By Kelly Carr
I became acquainted with grief at a young age.
When I was 5 years old, my baby brother was born prematurely, three months too soon. He was in and out of the hospital, his tiny underdeveloped lungs struggling to sustain him. But we did have some wonderful times at home with him. I can recall rocking him in the living room and opening presents for him at Christmas.
However, his little body gave out on him at only 8 months old. I have moments frozen in my memory—being told, “Yes, he’s gone,” sitting in the front row staring at a small casket, receiving a hug from my kindergarten teacher at the graveside.
I tell this story because that early loss framed my perspective, becoming a lens through which I still view life. Though I could only understand grief as a child then, as an adult I look back and marvel at how God sustained my parents and my other family members who experienced the devastation from their grown-up point of view. I’m thankful they maintained their love for one another and their faith in an unseen Savior because such grief tests these relationships.
Since that time I have experienced my own grown-up grief—grandparents who passed, friends who left this earth too soon, and two babies who I never got to meet. I too trust in an unseen Savior to sustain me, comfort me, and give me hope.
You have your own grief that has shaped your heart and your perspective. It may be an unexpected death or it could be a shattered relationship, a tragic event you went through, or the dissolving of a lifelong dream. Grief comes in many forms, but it leaves its unmistakable mark on our souls.
We are all walking around bearing grief’s scars. Let’s recognize that in ourselves and in those around us. May this realization bring us camaraderie, empathy, and the courage to speak up, reach out, lean on one another, and help each other trust in an unseen Savior who is available to sustain us all.
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