You just said goodbye to your loved one. And yet, you are still here. Still thinking about them, more than ever. And you wonder if you’ll ever feel like yourself again.
Grief is a painful journey. A solitary one. But knowing and thinking about what is true will help you in this state of grief.
Here are 10 verses for the person in grief. Just tuck these away, and when you can, take them out and let their words bring you comfort and peace.
1. “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'” (Psalm 46:10)
Stillness. Don’t be afraid of it. I know when you are quiet your mind will fill up with all thoughts about the one you miss. But when you’re quiet, that’s when you can also unlock some of your memories as well. Being still, you will be able to remind yourself that although things seem chaotic, God is still God.
It is then that God can remind you of his faithfulness. Of all the times you didn’t think you could handle what was before you, yet God gave you strength, he enabled you to do what you thought was impossible. God sees your weariness. He will enable you to take this journey. He’s right with you.
2. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
You might feel numb today. You may find yourself feeling numb for a while, but when you start to feel anxious, this is a perfect verse for you. This verse is a reminder that God cares about you, which means he cares about anything you are concerned with. So when you start to feel anxious, picture yourself handing that care into the large hands of God. He’s already aware of every single one.
When someone you love dies, you’ll go through many feelings. Being overwhelmed is one of them. You’ll start to worry that you will not be able to make it without your loved one. If you’ve lost your husband, maybe he made decisions which are now yours to make. If you’ve lost your parent, you ache inside, just wanting to talk to them one more time. And if you’ve lost a child, you feel that part of you has died as well. And yet, God knows how you feel right now. He’s the only one who really does, no matter how many others claim to know. God made that heart of yours that is now shattered. Give him your cares.
3. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
You feel lost. You don’t understand how you will make it without your loved one. You keep trying to understand, but you can’t. God tells us to take whatever trust we have and put it in him. He tells us to lean NOT on our own understanding. And when we’re in grief, we understand even less.
But you’re scared because you don’t know what your future holds. The good news is God knows. And not only does he know, he is willing to direct you if you ask. So today you might be scared, but know this: he’s waiting to lead you. Just take his outstretched hand.
4. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
God will supply all your needs. You may not know how he’s going to do it, and that’s okay. He knows. The good news is you don’t have to worry about his methods. He thinks differently than we do. We have finite minds but His mind is infinite.
So if you’re a list person, make your list. And then pray that list to him. I’m sure he already knows it, but if you list it, then you can also praise God when you see him supply each and every one. One of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh, which means the Lord will provide. Not the Lord might provide. And God IS trustworthy.
Fight any temptation to believe God’s not trustworthy. After all, you prayed that your loved one would live. And God didn’t answer that prayer. Remember, you and I don’t see the whole picture. And one day we will understand the things that are unclear to us now. Thank God for the fact he is going to supply your needs just like Jesus thanked God for answering his prayer about Lazarus. He thanked God before he saw his friend take one step. That is faith.
5. “Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record?” (Psalm 56:8)
God sees our tears as something valuable. Remember even Jesus wept. God is close enough to gather your tears. And he’s even keeping track of them. So when you are tempted to think God doesn’t care, just remember, he values every single tear. Even the one that is sliding down your cheek now. Not one of them is lost.
Never be ashamed of your tears. God made our emotions and they are important. When you grieve, some people may even cry with you. Some may not, but they still hurt with you.
I once spoke at an event and two women approached me. One said, “Your words really touched me in a deep way. I’m sorry for my tears.”
The other woman said, “I was touched as well. I’ll be crying on the way home.”
You will sometimes feel all cried out, but the smallest thing can stir your heart and a wave of tears will wash over you again. Let them come. They are healing. And trying not to cry delays the grieving process.
6. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” (Matthew 10:29)
Nothing escapes our Father’s eyes. He loves those beautiful tiny sparrows. And when even one falls to the ground, God sees it. And this is a comfort to us when the enemy of our soul tries to tell us things like:
God doesn’t care about you.
If he cared, he wouldn’t have let your loved one die.
God is too busy to care for you.
Instead, we can depend on what Scripture tells us because it is truth. God does care. He notices even a sparrow. God has all the time in the world for each of his children.
7. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
You will feel all alone as you grieve. Even in a crowded room. And when there is no one around you, you will be tempted to think that God is not even with you. But this is not true. For God tells us he is near the broken hearted. And when we grieve, our hearts are broken in a million pieces.
You may find that some people step back from you as you grieve. Please understand that those who step back just want things to be like they were before this loss. They feel helpless and they simply don’t know what to do. Other people may not want to enter into your grief. But even if you don’t feel like God is near, he is.
And he’s not going anywhere.
8. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
Strength. God will give you the strength you need to get through each day. And on days when you feel you just can’t go another step, God will carry you. God will also be your refuge. A place you can go and just hide in him. He will embrace you with his everlasting arms. He will be your safe place.
You may not feel like it every day, but you will get through this. Not because of strength you have, because some days you are well aware that you have none. But because the one who holds you is almighty, all powerful, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God will be your strength and your place of refuge.
9. “The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” (Psalm 145:14)
Grief is a difficult journey. You will have days when you do okay, and other days when you feel so weak. Anniversary days will come and they are difficult. And on all those hard days you can know you have someone strong to uphold you. When you can’t look up because of your heavy grief, God will gently lift you.
God cares so much about us. Just like we care when our children hurt, God cares so much more. And once, when I was thinking about my sister’s murder, I asked God if he knew how I felt. And immediately, I remembered he knew better than anyone else could. His loved one was crucified. God knows. It makes sense that he would uphold us in our times of grief and that he would lovingly lift us up. Oh, how he loves us. Always remember that.
10. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
This is not all there is. One day our tears will be wiped away. Our pain will be completely gone. There will be no more sorrow, no more goodbyes. God will put death to death.
It’s hard for us to imagine, but it’s also wonderful. It means we will be reunited with those we’ve had to say goodbye to. No longer will cancer and other diseases exist. The things that came and robbed us of those we love will be gone.
Our little granddaughter died at only 14 months old. She had Trisomy 18. But one day there won’t be Trisomy 18. One day.
Father God, I pray for this grieving one. I pray that you would comfort them with the comfort you give. I pray that you would send supportive people into their life, so they know that they don’t have to carry this burden alone. But mostly, I pray that they sense your presence. Help them to meditate on what is true. Help them to know that you are God and you care deeply for them. So much, that you are saving each little tear they shed. I pray this in Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.
Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker and published author of 14 books. She is a regular contributor to Crosswalk. Anne’s tagline is “Life is hard, so I write words to make it softer.” Having lost her mother, her father, and 3 of her siblings and most recently her baby granddaughter, Anne is well acquainted with grief. She wants those in grief to know they are not alone. Sign up to join her newsletter and as a bonus receive her free Ebook, Helping Someone in Grief: 17 Things You Need to Know. You can