The moment my mom told me my dad passed away, I couldn’t cry and immediately I thought something was wrong with me. My uncle who I was a caretaker for had transitioned at home 5 weeks prior on Christmas Eve. I cried.
After telling my daughter that her Pawpaw was no longer here and notifying others of my dad’s passing, I went to bed and while lying in bed tears began to flow.
In that moment I realized I would no longer get a chance to see my dad, and that our conversations were now memories and man did I cry.
However, what awaited my family, and I would grip me in a different way. Over the next several months and over the course of 2 years my family and I would encounter countless more transitions of family members simultaneously and unexpectedly back-to-back. This impacted me so much so that I began to look at death as a curse.
I couldn’t grasp how God would allow 1 family to experience so much pain and death. My calls from relatives turned into anxiousness and anxiety gripped by fear because I wasn’t sure if I would be prepared for what they were getting ready to say. How did death become my worst fear? How could I heal, while still grieving loss after loss?
I want to share with you how God held me, walked with me, comforted me, and loved me as I grieved. This is my healing journey of my walk through the valley of grief, a testament of how my healing journey began.
Sometimes healing occurs in different stages and various ways, but what I wasn’t prepared for were the waves. I literally assumed that my healing would be this one stop shop where I cried and came to terms that my loved ones were no longer here with me.
Life looks different now and though I’m tearful in this moment sharing this, I’ve learned to embrace every wave of emotion in the moment, rather it be joy, sadness, or peace. I’ve learned to embrace it all.
After my uncle’s passing on Christmas Eve of 2020, death in my family began to occur like a ripple effect. My days had become a little longer, more challenging, and a little scarier.
Thoughts of possibly losing others began to overtake me. In a sense death became an idol because I began to think about it all the time. Rather I was working, lying in bed, eating, or not feeling well—-it was a constant thought most of the time.
At some point between talking with my therapist and my community I had a moment where I cried out to God and asked him to help me.
Some days I cried, and God consoled me, some days I journaled, some days I read certain scriptures concerning fear or scriptures concerning life, some days I felt peace and some days I didn’t.
One day it was like I felt like my family was under attack, so I began to war in the spirit. I began to locate scriptures and began praying those verses over my family.
Some days I didn’t believe some of those scriptures, but I began to ask God to help the parts of me that didn’t believe.
How could I not believe what God was saying through his word? Then the Holy Spirit brought it back to my remembrance about the healing of a man’s son in the bible and how he asks God to help the part of him that didn’t believe.
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”Mark 9:24
So, I began to use that passage as a point of reference, asking God to help my unbelief and slowly I began to believe those words in that verse until it became my reality.
I really thought I had conquered that part of my life, combating negative thoughts with God’s word until I began to experience chest pains to the point that I had to go to the emergency room after the loss of another loved one.
They ran several tests, and everything came back great, and so I was released to go home and y’all I was thankful that everything came back great.
I made it all the way to the car and my mom who drove me to the hospital, was like what did they say? I begin to tell her they couldn’t find anything wrong and that all my results came back great, but my words begin to shorten.
It was like someone had knocked the wind right out of me. I couldn’t breathe, and in that moment, I knew I was having an anxiety attack.
You see, the last time I was in a hospital was to say goodbye to my Daddy. It was the last time I got a chance to physically touch him and see him.
Thoughts of me possibly dying begin to rise and I was just like if I make it home and lay down then I would be fine. So, I began to pray all the way home, and I finally made it there and laid across my bed taking deep breaths until I was able to feel a release where I could feel a sense of comfortability and ease.
Eventually I fell asleep, and I remember waking up the next day and thanking God for life again. I cried out to God and told Him that I couldn’t do this without him and that there was no way that I could live like this.
It was at that moment that God had me go into a time of consecration and fasting throughout that year.
During this time, I began to read and study God’s word more, and pray continuously.
Sometimes God would wake me up at certain times of the night and mornings and I would sit still and listen to him speak. It was just the two of us, no noise from everyday life, no interruptions, just He and I. In those moments I never felt so safe and secure in God my Father.
All this time, he had been waiting on me to release the weight of death, along with the rest of my burdens, my cares, my anxiety, my depression, when I felt defeated, my anger, my pain, my heartaches, my grief, and my fears. God wanted it all. He urged me to leave it at his feet so that he could give me REST.
You see I thought I was leaving it at his feet, but I wasn’t because the thought of death and losing more loved ones began to consume me more than I thought of God.
I repented and begged him to take it away and to help me. For me the first step to walking through my grief was allowing God to be my Father and then I could accept him as my comforter.
You might be thinking that God has always been our Father; you’re right but in the moments where grief was consuming me, I wasn’t allowing God to Father me.
I wasn’t giving God any room to care for me as I was attempting to take on all my cares. 1 Peter 5:7 NLT became an anchor for me and it says;
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.1 Peter 5:7
The moment I released it all, I began to experience the peace of God, I began to feel secure knowing that God cares for me. He cared that my family and I were missing our loved ones, He cared that we were sad, and He cared that we felt helpless.
In grief we must be still enough to listen to God our Father speak, and sometimes it would require speaking with a therapist, sometimes it would require you to speak with your family, friends, or mentors, because community matters.
Sometimes it would require you to read God’s word and journal, but it will always require you to seek God the Father.
To give all your emotions and burdens to him so that he can carry them all for you. God will always carry what we are willing to release.
If we’re clinging tightly to sadness, despair, grief, and fear then we’re telling God that we are so much stronger than He is when we’re not and never will be. Isaiah 41:10 was another anchored scripture for me during this time and it says;
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10
Sometimes my healing looked like me reminding God of what his word says.
So if you’re grieving a loved one or multiple loved ones, I encourage you to allow God to father you right now through this journey because that is where your healing begins.
Mechell is a Broker Support Specialist who currently resides in Arkansas with her daughter, Ny’Ala. Mechell knows the importance of being set free that she has a heart to see women that are bound set free in Jesus Christ. She has a servants heart and enjoys being of service to others. When she’s not spending time with her family and friends, she enjoys watching movies. You can follow Mechell and her journey on instagram @mechellsmith_