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
Your words are a gift to me this morning. As I read them with tears in my eyes, I am strengthened and comforted in my own season of grief and loss. Your words that God will “bless your latter days more than your days before” is a promise God made to me at the beginning of my husband’s diagnosis of MS. The verse that the latter house will be greater than the former was His promise to me. I know God led me to your words this morning because I so needed that confirmation today. We both will have testimonies to share in our future that will bring glory to our Jesus. God bless you friend for your obedience in the midst of suffering. Thank you for your words of hope today.
Susan, thanks so much for sharing here. I am glad that my words brought confirmation and reassurance for you! Praying for you, for renewed hope and vision for the future!
Thank you May God surround you with comfort, new life, new joys. It will be month 4 for me this week. Have been in a state of paralysis and spiritual disillusionment where psalms 102 and 88 are some of the only verses that ring authentic. I am not young and feel that all I have to look forward to is the day when my wretched, lonely earthly life is over.
Cheryl, I am so sorry for you loss! I have struggled with spiritual disillusionment too. But offers healing from this too. He can handle our disillusionment and use it for good to make our faith foundation even stronger if we allow Him. Praying for renewed strength, hope and spiritual vision! Comfort and peace to you in the name of Jesus!
Hadassah, I so appreciate your prayers. Your words are a balm and a gift.
Judy Miller says
I understand! I loss my husband of 27 years, almost a year ago and it hurts and the grief is hard to take, BUT GOD!!! He WILL give you the peace you need in due time.
I cry, but I remember the memories and I smile, laugh and even talk to my husband.
It will get better, and you will remember the sweet times you shared, and God will give you peace that surpasses no other.
Judy, tried to send you a purple heart. Evidently this site doesn’t like ios emojis.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Judy! It has been an year for me too. Memories are still very painful to me. I hope with the time and me practicing gratitude the memories will become a source of comfort and just a source of pain.
Judy Miller says
Stay strong! God will get you through this.
The grief is hard, but continue to look up, where your help comes from. Jesus is with you, believe me!❤
Ruth Mills says
Bless those who mourn & may God use those not now/not yet in a season of loss come alongside & hold you up just as Aaron held up Moses’ weary arms to secure God’s victory in battle. May we not shrink away from loss but be the prayer warriors, dishwashers, laundry folders, glass of cold water on a hot day givers to those in need as tangible proofs the mourners are not alone. God sees. God cares. God loves thru imperfect fellow travelers. Blessings upon blessings!
Amen! Thanks for this beautiful encouragement, Ruth! You are right: we should not shrink away from loss but persevere in our suffering and let God work in us and through us. Blessings to you!
K Ann Guinn says
May the God of all comfort give you the peace and love only he can give in this difficult time (and to the other ladies who have also expressed a similar loss). We are also in a painful time of grief with the loss of both of our moms this past year and several other family members in recent years. But the loss of a spouse must impact one the most, so I lift you all up in heartfelt prayer. Thanks for sharing out of your hurt to encourage others that God indeed is faithful and He will see us through. The truth that He has a good future planned for us gives us real hope. God bless and keep you all.
Amen! Thanks for your prayers and support, friend! I am sorry for your losses. Losing a loved one is always heavy and extremely painful. Praying God’s comfort and peace over you. Blessings!
I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your heart ❤️
Thanks, Stephanie! I am glad that the post encouraged you. Blessings!
Remember it is your grief, and don’t listen to others who say “get over” or “it’s time you move on”. It is your season of grief no matter how long, and our heavenly Father is right there with you catching your tears. I pray you take the time you need to heal and do so in your own time.
Thanks so much for this encouragement, Maura! Yes, each grief journey is unique, as the loved one was unique and the relationship with him too. Blessings to you!
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
We all grief differently. No matter who is over. You Hadassah are brave for sharing your heart of how you are coping since loosing your Husband. You if he was saved have the joy of knowing even though you not got your Husband anymore in person. You will see him again in Glory one day. I don’t know if I see my Mum again who died in 2018. As I don’t know if she was saved. You could not have told her she needed to get saved. I just had live my life as follower of Jesus in front of her and pray for her. I am the only one saved in my Family along with my Husband. I do pray for their Salvation. I did for my late Mum. I am so glad to be saved. Especially when I see my Family and the way they live there lives. I am sad I can’t tell them Jesus loves them. Or they say Dawn can you keep all that to yourself. So I just live my Life for Jesus in front of them. But you know one thing I can say. I know this about my late Mum and I say the same about your late Husband. They not want us if they could see us now. Being sad and crying asking why are they still not hear. They want us to be think about them in nice ways laugh at the things they said and done. Plus for us to be happy. So that is what I do living my also for Jesus in front of my family. Yes I still cry and miss my Mum I always will. You will always miss your Husband too. Plus cry the odd time. I do laugh at the things my late Mum said and done. You should do the same. But remember Jesus is with you at all times. As time goes by it get easier to get on with life. But you never forget them. As with time it has been easier to get on with my life. It did take time. As I missed her and couldn’t see why God took her when he did and why he didn’t give her more time with us all me and my sister’s on earth. But then as time went by God showed me how to cope. I do think of her often. I still find it hard on her Birthday and things like that. You be the same. But do what I did took it all to Jesus in prayer. This old fashioned song really helped me you get it on YouTube “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” yes what a Friend We Have In Jesus. Jesus is with you at all times. I will say a prayer for you all the way from Co.Fermanagh in Northern Ireland.
