Grief

Rejected, Disappointed, yet deeply loved

Rejection is God’s protection for me and God’s provision for them – Lysa Terkeurst.

I can remember at age 7 when my family moved from Haiti to America and the struggles that came with that change early on. I desperately desired to be accepted to this new environment, and yet due to a language barrier and culture differences, my peers quickly rejected me. Until now, I never really thought through how rejection impairs my thinking about my relationship with others and with God.

So from that point on, I found myself on a journey seeking acceptance from others. Each time, I was rejected I shut down and I thought my self-worth was devalued. I was reminded just how good I wasn’t or how I would never belong. I thought that if I gave more of myself to others and just accept whatever they give me it would be okay. I learn that it was better for me to conceal my feelings and the truth from others on how they would treat me or make me feel so that I could be like and accepted. Cause rejection for me was just too hard to process and accept. I did not know it, but I had become a people-pleaser and was sure that if I please everyone then I would be liked.

What I failed to realize is that pleasing people is impossible because with every demand from them either intentionally or unintentionally, I had to sacrifice my wants and myself so that I would be loved and wanted by them.

Then grief entered my life and it led me to depend on my Heavenly Father, God.  I was reminded how Jesus was rejected time and time by his own people. In John 1:11, it states that He came to his own, and his own people did not receive Him.  In Isaiah 53:3, He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not so. Jesus knew how it felt like to be rejected by men. However, because Jesus hope and purpose was to fulfill His Father’s will. He was able to overcome men’s rejection, be content with His Father’s love, and complete acceptance of him.

Lately, I find myself in that same place of contentment. I went back and look at how God’s love for me and acceptance of me never change. He said I was the apple of His eyes. He created me in His image. He tells me in Psalm 139:14, I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made by Him. I am learning that rejection by men is not as unbearable anymore because the reassurance of knowing that my love and acceptance by God was accomplished through Jesus Christ. His sacrifice on the cross is real to me even more in my times of rejection as it was the day He completed it. Is it hard? Of course, it is.  However, like Jesus, I have to be committed to moving forward in the pursuant of my intimacy with God more than I am willing to hold on to the opinion and validation of men.

 

Grief

How to comfort a grieving family or friend? (Post 3)

Today, I know now, more than ever before, how grief can make love ones and people in general that sincerely care about you very uncomfortable. My desire is to take this time to share with others who know and care for someone that is in the midst of grief. I pray that these tips would be a guide for us to walk this journey of grief with others.

First and foremost, it is very important to understand that everyone grieving process is not the same and it belongs to the griever. Therefore, it is essential for others to try to understand, respect, and honor that the best way they can.

For me personally, three ways I learned that I desired to be comforted by families and friends were:1) to acknowledge that my love one just passed away, 2) to be physically present, 3) and to listen more than talking.

First – most of us mean well and we are truly uncomfortable when we know someone we care about is experiencing a great amount of pain. Most people don’t know what to say or do. However, avoiding the person and remaining quiet is not helpful at all. When you see your hurting loved one, acknowledge the death of the loss one. One struggled or fear of the bereaved is the thought of losing all connection and memory with our love one since he or she is no longer here with us. Saying, “I am so sorry for your loss (by name),” means the world to the griever. Also remembering the death of the anniversary/special holidays and reaching out to the griever is very thoughtful.

Second – Your presence means so much to the bereaved. Your presence demonstrates that you care enough to come in to be with them in their grief during the most devastating life changing experience one will ever face on this earth. Galatians 6:2 commands us to carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you fulfill the law of Christ. We do that by making ourselves available to the griever. A helpful way is to show up without being asked. Show random acts of kindness towards them without being asked. For example, bringing over a meal, cleaning up the yard, or picking up a basic item of groceries that we normally used. It will ensure them that they are not alone and that you are thinking of them.

Third –In a time of grief, it is better to listen than to speak. I know we mean well by speaking. Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will break our heart. There is so much truth to this quote by Robert Fulghum. James 1:19 states “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” I personally agree with James for saying this especially when one is grieving they just want you to listen? I know you want to help but this person is in so much pain that your good intentional advice or unthinkable words can cause much more damage than good. The honest truth is you don’t understand, so be okay with that and just listen.

My prayer is that family and friends will be more sensitive to the person that’s grieving and be more intentional to love, support, encourage, and give grace in abundance to them. Also, pray for your friends and family. Remember it is not about you. The reality is we all at one point or another on this side of the earth will have to walk through this path too.

1 John 3:18 states, Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

RIP to all the love ones that recently passed.

