When God Speaks About Loss
Cheryl visited our stall, while we were giving destiny readings at an event in the city. Spread out on a table before us, was a selection of random, everyday objects, which we used merely as prompts, while asking the Holy Spirit to give us prophetic words for people.
Scanning the objects on the table briefly, Cheryl gently picked up the nappy pins, with decorative pink and blue heads. Years ago, when babies wore the old fashioned kind of cloth nappies, these were a familiar item in family homes.
My friend, who was on the stall with me, glanced across, meeting my eyes. Both of us were sensing Cheryl’s pain and loss.
My recollection of the words we spoke to Cheryl is vague. Something about her son. What I do recall most clearly is that God prompted me to affirm Cheryl, speaking positive words about her being a good Mom.
Burden of Blame
Hearing this, Cheryl dissolved into tears, sharing how her adult son had been killed in a motorbike accident. How she wished she had told him to take the car that fateful day! She felt that it was all her fault.
Holding her hand, but not wanting to intrude on this moment, we let her cry. God’s loving presence was so tangible, and He was bringing healing to Cheryl’s wounded heart, without our interference.
“It’s not your fault. You need to forgive yourself.” Very sensitively, we repeated this more than once, until, finally, Cheryl’s expression changed from despair to hope. As we prayed with Cheryl, we encouraged her to surrender all the pain and the feelings of guilt she had been carrying to Jesus.
Bereavement is a different journey for each individual, and I had not walked in Cheryl’s shoes. I could only imagine the devastating heartbreak of losing her son, and the torment of blaming herself for many years. The questions, the guilt, the memories, the might have beens. The only thing I can say with certainty is that Jesus ministered to this precious lady, and she stepped into new freedom that day.
This burden – this inability to forgive herself for her son’s death – was a powerful force in Cheryl’s life, preventing her from moving forwards. This burden, that Cheryl had been carrying around for many years, which may have taken numerous specialist counselling sessions to resolve, fell away in a matter of a few minutes.
(Note: My experience is that Jesus sometimes sets people free of specific emotional wounds very quickly. This is not to say that I do not also acknowledge the wonderful work that many counsellors and therapists do, and that healing can occur through counselling, too. I also recognise that healing from deep emotional trauma is often a process, rather than a one off event).
The Power of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is so powerful. Going through life with a heavy burden of guilt for failings, either real or imagined, can be agonising and unfulfilling. Yet, for some of us, forgiving ourselves can be more challenging than forgiving others, who have hurt us.
If you are carrying a burden of guilt, I encourage you to let it go. Maybe that is the last bastion; the last line of defence against letting yourself receive healing. As you allow God’s unconditional love to reach into your heart, you can learn to love yourself.
Do you have experience of coming to terms with loss? Or experience of the power of forgiveness? Please feel free to share in the comments below. And if you would like us to pray for you, please check out our prayer requests page.