When I was in my late teens, my oldest brother PJ—short for Paul Jr.—passed away from leukemia at the age of 23. My life was forever altered. The “normal” I had known up to this point was gone and I, along with my family, was going to have to endure the pain and heartache of this loss. I had to learn how to navigate life with this “new normal.” Sadly, this took me close to eleven years to find as I carried guilt, shame, and a spirit of grief with me like a bad accessory.
I had the honor and privilege of being my brother’s stem cell donor three times, and each time it didn’t last long. Immediately following the loss of my brother, the enemy planted a lie that I made an agreement with. The lie was,
This is your fault. You killed him. So, in my head, in my grieving, I believed this lie to be truth. I lived in this for years and believed this to be true until a revelation from God spoke to my heart one day.
He led me to Psalm 30:11 (NLT), which says,
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.
The Lord gently showed me that I had been living in mourning and had a spirit of grief over me, and He tenderly spoke to my heart about how He wanted to bring my joy back. The joy the enemy had taken with this lie, my Abba Father wanted to give back to me in full and in abundance. When I confessed that I had believed this lie, and as I walked through the process of repentance and forgiveness, the heaviness of grief and mourning lifted. I was finally able to lift my head above the clouds and see the sun shining once again. The darkness had been lifted, and the light was shining through. Of course there are still moments and days that are harder than others, but now,instead of turning towards isolation, I turn to God’s truth and other tools to help me in those moments. I also cling to the promise that I will see my brother again in heaven and that my journey through grief and loss can help others through theirs.
What lie have you been believing that Jesus needs to speak His truth over today? What hurts in your heart do your Abba Father need to heal with His tender love and mercies? Allow the Holy Spirit to comfort you and to speak His truth over you. Be reminded of the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. When you feel like you are at the deepest point of your sorrow and pain, call out to the heavens, call out from the depth of your soul to your Heavenly Father, and He will pull you out. Be reminded of His love.Take off the clothes of mourning and receive His joy; it fits and looks so much better on you anyway.