How to Cope with Deep Loss

Lysa TerKeurst’s audiobook, “It’s not Supposed to be this Way” explains how she coped with deep personal loss.  A broken marriage,  cancer diagnosis, and days of excruciating pain shattered her into dust.

Lysa was like a beautiful and delicate glass flower created by God. But when God squeezed the beautifully delicate glass flower in his hand, the glass was too fragile to withstand the pressure.  It shattered into dust.

Maybe you have experienced a shattered life too. In our broken world, we encounter deep hurt, grief, and sorrow on a daily basis. When we first feel the initial shock of a life shattering event, we may feel paralyzed.  Unable to move forward.

Processing loss is painful and tough work.  Sometimes we would rather ignore it.  Stuff it deep inside the darkest part of our heart where no one will see it.

And if stuffing doesn’t work, then maybe numbing it will do the trick.  Another glass of wine, a muscle relaxer to take the edge off, one more plate of your guilty pleasure, a little harmless flirting… anything pleasurable seems like it would be a step toward gaining control of your life again.

After all don’t we deserve to be happy?

We decide to toughen up and refuse to allow anyone to hurt us ever again.  We will ourselves to become hard like a beautiful metal rose.  We want to stand firm, unyielding, and unchanging.  So when the hard times squeeze our metal form, nothing changes.

But if we remain unchanged, then we won’t grow into spiritual maturity.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1: 2 – 4 BSB

No one would ever choose the events that splinter our hearts into a million pieces.

But what if we lift up the shattered pieces of our life to God.  Allow Him to mix the dust with His “living water” and create a gorgeous rose of clay.  When the Lord places the clay rose in his hand and squeezes, the “living water” holds all the bits of dust together as they are forced between His fingers. Our Lord, carefully transforms our clay shape and molds us into a new clay rose, more beautiful than ever.

If you are holding tightly onto the last few pieces of dust that once was something beautiful, I want you to know that God hears your cries.  He is near you even if your feelings are screaming otherwise.  Don’t believe the lie that the enemy whispers.

Fight back with truth!

The righteous cry out,  and the LORD hears; He delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted; He saves the contrite in spirit. Psalm 34: 17 BSB

Friend, I encourage you to tell the Lord about how you feel about your loss. It helps to release those feelings to the one who you can trust. He already knows, lift up the remaining ashes to Him.

But what if days, weeks , months, and years pass while you are waiting to be delivered from your sorrow.  What if you begin to wonder why?  “Why did God allow this to happen?” Why won’t this end?

It is healthy to mourn and grieve during a long period of suffering. Even Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus (John 11:35).  Lift up all your feelings to the Lord.  Place all the guilt, anger, confusion, and despair at the feet of Jesus. God created you with emotions, so honestly talk to Him about the feelings you are experiencing.

While many of the feelings are normal part of the grieving process, it is important to sort through the lies and replace them with God’s truth. In a hard season, you are at risk to believing any lie.

After a long time of suffering, a person may begin to think they are being punished by God for some sin that occurred in their past.

While it is true that sin causes suffering and death, not all suffering is caused by sin.  People can be hurt by others’ sin.

Jesus was innocent.  He lived a perfect life free from sin, but he still suffered.  Jesus willingly went through the suffering process in order to defeat sin and death. God used the cross, an instrument of torture and transformed it into a symbol for hope.

Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have a promise for an eternal future. We won’t ever die if we live and believe in Jesus (John 11 : 25 – 26).

God restored Jesus and God will restore you too. When you are uncomfortable, allow God to comfort you with his word. When you feel weak, allow His truth to strengthen your spirit.

Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; break into joyful song, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, and He will have compassion on His afflicted ones. Isaiah 49: 13 BSB

Blessed be the LORD, for He has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I will thank Him with my song. Psalm 28: 6 – 7 BSB.

If you have ever read the story of Job in the bible, you can see how his earthly life was intertwined with heavenly purposes. Although Job didn’t understand it, his life was preserved on the pages to serve as a reminder for us all.  Life sometimes doesn’t make sense and certainly doesn’t feel fair. But God can do all things.  He can pick up our dust and make something even more beautiful.

And even though we may feel stuck in the middle of our story that is still painfully being written. We can skip ahead, because we know how our story will end.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4 )

And God will wipe away every tear from your eyes too, no more death, no more sorrow, or crying.  No more pain.  They will all pass away before our eyes.

God can use your story to comfort others just like Lysa TerKeurst.  She allowed us to see her raw emotions, and how she lifted them up to Jesus daily.  She is no different from any of us.  She is fragile and broken.  But she is allowing our Lord to use all those pieces of dust to help others.

And it’s okay to seek professional Christian Counselors who can listen and offer encouraging words of truth.


Lysa TerKeurst, “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way.” inspired this post and the “rose story” belongs to her. If you are walking through a season of loss and desire a friend to encourage you with truth, strong fighting words from scripture, and to help filter the lies…then I encourage you to check out her book from your local public library.

You can download her audio book on Hoopla for FREE if you have a library card.

But if you are wanting to purchase a book, then consider using my affiliate link to purchase, Lysa TerKeurst’s book, “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way

I receive a small commission which will help offset the cost of this blog.  Thank you dear friend!

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Published by April Jollie

Teacher + Writer = Lessons of Hope for Tough Days, writer to deepen understanding of God's Word and to stay connected to Jesus.

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