Three Hymns to Guide You through Your Grief Journey

Three Hymns to Guide You through Your Grief Journey

Three Hymns to Guide You through Your Grief Journey

When faced with grief, we can feel overwhelmed by the void in our hearts left where that person or thing used to be. Grief is painful, complex, and unpredictable. But there is someone who can fill all the empty spaces and heal all our pain. His name is Jesus.

When faced with grief, we can feel overwhelmed by the void in our hearts left where that person or thing used to be. Grief is painful, complex, and unpredictable. But there is someone who can fill all the empty spaces and heal all our pain. His name is Jesus. 

Jesus is a healer and a restorer. He offers joy, peace, grace, and hope even in the darkest of times. But in the middle of our pain, it’s not always easy to see His light or to hold onto His promises. There is a tool to help us cling to Christ’s love when flooded by heartache. Music is emotionally and psychologically powerful. Spiritual songs, also known as hymns, are a beautiful means to point us back to who Jesus is and how He holds and cares for us even amidst our deepest pain. 

Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Riccardo Mion

"He Will Hold Me Fast"

Grief is a slippery slope. When we lose someone or something we love, we might be fine one moment, and then… someone brushes past us wearing our loved one’s cologne and the scent evokes a thousand memories. Or, months after our loss we’re ordering ice cream and notice the flavor of the day is peach—the sweet, creamy favorite of the person we lost. Suddenly we’re overwhelmed by a fresh wave of loss. The hymn, “He Will Hold Me Fast,” is a reminder that Jesus holds us when we’re falling into that dark, aching space. 

The lyrics tell us even though we might feel abandoned, we are Precious in His holy sight, and He will hold me fast. When we feel lost and unsure how to move on, the old song reminds us Jesus will not let my soul be lost. His promises shall last. When our feet seem to slide out from under us, we can sing, I could never keep my hold, through life’s fearful path. But we don’t have to do this alone, we probably can’t, but Jesus? He will hold us fast.  

"Give Me Jesus"

There are so many questions that flood our heads when we experience grief—why did this happen? Why them? Why me? Why now? Was there anything I could have done to stop it? Was there anything they could have done to prevent it? But one of the biggest questions is: Now what? My life was one way with this person or thing in it, but now my life is different. How will I move forward? What if we had a plan for how to start tomorrow? 

The hymn “Give Me Jesus,” advises, In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus. Yes, please. That sounds wonderful. I would love Jesus as soon as I wake up. You? Alright, we’re up and moving, but then our new reality comes crashing upon us. This hymn sympathizes that there are dark days, but those are the days we most need to call out to Jesus. Dark midnight was my cry, give me Jesus. When the world feels like it’s closing in, we can anchor ourselves in the truth that this world isn’t what matters. We are Jesus’ sons and daughters. We are loved and adored by the One True King. Yes, there are days this world filled with heartache won’t give us what we need, but… You can have all this world, give me Jesus.

"It Is Well with My Soul"

“It Is Well With My Soul” was written by Horatio Spafford after getting the devastating news that all four of his daughters had drowned at sea. When we think no one could understand our grief, this hymn speaks to us, When sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot. Yes, we might think, that’s how I feel—rolled over by sorrow, like I got dealt the worst hand of cards. But then Horatio goes on to sing, “It is well, it is well with my soul.” If this man who experienced substantial grief can still sing praises, maybe, we think, maybe we can too.  

When we aren’t sure we could ever sing again, this hymn reminds us, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control: that Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and has shed His own blood for my soul. Jesus sees us. He knows the pain we’re going through. He loves us so much He died for us. Ahh. This love is so great, it prompts us to believe, even though our hearts ache that there is hope. And we can take a small step forward today, and another tomorrow. We hurt, but because of Jesus’ love, we will be okay. We can join in the chorus, It is well, it is well with my soul.

*all hymn lyrics are public domain


Laura L. Smith, best-selling author and speaker, grew up singing old hymns in her traditional church, then rushing home to count down the rest of the Top 40 on Billboard’s music charts with Casey Kasem. Smith loves all kinds of music, and although she can’t carry a tune, she’s often seen singing or dancing around her house. Smith speaks around the country sharing the love of Christ with women at conferences and events. She lives in the college town of Oxford, Ohio with her husband and four kids. Her newest title, How Sweet the Sound, releases in August. Connect with her on Instagram @laurasmithauthor and at www.laurasmithauthor.com

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