Going To Live In Another Country

Saturday, June 28, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Shall We Gather At The River"1 (Lyrics)

Job 2:6 – The Lord said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life." (NIV)

In the late afternoon of October 10, 2013, my husband Ernie went to live in heaven –- and I went to live in another country — a country called Grief. No one wants to visit this country, let alone live there. I had no idea that the move to this country would cause such an upheaval in my life, be so painful, and seem like it would never end. As a citizen of Grief, I thought that I would be able to move back to where I'd lived before, any time I wanted. Not!

For months, I had these thoughts: "What makes you think that you're strong enough to live on your own?" Or "How are you going to live now that you have no money?" Or "The phone isn't ringing — no one cares about you." Or "You have no family or money, so you're going to end up a lonely, old bag lady." Then the biggest of all: "Why don't you just go off the balcony and end it all? Then you won't be in Grief anymore or have to endure all these health problems that have happened since Ernie died." On and on it went.

We can't escape life without knowing people who live in Grief. I had, however, never heard anyone who lived in Grief share that they had suffered from the attacks of Satan. So it came as a shock one night, as I was writing the above thoughts in my journal, to become aware that this was happening to me, when God gently whispered to me the source of my agony. As soon as I realized this, I knelt in prayer to ask for God's protection, and, in His mercy, immediately these horrible thoughts stopped.

The attacks have not totally gone away but, thanks be to God, I now know to banish Satan from my mind and turn to the One Who promises never to leave us or forsake us. I am still in Grief, but in my weakness, I have learned to trust Him more. In turn, He has provided me with His peace, the peace that passes all understanding.

Perhaps God allows us to live in Grief and suffer Satan's attacks so that we will be equipped to minister to others who live there, and let them know that they can pray for God's protection.

Zechariah 3:2a – And the Lord said to Satan, "I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you." (NLT)

Prayer: Father God, forgive us when we do not bring our problems to the foot of Your throne. Help us to remember that You are the merciful Comforter, and that You love us and care about every detail of our life. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Evonne Isaak
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Bless you Evonne. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you Evonne for your words. Been there — but GOD has lifted me up. Blessings.

    God bless you, Evonne. I pray you will soon be able to move from Grief to Peace. Thanks for sharing.

    What wonder filled piece on the loss of a loved one. The land of grief must have a province of worry and fear. What an insight you have written. Thank you. I will pass it along when next we lose a friend.

    Thank you for your well-written “grief statement”. It truly touched my heart, as I too am struggling daily to accept and live within the “new-normal” that is unfolding since my Sweetheart of 53 years went to heaven.
    God Bless you and give you HIS peace.

    Thank you for a wonderful devotional. I moved to this awful land in December of last year. Sometimes, I know, it seems like everyone and everything we loved has been left behind and is gone. I too have been under the attacks and am just beginning to re-find God and his help. God bless you and all the other citizens of this “awful” country.

    Evonne, thanks for submitting a devotional that I am sure was difficult to write. We all need to be reminded to ask for God’s protection from Satan and his many assaults on our mind, spirit and health.
    Keep up the good work.
    You are blessing others.

    Hi. You are not alone. I too live alone and am up and down with my feelings of separation. We must always, always, turn to God for his help, protection, love, and help. Thanks to Jesus who died for us. We know that he will never leave us or forsake us so we have so much comfort and help in the bible.
    God bless you.

    Hi Evonne,
    I have lived in Grief myself, although for different reasons than yours. God bless you as you make your way out of that land, and may you see His hand of provision every step of the way. I found that He does indeed provide!

    Thank you for sharing your experience in the land Of Grief! My husband died last year, and I have had all the feelings you express. I am a lifelong Christian, and I know we will meet again, and he had a wonderful long life. We were over 60 years married. I felt guilty at suffering so much, and for so long, when others haven’t had the blessings given to me. I hope to be able to help others more sympathetically now, as you have done to me. God Bless you.

    Dear Evonne,
    Thank you for sharing about your experiences in Grief. My husband died a few days after yours. I share your experience and also rejoice in the presence of our living Lord who was “acquainted with grief and sorrow.”
    He comes alongside those who trust Him.
    May you be filled with His love and peace today and all the days ahead.

    Dear Evonne
    Thank you for this excellent devotional. Grief is a dreadfully awful place to be in – I’ve been there a few times myself; but having God in our lives is a great source of strength and even peace.
    So glad that you have overcome the darkness and are now living in the land of God again.
    God bless you and continue to strengthen and protect you, my dear.

    Evonne, I understand you perfectly. I share your pain. As a 6 year old boy I lost my mother and I lived in the Land of Grief for years and suffered psychologically and other hardships but then I accepted Christ in my heart and married a godly woman and we have been happily married now for over 50 years and blessed with children and grandchildren. Yes, the pain returns at times but it can be overcome with Christ. PRAISE THE LORD!

