Tag Archive | waiting on God

Grief: When No Closure Can Be Found

Going through grief is excruciating.

Having to go through a grief experience where there is no ability to have closure is terrible.

There have been grief experiences in my life where the grief had a beginning and an opportunity for closure. Then there were other grief experiences that were like a wild roller coaster ride that had no end. To be honest, I’ve been on two seemingly never ending roller coasters of grief the past 10 years and 3 1/2 years.

I’ve experienced just about every emotion known to mankind. And to be honest, some emotions weren’t the godliest. I’ve had to work through some extremely tough thoughts and emotions.

I’ve struggled and wrestled spiritually with God with many questions:

“Why would you allow this?”

“Why wouldn’t You prevent this?”

“Are You there…and do You truly care?”

“Will you please grant me a brand new season?”

Lots and lots of questions.

Ultimately, God doesn’t owe me answers to any of my questions. God is God…and I am not. He understands the entirety of situations…He knows the good that will eventually come out of the situations (Romans 8:28)…and the purpose for the situations, too. God understands what He is accomplishing through the tough situations and in every heart involved in these tough events.

These situations seemingly have no closure…and no possibility of closure.

One of these situations caused a dearly loved family member to become an atheist and several family members to drop out of church…which created even more heartfelt, agonizing questions from me to God.

I’ve thought about not only these two situations, but all of the situations I’ve experienced in life that I’d label “No closure grief events.” No closure grief events are tough events because it is very difficult to find any closure…the emotions that stem from them can eat you alive. They’re exceptionally tough because it takes a lot of faith to get through them.

Some of the most common No closure grief events are:

  • terminal illness
  • regrets you can’t make right
  • unspoken grief events
  • a devastating diagnosis
  • not getting to say “goodbye” to a loved one who died
  • when someone violates your trust
  • when a loved one attempts or commits suicide
  • when there is a major betrayal in a relationship
  • family, extended family, step-family, marital, or parent/child conflict…or conflict with any of these that began post-grief
  • separation or divorce – especially if it’s not wanted by one spouse
  • adultery
  • abortion
  • church hurt
  • church abuse
  • rejection or abandonment by a family member or loved one
  • situations of abuse – physical, emotional, spiritual, physical, or sexual
  • a job issue
  • not getting to say “goodbye” to a loved one who left
  • not getting to confront or make something right with someone who deeply hurt you
  • a situation where justice did not prevail
  • unfair life events
  • when someone mistreats you or lies about you
  • any situation where closure is difficult

So what can you do?

God has been teaching me so much these past few years. I haven’t enjoyed the lessons, but I sure have learned…and applied…some very valuable lessons and truths.

Have there been times I’ve wanted to quit? Oh yeah! Many.

Have I been bitter? For a season, I sure was! Absolutely.

Have I been tempted to be mad at God? Yes.

Have I wanted to speak about the situations and about my thoughts, heart, and opinions publicly? Definitely.

I think anytime you (or a loved one) have experienced a major grief event, especially a No closure grief event…emotions are sure to show up. Some emotions may even surprise you.

When there is no closure, the trick – and what is most needed – is to trust God and not our emotions…to believe God is sovereign in spite of what a situation looks like…to fully fall into God’s arms and realize He truly is good…to know and fully trust that God holds everyone accountable and no one gets away with anything – even if it appears there has been zero conviction or consequences.

Maybe you’re going through a “No closure grief event” right now. Maybe you’ve also pleaded with God for answers through many tears…and have even prayed throughout many months or years. Perhaps you feel like giving up.

I highly encourage you to never give up!

I highly encourage you to never fall away from your relationship with God!

One day, God will give you the gift of closure…the Bible promises it.

God doesn’t mind our questions and pleadings…His heart is big enough to take on our woundedness, sufferings, and hardships…and He truly and genuinely cares about every grief event and situation we go through.

We may not be able to find the closure we need…but God created our hearts – He fully knows and loves us. He will be making every wrong right. The situations we go through do not catch God by surprise. And He will never allow us to go through a situation unless He realizes the situation can be turned into something great. It may not happen overnight…it may even take years…but God can turn your worst events into something of great value.

