When Sarah Berger was faced with the most horrific bereavement she had to choose whether she would walk away from her faith or pull closer than ever into God. Here she explains her story. 

On August 11th, 2009 my heart was thrust into a space that was unfamiliar. A place I’d studied in the word and had walked many a Christian through, but now it was my turn. There was a choice I needed to make within the immediate hours after our son Josiah left for heaven due to a fatal car accident. Would I cling to Christ or abandon the God I so intimately knew and loved?


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I made my choice that day to hold tight to all the truth I knew about Christ and his kingdom. Not only I, but my entire family set our hearts like flint toward Jesus. As we huddled together in the hospital, arms tightly wrapped around one another we determined: “We can do this. Jesus loves Josiah. Jesus loves our entire family. He alone will get us through.” We put our stake in the ground and determined where our help comes from.

“I lift my eyes to the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2.

Would I cling to Christ or abandon the God I so intimately knew and loved after my son died?

Through my grief journey the Lord has shown himself faithful in ways I would never have imagined. You see, I had known the power of his resurrection and had tasted of his favor and grace, but now he had determined it was time to know the fellowship of his sufferings (Phil 3:10) I could never have imagined that the sufferings could reveal a nearness of almighty God, that I’d never known before.

"He is near the broken hearted and saves such as has a crushed spirit.” Psalm 34:18. Near in the original Hebrew language means allied. Sister, he is at your side literally fighting with and for you. The word “saves” in the verse above means defend, deliver, preserve. He is fighting for your next breath and your next step when you feel you cannot go on. He will shield you when the enemy is at your heals and you have no strength to defend yourself. He is nearer than the very breath on your cheek.

Sister, he is at your side literally fighting with and for you.

Yet, the most life giving and revelatory comfort the Lord has worked through my earth-shattering grief, has been to reveal how magnificent heaven is! The Lord has opened my eyes to its grandeur and sealed in my heart and mind how wildly alive our Josiah is, along with all the saints. Sovereign God has scripted dreams and providential encounters to drive the truth of life eternal deeper into my heart. There is no chasm that separates us, but just a thin veil. In Hebrews 12:1 it is said that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and encourages us therefore to cast off sin and to run the race with endurance. It is life giving to know that I not only have a holy accountability to Jesus, but also to my boy. I am assured in heart that my son is proud of his mom and loves that I am living this earth life fully aware that my citizenship is in heaven.

Friend, the best counsel I can give is to embrace life. Wrap your heart and mind around every reference of “life” in the Word of God and apply it to your grief wound. Imagine your loved one living his fullest in Heaven. See him there busy, laughing and loving his eternal home. This is no vain imagination but the truth of the gospel and the very reason Christ came.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that he who believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting LIFE. John 3:16