I asked Kelita to write an article about how she navigated the loss of her sister this year. Many of us have lost loved ones in the past two years – it is my prayer that her story brings you comfort, peace and hope. – Kim
Seems impossible, doesn’t it? Navigating loss with joy. It’s not easy, but it is possible.
This time last year my sister Sherri was very sick. Not only did she suffer from progressive MS but was taking chemo treatments twice a year, which eliminated her immune system completely. Two days after Thanksgiving she contracted covid, and because she had no immune system, she had no way to fight. The truth is, she couldn’t even fight a common cold.
So, what did I do? I prayed. We all know the scriptures, the prayer of the faith shall save the sick (James 5:15) and by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5), and that settles it, right? That was the firm stand of faith I took.
My faith was firm, and I stood, even though the ordeal went on for six weeks, I remained steadfast in the word of God. Unfortunately, a week after Christmas I got the devastating call that my sister passed.
How could this be? Did we not pray? Did we not fast? Did we not declare? Yes, yes, yes to all.
I remember nights just worshiping God and telling Him no matter what, I would always worship. One particular day I said, “Lord, look into my future and see me. SEE ME. I am and always will be worshiping and serving You.” With His grace, I have kept that promise.
I grew up in church all my life, but I served God out of fear for the first thirty years. I didn’t realize that He was FOR me and that He wanted me to succeed. I always had this impression that He was waiting on me to mess up so that He could mete out a punishment. Thankfully, I have learned that is not our God! His desire is for good things for us! And He wants our best, always. His desire is ALWAYS good!
You might say, “Would it not have been best for your sister to be healed and still alive on the earth?” In my mind it sure was and it was what we wanted. However, the Bible says, our ways are not His ways nor our thoughts His thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8) We don’t know the future, we are stuck in time, but God is not. He is already at the end and sees it all.
Sure, I had questions of why. It is not wrong to ask questions, still we must be okay with His answers. Obviously, His desire was for her to go be with Him. One of my friends had a dream two hours before my sister passed that led me to believe God visited her just before she left this earth. I believe she chose to go with Him. He has also given me signs to let me know this. He has comforted me. For that, I am thankful.
How then I have navigated her loss with joy?
- I know where she is.
- I trust God completely.
If there was any way she could have lived and had a good life left here on the earth, I believe He would have granted our heart’s desires. That is just how good He is. I trust that implicitly and will not waiver off that stand.
In my opinion, this is where many people get hung up…they don’t fully trust God. I mean completely and wholeheartedly trust Him, knowing that He is truly for us. Taking comfort in the fact that He wants the absolute best for us. Understanding that if it doesn’t turn out according to our prayer, He has made a better way. We can stand in this place when we believe Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” All means all, and that is all it will ever mean! ALL things work together for my good! I must TRUST Him and believe His word. I made up my mind years ago that anytime me and God disagreed, I was wrong! No questions asked, no arguments. That’s it. Final answer.
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:18, that there is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. It also says in Psalm 27:13-14, “I will remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
When my sister left us to go to heaven, I could have been angry and dismayed. After all, I did all I knew to do according to the Word of God, and she still died. However, I trust God. So, if my sister went to heaven, this is the goodness I see in the land in which I live. The goodness is my sister is in heaven and no longer suffering. The goodness is He is taking care of her family and her prayers are eternal. The goodness is she is in the cloud of witnesses declaring and cheering me on. The goodness is, Jesus died so that she could live with Him forever. The goodness is He is working all things for my good. I must keep my eyes on His goodness.
I would rather pray and stand in faith and things not turn out the way I want, than to do nothing. For while we are standing, we are building our faith and living according to God’s will and living a life pleasing to Him. We can’t lose!
How then do I believe the next time? How do I have confidence in my prayers again? I trust God. I know, if I pray according to His word and do whatever He leads me to do, He will grant my heart’s desire, if it aligns with His will. No matter what, God is faithful, and I trust Him. Ultimately, He knows what is best. He will never let me down! I trust Him. You can too. Allow Him into your loss. Let Him help you navigate the way out with joy. He did it for me and he will do it for you.
Appoint My Days
Lord! My heart’s cry is that You will make me Your own, completely! Set me a part for Your purposes. May I be preserved and kept blameless at the coming of Jesus! You have called me, and You are faithful. I put my trust in You!
1 Thess 5:23-24