On Prayers and Grief

On this first Wednesday of September, I have a lot on my mind. I have many prayer requests and there are many people in need of healing, comfort, and so much more.  I have seen on the news that lives have been forever changed by Hurricane Dorian.

I cannot even imagine how the residents of the Bahamas are feeling today.  I would imagine devastated, shocked, gutted, and perhaps angered. They have to rebuild everything and make sure their loved ones are still alive.  My heart goes out to them and breaks for them.

In times of tragedy like this, I turn to prayer. Also in times of loss, need, and praise, I turn to prayer. I talk to my Savior about things on my mind and ask for healing, comfort, answers and things to happen. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.  And other times, there is waiting that must be done.

Two nights ago, I was mulling over this blog on answers to our prayers and how to write on this subject. I realized that some people may not like or agree with what I write.  I also realized that there are several answers that the Lord gives to our prayers — yes, no, wait a while.  I don’t know about you but some of those answers are hard to deal with.

Prior to Malachi’s death in 2016, we were praying for his healing. We prayed for him to be fine and for him to grow to be a fine young man. I dreamed about Ian and Malachi going to college together.  Sadly, that was not to be.  Seems the Lord had other things in mind.

Then, when Kirk was whisked off to the hospital on his last day, I prayed and prayed for him to wake up and be okay. That too, for reasons I still don’t understand, was not to be. It was merciful he was taken so quickly and painlessly without suffering (at least that I could tell). On the other hand, we didn’t have time to say goodbye.  And, that hurts.

Now, they are both in Heaven and part of the saints who have gone before us.  There is comfort in that.  There is comfort also in knowing that I will see them both again.  Still, I wish I could see them again here and give them both a hug.

Scripture states that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord who are called according to His purpose.  But, regarding Kirk’s sudden death, I have to say that I am not there yet.  I still have too many questions, too many doubts, and a lot of pain.  I can’t yet see that things will be good without him, just very different.

Because of my faith, I know the Lord is always faithful and is with me no matter what.  But at times, I want to scream at Him that I don’t want to feel what I am feeling, I don’t want this pain, and I don’t want the suffering that goes along with a loss. 

I then ask “why me?” when I should be asking “Why not me?”  After all, death is a part of life and the circle of life.  Birth, living, and dying are what everyone will go through.  We will all have to deal with loss, grief, pain, and many changes.

I was told once that we shouldn’t question God.  I do not agree with that.  I think He can handle my questions.  And, I am sure that He expects doubts and people having trouble with terrible things in their life.

I know that some pastors preach that everything is good and you will have abundant blessings when you are in God’s will.  Perhaps, but not always, so I have to disagree.  Terrible things can and do happen to everyone.  Pain that seems unbearable at times is part of life. And grief and any kind of loss or scare can take its toll and lead to doubts.  Despite all of that, the Lord is there.

The promise I grew up learning is that no matter what we are dealing with, the Lord is  there with us.  And we are taught in church to pray without ceasing.  I have tried to do more than I used to and am seeing what that power of prayer can be.  Still, I don’t always understand the answer.

For the past year, I have been helping to lead a prayer group of parents from our church.  We meet monthly to discuss things, share prayer requests, and pray together.  My praying out loud has improved and was something that used to really scare me.

For me, more than anything, this is a support group and a group to learn from.  All of us are on a journey with our children, just in different phases of it.  We can help each other, we can support each other, and we can lift each other up. This group and their children mean a lot to me.  Their concerns and struggles also mean a lot.  What we share remains among us.

I may sound like I’m rambling or doubting my faith. I don’t mean to.  Instead, I have been trying to make sense of the most pain and loss I have ever dealt with.  I have many comforts, those who are supportive and helpful, and that is great.  And yet, I know this won’t be the last time I deal with a painful loss.

I hope that just as my friends, family, and prayer group are helping me, I hope I can help someone else.  It would be nice if we could talk more about our losses and our grief.  It is a hard thing to do, but is important.

I will continue to pray.  I will also continue to try to accept the answers, even when they are those that I don’t want to hear.  I will try to be there to listen to others and share what I need as well.  And I will always love.

I hope that if you are grieving, you have someone to share with, a faith to rely on, and prayers.