Processing Grief

Written by: Steve Crowder

From his youth, Steve knew he was called into the ministry which ultimately led him to Applied Life Christian College in Arkansas. Now as Lead Pastor of Highway, after two decades of ministry experience, marriage and raising three kids, Steve teaches with unique insight and practical application.

March 16, 2022

Psalms 34:18 NLT “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

This past week I flew down with my family to Texas to bury my father in law.  Since the new year began I have been to four funerals or memorials, three of which I officiated.  This one, by far, had to be the most challenging to get through.  Through the tears, I wanted to honor both his memory and my wife’s family in the process, both of which I believe were accomplished. Our family will deeply miss him in the days to come.  

I know that I’m not the exception here.  Many of us have lost loved ones who were dear to us in recent months or years.  King Solomon wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes that “death is the destiny of everyone” and that “the living should take that to heart.”  We grieve their loss and the void that it often leaves in our hearts, as well as our family routines and dynamics.  Maybe as you read this, it isn’t a family member or close friend that you have lost, but something else dear to you. The heartbreak and pain you feel can be very real.  Many wise counselors have encouraged others to embrace the mourning process, whether it be anger, tears or laughter.  Embrace it.  Recognize the loss for what it is to you.  It can be tough to see your way through it at the moment, but the sun will come up.  Just keep going.  

More than anything, know that you are not alone.  You are surrounded by friends and family who care deeply for you and want to be there in any way you need them to.  Many just don’t know what to do or whether bringing the topic up may cause you more pain.  So, be honest with yourself and to others about what you need in this season. And hear this promise from God’s word today:  He is close to you.  He wants you to feel covered.  He’s got you. 

As God said to His people through the prophet in Jeremiah 31:13b NIV, hear it as His promise to you… 

“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”

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