“We don’t ‘move on’ from grief. We ‘move forward’ with it.” Nora McInerny

Nora McInerny is an author and speaker who experienced grief first-hand by losing her husband and father and miscarrying a child within several weeks of each other. I counseled people who had lost loved ones, and now it was my turn to walk through it. One of the things I anticipated was that people would move on . . . and people have. That does not mean that they do not care. Friends and extended family feel the loss; they care and grieve with my family and me. But there is a point when they move on with living their lives. They must, and I need to navigate this new life stage and figure out what life will be like moving forward.

The term “move on” does not apply to the one who has suffered the loss of someone very close. The Bible says, “It is appointed for man to die” (Hebrews 9:27), but when that time seems cut short, we cannot simply “move on”. . . we “move forward.”

The difference between those two terms is not simply semantics. To “move on” means leaving the life you once had with the person behind, discounting the importance of the relationship you have lost. To “move forward” means taking that person with you. There are the memories you cherish—shared experiences, the joys, and the struggles. It is to appreciate their influence in your life to form who you have become. You are who you are because of the life that you had together.

Immediately following Jasmine’s passing, my time and energy were laser-focused on planning her memorial service and taking care of the necessary legal, medical, and financial matters. It was followed by serving as a chaplain with Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. The opportunity to serve propelled me forward, and now every day presents new challenges to continue moving forward.

Nearly six months have passed, and I reflect on my recent experiences. When we surrender our lives to God, He redeems everything that happens. Sometimes, the process is brutal. Honestly, there were times when I hated what I was going through and hated what Jasmine was going through. But God is redeeming all of it. Jasmine is fully redeemed as she is in her eternal home. He is redeeming my pain by allowing me to experience Him more fully and speak from a deeper place in my heart. The life lessons that I am discovering are for me and also to benefit others.

This blog series is the Top 7 Life Lessons for Moving Forward. There are more than 7, but these are at the top of the list. Please subscribe, and let’s move forward together.

Stop and Consider . . .

Next: Top 7 Life Lessons #1: Cherish the memories; carry them with you. Move forward.

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