Our job is to praise God through the storms we face…to deepen and prove our salvation is genuine and real…to love and forgive others…to live in peace…to embrace God, our grief, and our hardships…to learn through everything we face – the good and the bad…to love God with all of our heart and to sincerely rest in Him.

Today, lay down your toughest grief events – every grief experience – at God’s feet. Cast all your burdens and cares onto Him. Tell God you are choosing to trust Him with everything – especially the situations that are breaking your heart! Leave your hurts, heartaches, burdens, situations, disappointments, dreams, goals, emotions, and grief experiences with Him.

When the enemy reminds you of a No closure grief event, immediately take your thoughts and feelings to God! It is imperative that you talk through your feelings with God.

We may not be able to find closure in our present circumstances, but we can find closure through leaving our situations in God’s more than capable hands.

Seek God with all your heart! Pour out your heart to God as you spend time with Him today!

He loves you.

He truly cares.

Entrust your situation with Him and trust His great heart!

Gratitude & blessings,

Kim

©2017 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

For more encouragement:

❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

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Sometimes God Is Waiting On Us

In times of waiting on God, we eventually find out a harsh truth: We think we are waiting on God because we greatly want Him to change our circumstance, but we quickly find that waiting on God is not only to change our situation—God will ultimately use times of waiting on Him to deeply change us. 

He cares far more about our character, obedience, faith, and trust in Him than He cares about our immediate comfort or quickly granting our requests. 

Like a child begging through tears to get their way, a wise parent will use those times to train and mold the child’s character and heart first. Oftentimes, God does the same with us. 

Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life.Church once told a story about one of his children. His daughter was zip lining in a friend’s backyard and she smashed against a hard object upon landing. Craig had to take his daughter to the ER and the doctor had Craig hold his child down so she could receive the best treatment. Craig’s daughter looked bewildered and hurt because it appeared as though Craig was allowing her to be hurt…but what actually was happening was Craig was having to do what was in his daughter’s best interest so she could be helped and ultimately healed. 

Think about that…in times where we painfully cry out, “God…where are you??” as we look up hurt and bewildered—wrongfully believing God is allowing us great hurt, harm, and devastation—God may be in the middle of holding us down for our own wellbeing. 

It is VITAL for us to “be still and know that He is God.”

It is of the upmost importance to wait on Him.

God knows what is best and He sees the greater overall picture. 

Allow God to work out your situation in His way and His timing. 

While you are waiting, delight yourself in the Lord. Obey Him. Love Him. Be loyal to Him. Learn from Him.

He IS good and He IS faithful! 

He never desires to hurt you…He is always looking out for your best, wanting to help you. 

You are not being punished…He may be simply refining and purifying you at the present moment. He may even be in the process of deepening the life message He has for you.

Allow Him to completely refine your heart, character, and life in the time you are waiting for your trials to pass.

When we truly leave the outcome of a trial to God, He WILL have good come from it. Trust Him! 

Lookup: Isaiah 40:27-31, Micah 7:7, Psalms 33:20-22, Lamentations 3:25, Romans 8:28

(From the 2014 YouVersion Bible reading plan, Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships by Kim Niles)

©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!❤️

For more encouragement:

Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617 

FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

❤️

Why the delay, God?

Have you ever been in a tough situation where you’ve cried out to God…only to be met with silence?

Times like this can be mistaken for apathy, but nothing could be further from the truth.

To understand the way God works through situations, you have to understand God’s heart…a feat no one on earth can ever fully accomplish. His heart is good…His ways are perfect. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.

I once heard it said that our comprehension and ability to understand God would literally be like dipping a thimble into the ocean. The water in the thimble is our mind’s ability to wrap itself around knowing and understanding God compared to the overwhelming knowledge of God that is truly the ENTIRE ocean!

What if you find yourself going through excruciating heartache or grief…you’re seeking God with your whole heart to find an answer or some resolution for a tough challenge in life?

I HIGHLY encourage you to not give up! 

Sometimes God will ALLOW (allow, NOT cause) you to go through extreme and unfair situations because He knows the treasure and blessings He has in store for you after the storm has passed.

Sometimes, it can seem as though God isn’t dealing with someone or a situation. He may be giving the person a chance to do the right thing because of His great mercy…but God will even allow a person to continue on in their sin so that their wickedness will finally demand that they are disciplined.

