"May your faithful love rest on us, Lord, for we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:22 CSB

“May your faithful love rest on us, Lord, for we put our hope in you.”(Psalm 33:22)



Grieving is chronic, though not a disease. It doesn’t just come once and disappear. No, it comes back over and over. When you lose someone, you experience a grief that will never completely go away. That doesn’t mean you will constantly feel the pain of grief, but the grief doesn’t ever entirely leave.

Grief also comes to those with chronic illnesses; they have had to grieve many losses (including some dreams). Since I had never heard the words chronic and grief used together, I coined the phrase chronic grief because I think it fits.

Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process……Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape. (C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed)

I miss Stephen, our son who died in November 2019 at the age of 29 [He had Muscular Dystrophy (MD), which eventually led to congestive heart failure.]. Through the years, he had to grieve the loss of many of his physical abilities. Finally, he had to use a wheelchair full-time. Chronic grief was very real to him as he suffered the loss of abilities and dreams.




Many things can cause chronic grief, not just the loss of a loved one. Some of us have family members who don’t see a need for God. Concern for our nation can cause grief. All these situations can weigh heavily on our hearts.

Sitting alone in the living room, I feel mixed emotions. I know God has it all under control, but sometimes everything seems overwhelming, including the sorrow and chronic grief. That’s when I remind myself that it’s not up to me to “fix” things. I can be concerned, but that should lead me to pray more, ask God to intervene, and trust Him to accomplish His purposes using whatever means He chooses.

I ask for wisdom and remember that I am only one person. There are things far beyond my control. When I focus back on God, knowing He is on top of things, I can rest and be at peace. That doesn’t mean I am no longer concerned or that my sorrow and chronic grief are gone, but it does mean I don’t have to worry or fear. I still pray – and I can perform the tasks before me right where I am.




There are times when I almost feel overwhelmed by grief when memories of my son come to mind. These waves of grief seem to wash over me like a flood.

If I allow my thoughts to go on and on, I will start to heap on guilt, thinking of all the things I could have done differently. I might want to start blaming the doctors or the hospitals for not doing things right. I might let my anger take over and miserably wallow in self-pity. Chronic grief can be a hard taskmaster.

When that does happen, I try to catch myself and remember that God has ordained all the days of our lives. All my worrying, complaining, or anger won’t bring Stephen back – and though I miss him very much, I know he is with his Savior and in no pain. The grief will always be there, but it will be tempered with joy, knowing that my son is free. I think of all the special memories and cherish them in my heart.




Knowing that Stephen is in a better place doesn’t take away the grief. Tears form in my eyes, and sometimes they flow freely. My heart is sad, and I miss him so much. If I ignore the grief or just push it deep inside and quote Scripture to myself, I am only putting a Band-Aid on the problem.

There is no quick fix for grief.

It’s important to let ourselves feel the pain of chronic grief. It is real. The person we miss is real. There is a hole in our lives that will not be filled, though the ache may soften over time. When I go to God with my pain, I’m not expecting a quick fix. I trust He will comfort and give peace through His word and friends’ thoughtful acts and prayers.




I have experienced the death of both my parents. My dad died at the young age of 65. I am now older than he was when he died. My mom died in 2016 at the age of 93. I still miss them, and there is still this chronic grief, but the grief of losing a child has been so much harder for me.

I have trusted God throughout my life, expressing that trust in reading the Bible, praying, and looking to Him for guidance. He has cared for us in many ways over the years. When we had no money, He provided food and other needs through friends. God has provided over and over through our 46 years of marriage. We KNOW He is real. This knowledge does not take away the chronic grief, but it does bring comfort.




In early Autumn 2019, I won a journal in a giveaway; I thought it would be perfect to use as a gratitude journal as I worked through the Psalms. On November 17, 2019, I wrote my first entry. Each day, I would read a few psalms and choose one or more verses to write out. Then, I would write a sentence or short paragraph giving thanks to God as I meditated on the passage. At the time, I had no idea of the grief that was coming.

Little did I know that two weeks later, my son would leave us. I knew he was not doing well, and the Psalms were so helpful to pray through. I began sharing some of them with Stephen during those last few days in the hospital. He also found comfort to help him in his pain and sorrow.

God knew I would need comfort and strength and a way to express my lament, and I am so thankful for my habit of reading the Psalms every day and writing in the journal. When Stephen left us, God met me in the Psalms as I read, prayed, lamented, and praised. The sorrow was great, but the comfort was real.

I am still going strong with that practice and look forward to it every day. Through His word, God has comforted and still comforts me daily. In the process, He has enabled me to comfort others through my writing and sharing my life (including chronic grief).




When Jesus knew the time was close for Him to die, He was sorrowful, but He assured His disciples that the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) would come to be with them always. Chapters 14-16 of John are filled with this comfort. Chapter 17 follows with the prayer that Jesus prayed for his disciples – and all who would believe, including us.

I pray not only for these but also for those who believe in me through their word. May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe you sent me. (John 17:20-21)

Even though I will always have chronic grief, I also have joy and peace. It is not a peace I can manufacture, but it comes from God, just as Jesus promised. I love how the Amplified Bible describes this peace:

Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] (John 14:27)




God has also given me special friends, friends who understand because they have also experienced grief through losing loved ones and through enduring chronic illness. Some of these friends are local, and some are online. We pray for each other, sharing joys and sorrows, encouraging one another to lean on Him. They understand that grief is chronic because their illnesses also cause them to grieve loss.

These sweet friends help me see I am not alone. Though we live miles apart, we have a bond of love and grace. In spirit, we are close. We can encourage each other through our words and prayers. Many of these friends have chronic illnesses and have given up so much, but in the process, they have found a closer relationship with God. He truly has comforted them through His word and through friends.

During these troubling times, I am not worried because I know God will accomplish His purposes and will be with me no matter what happens. When bouts of chronic grief surface, I hold on to His promises to comfort and give grace.




No matter where you are on your grief journey, you are not alone. Whether you are grieving the loss of a person or the losses you’ve had in chronic illness, your loss is real.

Would you join me in prayer?

Dear Father,

You are the great and awesome God, full of compassion and mercy. We come before you with our grief and pain. Will you comfort and strengthen us for this journey? We are weak and sometimes feel alone, but You have promised never to leave us. Even in our darkest hour, you can bring us peace and joy. 

May we look to You, not doubting, but trusting that You will meet our every need. Your answers may not always look like what we think we want, but they will always be for our good. Father, meet us in our pain and draw us close to You.

In the name of Jesus, I pray,



What are your experiences with chronic grief? How and where do you find comfort?


We would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section. In doing so, you may encourage someone else. You might even find encouragement for yourself. May God bless and keep you.


Michael Card’s song, Come Lift Up Your Sorrows, encourages us to bring our sorrows and lament to God.

Gayl Wright

Gayl Wright

Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team

A grandmother but young at heart, Gayl enjoys exploring creativity through writing, poetry, nature photography, art, crocheting, and piano. She loves coffee, tea, chocolate, and jeans. Gayl has been married to Steve for nearly 50 years, with 7 children and 14 grands (some have chronic illnesses, and one son is now with Jesus). Always learning and writing from her heart about life, her desire is to know God better, glorify Him, and encourage others. She is the author of Journey into Light.


Step in slowly. Sit with God. Allow yourself time and space to feel and experience your pain. When you’re ready, take up your pen and explore the precious and life-giving gift of lament.

Grieving & Hope Devotional

There are times in our lives to mourn and grieve, but it is so important not to lose hope. For those of us who know Jesus, we cling to an everlasting hope. Grief is something we must work through, and it cannot be rushed.

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