When the Burden of Grief Makes Gratitude Harder

Thank you for your prayers concerning the tragedy I wrote about in last week’s post. We appreciated it so much! Though Tad opens his eyes, he is not allowed company right now. All the nurse would tell our son is that he gets very agitated when he gets visitors, and that’s not good for him. So we don’t know too many details of his condition, but we are so afraid he will have some lasting brain damage. We continue to pray for his healing.

Yesterday morning was a funeral for a young husband and father, only 33 years old. Three small children, 5-year-old twin boys and a 3-year-old girl, will not grow up with their devoted dad. The wife is a granddaughter of the couple that live across the hall from us.

The day after my neighbor heard about the loss of a granddaughter’s husband, she had to take her husband to hospice because of cancer.

Do you ever get overwhelmed by all the suffering and death there is in this world? It’s hard, isn’t it?

I know some of you readers are personally dealing with the death of family or friends only recently and will be experiencing your first Thanksgiving and Christmas without them. It will be so difficult to have missing places among you. May God give you strength!

There are others of you whose loss I don’t know about, whether a loved one, a relationship, or a loss of who you really are.

Maybe you have no family to share these days with. Or your families are so dysfunctional that it devastates you and fills you with anxiety to get together.

Whatever your loss and however alone or misunderstood you may feel, I am so sorry. But infinitely more sorry than I am is our God who knows, cares, and understands. Even when grief clouds our vision and it’s hard to grasp that truth, it is still the truth. Even when life changes drastically for us, He never changes. He is faithful. Even if we sometimes have a hard time being grateful, we are still precious to Him and He will never leave us.

Someday when we can look back to the times of great sorrow, we will see one set of footprints in the sand. It was in those times that He carried us. Thank You, God, for Your unconditional love, Your never-ending compassion, and Your unchanging faithfulness!

“Because of the Lord’s
great love we are not consumed,

    for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

I hope to be back here the first Tuesday of December.

Footprints In the Sand
by Leona Lewis

28 thoughts on “When the Burden of Grief Makes Gratitude Harder

  1. I’m sorry you’ve been faced with so many tragedies in your community, Trudy! Each one is hard individually but knowing so many people that are hurting all at once can be overwhelming. Continuing to pray for healing for Tad. It is so comforting to know that God walks with us through those times. I like the song you shared – I have heard the footprints poem before but the song I new to me. I hope you and your family know Gods love and peace this Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers, Lesley. I just don’t know how we could get through life without God walking with us. This morning God reminded me to keep holding onto His hand in the darkness and I don’t need to understand all the sorrow and death around us. The song is new to me, too. I was looking for one related to the poem and found it. There’s so much comfort in it, isn’t there? May we keep clinging to the hand of our Best Friend and Rescuer!

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  2. Such overwhelming grief in your life right now, Trudy, but you’ve grasped the most important element in it all – God is there, ever and always. May His comfort and love surround you and yours with peace and assurance. Blessings, dear friend, and know I will keep praying!

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    1. Yes, Lynn, holding onto the truth is what helps us navigate the sorrows of life. Our neighbor did pass on last night. The last time I talked with him, he said, “I want to go home!” Blessings and hugs to you, too! May we keep holding on to the Truth!

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  3. Oh Trudy, I am so sorry that you are carrying so many burdens of sorrow for such dear hearts close to you. Those griefs can feel so overwhelming. But thank you for the comfort that you have shared with your loved ones, and with us too. This touched me so much: “But infinitely more sorry than I am is our God who knows, cares, and understands.” He truly feels and weeps with us, just as Jesus did at Lazarus’s tomb. We are never alone, no matter what it may feel like. I am so grateful for your kind and loving heart, Trudy. May you have a blessed break over the next few weeks. Love and Hugs to you! xoxo

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    1. Thank you for your kind compassion, Bettie. Yes, Jesus truly feels and weeps with us. That’s such a comfort, isn’t it? It’s so hard for me to know anyone is suffering, including you. I have a problem of holding onto the burdens of those who are hurting. I feel so helpless and wish I could take away their pain. But God is gently nudging me to trust Him more, not only with my own burdens, but with other people’s burdens. Also with the plan He has for their lives. Love and hugs to you, too! May we together rest in the arms of the One who loves us and weeps with us!

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      1. Oh dear Trudy, your prayers and love for me are such a special gift! Yes, I join in with your prayers to trust Him more with all of these burdens for those we care about. That is where we will find our true rest. He loves us so much! May I keep my eyes on Him to see more of Him there. Blessings and Love, xoxo

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  4. Thank you for this, Trudy. I just read in your response to Lynn that your neighbor passed away last night … I will be praying for you as you look for ways to encourage his wife. What a blessing to remember that God’s mercies are new every morning. Thanksgiving hugs to you, my friend.

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    1. Thank you for your continuing prayers and your Thanksgiving hugs, Lois. I went across the hall this morning and two of the children were with Marlys, my neighbor. The son was at his son-in-law’s funeral yesterday. We got to talking about the unfeeling things people can say, those Christian cliches that don’t help at a time like this. He said one that really bothered him is, “Be strong.” He said he didn’t want to right now. He was so worried about his daughter and little ones. Now he lost his dad, too. Then someone came to him and said, “I don’t know what to say.” He told them that was just the right thing to say. Thanksgiving hugs to you, too! May God hold you up as your heart aches for your missing parents! May we cling to the truth that God’s mercies are still new every morning!