    Thank you Evonne. My condolences in your husband’s passing and in your journey through Grief. If you have a Hospice Society close to you, they ought to offer a variety of options in working through your grief, and in joining with others who have gone/are going through the loss of a partner. Our Hospice, for instance, offers a Bereavement walk every Saturday.
    Grief is a unique “club” as you say, to which no one applies, but in which one is automatically thrust when a loved one dies. My thoughts are with you.

    Dear Evonne,
    Thank you for your devotional. I am glad you have been saying in effect to Satan “Get behind me,” as Jesus said to Satan. At the same time, I pray that your relationship with Jesus will continue to grow.
    I have read a good novel by Doris B. Wolfe, who writes exemplary Christian novels, and talks of grief through one of her characters who suffers loss.
    I pray that God will bless you mightily Evonne, with suitable housing and work according to his choice.

    Thank you for sharing this. I am going to pass it on to our local group in our area.
    Somewhere, in your passage to the land of Grief, you picked up the courage and shield of Joan of Arc, who, in doing the will of God, experienced incredible loneliness.
    May God bless you and reward you.
    Since He brought you into the land of Grief, He will deliver you.

    Dear Evonne,
    I was moved by your writing. Many years ago I dwelt in the land of Grief also. I had lost my husband. I was a young widow and lived alone 3,000 miles away from my nearest relative. I thought about making a quick and final exit from that land too. I can understand the struggle and the endless pain. It does get better though. With the Lord’s help and direction, I was no longer a citizen of Grief, just a sojourner, and eventually just a camper. I pray that you will know that you will again feel joy and happiness.
    God bless you and thank you for your courage in sharing your experience. You spoke to my soul today and I’m sure that your writing will touch the lives of many.

    You sure have hit the mark for me, my husband passed away suddenly last summer, totally unexpected. We had just celebrated our wedding anniversary and we thought we would have many more. I have experienced all the feelings you are describing, and with the wonderful support of family, friends and our loving Lord, I am slowly dealing with my loss. The devil is taking every opportunity to get my doubts and fears working overtime. Living in Grief is one of the worst places one could be and with the faith and blessings of God, through time we will be able to move on, but right now it seems to feel impossible.
    Thank you Lord for guiding me and giving me the faith and strength to be able to someday soon leave Grief behind. Praise God!

    Good morning Evonne, Thank you for your honest and thoughtful and insightful message.
    I am sure it will help many who are going through the valley of grief. We don’t often hear just how they are doing.
    My husband and I just celebrated 50 years of marriage and each day is precious. Naturally, I don’t even want to think of the “what if” (he dies).
    I know God is sufficient for all our needs.
    Yet there is so much that will change.
    I try to be helpful to women in my town and of my age who have recently been widowed.
    I trust you too have a support group.
    I pray that you will find real comfort, peace and reason for living now that you are alone.(but not!)
    May God continue to bless you.
    Thank you again for sharing.

    Good morning Evonne,
    That was very strong of you to write your Devotional and I pray that your sharing in this way will help you to move to the country the other side of Grief.
    Lest you think I don’t appreciate how you feel, I do. When my husband died a few years ago, I didn’t know quite what to do with no immediate family (no siblings/children and my parents had died prematurely) and where I live, they don’t know what to do with a young widow for there are no groups/activities for me. I prayed for help‎ and God did answer.
    An Elder friend reminded me that I didn’t lose my husband, he had gone home and I knew that. (but I needed the reminder) Another expressed her sympathy, reminded me that she knew I had a strong Faith that would get me through this time, and to let my home church help.
    I have a Father who loves me and keeps me safe, and who I’m asking to help stop my nervousness and fear.‎ Worry and Fear aren’t nice countries either so I’m asking God to move me quickly from them! I’ll still worry but I also KNOW God is there to keep me safe.
    My sincere prayer for you is that God will gently move you to the country the other side of Grief — HE will, if you just ask. Grief is not a nice country for it’s one of pain, heartache and weakness — you don’t want to stay there! Writing your Devotional was a first step away from Grief. I’m sure HE will give you ways to be a help to others, to your community, and open doors you hadn’t even thought of approaching! Just trust and lean on Him for HE will ease the pain and heartache and give you renewed strength.
    God is ever-present in our lives, to comfort and support us…and to help us not listen to those “other” whispers!
    ‎Keep looking up! And please do continue to write!
    God bless!

    Thank you Evonne for this. It is written in a way that will bring comfort and healing to many. Grief is like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about or address. I pray continue comfort from the arms of Jesus.

    Dear Evonne
    I really enjoy your story “Going To Live In Another Country”.
    Thank you.

    Be blessed dear lady, and know you are loved.
    Father please surround Yvonne with your comforting angel from this day forth.

    Thank you for your timely devotional. Keep on putting words on paper to bless others.
    Grief is hard work. I pray that you will be blessed knowing that you are not alone. God is with us.

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