“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Rev. 21:4
When I was in elementary school my cat got hit by a car. I decided I would never love again because it hurt too bad when you lost the one you loved. I didn’t think I’d ever want another cat.
My mom was older and wiser than I. After a few weeks of tears and moping she asked me to go for a ride with her. The moment I picked up the tabby at the vet’s office, the one with more spunk than a lion, I fell in love. Soon I was riding home sharing my ice cream with a cat that needed a home as much as my heart needed a cat.
I’m glad I opened my heart up again. But I’ve also found that the wider I open my heart, the deeper the loss is when it comes. Jamie Norton in Making Peace and Beyond said, “Where love and loss meet is excruciatingly painful. “She goes on to say that loss and death come in many forms beyond the death of our loved ones. Relationships, health, empty nests, and jobs. No matter what loss we face, we can set our mind on 3 truths.
3 Truths When Facing loss
- Hope in Eternity. This world is temporary. Loss is inevitable. If we don’t accept it, we can become angry and bitter. But when we realize we are powerless to change the fleetingness of life we can shift our eyes to what is eternal and find hope and peace.
- Security in Jesus. You are never alone. If we try and fill the hurt with friends and family, it may comfort us for a season, but eventually, friends must go home, and we will find ourselves alone. The only unchanging thing in our world is Jesus. He always was and always will be. Putting our security in anything but Jesus is like climbing on an iceberg instead of a rock with a solid, sure foundation.
- Joy is not dependent on circumstances. Happiness is an illusion. Happiness is an emotion we experience when our external circumstances trigger a pleasure response in us. Emotions are brainless reactions to our thoughts. Joy isn’t an emotion but a state of being. Joy is knowing that whatever you are going through God is with you, comforting you, strengthening you and loving you with an everlasting love.
I’m glad I opened my heart up to another cat. Peggy and I spent many years snuggling under the blankets on my top bunk bed reading books together, laughing together and crying together as I told her all my pre-teen secrets. She lived a long and full life for sixteen years.
I’m thankful for the childhood lessons that prepared me for deeper losses. I’m thankful for the moments of love, laughter, and precious memories. But loss is hard. The deeper we love, the deeper we hurt. Sometimes I long for the days when I didn’t love so deeply because when loss comes it hurts so much. But when those days come, I shift my focus to the hope of eternity, the security of Jesus, and joy that isn’t dependent on circumstances.