Grief comes to all of us. My friend Yvonne Ortega has had her share. Within seven months she lost two aunts, her mother, and her only child, Brian, who had just finished college and planned to marry. Her new book Moving from Broken to Beautiful® through Grief” walks us through the questions and anger to find God’s comfort and peace and a beautiful life of service.
By Yvonne Ortega
Grief leaves a hole in your heart wider than the trunk of a California redwood tree.
In the first month after my son’s death, I felt like a robot going through the motions of existing.
“God, where were you when my son was gasping for air and died? Why didn’t you stop it from happening? How could you take my son so soon?” I asked one question after another without waiting for an answer. I looked toward the sky, fell on the floor in a fetal position, and sobbed. I cried until I thought I couldn’t possibly have any tears left to shed, and yet more came.
“I want answers, God. Please give me answers.
I looked at Psalm 139:16. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Please give yourself permission to grieve the loss of your loved ones, as I did. When special events or holidays come along, keep tissue on hand and grieve…allow your tears to flow to help you heal. If you hold them in, one day when you least expect it, they will gush. And they may gush over something unrelated to the loss of your loved ones.
Regret is one of the common emotions in the grief process. I tortured myself with regret over the times I spoke harshly to my son when I shouldn’t have or when I spanked him. If only I hadn’t done this or that. If only I had been a better parent and shown him how much I loved him, maybe he wouldn’t be dead.
Life is hard and sometimes seems unfair.Life is hard and sometimes seems unfair (Yvonne Ortega). Click To Tweet
But God is faithful, and he will show himself faithful to you. He will strengthen and protect you from the Evil One.
I give God all the glory for my recovery from grief. I keep a gratitude journal and thank him daily for all the blessings he brings my way. Each day I tell God, “I want to do what you want me to do. I want to embrace the opportunities you give me and live life to the fullest.”
How will you grow through grief? Because of your losses, what mission or purpose will motivate you? What legacy will you leave to make the world a better place?
If I hadn’t lost two aunts, my mother, and my only child within seven months, in addition to going through the shattered dreams of divorce and breast cancer, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Because of those losses, I became kinder, more compassionate, and more patient. I became more willing to share my thoughts and feelings.
I grew in my faith because I claimed God’s precious promises in the Bible.I grew in my faith because I claimed God’s precious promises in the Bible (Yvonne Ortega). Click To Tweet
I would say, “God, your Word says . . . I’m counting on you to keep your word.” Sometimes I would tell God, “Your Word says . . . I’m telling everyone about that promise, and I’m counting on you to show up and show off. You don’t want to look bad, do you?”
Just as I found purpose and direction in my life after my losses, so can you.
(From Moving from Broken to Beautiful® through Grief used by permission.)
© Yvonne Ortega
Have you experienced grief? Please comment on how the Lord brought you through sorrow. And share this with a friend who needs comfort.
Yvonne Ortega is a speaker, author, speaking and writing coach, counselor, and teacher. She holds a Master of Education in counseling. She’s a licensed professional counselor, licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner, and clinically certified domestic violence counselor. She survived and thrived after breast cancer, domestic violence, divorce, and multiple family losses. Her passion is helping others move from broken to beautiful despite their losses. Her latest book is part of her Moving from Broken to Beautiful® series. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.