Fifteen months ago, I lost my only child.

Well, that is not entirely true. I know where she is. However, she is gone, nonetheless.

My daughter Lily Kelly, fifteen and budding with promise. Gone. In a single exhale.

One cannot project their last breath, the final moment here on earth. It comes as a surprise. Though promised of its day, we are always surprised by its arrival.

Her day — “too soon!” I debated with the Lord.

His response, “it was on time.”

Grief is an odd dichotomy. The wrestling between flesh and spirit. Though eternal beings, we are bound in the flesh for a time. Often, while in the body, we become blinded to the spirit. Though we grapple, struggling at first to keep sights finely gauged, we commonly lose view of the cause for which we once fought, conceding to the flesh once more after many bouts. Wearied from the crusade battling for our soul, our spiritual being nearly fades entirely as the flesh consumes it.

Some struggle longer. Others relinquish their soul with ease in exchange for temporal pleasures masking the pain, or simply yield with indifference.

Inflicting pain upon myself, I too have carelessly perforated the fortifications of my soul. Inviting invaders to penetrate the intricately walled treasure within through my thoughtless, shortsighted cowardice. Losing treasured parts of me, no – conceding to giving them, consenting others to take. Beit my time, my gifts, my flesh, wasted opportunities, and squandered youth – I am grieved in my loss.

Many are robbed, as others take what is not theirs, leaving vacant lifeless shells in the rubble along their path to ravenous self-gratification.  Grievous theft of their victims. Ambiguous loss leaving us to question, ‘is it my soul that was taken in accompaniment to the carnage?’ Unable to distinguish any division.

Regardless the cause of one’s grief, we are all afflicted by its blight. Loss of any kind debilitates our cognition.

My grief cripples me.

The vacancy where once my child basked in generous bliss, now echoes torrential. The struggle to view what is beyond the flesh, fatigued in cavernous void, wreaks havoc on my faculties. Often winning, for a time, my flesh weakens, and sorrow consumes my every cell. In moments too riddled with anguish to carry on, I collapse under the weight too great for my frame to bear.

I cry out to the Lord in my pain;

“I need to see You. Show Yourself to me. Reassure me that she is with You, that I will see her again. I need to know she is safe, that she is Home.

Carry me God. I beg of You to birth peace within me, bring soothing comfort and fresh joys. These things can come only from the Spirit, gifted from You.

I need You. My pain is too great to bear in this vessel alone, I need You.”

And He gently reminds me;

“all her days were written in My book and planned before a single one of them began.” [from Psalm 139:16 HCSB] I brought her Home right on time. Trust Me in this.

Dear child, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you [and carry you] with My righteous right hand.” [Isaiah 41:10 HCSB]

“Do this one thing: Forget what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, pursue as your goal the prize promised by Me, your heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” [from Philippians 3: 13-14 HCSB]

“For it is a gracious thing, when, mindful of Me, you endure sorrows while suffering unjustly. But when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in My sight.” [from 1 Peter 2:19, 20b ESV]

So, “come back to Me, your God, and obey Me with your whole heart and soul according to everything that I command you today, God, your God, will restore everything you’ve lost; He’ll have compassion on you; He’ll come back and pick up the pieces” [from Deuteronomy 30:3-5 MSG]

So, I concede to the Truth I had lost sight of.

I am not alone. He is with me.

He cares for me and will not leave me.

Nothing has been missed by Him, He sees it all.

He will make right what has been wronged and make whole what has been broken.

I can trust Him in this.

Good Grief

By Faith Zember

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