When Waves of Grief Crash Over You

by Jennifer Wake

It comes in waves like the ocean pounding against the shore. Have you felt it, too? The overwhelming waves of grief of missing a loved one? 

I stand in church and a familiar song starts. 

“Here I am down on my knees again.”

I want to run and hide but I am surrounded by my family.

As this song strikes me deep inside, I can’t help feeling like I spend all my time on my knees crying out to God.

I grew up in the church and have served many years in all sorts of programs, taught Bible studies, and written devotions. I feel like I should be stronger, more prepared for the riptide. But when this song started the waves of grief crash over me again.

Can I keep going? Yes but…

Does God want me to keep going on my own strength? No, He wants me to surrender.

Surrender When the Waves of Grief Crash Over You

He wants me to surrender my hurt, my pain. All the emotions that have been swirling around my head and heart for a few years now. The anguish of caring for my mom and then losing her. The ache and worry as I launched two daughters into college. The joy and pride as I gained a son-in-law mixed with the sorrow of missing them while they live so far away. The hurt of saying goodbye to a beloved pet and of moving, yet again.

These hurts have been my constant companions for far too long, but somehow I’m not ready to move on from them. Even though I know if I let them, they will overwhelm me again. God wants me to surrender them so I can know HIM more. He longs for me to make room for Him to be my constant companion.

Inspired by the song to begin my surrender, immediately after church I sit at my computer and start a long-neglected Bible Study on the names of God. 

El Roi, the God who sees me, sees my pain. Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals, feels my hurt. Jehovah-Raah, the Lord My Shepherd, tenderly cares for my wounds.

I Surrender, I want to know you more.

Elohim, the Creator, ignites a new spark in me and I begin to feel like the waves won’t wash me away.

Like a rushing wind, Jesus comes in and refreshes my soul.

How to Cope When Waves of Grief Crash Over You

When you feel the waves coming, don’t fear the rushing wind… surrender to God.  He is mighty and he will heal all your hurts. It won’t end all at once but it will get better step by step.

God does not promise us an easy life. He promises to always be with us and that as we draw closer to him, he will strengthen us. 

He wants us to surrender all to him.

Can you let the Lord have his way?

Don’t let the waves of grief, pain, or sorrow overwhelm you. Surrender them to God and take hold of his steadying hand as you learn to know and trust him more. Ask him to show you friends and family who will walk beside you until time lessens the pain. God will help you.

As you listen to this live performance of I Surrender by Hillsong consider how God might be inviting you to surrender your own hurts so he can help you cope when the waves of grief crash over you.