The end of life can be one of the most challenging moments we face. Hospice brings out our fears about dying, experiencing pain, and leaving loved ones. Transitioning to hospice care or watching a loved one pass away is difficult, but you don’t have to face it alone. If you’ve accepted Christ into your heart, God will be with you through all seasons of your life on earth and in Heaven.
Sometimes grief and fear—for our own lives or the lives of others—can make us lash out at God or turn away from Him. Seasons Springfield’s chaplain, Gene Gibbons, shares how reconnecting with God or meeting Him for the first time offers us comfort and peace.
God Lifts Spiritual Distress
Spirituality is our connection to something larger than ourselves. Spiritual distress occurs when people no longer find meaning or purpose in life. They may struggle to accept their failing health or worry about where they will go after death. Many patients and families may question their beliefs after being diagnosed with a terminal illness or losing someone they love.
Spiritual distress often happens to people who’ve never experienced God or have been away from God for a while. Having faith in God can make all the difference in how you process and cope with your situation.
“Once we come to know Christ and have a relationship with God,” says Chaplain Gene, “He’ll never leave us. He will be with us for eternity. Hospice patients have hope as a result of knowing God because they have the hope of Heaven.”
John 3:16 states: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
God promises us eternal life and a home with Him in Heaven. You can find peace and comfort from trusting God and His promise.
Casting Your Cares on God
Dying is not easy to understand or go through. Patients may feel unsupported, confused, or angry as they enter hospice care. Caregivers and families may feel anticipatory grief for their loved one, or they may be greatly overwhelmed.
Does your current situation make you feel far from God? One way to reconnect with God is to cast your cares on Him. If you’ve invited God into your heart, He is always there—ready to listen.
“Knowing Christ takes a patient’s mind off their situation and places their thoughts on God,” says Chaplain Gene. “When people do reconnect with God, they learn to give their situation to God instead of keeping things to themselves.”
When you tune into God, giving your anxieties over to him, you change your life. Faith in God helps you shift your thoughts away from your suffering.
Studying Christ in Your Life
Our chaplains at Seasons Hospice can offer you spiritual support and guidance if you wish to receive it. We encourage you to ask questions about the Lord and are always willing to share God’s word with you. If you prefer not to receive spiritual support, we respect your decision.
“You’ve got to have a desire or a hunger to investigate the possibility of coming to know Christ,” says Chaplain Gene. “There has to be something inside of you that says, ‘Something is missing in my life. I need God.’”
Our chaplains encourage you to ask questions, like “Will God hear me?” or “Who is God?” Together, we help you explore God and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your faith.
“Knowing Christ changes your life even if you are 80, 90, or 100 years old. God can still change your life, and you can be a different person,” says Chaplain Gene.
The Joy of Knowing God
“When a person comes to know Christ and passes from death into life, and leaves the darkness for the light, their perspective on life completely changes,” says Chaplain Gene.
People who don’t know God don’t have Him as a confidant. Keeping our hurts to ourselves allows us to dwell on our circumstances. Yet knowing God places our focus on Him—not on our situation.
“Knowing God makes me happy. Knowing God makes me peaceful. I have hope,” says Chaplain Gene. “Hospice patients can have these things. They can be happy in the time that they have left. They can be peaceful in the time they have left. And they can have hope.”
Hope may be the greatest gift of all.
Contact Seasons Hospice for more information about our faith-based hospice program. We focus on palliative care and spiritual care at the end of life.