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How Should We Grieve?

How Should We Grieve?

 Grief is something we’ve all experienced. The level of grief or type of grief may vary. There is no way getting around experiencing some type of grief. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33 NIV). Life is full of loss and tragedy. It could be as simple as losing track of a favorite memento, a family recipe, or missing a travel opportunity, to something far more serious, such as the loss of a physical ability, estrangement of a relationship, a difficult financial loss, or death of someone close to you. Since you are visiting the website, Pathway to Peace and Joy, you might be someone that has experienced a specific, serious loss, such as infertility, miscarriage, or infant loss causing a unique type of grief, reproductive grief.

Each type of loss has some similarities. One can define their experience as shocked, distraught, confused, angry, abandoned, and lonely among others, regardless of the type of loss. Those who have studied grief have defined some stages of grief which seem typical, “denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.”[1] We’re all unique in how we might move through some of these stages or experience them at different times. If you are a believer in the sovereignty of God and the grace of God through Jesus Christ, you are going to have a different response to the stages of grief and may not experience them the same as a non-believer. Being grounded in the Word of God will move a believer to seek solace and answers in the Scripture.

Believers in God grieve differently. Going to God with questions and sorrow is actually what the Bible describes as lament. Mark Vroegop in his book, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament, explains how lament is crucial for Christians that believe in the sovereignty of God. “Without lament we won’t know how to process pain. Silence, bitterness, and even anger can dominate our spiritual lives instead.”[2] Believers cry out to God with an understanding that He will hear us and there will be an answer we can trust.

During my most painful moments, Psalm 77:1-3 (NASB) was the cry of my heart. Even though I was hurting, I had a sense that God had not deserted me and I could trust Him to show me how to live within His plan for my life. Psalm 77 directs one to “remember the deeds of the Lord” (Psalm 77:11). If I couldn’t focus on anything else in the wonderful blessings of life, I knew God had provided a tremendous blessing to me in redemption through Jesus Christ. Vroegop reminds us, “The cross shows us that God has already proven himself to be for us and not against us.”[3] Read about my experience in Pathway to Peace and Joy Beyond Infertility, the book about my walk of faith through a difficult trial. Tap on “My Book” in the menu and read a description. By tapping on the book cover, you will be directed to Amazon, if you would like to order it.

How do we go to God with our pain, sorrow, and complaints over losses and tragedies? When our infertility or other reproductive loss doesn’t make sense, how do we cry out to God? Vroegop suggests how to begin talking to God about our loss, paraphrased:

  1. Come with a humble heart.
  2. Pray the Bible (Pray as you read through the laments of the Psalms, for example).
  3. Be honest with God
  4. Don’t linger in lament or in complaints to God.
  5. Use complaint to move closer to God.
  6. Ask God for help.[4]

Vroegop explains what he means by these steps and how lament can bring us closer to our Lord and prepare us to help others walk through the brokenness of this world. I recommend his book for the journey of life.


[1] Jessica Curiel, MA, Comfort for Loss: Finding Hope in Jesus (Carol Stream, IL, Rose Publishing, 2011), 3.

[2] Mark Vroegop, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament (Wheaton, IL: Crossway,2019), 21.

[3] Vroegop, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy, 37.

[4] Vroegop, 52-54.

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