Finding Strength in Grief by Rita A. Jennas

"And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." Psalm 9:10 (KJV)

It was September 8, 1990, barely five months after I had lost my 87 year old father, that I faced the worst crisis of my life. Our marriage vows say, "Till death do us part," but who is ever prepared for that final parting? In an early morning hour my husband of 23 years went home to be with the Lord.

Even though I have been a Christian for most of my youth, and all of my adult life, I suddenly felt dizzy, off-center, without direction. "Why, God?" I questioned. But there was no answer; or else I was too burdened to listen. The trauma of trying to adjust to this new experience seemed overwhelming. I sank in deep despair.

My husband, Jonathan, and I had been preparing to fulfill a greater committment to our ministry for God. We had channelled our resources toward that end. It just didn't seem fair. Jon was only 66 years young so full of hopes and dreams. We enjoyed a loving relationship. But God had other plans.

Following the events, I plunged myself into my work and in caring for my partially disabled mother. My appetite left, and I quickly lost 30 pounds. During this time, however, I continued my daily family worship at home; trying to understand, and to find the answers I needed. I just wanted to find peace. I wanted some answers.

Every Sunday morning I would leave home not really sure which church I would attend. Finally, I found a church where the Word seemed to come alive. When I walked in for the first time I was still dazed; not knowing whether I wanted to sit through the service or just leave, and continue my worrying. The longer I lingered, the more peaceful I felt. Truly, there's "a peace that passes all understanding." I chose to stay through the service. In the following weeks, something kept pulling me back, and I'd leave feeling better than before.

In my quest for peace and comfort, the Spirit of the Lord led me to Psalm 46. Day and night I've been meditating on the words of this great Psalm, and they are becoming a joyous experience in my life.

I give thanks to God, who is providing me the strength to live with the reality of my loss, and for the spiritual blessings that are mine blessings beyond the power of my human tongue to describe.

I'm not there yet. Healing seems like such a long process for me. But the fact that I'm being upheld by the power of these words, is making me into a better and stronger person through Christ.

My prayer today is that God, through me, will be an instrument of blessing and comfort to those who grieve. No more am I asking, "Why?" But by His grace, my prayer is, "Thy Will be done, O God."

Truly, "God is our Refuge and Strength, and a very present help..." Psalm 46:1 (KJV).