Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
Grief breaks into our lives whether we are ready or not. Usually, we are not. But with God’s help, the broken pieces can be fit back together and made stronger. For Part 1 and Part 2 of this series on grief, see July 17, 2022, and July 24, 2022.
I love the fact that mourning and morning sound just alike. One expresses sorrow and the other represents a new beginning. Together, they pretty much sum up my condition as I face the future.
Before my husband’s funeral, my pastor told me that mourning is one of the ways we show our love.
I liked that. It gave me permission to let go of my grief.
“Blessed are those who mourn,” Jesus said, “for they will be comforted.”
He was right.
That doesn’t mean I don’t miss or love my husband; it means I am comforted.
Over the years, I’ve been asked countless times, “How are you doing?”
What does one say to that?
“Dying on the inside.”
“Why do you want to know?”
“Do you truly want to know?”
The real answer came to me one … morning:
“I’m in His hands.”
My reply set some people on their heels. A few agreed, and several looked puzzled. But everyone heard me.
There was nothing better to say and there is no place I’d rather be.
When I’m in His hands, I don’t have to be fine. I don’t have to understand. I don’t have to have answers. I can, like a child, lean back against Him and let go. “Your will be done, not mine.”
“Your will.” Two very powerful words. They ring with surrender.
The first night I was alone, eight winters ago, I curled up on the floor in front of the woodstove. Six inches of snow skirted my house and temperatures hid beneath a 20-degree blanket.
The woodstove was a safe and quiet place.
Fire danced behind the glass of the door and, in time, became a companion of sorts—something warm and alive that I could sit near and watch each evening. Something from which I drew comfort.
I slept and ate and prayed and wrote before that fire.
I also sang and played my guitar.
One evening I sensed the Lord there, listening. I moved my chair over to make room for Him to join me.
I didn’t see Him, didn’t hear Him, but I knew He was there.
How many times in my life have I moved something out of the way to make room for Jesus?
How many times in my life should I have done so when I didn’t?
That night in front of the woodstove with the fire glowing through the glass, I sang to Him. Old songs, new songs, most of them quiet and gentle because that was how I felt. It seemed I’d spent only a little while in His presence, yet when I looked at the clock, two hours had passed.
Is that what eternity will be like?
The space in front of the woodstove became a healing place, and I think that matters to God.
Long before my life was a possibility, He told Moses, “Here is a place by Me” (Exodus 33:21).
He went on to say that He would cover Moses there with His hand. So Moses waited in that place.
No substitute can be found for waiting on the Lord, but it requires trust.
Trust is often just doing the next thing – like the dishes. The laundry. Mowing the yard or stacking firewood. The next thing can be my salvation, taking a step forward, trusting He will sweep up the pieces if I fall.
There are triggers. Pain sneaks up on me when I’m not looking. But God is the Great Recycler of human wreckage. He knows how to fit the pieces together and make them stronger.
Life goes on, they say, and it does. It just goes on differently.
Jesus goes on with us as we move ahead.
He is beside us each day—if we allow Him to get that close—walking with us through the triggers and the pain, whispering His peace as we lie down at night.
And He is there in the morning, waiting for us.
Just like He was in the valley.
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