This year I’ve experienced both loss & renewal, in many ways. I’ve been challenged and empowered in all senses. I want to tell how God was involved in each of these situations.
My granddad passed away relatively close to Christmas. I’ve been sad about it and I miss him a lot, but God has restored my peace, because I turned to him when I had nowhere else to turn. Over time I’ve felt less heartbroken over it, and more tranquil instead. It’s odd to try to explain, but I feel very at peace knowing that the pain he was in no longer exists.
I’ve experienced both joy and sadness when contacting an old friend. Joy because it was an answer to a prayer of 5 years, and it was so wonderful to see them again. It was a loss because that lasted nearly two days. I’ve learned that God does give and take away, for purposes we may not always understand in the moment. I was honestly depressed after those two days- this was not going in the direction that I had hoped. The depression was a rut I couldn’t break for nearly 6 months. Half of a year went by and I was still broken over how God said no to something He originally allowed. I knew I wanted a future with my boyfriend, but God etched my desire deeper into my heart, and if I wanted to one day marry him, I’d have to make a choice- this friend who wanted nothing to do with me, or my boyfriend who wants everything to do with me. So I’ve decided to not be heartbroken anymore. There is a season for everything, and sometimes that season lasts for 48 hours.
Our church’s pastor resigned. It was difficult for my friends and I, as well as our entire congregation. Our pastor was present for a lot of our spiritual growth, ad he was a huge part of our lives. A lot of us didn’t see it coming. Of course, we all wished him the very best and prayed for his family, and the next week was a “What do we do now?” kind of thing. We prayed for months that Gd would bring in someone spiritually strong who would continue to lift up and challenge our congregation. The process seemed to faster than we anticipated, which was a blessing from God because we found someone who was the person we had prayed for! Our congregation is so excited for this season of renewal.
I think when things are going well, we often forget that God can easily take it away. And just as easily, He can restore what’s been taken away When things aren’t going the way we’ve envisioned we should remember that God’s plan is always greater. Sounds cliche, right? It is. But it’s also very true. Loss is real, and tragic. But restoration and renewal is also attainable through God. So don’t lose hope.