I never knew my oldest sister.
My parents were still newlyweds when they got pregnant with their first baby. They were living in Vancouver, working hard although struggling to feel secure enough to take care of a baby; yet it didn’t stop their joy when they knew they were expecting their first child. They spent 9 months planning, hoping and dreaming with some fear and a lot of excitement. And then… the worse kind of pain a parent can ever feel came abruptly into their lives. My dear sister was stillborn. And my parents went home from the hospital with empty arms and a broken heart.
And I can’t even imagine the immeasurable pain they felt. Their lives were covered in loss.
Loss is an overwhelming emotion… and a helpless one. We cannot control what is happening around us and that is nothing but fearful. There is an ache, hurt and pain that will inevitably be there… and most likely will always be there.
And yet in the midst of loss, there can always be hope.
I used to work for a wish-granting organization; it was a beautiful gift to makes dreams come true for precious children facing life-threatening medical conditions. But these kids and their families gave me a better gift as they taught me a valuable lesson: there is always hope. They would never cry or complain. They were brave. They were strong. They walked in courage. And they always held on to hope.
My dear friend, loss may be heavy on your heart today. You may have had the loss of a job, the loss of a home, the loss of a marriage, the loss of a loved one. Let loss be part of your story but don’t let loss be your life. There is always hope. There is hope this pain will be used to help comfort another set of sorrow. The loss you are going through now will some day be the hands and feet of your story; it will be the extension of your life to those who will walk the same painful path of grief you now face. You will be able to tell them they are brave. You will be able to tell them they are strong. You will be able to tell them they will walk in courage. You will be able to tell them to always hold on to hope.
You will show them that God always makes all things work together for good. You will show them there is comfort inside the loss.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NLT
My parents named my sister Sherry Michelle. They never got to hold her. But they never forgot her. Every year in November my mom would quietly say, “Today is your sister Sherry’s birthday.” She would look sad and yet smile at the same time; Sherry brought her joy. My dad would tell me that through discouraging times he would think of Sherry, he would think of her encouraging him on saying, “It’s okay Dad. You will get through this.” He would say these words with eyes bright yet clouded with some tears; Sherry brought him hope. And today as I think of those who sit grieving, I am reminded of my sister who still teaches lessons to my heart; Sherry brings me comfort.
Today, as we start a new morning, my prayers will be with those going through a season of loss. And my prayer will be that you will sense His peace and it will cover you in comfort as you hold on to hope.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~ Romans 15:13 ESV