I didn’t know that the seemingly innocent Google invitation called “Rediscover This Day” would throw me again in the trenches of overwhelming pain. I clicked on the link and stared at two smiling faces: my husband and me, standing on a bridge in a hug, exuding happiness, joy, and love.
To see the photo and all the happy memories it evoked felt like a stab straight into my fragile heart. That happy life was no more. Tears rolled down my cheeks, and my body shook convulsively. It hurt so much — the realization again of such a painful loss.
How did I end up here?
Less than a year ago, I was living a life I wanted and cherished. I had a thriving marriage, a beautiful intimacy and friendship with my husband, a settled life where I could flourish, work, and love freely. It was my sweet spot, a place of happiness. The future was bright and full of joyful expectations. I had never been more happy, confident, and secure, anticipating the fulfillment of God’s promises and dreams in my life.
But now, I am living in a nightmare: a life of loneliness, without the love and support of my beloved. My hands are weary, and my heart is shattered into million pieces.
My body and soul ache. The loss of my husband initiated a continuous chain of losses: the loss of a future we planned and wanted together, the loss of my family, the loss of my way of life, the loss of the dreams we had together, the loss of the intimate fellowship with another person.
My dreams and desires seem more distant now than ever before. I ask myself often, “Why keep going?” My heart longs for a settled life, for home, for a resting place to love, live, and create again. I struggle to keep trusting God.
I am in the chains of grief.
In my anguish, I feel the gentle nudge to love Jesus in my pain and let Him comfort me. Too often we cry for understanding, asking why and expecting that the answer will bring relief and compensate for our loss.
But when we’re in the midst of suffering, we rarely get answers, and I honestly don’t think we need them. We need God — the consolation of His loving presence, the comfort that He understands and feels our pain, the hope and perspective of His words. We need consolation, not an explanation.
In the first days and weeks after the unexpected loss of my husband, I felt as if God had taken me to the bottom of an abyss and covered me with darkness. Surprisingly, I was still alive, still breathing. I cried out for an explanation; I argued with Him. But I soon found out that it didn’t matter how He might answer my why questions; it would not ease my pain or bring my husband back.
What I needed then and what I need now is the reassurance that the thick darkness will not engulf me or silence my faith.
I need to know that I can breathe in the crushing, icy waves of pain, anxiety, and suffocating sadness.
I need the confidence that although I am burning in the furnace of affliction, like the burning bush, I will not be consumed.
I need to know beyond doubt that there is life beyond death.
And I can only know this when I see Jesus, when I feel Him, and when I hear from Him. Like Job, I want to say, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5 NIV).
On that day when the photo triggered my pain, I ran to the Lord for consolation, weeping in His invisible arms, choosing to love Him in my pain.
Today, and every day when I struggle with outbursts of grief and pain, I want to trust His heart for me and His good plans. I want to stand on the truth that He still has a future for me, dependent only on His grace, mercy, and power. I choose to hold on to His eternal answers:
There will be restoration (Acts 3:21 NIV).
Put your hope in Me (Psalm 130:7 NIV).
I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25 NIV).
When you are distressed, I am distressed too, and it is My own presence that saves you (Isaiah 63:9 NIV).
You will not burn. You will not drown. I am with you (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).
Pain and suffering are not my new life. This is just a season of loss and grief, shaking me into new and more positive ways of thinking and living.
I look forward to the day when God will heal me, restore me, and give me the precious fruit and blessings of my suffering that I can share with others. He prepares a legacy for me, satisfying me completely. I believe God will bless my latter days more than the days before, as He did for Job, leading me from strength to strength, from grace to grace, and from glory to glory.
Friends, if you wonder where God is when you pass through grief and loss, know that He is there. He is your Comforter. He is there in the darkness, making you a strong survivor and a blessing to others through it.Leave a Comment