Grief: The Intimacy of Suffering – Part 1 of 3


Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

Everyone faces grief at some point in their life. There is no right, better, or perfect way to deal with it. We just deal with it. In our own way.

But there are many little broken bits we have in common with others, and we often find comfort in sharing those fragments.

In this past year since my husband’s lingering disability and death, I have been asked about grieving. Starting with today’s blog, I will share in a three-part series what I have learned along the way. Much of it may be familiar to you. Some of it you may find unusual or unbelievable. But hopefully, in the fragments—the pieces of brokenness—you’ll find comfort.

Part 1 

I wanted it to be over.

Let me rephrase that:

I REALLY wanted it to be OVER!

I was tired of hurting and just plain tired.

But –  (Don’t you love the buts in life?) –

the painful, lonely days were days I had to go through. Part of the process.

I remember falling to my knees in my living room one evening, my heart bleeding from my eyes and dripping into my hands.

And in that surreal moment of knowing Jesus was near – so near, I felt His breath on my hair.

“Really?” someone asked me later. “Did you really feel His breath on your hair?”


Which is more real – the physical, limited world in which I exist or the realm of His soul-peace in which I live?

During those earliest days of suffering, I experienced His nearness in ways I had not known before I was alone.

It is the aloneness we kick against, that valley I didn’t want to walk—no, wait—I didn’t walk it. I crawled.

There is no shortcut. I had to go through the valley of shadow without the flesh-and-blood companion I’d once had.

I know, I know—I wasn’t really alone, you say. But in the valley, I felt alone … except for that staff of the Shepherd I kept bumping up against in the dark, that breath on my hair.

Everything was so different, and I didn’t like it. But still the Shepherd set a place for me at the table. He fed me when I didn’t want to eat. Especially not with my enemies lurking nearby—

Craving for human touch
The ugly cry that wrecks your voice 

Yet the valley was where I discovered the intimacy of suffering—that precious gift found only there.

So I waited.

I wait for the Lord,
My soul waits,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning –
Psalm 130:5 

Grief isn’t something you get over; it’s something you get through.

Like a valley.


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10 thoughts on “Grief: The Intimacy of Suffering – Part 1 of 3

  1. Carlyn Bailey

    Some mornings the headache went to bed with you still have in the morning. The friend you tried to guide from making a terrible mistake still won’t listen.
    Most importantly what is still here is the Bible I read for comfort yesterday will comfort me again today. My Jesus and His love for all of us is still with us. May you feel His love this morning.

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Carlyn – Yes, it is Jesus who gets us through the valley. He is so faithful.

      1. Deanna Sturgeon

        There is no time limit on grieving! I was talking to a friend in our bereavement group and she told me someone said to her, “I can’t believe you’re still grieving. Get over it!” I was horrified someone would say that! It’s harder for some than others! I would recommend getting in a group if its offered in their area through a church or funeral home.

        1. davalynn

          So sorry your friend received that reply, Deanna. I agree – there is no time limit. Next week we’ll look the roles of other people in our journey.

  2. George

    So powerfully dead on… you are gifted with the ability to put words to feelings many of us are experiencing. Thank you

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, George. I’m glad this was a blessing to you.

  3. Lacey Lewis

    I’m praying that you see God‘s hand in your life today. May He bring comfort and joy to you.

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Lacey.

  4. Kathleen Lautaret

    I am so very happy for you Davalynn that you and George have found a renewal in life with each other! Congratulations to you both! Thank you for your ability with words to bring me closer to God! I had a stroke this morning and throughout the day my strength has returned to my left leg and I can walk without help! Prayer helps and many friends are praying for me! God bless you and your ministry t o others!

    1. davalynn

      Praise God for His healing touch, Kathleen! May you continue to improve and be strengthened in His presence.


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