I was a widow at 53. My precious first husband, Jim, developed cancer and died before he could see his 60th birthday.
In the days and weeks surrounding his passing, the Lord sent several to minister to me. All of their kindnesses were of comfort, but it was the voices of other widows, my sisters in Christ, that spoke with the greatest volume. Knowing that they had suffered similar grief and loss elevated their voices above others. They had survived what to me felt unsurvivable. I looked to them as a roadmap, as I searched for hope and a way of escape from the unending heartache.
Successfully navigating the waters of great difficulty gives us a voice to those who similarly suffer. Experience carries more weight than mere information ever could.~Julie Souza Bradley Lilly, contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships
Successfully navigating the waters of great difficulty gives us a voice to those who similarly suffer. Experience carries more weight than mere information ever could.We are never alone in our suffering. #VineWords #Grief #Wearenotalone #Comforted #Julie Souza Bradley Lilly Click To Tweet
We are never alone in our suffering. The Father intimately knows our grief. Through Jesus, He knows our pain, disappointment, and betrayal. And it is with great compassion that He longs to comfort us.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.~2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV
Cling to Him in your suffering, beloved. Listen intently for His comforting words. They come not from judgment, but compassion and love. He comes to the aid of widows. He is the Father to the fatherless. He is the mender of shattered families and the healer of broken hearts and bodies. He offers hope when all feels hopeless, and an unexpected doorway to joy in our mourning.
The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to … heal the brokenhearted.~Luke 4:18b NIV
Press into Him, seek Him, and somewhere along the way you will also find your voice of comfort to help others who hurt. Our brokenness and pain transform into strength and influence when we invite His strength into our weakness. Our test becomes our testimony and our grief a doorway to joy.
Have you grappled with grief and emerged stronger? Share your experience.
Heavenly Father, I hold me as Your daughter, for I am broken by grief. As You hold me, fill me to overflowing with Your peace. As I am being filled, help me to lavishly pour out upon others from your abundance, the comfort that You comfort me with. Help me to share the joy I have gained by being in Your presence.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Meet Our Contributor
JULIE SOUZA BRADLEY LILLY
Julie Souza Bradley Lilly is the writer of Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior and a self-professed chief-cook-and-bottle-washer at Gift of Thorns on Facebook.
She is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, and a contributing author for Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
When asked about who she is, Julie is quick to tell you that she is a worshipper, a servant, blessed wife, step-mom of four adult children, caregiver, retired chiropractor, writer and most-importantly, a forgiven daughter of God.
With thirty-plus years in healthcare, Julie is passionate about seeing the broken come to receive healing and find wholeness in right-relationship with the Creator. Through her own multiple injuries, PTSD, a traumatic brain injury and other health concerns, she has found the generosity of God to be true to His Word, in turning all things together for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
For those also entrusted with a thorn in the flesh, one of Julie’s greatest joys is to discover the Father’s hidden treasure tucked among the thorns. Julie shares that God is good and His mercies endure forever. It is Julie’s prayer that the body of believers will honor the Lord and encourage one another toward wholeness, spiritual growth, and mountain-moving faith.
For more encouragement visit Julie’s websites. At Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior, Julie shares encouraging articles with prayers. At Gift of Thorns, Julie shares powerful and life-changing input from writers who are passionate about pursuing God.
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