Around sixteen years ago I would meet faithfully every Friday morning with a group of five other women. Each week we would speak freely and learn and love and laugh together. This group began because two women chose to take Titus 2 to heart and took four other married women with children from teens to in the womb under their wings to teach. One of the lessons that we learned was how to love others through heavy grief. One of these two had buried her only son when he was thirteen years old to a devastating bicycle accident when he was hit by a car. At that time, I thought she was teaching me how to minister to others in their grief, I had no idea that she was also teaching me how to walk through my own.
Sixteen years ago I learned from her grief that the stages of grief were a real thing, and they don’t follow a text book. I learned that there are no words that can fix it. I also learned that pain and anger and hurt, even towards God, doesn’t mean that my faith has failed. It is just another pathway to experience the sufficiency of His grace and the reality of His peace that truly does surpass all human understanding.
Sixteen years ago I learned through her that there is no time limit on grief. I learned that every one grieves differently. I learned that sometimes it just jumps out of no where and grabs you and takes you to your knees all over again. I also learned that the shoulders of Jesus are great for leaning on and His hands are always faithful to catch us and stand us to our feet no matter how many times grief takes us to our knees.
Sixteen years ago I heard about the fog of grief and the assurance that faith in God would somehow see me through it and around six years ago I stepped into this fog of grief and leaned heavy and deep into my faith in God to see me through it. I find it interesting that when Paul taught us in his letter to the Corinthians, that we walk by faith, not by sight, it was slap dab in the middle of him teaching us about the tearing down of this earthly tent and being absent from the body and present with the Lord (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians+5&version=NASB), and I have learned from experience that it takes walking by faith and not by sight to navigate the fog of grief that comes with watching our loved ones earthy tent being torn down before our eyes.
It takes walking by faith and not by sight to navigate the fog of grief that we sometimes don’t even realize we are in because we are trying so hard to be okay because life doesn’t stop and we just keep going even though we feel numb and undone. Faith takes hold of us and the God of the impossible carries us each step of the way. The fog of grief that causes us to forget to put the check in the bill we just sealed, stamped, and mailed. The fog of grief that causes us to sleep through our alarm and find ourselves in our car on the way to work fully showered and dressed yet we don’t remember how we got there. The fog of grief that finds us saying, I’m sorry what were you saying, over and over again because we are there, but not there. The fog of grief that reaches out and begs us to succumb to the numbness and be undone, but that fog of grief is no match for the faith in God that grabs our face by it’s grace filled hands and looks us in the eyes and pours the peace of Christ in our soul and says be of good courage for death has not won.
The fog of grief is dissipated by our faith in God. The Light of Life shines and the fog lifts. Grief rolls in, but grace rolls it right out again. Grace and peace to all who trust in Him. No matter how many times the fog of grief shows up, faith in God will be there to navigate us through it. No matter how many times the fog of grief overshadows us, a voice rings clear and loud through the cloud reminding us of the Beloved Son who came to turn grief into great joy. This Christmas, if you are in the midst of the fog of grief, trust in your faith in God, for He is right there with you, in the fog and in the faith.