How Loss Has Changed Me
Years ago, I sat with a friend whose dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. She was scared and crying. I remember feeling so helpless and unhelpful. With nothing to say, I just sat next to her as she cried. I couldn’t relate and didn’t understand her pain. Here is how loss changed me…
At the time, I was in graduate school for my master’s in counseling and I had no words. I felt like an idiot.
As much as I hated how awkward I felt, I was blessed to not know that pain…
Death was the topic I was most afraid of in counseling. I didn’t want to say something insensitive but I also didn’t want to say anything at all. So what does one say?!
Years later, I miscarried.
Then, I understood her pain. I could relate to all of the confusion and depths of sadness.
How Loss Changed Me
Unfortunately, that same sweet friend lost her brother unexpectedly not that long ago. When I saw the news, I cried. It felt like I was suffering the loss right along with her even though I barely knew her brother. But, she was like a sister to me in college and we had always maintained a close relationship.
I realized at that moment how loss changed me; I now understand empathy.
God grows us in ways we don’t understand sometimes. He closes a door or He allows us to endure loss and through it we grow to be more like Him. At the time, we are unhappy or devastated by the course of His plans but ultimately we are humbled and have the opportunity to grow in righteousness.
Without that devastating blow to our family, I still wouldn’t have been able to relate to her. I wouldn’t be able to pray with her in a personal way that shows her Jesus’ love through me.
Or anyone else for that matter…
Empathizing after loss
I realized after my miscarriage that God had given me an opportunity. After sin entered the world, God told us that pain and suffering would be part of our lives here on earth. However, with His help, I can use my pain and suffering to help further His Kingdom.
I knew that I needed to turn it into a blessing for someone else. And I wasn’t about to let Satan pollute my life with loss. So, I wrote about my pain to help other women going through a miscarriage feel normal, understood and find Christ in their grief journey.
With Gods inspiration, I made a Miscarriage Journal for moms to share their pain and encourage them to find what God is asking them to do with their pain.
The Bible has great Scriptures for finding hope after loss, you can find 14 Bible Verses for Loss here.
What to say to someone who is struggling with loss
Maybe you’re like I used to be and unsure of what to say to a friend or family member struggling with loss, so here is a short little list of things that will offer comfort.
Offer your Sympathy. Even if you’re feeling like an awkward turtle, “I’m sorry” is always an appropriate response when someone is struggling with a loss. You can read more about the grieving process in this article from Focus on the Family.
Pray. Let them know you will be praying for them as they grieve because someone suffering a loss just wants an ounce of peace in their life again.
Pray they draw toward the Lord, not away. Satan wants to prey on the heartbroken so they feel alone and ignore/reject God’s presence.
Near [is] Jehovah to the broken of heart, And the bruised of spirit He saveth. Psalm 34:18
Be willing to listen. Let them know they can fall on you to vent. People suffering a loss feel alone and need to know there is support so they don’t close off and isolate. Satan’s grand plan… God made us to desire community. We are weak to Satan’s lies and temptation when we isolate.
Free Gift for those coping with a loss
Another way to encourage your friend is to share prayer prompts. These 7 Free Praying the Promises Printable prompts are cards that have a different promise from God and a prayer on each card. So, they can sprinkle them throughout their house or work. Then, they will have them where they need them!
Already a subscriber? Click here to download your printable now!
How Loss Changed Me
If you or a friend are suffering through a great loss, ask God His purpose. He will show you how to use it for good. Your experience with loss will change you and you can be a huge help to someone else who is grieving!
Safeguard your heart ♡
Thanks for this, Jenna. I walked through this same loss, and it really deepened my ability to share empathy and walk through grief with others. God uses it all – especially the parts of our lives that are the most difficult. Thanks for sharing these honest words…
Thank you for sharing and stopping by, Stacey! <3
This message is timely. I have a brother facing a divorce. A Christian sister in cancer treatments. My daughter’s friend and her husband had to deliver the baby who had already passed. I could go on and on. I have simply prayed and been present. That’s all I can do. My daughter is expecting a child in April but the first baby would have been 2 months old this week. Yuk! Only Emmanuel can help.
Amen Calvonia… Amen. <3
Tough going through loss!
These words readily come to mind, Empathy, love and gratitude for the blessings even in the midst of loss.
Great message. I have long said that everything happens for a reason — it just may not be our reason. God uses our experiences to grow others. Yes, we need empathy.
That’s a great saying, Elaine.
Beautiful words, Jenna. I am so sorry for the pain that you and your friend have experienced, but I love your response to it all. God can surely use it all for His good and glory and for that I will forever be thankful.
Wow such a deep topic. You discussed it so sensitively and wisely. Thank you for yiur openness and vulnerability. This post will help a lot of people xx
Thank you very much, Hope!