How We’re Getting Through

Sermons. They always help me in the trials. I have listened to this one 6 times over the last week. Because it made headline news many people know Rick Warren lost his son last year. This sermon, How We’re Getting Through (starting at minute 10), was an introduction to what Rick described as the 6 stages of grief.

1 – Shock – When Your World Collapses. Something happens that turns your world upside down. Shock is a human emotion. God is never shocked. Nothing ever surprises Him.

2 – Sorrow – When Your Heart is Breaking. Grieving is a necessary part of the process when going through a hard time. Grieving is a Godly emotion and God grieves with us. We are not alone in this process. Jesus wept – John 11:35

3 – Struggle – When You Don’t Understand. This is the stage when we ask why. What we need to remember is explanations don’t help. Knowing why doesn’t lessen the pain, it doesn’t bring healing, and it won’t bring back any one we have lost.

4 – Surrender – How to Experience Peace. Stop asking why and start accepting and surrendering. This is the key to gaining peace.

5 – Sanctification – How God Turns Good Into Bad. When God sets you apart and makes changes in you. This is when we see God bring good out of the bad.

6 – Service – How to Use Your Pain for Good.  Pain is never wasted. God takes your greatest pain and turns it into your life message. He turns our mess into a message and our test into a testimony.

With this being the introduction sermon to the 6 stages, Rick shared some wonderful words of wisdom about his journey and some encouraging verses.

How We’re Getting Through

1. Life doesn’t make sense, but we can have peace because we know God is with us and God loves us.

  • We can blame God, we can blame ourselves, but neither of those will be helpful.
  • It’s better to walk with God with none of our questions answered then walk without God with one of our questions answered.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you! When you pass through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned up; it will not consume you! Isaiah 43:2

I will never leave you and I will never abandon you. Hebrews 13:5

2. Everything on earth is broken, but we can have joy because we know God is good and He has a greater plan.

  • Sin broke everything. Nothing on earth works perfectly. We live in a very broken world. The weather is broken (tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes). Health is broken (sickness and death). Relationships are broken (divorce, affair, heartbreaks). The list goes on and on. It’s a broken world. So why is there sin and evil? God has given us the free choice to choose Him or not. We won’t experience true restoration until we are with Him in heaven. Could he eliminate all the brokenness in the world, right now? Of course, but that would include getting rid of us – we are sinners and broken too.
  • Not everything that happens is good. The promise in Romans 8:28 isn’t that bad won’t happen. The promise is that the bad that does happen, God will use it to turn it into good.

All things God works for the good of those who love him, and have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

We can have joy even in our troubles because we know that these troubles produce endurance. And endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will not disappoint us, because God has poured his love to fill our hearts. Romans 5:3-5

3. Life is a battle, but we can have hope because we know there is more to the story.

  • God is in all the details. He is working every day to write our story.
  • Christians are able to grieve differently because we know the end of the story. We don’t know the path to getting to the end, but we know where we will be when we pass: heaven. We are able to grieve with hope.

We often suffer, but we’re never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again… because we know God raised the Lord back to life. And just as he raised Jesus, he will also raise us back to life, and will bring us into his presence together. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9,14

So we don’t focus on the troubles we see right now; instead we look forward to what we don’t see yet. For the troubles we see now are temporary, but the joys to come will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:18

Based on how these stages were defined, I think I’m in the sorrow stage. I say that because my heart aches. So heavily.

I choose to believe that God will redeem this story. He will restore us all. He will heal us emotionally and spiritually. He will work out all things for our good. My hope is in Him, the author and perfecter of our story. Thank you to everyone for their prayers, please continue praying for my brother and sister-in-law, Shawn and Aki, as they go through these 6 stages of grief.

How We're Getting Through

  • Megan Davis
    Posted at 06:06h, 08 April Reply

    Caroline, your family has been on my heart! I was so glad to see a post from you this morning and hear how God is bringing comfort to you through the storm. I love the picture of life being a battle…it is such a good reminder that we know God has the ultimate victory over all! Praise God we are on the winning team!! Love you and praying for you!!

  • Lauren
    Posted at 06:12h, 08 April Reply

    Glad to see you writing again and glad to know a bit more about where you are. That heavy heart can be so exhausting… Praying for The Lord to give you, and Shawn and Aki, moments of lightness as you grieve to help you persevere. Love you.

  • Shama
    Posted at 07:25h, 08 April Reply

    Caroline, your strength through this storm is an inspiration. I will continue to pray for you and your family while you go through the stages, knowing that He does have a greater plan. Take care!

  • Elisha
    Posted at 07:33h, 08 April Reply

    I’m so glad to see your post in my inbox this morning. I’m praying for you constantly! LOVE YOU LOTS!

  • Morgan
    Posted at 07:51h, 08 April Reply

    I was so happy to see your post this morning! This was beautifully written and really captured the sense of grief and healing and the process, the long process, it takes to received gods fullness and clear eyes to see the good he brings. I am still praying for you and your family. For strength, joy, and rest. Love you loads! Xox

  • Kara
    Posted at 10:26h, 08 April Reply

    Love the quote at the end of this and completely agree with it! Still sending prayers for all of your family xoxo

  • Charity
    Posted at 10:30h, 08 April Reply

    Keeping you and your family lifted in my prayers. Believing in God to bring you all comfort and peace. Love you girl!

  • Mel @ there is a higher hope
    Posted at 12:53h, 08 April Reply

    I’ve been thinking of you guys and I’m just so sorry. I am glad that you have God’s Word lifting you up. I will pray for your family as I know this cannot be an easy road. Lots of love and hugs

  • Chantel
    Posted at 15:56h, 08 April Reply

    <3 you've been in my thoughts and prayers Caroline!

  • Aubrey
    Posted at 16:28h, 08 April Reply

    Praying so hard for you and your family. Xoxo

  • Amy
    Posted at 18:44h, 08 April Reply

    I too was very happy to see this post and get an update on how you’re doing. You’ve been on my heart and mind so much. I’ll be praying faithfully for you and your family as you process through each stage of grief. Lots and lots of love to you!

  • Jennifer T
    Posted at 21:57h, 08 April Reply

    Thinking of you and your family. Give yourself time to get through the grieving process. I hope you and your family can feel peace and the Lord’s love wrapped around you all during this difficult time.

  • Amie
    Posted at 08:54h, 09 April Reply

    Think of you and your family Caroline. Many continued prayers for all of you!

  • Emily (
    Posted at 09:54h, 09 April Reply

    The Isaiah verse is beautiful. This post is so deep, because so many of us struggle with the “Why do bad things happen to good people” or “Why is God doing this to ME?” What you said about God crying with us and that sin just exists in the world…I think if we can remember that, it’s so much easier not to focus on the WHY of it all. I know your heart must be hurting immensely, but I also know you and the entire family will pull through with grace and that God will bring good out of this for you all. Thinking of you so much these days. Praying for you always sweet Caroline!

  • dspence
    Posted at 14:23h, 09 April Reply

    Thank you for sharing Rick’s sermon and your notes. Grief has an outline but not a timetable. And it certainly isn’t a straight line. Praying for you all as you journey through this loss.

  • Bridget Meleski
    Posted at 20:40h, 10 April Reply

    You are truly one of the strongest women I am such in awe of your Faith through such a hard time. Continued prayers for you and your family.

  • Alodia A. Igloso
    Posted at 08:48h, 26 April Reply

    Thank you so much. Your message is so inspiring and timely. I’m struggling emotionally this time that I’m almost to quit. I think this is God’s message for me. Yes, troubles we see are here in this world are just temporary.

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