It’s very important to realize this because it greatly helps us to understand why God sometimes doesn’t “instantly” help us…even if we are claiming scripture like crazy!

He’s looking at a MUCH bigger picture, the grand scheme of things, that focuses on EVERYBODY in a situation…even GENERATIONS…sometimes even people who haven’t even been born yet!

Trust God with whatever tough situation you are facing today, remove the “deadlines” you may have unintentionally placed on God, and allow Him to work throughout the entire situation.

Remember: He has the power to do more in a MOMENT than we could ever do in a LIFETIME!

God will never sacrifice what is best in the long term to make us feel better or more comfortable in the short term.
Although painful, disillusioning, and sometimes disappointing, God asks us to trust Him and His plans, not understand Him.💕

There are MANY stories in the Bible where people couldn’t initially see God’s plan—yet chose to trust and obey God regardless: Joseph with his brothers, Esther, Moses, Joseph & Mary, Jesus, the disciples, Paul, etc!

Think about the following scripture, as well as the consequences, had God stopped short and gave short term comfort vs the long term best:
After this, Abram had a vision and heard the Lord say to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I will shield you from danger and give you a great reward.” But Abram answered, “Sovereign Lord, what good will your reward do me, since I have no children? My only heir is Eliezer of Damascus. You have given me no children, and one of my slaves will inherit my property.” Then he heard the Lord speaking to him again: “This slave Eliezer will not inherit your property; your own son will be your heir.” The Lord took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and try to count the stars; you will have as many descendants as that.” Abram put his trust in the Lord, and because of this the Lord was pleased with him and accepted him. Then the Lord said to him, “I am the Lord, who led you out of Ur in Babylonia, to give you this land as your own.” But Abram asked, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that it will be mine?” He answered, “Bring me a cow, a goat, and a ram, each of them three years old, and a dove and a pigeon.” Abram brought the animals to God, cut them in half, and placed the halves opposite each other in two rows; but he did not cut up the birds. Vultures came down on the bodies, but Abram drove them off. When the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and fear and terror came over him. The Lord said to him, “Your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land; they will be slaves there and will be treated cruelly for 400 years. But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and when they leave that foreign land, they will take great wealth with them. You yourself will live to a ripe old age, die in peace, and be buried. It will be four generations before your descendants come back here, because I will not drive out the Amorites until they become so wicked that they must be punished.” When the sun had set and it was dark, a smoking fire-pot and a flaming torch suddenly appeared and passed between the pieces of the animals. Then and there the Lord made a covenant with Abram. He said, “I promise to give your descendants all this land from the border of Egypt to the River Euphrates, including the lands of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” (Genesis 15:1-21 GNB)

It’s interesting that the Bible makes it a point to share how the vultures came down but Abram (who would later become Abraham) chased them off. The same goes for our tough situations…something or someone will try to thwart God’s best for our lives, or will attempt to take our eyes off of God. We can be tempted to quit, or to think God isn’t listening or doesn’t care, but it is up to us to chase the temptation away. It’s our responsibility to love and obey God through hardships—and it’s God’s responsibility to see our situation faithfully through.

Today, have a heart to heart with God. Share your heart and tell Him everything you’re thinking, feeling, and going through. Ask Him to do a God-sized work in you and through you, and grant you the encouragement, help, and/or miracle you need.

Trust God today…obey Him…love Him…praise Him…allow Him to see you through!

Gratitude & blessings,

Kim

©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you found this post encouraging or helpful, please feel free to share it!

What to do while waiting on God? Listen to this song for encouragement: http://youtu.be/DoqbKyeKOBI

For more encouragement:

Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net~

Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites&nbsp

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617 

Waiting on God During Grief

One of the toughest aspects of grief is waiting. Waiting to feel relief. Waiting to feel better. Waiting for your broken heart to mend. Waiting to feel any sense of normalcy again.

Grief, in my opinion, is not just the death of a loved one. I think losing a loved one is definitely the greatest grief someone can go through for sure. But to me, grief is losing anyone or anything that meant the world to you….it is any situation that knocks the breath out of you. Any circumstance that causes your life to stop…and causes you to have to “wait.”

