Turning the Hearts of Grieving Children Back to Jesus

I met my husband on a blind date. Sounds ordinary enough. But it wasn’t. Our mutual friend called me one day and said, “Sit down. I want you to meet someone. He’s a widower with three kids.” Ugh. And then he proceeded to tell me some of the awful details. 


A four-year, hard-fought battle. 

Three beautiful kids and this strong man of great character left behind. 

I couldn’t comprehend a person my own age having gone through such a trauma. 

And what about the kids?


The gravity of what they had lost began to set in the very first time I met them. A picture of their mom and her obituary was framed in the entryway of their home. Her handiwork was everywhere. She had made the curtains in the kids’ rooms, and hung the wallpaper. She had decorated every room. I looked through albums, and more albums, of the birthday parties she had thrown for them and the hairstyles she had fashioned for the girls. The Christmases, dance recitals, soccer games, baseball practices, and every other event—all of them captured her smiling face, loving touch, or playful sense of humor. Her hand-written recipe cards were in the kitchen; her coat was in the closet. But the warmth and security of her presence was most certainly gone.

Now what?


One out of seven children will lose a parent or sibling before the age of 20.[1]

I am certain that many of you have ministered to a child who faced the unimaginable—the death of a parent or sibling. If you haven’t yet, there is a high probability you will. The gravity of childhood loss is overwhelming. But it is no match for our God. What we have that is invaluable to a grieving child’s health, wellbeing, and future is this: knowledge of the unfailing goodness of God. That knowledge, consistently conveyed, will lead a child into a dramatic reversal of mindset and behavior. It will save him or her from faithlessness, bitterness, depression, fear, and delinquency.


The loving kindness of God endures all day long.  Psalm 52:1


I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Psalm 27:13


God is eternally good. And He has eternally good plans for us. All of His kids need to know that.


 Read PART II - Make Jesus Known


[1] Findings from http://www.hellogrief.org/about/life-with-grief-research/ 2015; 5:5