Our youngest son, Joel, will turn 29 on Saturday. It will be his 9th birthday in Heaven. We are so proud of how he has lived his life for the Lord and can’t wait to see his beaming face again in Heaven and to hear about all the adventures and people he is now enjoying.
I have a long list of authors, artist and musicians to meet and thank in Heaven. I can see Joel walking arm in arm with me, showing me off to all his new friends, introducing me to saints who have helped me see Jesus with eyes of faith and telling them, “This is my mom, for whom we prayed. She persevered until the end.”
My hope in Jesus, His work on the cross for us, His presence with me and His imminent return is what helps me through each day. It takes perseverance to hold on to faith on this fallen planet. In the midst of hard as I have turned to God, I have found Jesus’ presence with me to be sweet. He is patient and kind and my daily prayer is to see, love and imitate Him more. Before I can be kind to others, I must receive His kindness and be kind to myself.
I wrote this list of “Ways I am Kind to My Heart” hoping that it would give someone permission to be kind to theirs as well.
☐ I guard my thoughts. (Philippians 4:6-8)
☐ I guard my heart. (Proverbs 4:23)
☐ I turn my heart towards Jesus, the Source of all Light and Love.
☐ I pour out all my thoughts and heart in lament to God in a journal.
➭ Lament held in my heart can quickly turn to bitterness. Pouring it out makes room for God’s love to flow into my bitter cup.
☐ I allow Jesus, Man of Sorrows, into my grief to sit with and spend time being sad with me.
☐ I ask Holy Spirit to lead me into all Truth.
➭ I don’t want to spend a second grieving because I have believed a lie. I have plenty of grieving to do without believing a lie. The devil is a liar. I am his enemy. I put on God’s full armor and stand in faith. I submit myself to the God of all truth and shun all darkness and lies.
☐ I spend LOTS of time reading, meditating on and visualizing God’s Word.
☐ I surrender my will (fears, struggles, etc.) and choose to turn to God with trust.
○ James 4:7 So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.
☐ I pray all the time: often without words, with tears, groans and wailing. (Romans 8:26)
☐ I LEAN into Jesus. He carries me. (Isaiah 63:9)
☐ I remind myself who God is: Faithful, True, Light, Love, The Lamb Slain, My Hiding Place…
☐ I remember that things others intend for evil God intends for good. (Gen. 50:20, Ro. 8:28)
☐ I remember that all my pain and suffering is temporary because God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me. (John 16:33)
☐ I remember that all my suffering is creating a future glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
☐ I create an atmosphere of worship in my home and car by sending worshipers ahead of me into battle. (2 Chronicles 20:21)
☐ I give myself lots of GRACE by abiding in God’s love and receiving His grace.
➭ I cannot love others unless I have first allowed God to fill up my cup with His love.
☐ I refuse to condemn myself. (Romans 8:1)
☐ I quickly repent when convicted of sin then I receive God’s forgiveness and grace. (1 John 1:9)
☐ I give myself lots of time.
○ I honor the way God created me by taking time to grieve and process.
○ I take time to honor my son in Heaven.
○ Time to look at photos and remember.
○ Time for Sabbath. ○ Time to rest and recover.
○ Time to be creative. ○ Time to relax.
○ Time allowing God to restore my soul.
○ And time enjoying the joy God gives me.
☐ I remember that suffering is to be expected in this fallen world and ask God to use me to help alleviate the suffering of others.
☐ I tell myself the truth.
☐ I affirm who I am in Christ leaning on His great and precious promises.
☐ I have prepared mantras of truth that I use when battling doubt, fear, loneliness, etc.
☐ I practice gratitude. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
➭ I am thankful for little and big things.
○ I am thankful for my loved ones.
○ I am thankful that they are in God’s hands.
○ I am thankful that I have eternity to look forward to with my loved ones in Heaven.
☐ I think on good things. (Philippians 4:6-8)
☐ I walk every day. Fresh air, sunshine, movement; so many benefits.
☐ I spend time in nature.
☐ I cuddle with my dogs.
☐ I stop and smell the roses.
☐ I fellowship with believers.
☐ I spend time in solitude.
☐ I eagerly look forward to Jesus’ return and going Home to Heaven.
☐ I do all these things with intention to be kind to my grieving heart.
Jude 1:20-21 But you beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith, pray in Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God while waiting expectantly for the compassion of our Lord Jesus to bring you eternal life.
James 1:4 So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
1 Peter 1: 13 Therefore prepare your minds for action. Be sober-minded. Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with God’s promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
How are you kind to your grieving heart? Please, share 💕
In His Love,
RHC GriefShare facilitator
GriefShare is a 13 week video seminar and support group offering help and encouragement for those grieving the death of a friend or loved one.
Learn more about our groups at: http://www.redlandhills.org/griefshare/
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Love this. Melanie DeSimone shared on FB. I, too, have a son in Heaven. How do I follow your blog? I marked below to have your posts sent by email.