For the last month or so, it’s been very quiet around here. Partly, that’s because I’ve been busy with Christmas, an after-Christmas trip to the Virginia mountains and cheering on two of my favorite basketball players. But, if I’m going to write here about God’s faithfulness — especially as I’ve experienced it through grief and single parenting and widowhood and all that fun stuff – then I should also probably share that the last month has been quiet because I hit a dark place.
I’ve said before that grief isn’t linear but the troughs continue to surprise me. After three years, it surprises me that grief still creeps in so suddenly and just completely commandeers my thoughts, emotions, energy, outlook.
For several months I felt really good. I began to sense what the future might hold, I had projects to work toward and I woke up excited about the day’s activities. I told myself that most of the hard work of grief was behind me.
And then, a few days before Christmas, a deep gloom came over me from out of nowhere. Maybe Christmas triggered it? Maybe. But in my experience, the valleys of grief haven’t centered around the big milestones. They hit more randomly.
Maybe it’s just my hormones, I thought. Nope. It stayed and hovered over Christmas and well into most of January. Even when I cerebrally knew better, what I felt was hopelessness. Everything was perceived through a dark lens and laden by profound loss. Life as I knew it was gone and would never be back. The work and passions that had excited me became pointless. My energy was gone and my emotions were tender and frayed.
Why do I even share this? For a few weeks, I toyed with writing openly about what was going on. But who wants to read that depressing stuff, I thought. I want to encourage and uplift women.
But it’s not truth and it doesn’t help others that may be walking this road if I only write about the good days. Grief is hard work. Time doesn’t heal. Time is neutral. God heals.
So when I hit a dark place, I rely on the only things I know to do: bathe my mind and emotions in the truth of scripture and cry out in consistent prayer for God to restore. I have to cling to what I know is true even when nothing in me feels it.
And every single time, God is faithful. It may take a few weeks, but eventually I see the sun beginning to come up. And one day it dawns on me — I’m back! I want to cook for my family and read that new book and write and go for a run with my kids. And it feels good to feel good again.
I don’t think it will always be like this. I imagine the valleys will be farther apart and of shorter length and hopefully more shallow. But I’m sure we will always carry the pain. We are forever marked by deep love and deep loss. I may be walking with a limp, but by God’s grace, I’ll be moving forward.
If you’d like to be notified when new posts are up, I’d love for you to sign up with your e-mail at the top right of this page. Thanks! xoxo