I never understood what it meant when people say; death changes you. I beg to differ, it puts things in perspective, but for me, it didn’t change who I am. Instead, the death of my grandpa brought out more of who I fundamentally am. It created a strength that only comes from knowing the Lord. My grandpa lost his life over two years ago. I am so thankful for the memories we had that I didn’t even realize we had until he was gone. When my grandpa died, I understood for the first time what it really meant to honor someone’s life AND mourn their death.
Because no matter what, we can acknowledge the common graces in anyone’s life.
I often find myself hurting over my grandpa’s death even after time has passed. Certain parts of my life will remind me of him at any given time. While it’s hard to remember those memories, that pain reminds me of the impact my grandpa had on my life. The impact he had on my life reflects some of the ordinary graces he received. Often I remember what he taught me by the way he lived his life. He was lighthearted, he always thought of his grandkids as a grandpa does, and he taught me how to ride a bike. He taught me how to ride a bike and get back up again when I fell off. My grandpa always made me feel important as a kid, including me in the conversation. These are simple graces that I will always carry with me. To have known someone who impacted my life so much that it shows in the way I live my life now is precious. The example set before me is an example I genuinely hope I can pass on to the people I’m entrusted to care for.
During the time of my grandpa’s death, I remember saying, I didn’t like the Gospel because it brought a painful reality. The Gospel was a hard truth for me…., but it was still true.
I didn’t like the Gospel, and I loved it more during this time.
I loved the Gospel more because it brought comfort & peace that surpassed understanding.
But more so because during something that made The Gospel hard to believe, I couldn’t deny the truth.
There are moments in our lives when what we believe is tested. These are the moments we have to really dig into what Jesus says about our circumstances.
In my grandpa’s death, I turned to Scripture, and I cried out to the Lord, begging for comfort, begging for peace, begging for life.
And I begged that I would trust Him because the grief was quick and relentless, but I knew no matter what, God is still good.
I turned to Ecclesiastes 3,
“To everything, there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven;
A time to be born, a time to die,
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.”
The Lord has arranged a time for everything under heaven to occur. As painful as death is, it is a part of life. It’s always going to happen. I don’t think we’ll ever prepare ourselves for someone we love to leave. It doesn’t matter if it’s expected or sudden; it feels wrong. How can we have to experience such pain?
I can say with confidence how Good God is in this circumstance because I understand death happens as a result of the fall of man when Adam and Eve first sinned. The Lord does not want it this way; He wants us to live forever with Him, praising Him.
BUT it can’t be this way, yet.
Jesus has to return and make everything new and right before it can. Until then, we live and struggle through the aftermath of the fall.
The Gospel is so incredibly sweet because it explains why we experience pain, why death happens, and why God created us originally. Gospel creates purpose in our lives and explains everything. The Gospel accounts for everything!
Taylor Carnes is the blog manager for Peace Restored. She works remotely from KY. She loves Peace Restored’s mission and vision of serving women broken by trauma and difficult life experiences. She has been writing for a long time but her favorite writings are stories from people who have walked through hard circumstances but still have hope in Jesus which is why she loves her position at Peace Restored!