God has been faithful, but I am still recovering.
I have friends who are dealing with loss of their health and loss of their jobs and loss of parents and loss of dreams.
One dear friend recently suffered a miscarriage with her second child. I can’t even begin to understand what that loss feels like.
Loss is so hard on so many different levels. It is hard to walk through it, but it also hard to walk with others through it.
How do we navigate it? How do we walk out loss and healing like Christ?
Loss is loss. And it all requires grieving.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:1,4
My loss is not the same as my sweet friend’s miscarriage, but they are both losses. God cares about both. He cares because what concerns us, concerns Him. Losses hurt and they hurt and they hurt some more. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to not be okay. I’s okay to grieve and to cry and to mourn. It’s necessary for healing to come. God can handle our tears. In fact, Psalm 56:8 tells us that God bottles every one of our tears.
Weep with those who weep.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15
When I think about Job’s friends, I get frustrated. I think they failed big time when they had the opportunity to be the best friends ever. Instead of simply sitting and listening and praying, they gave unsolicited opinion after unsolicited opinion. I tend to be a fixer and I am super practical. I usually give godly counsel followed up by some sort of application. I am a good listener, however. My prayer is to become better at giving the gift of presence, to sit and listen and cry.
Healing takes time.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
When people are grieving, they don’t want or need quick and easy fixes to their pain. They just want to know their loved ones are there, that they are praying and sympathizing with them. They just need us to be with them…no advice, no solutions, no suggestions. We don’t tend to be people who deal well with pain. It’s awkward and messy and uncomfortable. We don’t often know what to do with it. Really, the Lord simply calls us to sit in it with others.
I’ve also noticed, we want the pain to easily dissipate. We don’t want it to last too long. For some odd reason, we believe that pain has an expiration date, but it doesn’t. The grief associated with the loss of a job may not last as long when a new one comes along. But, the loss of a child may last for months, even years.
My friend Gayla’s husband, Steve is battling Cancer. They are young with 3 young kids. I have committed to be of use to their family in whatever way, for however long is needed. I babysit. I clean their house. I do their laundry. I even help her grade her 4th grade class’s test papers. I don’t know how long this battle will last. We are believing for a miracle. All I know is that they are my brother and sister in Christ. I am called to carry their burdens, even when it’s hard or inconvenient or sad.
Let us be people…
who practice the gift of presence.
who mourn with no easy fixes.
who are in it for the long haul.
Karina is a devoted follower of Jesus from New Orleans, Louisiana, but has made her home in Baton Rouge for the past 15 years. She spends much of her time leading worship at church, writing, reading, dancing and mentoring the next generation. She has a huge heart for serving and missions. She is an advocate for the local church especially the one that she attends, Healing Place Church. She also enjoys working out, traveling, photography and going to concerts/conferences.
Karina believes that every woman has a God-sized dream on the inside of them and it is up to an encouraging community to help nurture that dream. Her goal in writing is to see women get a revelation of God’s Word and discover how to apply it to their lives in order to walk in freedom and live the life that God intended. But the most important thing to her is to live out the call of Isaiah 26:8…For His Name and His Renown are the desire of our souls! You can connect with her at “For His Name and His Renown.”