In the Bible, we are told to “wait on the Lord” several times.

I always assumed that “waiting on the Lord” meant being still. Almost doing nothing except for trusting God.

Then my thoughts dramatically changed…

At a grief group I lead, a few of us got on the topic of waiting on God…it was an excellent conversation that was very thought provoking.

What if waiting on God meant…literally waiting on God?

Allow me to explain…

The definition for waiting (on dictionary.com) is:

Waiting:
1. a period of waiting; pause, interval, or delay.
2. serving or being in attendance: waiting man; waiting maid; waiting woman.
3. in waiting, in attendance, as upon a royal personage.

Imagine you are a server and God came into your royal restaurant…He is your only table.

Would any of us truly be focused on anything that is outside of that royal restaurant?…Would we focus on what our family and friends are doing at the moment? Our finances or bills? Our grief or heartache? Any part of our future that we usually worry about?…Absolutely not. We’d be completely in awe of God. We’d want to fully serve Him, meet His needs, and please Him as we waited on Him.

Many times during grief, we have 100 things going through our minds all at once. It is very difficult to stay focused when you are in deep grief. This can cause worry, anxiety, depression, anger, and all the other negative emotions that grief brings to the surface.

It’s frustrating to want things to get better…yet not be in control…and having to wait on grief.

What if we switched our focus from waiting on grief to waiting on God?

A good definition of waiting on God: expecting something truly special or good

If we are truly waiting on God, we do not have to wait impatiently or grudgingly. We can wait actively, expectantly, and fully confident in the work He is going to achieve through us, our grief, and in every circumstance we are facing.

Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Grief, and bad experiences in life, can definitely make you feel weak…weary…and faint. Grief and loss affect every part of your life, all of your relationships, and can be very consuming.

In the initial first days of grief, it is with you in the morning, throughout the day, and all evening. It can keep you awake at night…and if you are lucky enough to get a good night’s sleep, it is there when you wake up in the morning. Within seconds, grief floods your heart and mind all over again.

Relief does eventually come, but waiting can be very difficult in the first weeks and months after grief.

I encourage anyone who is going through grief to focus solely on God for at least an entire month. Wait on Him. Serve Him. Find out what pleases Him and wait on Him to do something truly special in His timeframe. Try not to focus on anything that is “outside” of the “royal restaurant” as you wait on Him at His table. Simply wait on Him, do your God-given responsibilities as best as you can, and allow Him full access to your heart.

What if you’re mad at God? What if you don’t want to talk to Him, let alone wait on Him?

I know of many people who are initially angry with God for their loss(es) or life circumstances. I used to be very angry with God. I was very upset that my dad was killed and I was angry with the man who killed him, especially after I saw how much my dad’s death hurt my mother and our family. I was mad when my favorite grandmother died due to a negligent doctor…and I was incredibly hurt and upset when my boyfriend died a few days after Christmas. I also was extremely frustrated after my sister died on Thanksgiving Day and left behind young children who will never remember or realize how awesome and incredible their mother truly was.

It is very common to be angry…and being angry is okay for a season! When people lose someone or something they love and cherish, they’re going to feel many many emotions. It takes time to work through all of the emotions and thoughts that flood you after grief knocks your breath out of you.

Pour your heart out to God…tell Him EXACTLY how you feel, what all you are going through, and share what all is in your heart and on your mind…He already knows what you are feeling and thinking so be honest with Him. If you are mad, tell Him…if your heart is broken, tell Him, if you are bitter, tell Him…nothing is going to shock Him. Next, after you have an open and honest talk with Him, ask Him to heal your broken heart and to help you to put the pieces of your broken life back together. Tell Him you are completely giving Him your grief journey and you are trusting Him to lead you through it….tell Him you are trusting Him to do something truly special and good in your life since you are now entrusting your grief experience to Him.

 

Actively and literally “wait on the Lord,” while fully seeking His heart, and see what He decides to do.

 

 

Lamentations 3:25, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”

Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Psalm 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.”

1 Kings 2:3, “Honor the laws of the Eternal your God, and live by His truth. Be faithful to His laws, commands, judgments, and precepts—the ones written for us in the instructions of Moses. If you follow this path, you will be successful in everything you do no matter where you are..”