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  5. Trudy, I am so sorry for all you are going through, you and your grandson and the families are in my prayers. Thank you for shining His light and reminding us that we are gently carried by Him in all of our sorrows – such a beautiful image. I pray you are able to rest in Him, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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    1. Thank you for your prayers, Michelle. And your kind words. Yes, we are gently carried by Him. I hope you have a wonderful, resting-in-Him Thanksgiving as well! May we let go of anything that is of ourselves and keep our eyes on our Savior and Provider!

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  6. Dear Trudy,
    Your last posts on Freed to Fly have helped us. In the last couple of weeks we have lost a first cousin and a brother-in-law. Both were our age; both believers, for which we are grateful.
    Thank you for your reminders of Who God is!
    Love, Wilma & Charlie

    Sent from my iPhone

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    1. Oh Wilma, I’m so sorry for your losses. I’m grateful, too, they were both believers, but it still leaves such gaping holes. May you feel God carrying you through! I’m glad the reminders of Who God is helped you. When I write, I’m trying to convince myself, too. May we cling to the truth of Who God is and learn to more deeply trust His plan! Love to you, too!

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  7. Continuing to pray for Tad to receive full healing. How gut-wrenching this is for all of you. 😦 Yes, the sorrows of this world seem so many. I’m currently awaiting news of a friend’s scan to see if her breast cancer is gone. We hope to hear this afternoon an all-clear. Sometimes I can let the worries of the world bring me down. I’m glad to read posts like yours to remind me otherwise that God knows and cares about each burden.

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    1. Thank you for your continued prayers, Lisa. I’m so sorry about your friend. I hope and pray the cancer is gone and will never come back! I so identify with letting the worries of the world bring you down. Me, too. When I write here, I’m trying to convince myself, too, that God knows and cares about each burden. But it’s another thing to embrace that truth with our hearts, isn’t it? It’s a continuing struggle to fix my eyes on God’s character, not on all the troubles of those around me and in this world. May God give us grace to unload all those burdens to Him and trust His plan!

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    1. Thank you, Valerie, for your caring and prayers. Also for the song link. I am familiar with it, but I haven’t heard it for a long time, so I loved being reminded of it. I just can’t imagine the pain of its author losing six children to a sudden illness. May we trust our Grace-Giver who alone can get us through suffering and loss in this life!

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  8. Trudy, I’m sorry you are in a season surrounded by loss right now. It must be soul-deep wearying. It does wear one down. I know a number of people who are facing “firsts” without loved ones this season, and my heart grieves for them. I’m so thankful that the Lord’s love and presence is always with us . . . even when we can’t see Him or feel Him. My heart and prayers go to you and those you’ve shared about, friend. Sending you a tight hug right now.

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    1. Thank you for your caring and prayers, Jeanne. May God give you and your family strength and comfort for your recent loss, too. I love this truth you share here – “I’m so thankful that the Lord’s love and presence is always with us . . . even when we can’t see Him or feel Him.” Amen! Even when we can’t see or feel Him! I will keep that in mind this Thanksgiving week. Thank you! Our grandson got to see his friend! Yesterday he showed us a video of his friend walking between his parents out of ICU to another room! Thank You, God! He still doesn’t talk, but it may because he just had jaw surgery. He did stretch his hand out to our grandson in acknowledgment. We are filled with gratitude for some progress. I’m sending a tight hug back to you! May we hold onto that amazing truth that God’s love and presence is always with us, no matter what!

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  9. Trudy, you have such a caring, tender and compassionate heart. No wonder it feels weighed down and torn apart with the sadness and sorrow that surrounds you and your community. If we simply read the daily newspaper headlines it can be enough to make us upset, frustrated, despondent or sad. There is a huge burden of grief and pain in this world. A seemingly immovable mountain of it. And we feel the sting of it.
    Yet you have succeeded in turning our sad thoughts toward the One who sits beside all fretful souls, shines His light, offers hope, lifts us up, heals our pain, walks with us when we are wounded and hurting, befriends us when we feel lonely or lost, and accompanies us through episodes of darkness.
    Thank you for sharing these positive, encouraging thoughts. May your Thanksgiving Day bring you a fresh oasis of peace. And may your community be upheld by the prayers still being offered here by us for Tad and others touched by loss. Blessings and love. xo ❤

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and continued prayers, Joy. Yes, there is a “seemingly immovable mountain” of grief and pain in this world. 😦 It can be overwhelming, can’t it? I’m still in the learning process of releasing all those burdens into God’s hands. Last week when I felt so overwhelmed and sobbed it out before Him, He reminded me that I hang on too much to the burdens instead of releasing them to Him and trusting His plan. Then He whispered, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” He alone is our hope and never-failing comfort, isn’t He? Blessings and love to you, too! May we cling to “the One who sits beside all fretful souls, shines His light, offers hope, lifts us up, heals our pain, walks with us when we are wounded and hurting, befriends us when we feel lonely or lost, and accompanies us through episodes of darkness!” (You always have such heartfelt way with words, Joy. Thank you.)

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    1. Thank you, Linda. The details of this tragedy was in the post prior to this one. Our grandson’s friend, Tad, was critically injured in an accident. The friend who was driving, an only child, was killed. Tad is now in rehab now and is walking. 🙂 Thank You, God! He still doesn’t talk, but they haven’t removed the trach from his throat yet. May our hearts soak in the wonder of Christmas love this season and always!

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