Trusting God Through the Grief

Losing a child can feel like an un-survivable event. Even a heart that is completely yielded to God breaks. Even when you turn to God in the moments of heartbreak and choose to trust Him, you will still grieve. The grieving process is not something that Christians skip. Our hearts break, our families hurt, but we do trust God, and He brings tender mercies that we know come directly from Him.

There are so many moments that I know God placed in my life to allow me to keep living. I can tell you this. Not only can your family survive after loss, it can thrive. Your life can still be full of laughter and joy. There will be moments that wash over your soul with sadness and grief that surprises you, even years later. You learn to let yourself experience the grief. You may have to stop and cry. Then you keep living. You feel the bitter pain and grieve deeply, but you never lose hope. You allow yourself to experience the joy that God has given you today.

In 1991 we left for our camping trip with fellow church families as a complete family. We had two little boys, and we were expecting a new baby in only three months. As we drove from our home in Las Vegas to a campground in Utah, our car was packed with toys, our boys had chocolate ice cream covered faces, and our hearts were full. I remember telling my husband, “I have everything I ever wanted.” Only a few hours later, I was holding my little Timothy’s lifeless body after he had accidentally drowned. I never saw or understood there was a river running through the campground until it was too late.

When I allow myself to think back to those moments, I can still feel the overwhelming numbness, shock, and horror. Then there was the almost silent drive back to our home. The drive seemed so much longer. Our pastor and his wife drove us home. My mind swirled, trying to understand what had happened. Even at these beginning moments of our journey through grief, I knew I wanted to trust God. I didn’t know that I would have to make that choice over and over. I am still grateful for the people who loved us and prayed for us. However, no one could walk through our grief in our place. We prayed for each other and for our living son. We saw God answer our prayers in ways that amaze me to this day. I can’t say which were the most difficult moments; there are too many to relay them all. It was especially difficult after the funeral: after the chaos of decisions, and knowing you must live every normal, boring day with a hole in your heart, a hole in your family. One memory that is so very key reminds me of the ability to grieve and laugh. One of the many sad days I lived through, I was truly embracing my grief.

In our family, I was always the one to make meals, even simple meals. This was never discussed; it was just the way we functioned. On this day, I woke up and simply couldn’t get dressed or fix breakfast. I clung to my sweet Timothy’s favorite stuffed toy and lied down on a love seat that was placed under a window that still had Timothy’s hand prints on it. (I never washed that window, and his hand prints were still there the day we moved out of that house.) My husband asked me what was for breakfast. I replied that I did not know, and I was not getting up. I stayed there the entire day, only getting up a few times, only to return to that window and Timothy’s toy. I gave my husband the same answer when he asked about lunch and then again when he asked about dinner. When he realized I was not getting up to make dinner, he came over and sat down next to me. With the utmost gentleness and a completely straight face, he said, “Don’t worry about it. I will take care of it, but in one year, you will need to get up and make dinner.” I started laughing. He gave me permission to lie there for an entire year! Of course, I was not going to lie there for a year. I made dinner that night, and we survived that day—and more than 9,000 days after.

There is no a secret to surviving the loss of a child—anyone can do it—when they trust God through the grief. You need to love each other every day through every moment. Be patient, be kind, and give one another permission to grieve. Trust God over and over again. Laugh at what is funny, and embrace the family and the joy you have today.

It is with deep gratitude I would like to thank Cassie Weaver for pouring out such deep pieces of her heart and letting us glimpse inside her world today. What a blessing her testimony and vulnerability are for every parent and every believer in Christ! Thank you so much, Cassie, for sharing how God has carried you through your grief. May you continue pressing into Him as He continues holding onto you.

Cassie Weaver and her husband Rick are the parents of six children, one of whom lives at home with the Lord.  She is a member of Stonebriar Community Church and serves both in Awana and the Children’s Choir Ministries.

The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:17-18)

If you would like more information on surviving loss, and in particular the loss of a child, please reach out to us at parentingpathwayblog@stonebriar.org or call our offices directly and we would be honored to meet you where you are. And please join our closed Facebook page HERE for articles relating to this and many other topics.

 

8 thoughts on “Trusting God Through the Grief

  1. Cassie, I can’t begin to thank you enough for bravely sharing your story and giving insight into what the Lord has brought you through. I grieve with you over the loss of your beautiful child and I rejoice with you over the hope you have in Christ to sustain you.

    1. Cassie, I remember this also, as if were yesterday. The image of little Timmy, will forever be in my mind. You are my Godchild, and I have prayed for you & Rick over the years. You should also know that anytime I’ve ever visited Calvary, I always talk to Timmy too. That too, will become my gravesite, right next to Timmy. I know, that only our physical remains are there, but when I leave this earth, I will embrace him, for you & Rick With Love to you, and your entire family, Aunt Marsha

  2. Cassie, our hearts broke with you on that terrible day. You guys have been an inspiration to others in your journey and I praise God that He gave you the strength and courage to show His love through the pain!! We love you guys!!

  3. Cassie, I wasn’t around, when this happened, so I did not witness the impact on you and your family. I am sorry for not being able to be there for you. I am passing this on to another friend who lost her only son. Thanks for sharing your pain and love. Hugs, UJ

  4. Beautiful words. My 23 year old son died suddenly in the early minutes of Christmas Day (2017) while doing voluntary work for the poor in Cambodia. (We live in Australia). Despite being Christians I am mired in grief. I can see no future. At the moment I cannot even pray.

    1. I know exactly how you feel. God allowed my son to die despite the dozens of people praying for him. I could only conclude God was un-willing or unable to save him. Either way this shakes my faith and calls into question many parts of the bible. I would like to have a relationship with God again but I am not even sure who He is anymore.

  5. Elizabeth, when it is to hard to pray, or when God seems to far away, let your fellow believers come along side you and pray for you. As our team lifts you up in prayer this morning, know that although half way around the world we are with you in spirit. Your loss is so recent, and grief is a journey of many twists and turns, steps forward and steps back, that so are unique to you and your family. We pray that you will give yourself the freedom and allow yourself the grace to just be… to focus on that next breath, that next small action, what is front of you for this moment and this hour. Tomorrow will be there tomorrow when you get there. We love you sister in Christ, and are lifting you up in prayer while you can’t.

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