Trusting God with Our Pain in Grief
I wanted to run and hide to ease the pain somehow, I was weary and heavy-hearted. A fresh wave of grief came crashing in, and my mind was racing with a hundred different thoughts all at once. I pulled out my journal and wrote;
“O’ Lord, I spent 20-years nurturing, training, loving, and guiding Justin. Now, he’s just gone. Lord, I ask you, O’ God, to take this ache from me, I run into Your arms, and I lay the pain of this loss and my heavy heart at your feet. You are the bread of life, the living water. Please come and fill this grief-the hollowness in my heart, with you and your goodness.”
Within just a minute’s time of writing out my prayer, I was led to read Psalm 46:4, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.” Upon reading those words, I knew with absolute confidence the Lord was meeting with me. You see, earlier that morning I was studying and camping out in the book of John, specifically John 4:10 and John 7:37, and eventually lingering in with Revelation 7:17 and Revelation 22:1-2. I was drawn to Jesus’ description of himself, ‘the living water.’ When my eyes rested on Psalm 46:4 and absorbed the words “there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,” I was sure it was yet another layer of what the Spirit was impressing upon me earlier that morning. To my great delight, upon searching the Scripture reference, I was correct!
A snapshot of my heart was captured as I wrote in my journal in real-time. It took a while to understand what was happening in my heart, but it finally clicked for me. As I was writing, I could hear the inner chatter of my mind asking questions, “What if God doesn’t answer me? What if I write this out, bare my heart, and I am left feeling the weight of my grief alone?”. They were honest questions because acknowledging my pain WHILE I was walking through it was something new for me. My “aha” moment revealed an unhealthy and sinful pattern I created. Instead of immediately taking my pain to the Lord, I regularly attempted to comfort my wounded heart by using food to soothe the turmoil within. This pattern only compounded my problems, for soon, shame was quick to follow along with the physical consequences of misusing food. I preempted taking my concern or hurt to the Lord because I feared He would be silent. Unknowingly, I was not trusting the Lord to sustain me, while instead, I tried to sustain myself.
This week bookmarks one year since I made my promise to Justin to get healthy. With certainty, that life-changing conversation propelled me for such a time as this. With the excruciating pain of losing Justin, there is a stark contrast between my manufactured comfort (food) and true comfort which comes from the Good Shepherd and Overseer of my soul. I was gracefully forced to stop using food to treat my pain. Instead, an irresistible invitation was extended to me and to you from the One who faithfully cares for our souls, “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” Revelation 22:17
Forever held in His faithful grip,