“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
Yesterday I wrote about the depths of grief with which I’m once again struggling. My sister read the blog and called me right away to cry with me, to let me know she is praying for me, and to share how she made it through a dark time in her life. She counseled me to imagine Jesus with me, beside me, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I realized that she described what I am instinctively doing. Although I want to hole up and just sit in the grief, I’ve felt compelled to keep going and doing and maintaining the scheduled events of my life. This has been a good thing. Even though I’m deeply sad, when I’m with others I’m better. If someone I’m with asks me how I’m doing I tend to answer “I’m OK right now – I’m with you.” When I’m with others, teaching, sharing, praying, loving, serving, I’m better and those who don’t know my heartbreak likely don’t see it on the surface.
As with nearly every aspect of life, there is a balance to be found. I can’t completely cover over the grief with activity and people. I need to experience the pain in hopes that feeling it through to something tolerable will happen over time. In the midst of people or when I’m alone I continue to sense the Lord’s presence and depend upon His guidance. He’s been through all of the places I’m going – there is no guide better equipped or more loving.
Life is rarely a binary experience – good or bad, black or white, joyful or grief filled – instead life is all of these swirled together sometimes in one moment. I’m so thankful for a community of family and friends supporting me, loving me and showing me the way. I’m so thankful for the creator of that community leading me along unfamiliar paths to a place of healing.
“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalms 143:10