BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
Loss and God’s care
By Yvonne Martin, Jubilee Church Wirral
My mind is a jumble of thoughts. I feel like I’m a jumble of emotions.
What can I bring out of how I am feeling and what I’m thinking right now, to encourage the church?! There are so many verses in the Bible about God’s comfort and care, so that’s the best I can bring.
As many of you know, I lost my Mum in January. She’d been struggling with Pulmonary Fibrosis for a few years and for the last 18 months battled through the chronic pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Suddenly in November last year we were told that the chest infection she had picked up was very rare and severe and despite finally finding the correct antibiotics, she was too compromised to fight it and nothing more could be done for her. She went home to die.
I’m still grieving. I cope, I carry on, but there’s times when I still cry as I think about nursing her in those final days and about how much I miss talking to her. I generally feel quite sad and not very joyful.
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.”
Matthew 6:8 “…Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
My mum with Asher
My mum with Asher, Zach and Vernon
I’m also facing another loss. That of our eldest son, leaving home at the beginning of September to start a Degree Apprenticeship with Pfizer, based in Kent. He’ll be 19 soon but he’s still a boy who needs reminding to clear up after himself!
There’s so much about Asher that I’m proud of and thankful for – most of all his love for Jesus and willingness to serve in the church; his confidence that he’s going to do what God has provided for him to do next. He’s worked hard at school and it’s paid off; he’s done really well to get the apprenticeship he wanted. He knows that God is with him guiding his next steps.
The downside for us though is that it’s a six-hour drive away. This doesn’t seem to bother him however and he seems ready to spread his wings and fly the nest.
Matthew 6:33 “ But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
In the eulogy I wrote for my Mum’s funeral, this is one of the things that I appreciated and praised her for – when I was leaving home at 18, she always encouraged me; never expressing doubt or reservation in my decisions, even when I announced at 16 that I was heading for Africa, and as I went overseas in my 20s.
She had given me to God as a baby – I was very premature and being 1972, it was very touch and go, whether I would live. She knew that children are a gift from God, given to us for a short time and knew God would look after me my whole life. I am only now realising how hard that is – to let go of our children and trust God with their future.
I have heard the still small voice of God whisper to me “I’ve got him” as I cried thinking about Asher leaving. But it is still the pain of loss I am feeling.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3 NIV
So my encouragement to us all is this: God knows, He’s with us and He cares. He’s not going to take away the hard thing that I face. He probably won’t take away the hard things that you face. He wants us to lean on Him, learn from Him, find comfort in Him. It’s about trusting Him, believing His words “I will be with you.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”
Yvonne Martin of Jubilee Church Wirral
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Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?
Nicki and Dave on how walking the streets and praying for our neighbours can lead to some unexpected opportunities to spread God’s word.