Love you all incourage in my prayers all you. Love Dawn xxx
Thanks so much for sharing your story and your encouragement, Dawn! I appreciate this. Yes, my husband was saved so this brings me comfort and hope. You are right that we need to learn to grieve in healthy ways and honor our loved ones with the way we live. Our loved ones would want us to be happy and thankful, and not growing bitter and depressed. Blessings to you!
Blessings to you Hadassah. I pray our Heavenly Father will bring comfort to you during your season of grief, and may your sweet memories of your husband give you hope that one day you will rejoice together with Jesus. God bless you. ❤
Amen! Thanks so much for your prayers, Mary! Blessings to you too!
Thank you for this encouraging word. I lost my husband almost 7 months and some days it’s so hard to put one foot in front of the other! I know Jesus is with me and knows about grief and sorrow. But when you have spent almost 50 years together it’s devastating.
Hi Linda! Yes, it’s really devastating. I am so sorry for your loss! It has been an year for me and it feels like yesterday. I miss my husband even more. But I want to let God bring healing and to teach me how to grieve in healthy ways. Praying God’s comfort and peace over you!
This is my deepest fear…..losing my spouse. Thank you for the reminder that God will always be with me in times of loneliness and despair
I understand, Sonia. Nobody wants to lose a loved one… But fearing this is also not the best was to live. Whatever the future brings we will always have what we need when we have God.
M @ In Beautiful Chaos says
Reminds me of some song lyrics that have been on repeat in my head for awhile as I’ve been dealing with my own losses and grief: “So I won’t ask You for reasons/Cause a reason can’t wipe away tears/No I don’t need all the answers/Just be here beside me/Father, remind me You’re here…” (“Remind Me You’re Here” by Jason Gray).
Thank you for this encouragement today.
Thanks for sharing this song! I will search for it! Blessings to you!
Allison Wixted says
Hi Hadessah! So lovely to see you share your heart here on (in)courage. Congrats!
Sending you big hugs and love as your tender heart reassembles. Friend, I haven’t experienced your exact brand of tragedy, but being a special needs mom and suddenly losing a sibling help me relate to your pain. Yes to it being real, deep, incisive, and only one that Christ can heal.
Thanks so much for stepping out and sharing so vulnerably to help heal a world of hurting hearts like ours.
PS – Looking forward to seeing you back on the COMPEL/Devo FB group again next week! (I’m taking a writing break this week 😉
Hi Allison! So we are together at Compel, that’s wonderful!:) I am sorry for your losses, friend. It’s definitely extremely challenging to be a special needs mom. Sending hugs and love!
Thank you for your words. I feel like I can be a better comfort to others thanks to the way you’ve articulated your profound grief. I think that it’s helped to bridge the divide between a grieving person and how my heart hurts to do something for them. Just hearing that it’s like being dragged down into an abyss and covered in darkness helps me to visualize what it would take to empathize in a meaningful, useful way. I still probably won’t know what to say, but I think I will make a point to remember you and your writing to share with those who will need it. I have a relative who has a loss on the horizon and I can see what it will be like for her and also know that your words will help her to heal. God bless you.
Thanks, Jens! It’s good to hear that articulating my grief would help you to reach other grieving hearts and offer them comfort. As a person in a season of grief, I have found out that often the ministry of presence is most helpful to me. Just to have somebody, a safe and trustworthy person, to sit with me and listen to me, and feel with me, brings comfort and enables my healing. Blessings to you!
Beth Williams says
So sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one is never easy. Simple things like a picture or a song can trigger memories & make us cry. People may want answers to why this happened but all they really need is comfort. The realization that God & others care about them. Perhaps a simple hug or a shoulder to cry on. Asking God to comfort & console all who have lost loved ones especially spouses.
Thanks for your prayer and encouragement, Beth! Yes, you are right: grieving hearts need safe and trustworthy people who are good listeners to accompany them in their grief journeys. Blessings to you!
Thank you for sharing. Though we never want anyone to experience loss like us, it is so comforting to know that others have walked the grief road before.
Thanks, Rachel. Yes, the Lord comforts us, so we can comfort others with the same comfort we have received from the Lord.
Barbara Harper says
Thanks for sharing this, Hadassah. I tend to want explanations, but I think sometimes God doesn’t give them to us because we just wouldn’t understand this side of heaven, like my children didn’t always understand when I had to say no to something. But it’s true, too, that what we most need is His consolation. The more we know Him, the more we rest in His care and trust Him though it hurts. Praying for God’s continued comfort in your life.
Thanks so much for your encouraging words and your prayer, Barbara! It is normal to want an explanation and sometimes in His goodness God gives us bits and pieces of answers. But you are right that we are not able to get the whole picture this side of heaven. Blessings to you!
Marsha McLaughlin says
I can relate 100%. After 40 years of marriage and at the point we going to live our plans and dreams of retirement my husband wanted a divorce. I have been crushed by pain and loneliness. It is consuming me. I am going to participate in the Bible study beginning on August 9th. It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way. I love and trust my creator and have faith that I will come out of this dark place I have been in for two years. God is the only way!
Marsha, I am so very sorry for your situation!! It is so unfair and extremely painful. Praying for God’s comfort and strength to be released mightily over your heart and life. Praying also for healing and God’s redemption of this painful situation. Sending hugs and blessings!
Rebecca Jones says
Grief is a terrible experience, so glad He guides us through it.
Yes! With God as our guide and supporter we can walk this road.