Grief, when we hear the term we automatically think of death. But the truth is that grief comes in many forms. According to Merriam-Webster the second definition listed for grief is “a cause of deep sadness”. Grief could more appropriately be associated with loss. That loss may come in the form of physical death, or it may come in the form of the death of a marriage or the death of a dream.
I never really thought about grief in this way, nor even realized that it was grief that I was experiencing when my husband left. Day after day, I sat in my suffering, trying to find a way to go on. It was then that I began to realize, this was like a death, without the physical death. I had lost someone that I loved very much completely unexpectedly. The hardest part about it was, that it wasn’t because of an accident or illness, it was by choice. My husband chose to walk away from me. He chose to betray me and leave me alone with our 3 children. He chose to abandon his children. That betrayal hurt worse than anything I could have ever imagined.
The suffering associated with grief brings a kind of loneliness that can be very consuming. I remember reading a blog post by Vaneetha Rendall called “The Loneliness of Suffering“(you can read the entire post by clicking on it) Some of the comments she made so hit home with me. Comments like “Part of me is crushed, I will never be the same again. My life is radically altered” spoke directly to how I felt.
Another point she made that I knew to be true was that the only way out of grief, was to draw near to God by reading the bible and praying.
For the first year after my husband left, as soon as my kids got on the bus for school, I sat with my bible and my journal and spent the first 1 to 2 hours of my day with God. I honestly do not know how would I have gotten through even one day if I did not do that. It was in those hours with God that I began to move forward in my grief, it was there that my loneliness felt less, and it was there that my suffering was eased by the presence of God and by His promises that never would he leave me or let me fall.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall“
Through those countless hours of praying, journaling, and studying the bible, I learned more than I could have ever thought possible. My relationship with Jesus came to life in a way that I have never experienced before. I found a joy that I didn’t know I could have in the midst of such pain and grief.
Now that doesn’t mean that every day is now peaches and cream. Healing from grief and suffering is a process, and one that can not be rushed. There were many, many tears that had to be shed and sometimes, even nearly 3 years later, those tears still come when I least expect them to. Dark days still creep in here and there, days where loneliness is so all-encompassing that I don’t see a way out of it. On those days I realize that I am still healing and I stop and take time to seek God more. No matter what though, the bottom line is that in my grief, in my sorrow, in my hurt and pain, God has been and continues to be my comforter, my healer, my provider, my one true love. As Rick Warren said “You never know God is all you need until God is all you have”. There is so much truth in that statement. Don’t get me wrong, I would love for my marriage to be restored, I would love to have back what I have lost, to not have to raise my kids as a single-mom, but I know now that I don’t need those things to happen in order to have an amazing life. Each day I wake up and remind myself that I am God’s, I belong to him and my future is in his hands and whatever he has planned for me is going to be far better than anything I could dream up.
If you are suffering through grief, be it a “deathless” grief or the loss of a loved one, turn your eyes to Jesus. Pray, read the bible and open yourself up to the healing that only Jesus can bring. Your circumstances may not change, but your view of them certainly will. Allow Him to fill the emptiness inside of you because, he is the only one who truly can!