By Selina Almodovar
As I look back on my life, there was not one particular season in which I’ve experienced loss, there were many:
- As a child, I had to bear down and unwillingly suffer from the loss of a family home when my parents decided to get divorced.
- As a young adult, I found myself depending more and more on my romantic relationships for love and security. As a result, I led myself right into a season of identity loss that carried a lot of trust issues, insecurity and depression.
- Even in the midst of following God, as my lifestyle began to change, I suffered an entire season of the loss of many friends who couldn’t grasp the new-found life I had chosen for myself.
- Before getting married, just when I thought that things were going in the direction that I prayed for, I suffered from a job loss. One that kept me unemployed for over four months, until I decided to start my own business.
- Upon having children, my husband and I both experienced a loss of our freedom. No more spontaneous date nights and late-night outings with our friends, all for the sake of our precious baby boy. And yet, as I wouldn’t give that up, there is still a piece of me that wishes I could have it again, if only for a moment.
- Most recently, Puerto Rico, the island where my family is from, was overtaken by Hurricane Maria. A land where many of my greatest childhood memories were made, is now desolate and desperate for recovery. It’s a loss that will take many, many years to heal from.
Loss can come in many forms. It can carry many different reactions and effects to those who go through it. Some losses are expected while many others can blindside us, leaving us feeling at a complete loss of composure, faith and hope in how we could ever make it out on the other end. Loss can kinda take a toll on us. Almost to the point where we are never the same. We look at life with a tint of gray in our rose-colored lenses. And things that used to be easy to hope and stay faithful in are no longer so easy to process.
DRAW CLOSER TO HIM
I can tell you firsthand that many of the losses I’ve experienced left me with baggage, hurt, and suffering that took years to overcome. These losses left me questioning God like Job did, wondering why such bad things could happen to such good people, while demanding answers through my prayers and fasting. One very important lesson I learned in the midst of it all is this: loss will come and it should almost be expected. That is not to say that we are able to rejoice in each trial, but I believe that with every loss, we are meant to draw closer to God.
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2: 6-7 (NLT)
I don’t know about you but there were times in my life where I felt just flat-out forgotten by God. My hope and my strength were utterly stolen by the enemy in those hard times. Now, I can look back and realize that a lot of the reasons why I felt that way had to do a great deal with who I was placing my trust in:
- During my parent’s divorce, I was looking to my parents to bring me restoration
- During my breakups, I was looking to men to bring me love and security
- During the beginnings of my Christian walk, I was looking to friends of the world to bring me acceptance
- During my job loss, I was looking to jobs to bring me provision
- During my season of family building, I was looking to my “picture perfect” family mold to bring me a sense of freedom
- During Hurricane Maria, I was looking to the government for rescue
None of these people or things can bring me ultimate healing, or peace, love, security, acceptance, provision, freedom, and rescue that can only come from our living God. Once I was able to shift my mindset, and change my attitude to accept that God is sovereign, my lifetime of loss started to be seen from a different perspective: “But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” – Isaiah 64: 8 (NKJV)
HE USES EVERY LOSS
A lot of times, we do look to God. In fact, He may be the first one you call on. However, we are so focused on trying to convince Him to make things go back to the way they once were, or questioning why He has allowed the loss to happen in the first place, that the season of loss seems almost impossible to pass.
And I must admit that once I was able to get out of my own way and allow God to move through me, in spite of loss, He molded me into a creation that was ultimately stronger, wiser, and more resilient than I ever was before. In those seasons of loss, God molded me to become a more prepared woman of faith in time for the next loss in life. So whatever it is you’re going through: infertility, breakup, job loss, loss of a loved one, or loss from the catastrophic forces of nature, I urge you to grieve. But then afterwards, to set your mind on the thoughts of God.
Loss is never a warm and friendly thing. But it happens so that we can become more defined in our life to Christ. By drawing to Him during our times of loss, and shifting our focus to loving Him as He is, we can begin to embrace the new creation that He is attempting to do in us. And in that new creation, comes new seasons and new life. Pray with me:
Dear Lord, I am broken in this time of loss. I see no way out. I look to You and I am faced with silence. It hurts. Help me see the new life that You are creating in me and in my season. I trust in Your sovereignty. I pray for Your joy. Help me, Lord, to shift my focus on all that You are for me. Fill me, Holy Spirit, with all that You are to restore whatever I have lost. And replace my perspective to see Your hand at work in my life and in my heart. In Jesus name, Amen.