Part 1 of 3 – Grief: The Intimacy of Suffering


Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

This post first appeared July 17, 2022. Due to the number of people who have contacted me privately regarding their own journey with grief, I offer these words again praying that they bring comfort and encouragement.

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 that we share in common with others, and we often find comfort in sharing those fragments.

In the years since my husband’s lingering disability and death, I have been asked about grieving. Starting with today’s blog post, 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 will find encouragement.

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 out through my eyes and dripping into my hands.

And in that surreal moment of knowing Jesus was 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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8 thoughts on “Part 1 of 3 – Grief: The Intimacy of Suffering

  1. Karen Gee

    This is a great series. I recommend that you don’t miss any of it!
    I am happy that you are posting this again.
    We can all relate to this subject.
    May God bless you!

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Karen. Feel free to share the link with anyone you know.

  2. This couldn’t have came at a better time, looking forward to completing this. Thank you.

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Tiffany. I’m so glad it was a blessing to you. Thanks for reading.

      1. Jan

        Thank you,I know some folks who need your words…🐝

        1. davalynn

          Thank you, Jan. Hope they’re a blessing. See parts 2 and 3 for more.

  3. Gail Garland

    Just reading it now and I think back how after all was said and done…I felt relief, k owing I was with him as he took his last breath on Earth…was his first in Heaven. I kissed his physical shell goodbye and walked to my car and called my daughter then my close gal pal. When I got home I prayed and there was such a sense of relief. Jesus was with me all the way.

    1. davalynn

      Thank you for sharing, Gail. God is so faithful in His comfort.


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