Loss, Lament, and The Road To The Cross

We said goodbye to our 17 yr old furry child, Sophie this week. Just a few weeks ago, we lost a family friend. Any look on social media reveals a multitude of losses—the loss of parents, children, spouses, neighbors, colleagues, friends. Too much.


Loss of any kind can stop us in our tracks and paralyze us. Mourning becomes a heavy lead-blanket pulling hard on our shoulders. We go on. We take steps. But these steps at times feel pointless, purposeless. Distracted.


Sometimes I find myself wondering, Why all these losses? Why so much heart-crushing and suffering? What, if anything, can this great pain teach us?


Whether we lose small things or big things, loss is never easy. Sometimes we want to run and hide. Sometimes we want to drown in the big wide waves of emptiness that sweep over us and hold us in their grasp.


I am learning to find meaning in recognizing that seasons of loss are needful seasons on our healing path. Loss as much as anything in life teaches and trains us to remember our helplessness, our brokenness, and to keep our hearts focused on the One who heals.


Loss teaches us to remember our brokenness, and to keep our hearts focused on the One who heals.Click To Tweet


The Lenten season is a season of loss, of lament that walks us through the last days of Jesus’ journey to the cross and brings us face to face with our own. In meditating on Christ’s suffering, we confront the reality of our own humanity, our own disillusioned imagination, our inescapable wound that separates us from God.


Reverend Alexander Schmemann in his book, Great Lentteaches,

The purpose of Lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to ‘soften’ our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the spirit, to experience the hidden ‘thirst and hunger’ for communion with God.


Mourning gives way to repentance, as we turn away from sin, as we lament this heinous death and brokenness that exists within us, and allow ourselves to grasp hold of the greatest love of all —that God sent His Son to the cross so that through His suffering, His death, His resurrection, we could experience life. Love.


Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4–5)


Without repentance we can never experience relationship with God.

Without lament, we can never experience being loved by God.


Without lament, we can never experience being loved by God.Click To Tweet



Love is forever a response to love.  The Bible says, “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 NIV)


Love is forever a response to love. (1 John 4:19, NIV) says, 'We love because He first loved us.' Click To Tweet



So let those who have lost lament for today—for His great love gave us the gift of loving. Yet let us lament not as those who have no hope – let us lament as those who know Who holds the future, as those who believe that Jesus died and rose again. Who believe He is coming again.



Don’t allow seasons of loss to close your heart to loving. Open your heart wide and dive in. Don’t run from the losses. Don’t push back against the pain. Surrender to the waves of sorrow as you allow the depths of suffering to heal you, shape you, draw you closer to the cross.





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Don’t we all want a little peace?  My heart for this community is to provide just that – a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships.  Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!  

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In my new book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I’ve discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with herself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!

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  1. Mourning gives way to repentance… Coincidentally, on GMG Online Bible Study we read Luke 22 today. My heart is moved to see the repentance of Peter. in verse 62.
    A heart deep turn around from the way of sin and destruction. But Jesus knew what he would do…He prayed for Him already and asked him in turn to strengthen others after he was converted in verse 32
    May God grant us the grace to follow Him even in difficult times of loss.
    Sorry for the loss of your fur friend too.
    God Bless, Lisa

  2. I’m so sorry for your losses Lisa. I appreciate your pointing us to the cross through your own grief. I love what you said, “Mourning gives way to repentance.” May God soften each one of our hearts and give us a willingness to see our need for Him. Thank you for writing! Visiting from my in-box and the #RaRaLinkup

  3. I have to choose to remember the good times with my poodles, they are a loving memory. My grief has been been from loss in other ways and it took Jesus to heal that. God never intended any loss, it is a fallen world.

  4. So true. Life is not just all sunshine. And it pays off to focus on the eternal things and living on here and now. This is not all there is. We need to be ready. Thanks, friend! Blessings!

  5. Sorry for your recent loss. Loosing a cherished pet can rock us more than we imagine. As you said, there are losses all around. Death is the hard part of life. I’m reminded of the end of the verse that says, “joy comes in the morning”. It is that hope you mention that is our morning, our new day, our light. Stopping by from Holley’s.

  6. Thanks for linking the celebration of Lent with loss.
    Suffering reminds us that God does not intend for us to find our fulfillment in the things of this world. I appreciate the connection you’ve made in my mind today between that truth and this season.

  7. Lisa,

    The word lament always brings me to a stop. One of my favorite verses is about His mercy from Lamentations and one of my favorite math books (yes, I said that) is a Mathematician’s Lament. And your words today remind me of the power of loss, though I sometimes struggle with the truth of it there is a purpose to it being a part of our journey in this life….especially when that journey is with Christ. In all things He has compassion for us because He knows us, He knows our heart and our pain and our hurt. And that makes the lamentation process a completely different journey.
    Reflecting with you on this idea of the importance of lamenting and losing so we can gain Him.

    • lisamurray

      April 23, 2017 at 10:24 AM

      Your words are beautiful, Dawn! Yes, lament is different with Christ. What we lose here we gain with Him. Blessings, friend!

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