Experiencing Loss

“Embrace your grief.  For there, your soul will grow.” – Carl Jung

“There is no great loss without some small gain.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Megan Devine once wrote, “There are losses that rearrange the world, deaths that change the way you see everything, and pain that transports you to an entirely different universe.”

At the beginning of April, I lost my brother – a loss that has rearranged my world in just about every aspect you can imagine.  It’s hard enough to lose your only brother, but when that devastating loss triggers several other major changes in your life, the loss magnifies to a whole different level.

I’ve experienced loss to varying degrees in my life, but never at this kind of scale or volume and never with so much of it to absorb all at once.  It indeed has transported me to what seems like an entirely different universe – a world that is nothing close to what I’ve recently been living or experiencing.

Have you ever experienced loss at such an overwhelming level?  How did you cope with the accompanying change, the tremendous grief, and the painful emotions that surfaced?

Loss has consumed my thoughts lately.  Here are a few things that have come to my own mind as a result:

Loss Recalibrates Our Priorities

“Grief is in two parts.  The first is loss.  The second is the remaking of life.” – Anne Roiphe

There is something about loss that has a way of cleansing our thought process – causing us to reevaluate our actions and priorities moving forward.  Think for a moment about the beauty found in this type of reawakening.  It can bring deeper meaning to loss – positively turning it into a life-changing form of redirection.

My recent losses have caused me to see how some things are more important than others – a clarity that unfortunately escapes us when life is predictable and filled with routine.

Is my time being spent on things that matter?  What are the top priorities in my life and how do my behaviors match those priorities?  What changes can I make to recalibrate my actions in a way that better aligns with my destiny and purpose?

Loss Amplifies the Importance of Love

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.  All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. – C.S. Lewis

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” – 1 John 4:18 ESV

“Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three things remain:  faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV

One thing that has become so clear for me is the profound love that is found within loss.  I have experienced this love through my friends and family in ways too many to list!  Without their love and concern, I don’t think I could have faced the loss and accompanying change alone.

I love how Helen Keller reminds us that loss cannot separate us from anything or anyone we have loved deeply.  Loss ignites loving memories that will always be a part of us!  By focusing on love versus loss, we can laugh and smile in all we have experienced and have yet to experience with loved ones 😊

Grief has a way of igniting fear.  Loss can be frightening, especially when we focus our attention on the emptiness and deficiency that comes with it.  The recent loss I’ve experienced has come with its share of anxiety and uncertainty.

But when we learn to view loss through the lens of love, it casts out any fear!  When we see loss within the context of God’s great love for us, then anything we lose is gain.  Our loved ones are in God’s loving presence and care.  We can rest assured that all things are working together for good (Romans 8:28)!

Loss is Never Permanent

“Everything is perfect and nothing is permanent.” –  Dharma Mittra

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:18 NASB

The mortal, tangible losses we experience are never permanent within the context of our eternal spirituality.  Loss can easily pull us toward an earthly, temporal viewpoint of life.  I have found myself recently clinging to the idea that changes brought about by loss seem too insurmountable – permanently changing all aspects of my life moving forward.

The truth is we are eternal spirits made in the image of Almighty God.  We live far beyond any loss we experience.  Our loved ones not only live on in our loving memories, but they also live in the eternal presence of God in the ages to come.  We too will experience this infinite joy – making our losses in this life minor and of no consequence in the long run.

Remember…. Everything is perfect and nothing is permanent 😊

May your losses in this life bring about fresh priorities – recalibrating your behaviors toward ones that are filled with destiny and purpose. 

I pray you view them through the lens of love – causing you to interpret loss within the context of a merciful, gracious God who is working out all things for good – for both you and your loved ones.  Realize how anything you love you will never lose – remaining a part of you forever.

Finally, I hope you always look at loss from an eternal perspective – knowing in your heart that infinity holds no form of deficiency or defeat.

Thank you all for your prayers of love and support during this time!  May God bless each of you as you experience your own forms of loss – strengthening you with His unending grace and mercy my friends 😊

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