istock_000034696976_smallI call them “gut-punchers.” They come without warning. They are those emotionally powerful reminders of a loss—and they are heart wrenching. You can be going about an otherwise happy day when you see or hear something that reminds you of your loss. And it feels like you’ve been punched in the gut.

There are many different scenarios for gut-punchers:

You and your husband have tried for years to get pregnant. You’re at the grocery store when a woman comes down the aisle carrying a newborn. And you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut.

You and your wife are separated or divorced. You’re enjoying an afternoon in the park when you see a married couple walking hand-in-hand, laughing. And you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut.

You’ve forgotten that Mother’s Day is coming until you walk by the card section in the store and remember that you can’t send your mom a card because she’s gone. And you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut.

Your teenage son or daughter rarely speaks to you anymore. He or she is disrespectful and angry. At church you sit behind a couple with two teenagers, all smiles as they worship together as a family. And you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut.

What to Do?

I’ve experienced my own gut-punchers. We all have them, although you may have a different name for yours. The question is, what do we do with them when they happen?

When I experience these moments, I acknowledge the pain. I don’t think it’s healthy to ignore pain by pushing it away. I might even shed of few tears. But the most important thing is this: I don’t stay there. Gut-punchers come from things we once held dear in our past, and we can’t heal by dwelling on them. We have to look toward the future. And that’s what I do.

I look forward to my new home in Heaven. The Bible description of its beauty sounds incredible! But what matters most to me is this description of Heaven:

“God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever” (Revelation 21:3, 4).

No more tears, death, suffering, crying or pain. No more gut-punchers. Now that’s something to look forward too!