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Come and find solace as you get to know us who share in this journey of grief. We have been praying for you and extend our deepest and sincere sympathy. We “hope” you experience comfort and peace in this safe haven of love and support.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In the Word Wednesday...Entering the Darkness (Ch. 3)

Welcome to In the Word Wednesday! Join us as we travel through And Then You were Gone by Becky Avella. You can read the first two posts related to this study here and here. Today, we will dive into Chapter 3, Entering the Darkness. Again, there's so much to say and this chapter is filled with some awesome biblical truths! So...today's post will be about the pressure to "be strong" as we grieve, concluding with a challenge to allow yourself to truly grieve. I will continue with some additional topics from this chapter in the days to come!


Becky starts Chapter 3 with the following verses:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

A time for everything. Sometimes, such times include times of grief. Each of us embarking on this study are all too familiar with times of grief. Throughout this chapter, I love how Becky reiterated a truth about grief, which states:

Grief may be delayed, but it cannot be denied.

Did you get that ladies? Grief may be delayed, but it cannot be denied! That rang so true for me. The first several months to a year after Chloe died, I threw myself into so many things. All good things, I might add. It was a way for me to work through my grief. In all honesty, however, I was delaying my grief. I distinctly remember ringing in the New Year and feeling as though Chloe had died yesterday. The realization of the onset of a new year, combined with that fact that it seemed like everyone around me was celebrating in anticipation for what was to come, hurt so much. I felt as though everyone else was moving on, yet I was stuck in the darkest place I'd ever know. Still, I had to face it....I had denied it long enough. Can you relate?
Becky talks about facing this darkness, the Valley of the Shadow of Death (Psalm 23). Her words in this portion led me to think of a song that I've sang at church called Valley of Vision by Sovereign Grace. I shared some of the lyrics with the ladies in the face-to-face study, which state:

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your want in my need
Draw me near with every breath
In the valley

The idea is to draw near to God during these valleys in life. That doesn't mean that we need to wear this strong, Christian facade! God wants us to come to Him just as we are and the reality is that we tend to put on this mask that disguises the reality of what we're going through. While we may be able to fool others, for a time, we can never fool God. He sees right through the mask into the very heart of who we are; He knows precisely what we think and feel.

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
(1 Samuel 16: 7)

He sees our hearts, ladies. The reality of what we're going through. He knows us in and out, as we learned last week when I shared in the video some verses from Psalm 139. He created us uniquely, with feelings and emotions. Let's not shield who we are, what we're going through, and how God created us to be! We talked in the face-to-face study last night about balancing our emotions and feelings with our desire to cling to the biblical truths related to our loss, like: God is in control (Sovereignty), He will work this out for good (Romans 8:28), and God has a plan and purpose (Jeremiah 29:11-13). While all of these things are true and many of us believe them with all our hearts, it can be hard to strike a balance of clinging to these truths while experiencing feelings that starkly contrast these truths, like: I must have deserved this. My loss wasn't that important. I was only ____ weeks along. I want you to know, ladies, that these are blatant lies and we cannot give in to such thoughts, as much as our hearts are tempted to entertain them. Rather, we need to stock our hearts and minds with ammunition to ward off such negative, deceitful thoughts. This ammunition is the Word of God and things only of Him. You may be wondering, how do I do that? Here are some simple ideas:

If you have not given your life to Christ, that's the first step in drawing near to God. He already knows we need Him...it's up to us to humble ourselves before Him and place our lives in His hands. Romans 10:9-10 says, "...if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe an area justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Saturate yourself with more of Him!

Be in the Word. Start with the gospel of John and read a chapter per day, or over and over each day till you feel led to move on.Choose a Psalm and read through that each day and move on to another when you feel ready.


Rather than being tempted to go to your mom or a girlfriend with a burden right away (which I had to confess is what I often do!), go straight to God. He longs to carry your burdens.

I think about a verse that our Pastor used in last Sunday's sermon from James, which states: "Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8) Draw near. Seek Him with all your heart. It starts by humbling ourselves and letting go of the facade we so often feel we have to keep up. God wants us to come to Him just as we are...broken-down, grief-stricken, in the valley kind of women. Cry out to Him. We know from His Word that "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up all their wounds." (Psalm 147:3) That's us, ladies. He is waiting for us to come to Him.

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