Sincerely,
Julie Merzius

Grief

When Grief interrupted my life

On March 12, 2016, my world changed forever. The unexpected happened. My beloved father, Yves Desvarieux passed away from the curse of cancer. My world was shattered and I was devastated. I just couldn’t believe that this was my story now and I had to now live it out. I never planned this part of my story with God, and He knew that my parents, husband, and children were off limit to me. I thought He understood the unspoken agreement we had. What was I going to do? My world was spinning out of control and I had no ideal where I was to picked life back up. One thing I knew for sure I was no longer the person I once was. I had to learned how to redefined my life because a part of my heart no longer existed in my world any more.  In my despair, the spirit of darkness came in and took over me. I was hopeless. I turned inwardly and my thoughts were the only voices that spoke. I began to ask the same question that John the Baptiste asked when he was sent to prison and experienced doubt. In Matthew 11:2-3, John was in prison. When he heard what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to Him. They asked Jesus, “Are you the one who was supposed to come? Or should we look for someone else?”. Like John, I was confined in my own imprisonment. I started to doubt God goodness in my life. I knew He could’ve healed my father if He chose too, but He didn’t. I was all torn up in the inside. For 9 months since the diagnosis, and up until my daddy took his last breath, the family prayed. We rally up friends and church members to petition God for a miracle.  We knew that the God we served could do all things. I mean all through scriptures, we read how He healed the sick, raised the dead, and opened up the eyes of the blinds. So why couldn’t He just healed my father. I wrestled with God and wanted to know just like John – Are you really God, the all-powerful one? Do You really care about me like You said in Your word? Is the bible really the blueprint to life? To my surprise, I didn’t get any of my questions answered. What I did experienced was the God of suffering and grace. In 2 Corn 1:3-5, it says, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. I was overwhelmingly showered with God’s comfort. The more severe the pain became, the more comfort I received from Him. Although I didn’t get my questions answered, I did gain the love, peace, and complete acceptance of my Heavenly Father. His grace was more than enough for me to trust Him with my grief. So my beloved friend, if the pain right now is unbearable and your heart is broken beyond pieces, I want you to know that Christ’s comfort is overflowing to you to received right now in the mist of your pain.

Second post..

Grief

How Grief became my friend

To be honest, I’ve never thought that I would have learned to embrace grief because (on 3/12/16) death stole away one of God’s greatest gift from me on this side of earth – my father Yves Desvarieux. As Father’s Day is slowly approaching, I can truly see the lessons I’ve learn from grieving this past year. I have learned that God’s grace is truly sufficient for me in spite of my physical, spiritual, and emotional pain as echoed in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness). In the first few months after my father was no longer here, I was numb, speechless, fragile, vulnerable, and absolutely broken. I could not possibly see my way out of this deep, intense, and burning pain that took residence inside of my heart. I felt like I was experiencing abandonment from God because I knew He could’ve healed my father if He wanted too, but He chose not too.  So day after day, I cried out to God and His grace would meet me in my pain. His Living Word was slowly becoming alive in my bones. In my weakness, I began to experience His strength.  In Isaiah 40:29, it states, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” He would strengthen me in my pain and slowly began lifting up the heavy weight that was oppressing me deep down inside the core of my soul. I was at a place where no man could reached me and  be a comfort to me, but my beloved Savior (Jesus) reached down to me like He did with the man with leprosy in Mark 1:40-41. The man with leprosy came to Him and begged Him while on his knees to heal him.  Jesus, being filled with compassion for him, reached out His hand to him, lifted him off his knees, touched the man, and said to him that He was willing to heal him. In my grieving that is exactly what Christ did for me. He let me know how He was filled with compassion for me because I am His daughter.  Christ knew how much I loved my earthly father and how hard and difficult it was for me to process  all the emotions that I was feeling. Also, He knew how difficult it was for me to accept that I had no choice but to now face my new reality of moving forward without my daddy being part of my world anymore. He didn’t judge the many anger outburst I had towards Him.  Instead He reached down to me and met me in my pain as I begged Him and cried out to Him to take away the pain from me. He touched me, held me, and wiped every tears that continuously fell down liked the pouring rain dropping on my face. He comforted my soul as I pursued after Him through worship and prayer. He reassured me that He was willing to heal me, but I had to trust Him and give myself permission to grieve the first man I have ever loved and continue to love. So today if you are like me who is struggling because you have loss a love one that was special to you or you are facing difficult challenges in your life. I want you to know that grief or suffering of any kind is your friend and not your enemy. Run to Jesus and allow Him to shower you with His compassion and His comfort. Trust Him to walk with you through the process. I guarantee you will not regret it. You will gain a deeper intimacy with Him and He will become more real and nearer to you. Out of this process, you will gain a true authentic relationship with Jesus. So be encouraged on this Father’s day and understand that you are not alone.