Monday, December 26, 2016

Walking in the Dark

I used to do preschool story time at the library, and one of my favorite stories was We're Going on a Bear Hunt.  It's a repetitive song/chant that the kids would sing along with. The story follows a family who is, as you may have guessed, looking for a bear.  They come to a myriad of obstacles that block their path: tall grass, a deep river, a dark forest, and well, you get the idea.  When faced with each seemingly insurmountable barrier the chorus repeats:
"We can't go over it 
we can't go under it. 
Oh no! 
We've got to go through it!"  
The family would then plow through whatever was in front of them, emerging victorious on the other side, only to be met by an even bigger challenge.

We've got to go through it. These words keep ringing in my head as I think about my brother's funeral tomorrow, and the long road ahead of grieving and healing.  We can't go over it.  We can't go under it.  We've got to go through it. We have to face this giant wall of pain that looms over us.  I'd give just about anything to fast forward through the next 24 hours.  I don't know how I'm going to deal with the pain of having to bury my baby brother.

When faced with unbearable pain the natural reaction isn't usually to run full tilt into it. It's natural to want to shrink back from our pain and avoid as much of it as possible.  But I don't think that's the best way to move forward after something like this.  Maybe our best option is to just lean into the grief and process our suffering in God's presence.  Something tells me that any attempt to deny my sorrow would be met with failure.  It will surface in one way or another.  Better to bring it out into the light and confront it no matter how horrible it is.

It feels a bit like I'm walking in the dark, groping my way along an unfamiliar path.  I don't really know what the next step is.  I have no idea what the next few days will be like, the next 6 months, the next 6 years.  I know that this hole in our family will never be filled.  There is a pain that we'll walk around with for the rest of our lives, but that pain needn't define us.  God has stepped into this darkness, and there is a light of hope ahead.  At the moment it is merely a flicker but it is there. I know God won't let go of me.  He is the anchor for my soul, and even though I don't have answers to what lies ahead I know that I don't have to face it alone.

I've been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family this past week.  There are so many people who want to mourn with us and help us heal.  It's been a blessing to see the body of Christ really be the body of Christ.  I'm so grateful that this painful road isn't one that God asks us to walk in isolation.  


  1. Beth...this spoke volumes to me. The Lord knew I needed to read this. For different reasons then perhaps why u wrote it, but He works in mysterious ways sometimes!! I am so sorry for your loss and will ve praying for your family during this difficult time!

  2. You are spot on Beth and I'm so glad God's grace is allowing you to see this truth so early in your journey of mourning.Continue to grieve in His Presence and know you have a army of prayer warriors holding you up.