Whether or not you are new to loss, talk a bit about early grief. What was it like, clinging for hope in the pits of despair? What did you cling to for hope? How did you survive the early days? What helped? What do you wish you could share with someone new to this walk, clinging in the pit? If you’re in the pit, currently, share your struggles. What can others do to encourage you?
I haven’t written many new posts about the depths of despair…the days of fresh grief. Much of what I have to say has been written. But, tonight, preparing this post, I am taken back to a few of those days, playing in flashes, like scenes from a movie.
I am in the bath tub, tears streaming, as the water fills. The quiet sobs rising from my depths. My head leans against the cool side of the tub, too weak to hold up as the next wave rushes in. I’m not really in the tub at all, but in the midst of a tumultuous sea, as wave upon wave filled with the unspeakable pain of grief wash over me. I have no fight in me. In a heap, I hang my head and let them come.
Life is a haze. Everything covered in the film of broken dreams, an ache I never knew existed. Nothing matters. Nothing that used to seem so significant holds value. Numbness for the moments when pain subsides. Everything is lacking life and color. And, although I cling to hope and truth the best I can, there are moments when the grief is bigger than anything else…or that is the way it feels.
I crawl to my bible, tears streaming in the middle of the night. I don’t always feel like it. It’s like climbing a mountain in a hailstorm with 10 tons on my back to get to the bible. I know it holds the only hope of comfort there is, yet my arms are so heavy, it takes more strength than I can muster just to lift it.
Somehow, I do, and the tears stain the pages, as I cling. Sometimes I feel His peace wash over me like a soothing balm as His life-giving words combat the hopelessness that deceives. Sometimes, I have to learn to believe without seeing, or feeling. Still I cling, weeping on the pages.
I know He’s my only hope. The waves are strong. Sometimes it feels like I can’t breathe. I don’t leave my house. I don’t open the door or answer the phone. For two months…after we buried our twin daughters. My mother and Ginny take turns staying with me while Tim is at work. I am rarely left alone. I know life will never be the same. The hardest place to go is church. Not because I’m mad at God, but because being there brushes the most tender places of my heart…the heart that lays torn to shreds, ripped and raw. Worship. The music, stings. More than stings…my bedraggled heart cannot take it. I’ve talked to friends who felt the same…in grief. The heart is too tender…for anything that touches those raw places.
There were days Tim would come home to find me in a heap in the corner on the kitchen floor, crying like a little girl. After the loss of my mother six years ago, I would wake up curled up in the fetal position, crying. He would hold me until I could breathe again. When I woke up from nightmares in those early days, he would remind me where I was, and that it was ok. Again, I clung in the dark of night, when I wondered if He really met her and carried her home. Jesus whispered truth to my aching heart…shining light in the dark, truth to quiet lies….when again I crawled to Him, up the mountain, in the hailstorm. Tim held me when I cried through worship.
Sometimes, all these years later, he holds me still. And, still, I cling when doubt and pain rear ugly and big in front of me…weak, small me. Jesus whispers, “Fix your eyes on me. I am Who I say I am. I will never leave you, nor forsake you. I didn’t leave you in the darkest valleys…in fact, I was growing beautiful fruit watered by your tears. And, I didn’t leave Faith, Grace, Thomas…or your mother. I carried them home…and I am carrying you now…every step, every breath.”
Guess what…no matter how you’re feeling right now, He’s carrying you too. Even if you can’t feel Him…even if everything your eyes see in front of you on this earth spells hopelessness and despair. Cling to His promises…cling to His truth.
From the Threads of Hope Study: Getting Out of the Pit
I have been in the pit, and through this ministry, I spend a great deal of time with others who are in the pit of grief. And, when you’re in the pit, it’s tough to think of anything other than the pain and sorrow weighing down on you, being heaped upon you as you sink further in.
Corrie Ten Boom – “There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still.”
I love that…and I could also relate to what Gwen Kik shared:
After Hope died I felt as if I were hanging in a pit. The only think keeping me from falling to the depths was my grasp. On the edge of the pit was our Lord, offering His hand but I would not look at Him or reach for Him. I would only hold to the hem of His robe. Some called that faith. I called it desperation. He was all that I had to hold on to.
I hung there for many months before I had the courage to even look at Him. I remember the day clearly that I climbed out of my pit, into His arms and had a good cry. That was the beginning of my letting go.
When in the pit, we may not have the strength, desire, or will to even reach our hand up to take His…to even lift our head to look into His eyes, to even open our mouth to whisper…”help me, hold me, carry me”. Even that may be too much. Just breathing is a lot to ask in the smothering depths of the pit.
What I love most about Gwen’s picture is that the Lord is sitting outside the pit…waiting for her…offering His comfort and reassurance. Even when we can’t feel Him, even when we reject Him…He is there…waiting with unyielding love to gather us in His arms and wipe our tears.
I also love that Gwen says she clung to Him out of desperation. I think there’s too much emphasis placed on the strength of our faith. Faith isn’t about us…it’s about the God we trust in and what He is able to do. It’s not about how big or well we believe…or anything else we do. It’s not about having strong faith…and a faith that barely holds on out of desperation is not considered weak faith. Faith, after all is just knowing that He is the One to hold on to…it’s trusting in what we do not see. It is the “substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen”. Call me crazy, but holding on to the little tiny threads of His robe while grasping in desperation in the pit…where you cannot see the hope, the light, the promise…that’s the most beautiful faith of all. The dirty, messy, nitty-gritty faith that comes when the world is falling apart and there are no answers.
At least, that’s what I learned from my own time in the pit…
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions;if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Last week, it was such a blessing to read about your sweet babies and to see the beautiful encouragement many of the mothers offered to one another on this walk. That is what this is all about, sharing our hearts and encouraging one another…so that each mother knows we are not walking this path alone. Thank you for the privilege of walking with you. I hope you will join us again this week. It’s a hard one, peeling back the layers. But, take heart…you are not alone.
Love and grace to all…
*Link your post below, or share your heart in the comments. And, please take the time to visit those linked here. Thank you!