This is a letter I wrote to our staff women around the world as part of a newsletter focused on being wise and prepared for whatever the future holds. These are just a few thoughts on loss.
There are every day kinds of loss: My iPhone was stolen—so inconvenient. My unbacked-up-for-a-year computer crashed—I lost a lot of stuff, including pictures. My office won’t give me the only copy of anything—they are pretty sure I might lose it. Like I just lost my driver’s license.
There are many life journey losses: that boyfriend you were sure was the one; your best friend moved away, or chose a new bff; that high school election; a scholarship because you chose to play and not study for that crucial test; that job you loved.
Some like our son have experienced many deep losses: a father who never showed up; a birth mother who chose her addictions; a marriage that fell apart. Right now he is working through the failing health of his beloved grandfather.
I have lost both my mother and father—though they had lived full lives, I still miss them both. I’m grateful they were in my life for so long—many do not have that privilege.
Some losses are deep and devastating: I can’t fathom the pain of losing a child, and the loss of your life companion is incomprehensible, though for most of us inevitable.
Two thoughts in response to all this loss, though there is much more to say:
The First Loss
All the pain of loss that we experience throughout our lives stems from that one great loss: perfect fellowship with a loving Father. A gashing loss to Him—as we chose our own way—and to us as we have experienced the consequences.
All the losses mentioned above have come to us because of that first loss.
We Even Compare Losses
We humans love to compare.
We envy another’s idyllic childhood, beauty, brains, abilities, popularity, success—even ministry. Somehow, it seems we have received less in life.
Then we might even go so far as to compare losses. Perhaps we are grateful that our loss is not as great as someone else’s. But we are more likely to think our loss–our pain– is the greatest. That no one else has experienced what we have.
Of course, that’s true. Each of us is unique, and our experiences and our losses are unique. Ours alone. But our God wants us to bring our hurts and losses—not someone else’s—to Him. He desires to wrap arms of love around us, comfort us, cry with us, assure us that He does understand, cover us with grace…
May each of us, in the many—ordinary and extraordinary—losses of our lives, lean back into the loving arms of our Abba and receive from Him all we need.
What about you? What losses have marked your life?
C2013 Judy Douglass