Yesterday’s Grief :: Reflections From A Coffee Shop Conversation

“Who knows what you have spoken in the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all your life seems to shrink?”
~ Grima Wormtongue ~
The Two Towers
(film version)

So many of us are right there with Grima’s slithering words to Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings. We’re lying up at night, thinking on things that refuse to die, crying in the dark over things that just won’t leave us alone. And it’s more than just regret. It’s more than just “ah, wish I hadn’t done that” or “wish I’d done a bit more”.

It’s soul-wrenching grief. It’s sitting on the edge of your bed, both palms lifted, tears streaming down your cheeks, looking past the darkened ceiling, begging your Saviour to take the trash and make it into gold.

To do the impossible.
To dig out the fiery brands marking our past and cover them with mercy and hope.
To show us, in a way we’ll never forget, that there is healing in 2021. In 2022. In 2023. In each year till He splits the skies or calls us Home.

We’ve all got dead weight we’re dragging around ‘cause we just can’t seem to shake it. But in Christ, there’s healing and Hope. Hope beyond the Shadows. Hope beyond the Curse. Hope that everything sad will come untrue when the morning breaks and we finally see Him. Hope that all the things we whisper to the Darkness are heard and known, yada-known, by the CreatorKing of Men Himself.

Here we sit, without all the answers, clinging to the things we know to be true, pleading with the Most High to make sense of the madness and to carry us through when we can’t see the way ‘cause of the blinding rain of our own tears.

We’re up at night but we don’t have to be. We’re wondering but perhaps we’re not meant to know it all all of the time. We don’t need to be always fighting the whole world.

May we lay down our weapons, lower our hackles, smile at our demons, and remember Who sits on the throne. Flowers bloom at His decree and He can surely bid our fears to cease. He’s orchestrated our lives to be what they are;

despite the sin, the what-ifs, He bids us march on. In His strength and His strength alone. The sun will shine on us again.

They tell you time heals all wounds; but they’re wrong.

Time makes them permanent.

The Most High alone heals all wounds; heals them till even the scars can’t even be seen. He may use Time to help the process along but Time without Him makes life an agony. Time without Him is a slow death as the movie reel of our Past hamster-wheels before our eyes until we cry blood, begging it to stop.

Time without Him is vanity of vanities. There’s nothing left for it but to eat away the pain, drink away the pain, pleasure away the pain, avoid away the pain, anything to stop the madness.

But Time with Him brings Hope and healing. Hope that people can still come Home. Hope that none of this was for nothing. Hope that He’s growing flowers even here in the wolf’s den. Hope that maybe the Past can die after all. When His hand dumps the last shovel-full of dirt over the evil, rotting flesh that won’t be buried, the demons wail into silence.

Because He is greater than our past. Greater than our deepest soul-wrenching grief. Greater than the Darkness. Greater than the what-ifs, the wondering. He’s called us to live bravely on that narrow strip of time we call the Present. We’re only really there for a half a second before it becomes the Past but it’s ours to call a temporary home, and steward it well we must.

And perhaps we won’t forget everything completely. But perhaps that’s the point. Perhaps we weren’t meant to forget everything completely. Perhaps we’ll be able, one day, to see the shimmering haze of the Past, nod to it like a half-remembered dream, once a friend, now an acquaintance; and wish it well.

We’ll leave the wondering in the hands of our all-knowing and all-wise Father Who’s working all things out for our good & His glory; even if it doesn’t quite make sense to our finite minds here in this mortal realm.

This is Ecclesiastes-living. Carving out Hope in a sin-cursed world that often strips us of everything we have. We don’t always understand the grief & non-closure of our Past but Scripture warned that understanding isn’t always our business:
“As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child,
so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.”
~ Ecclesiastes 11:5 ~

Ours not to question why, ours to trust His wisdom.

Does our painful confusion push us toward Christ or away from Him? Do we pour our agonies and what-ifs onto His capable shoulders like the Psalmists did? Or do we hug them close to our chests, trying to bury them in the earthen graves of our own hearts?

May we live bravely, no matter the uncertainties. He exists and that’s enough.

He exists in goodness
& power
& love
& gentleness
& faithfulness
& Truth
& righteousness
& Hope.

Our greatest grief of sin has dissolved in the ocean of His soul-cleansing blood & salvation is ours; an eternal Hope that none can take away. & that’s the Healing. That’s the sun coming out again.

& in the end, our main purpose on this earth hasn’t changed. All our yesterdays; all the grief of our yesterdays hasn’t changed the conclusion of the whole matter:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
~ Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ~

Does that mean we’ll understand everything in Heaven? I don’t know. I do know that it means that the Most High is faithful & He doesn’t waste our pain. We may not always unqderstand it but it’s never wasted. He doesn’t play sick games with us. He grows us, fashioning us more into His image, even if that means Refiner’s Fires.

So let’s not stay up all night, wondering why.

In the words of good ‘ol Spurgeon, “sometimes the best thing we can do is go to bed. You are worrying and troubling yourself, and you can do nothing–go to sleep. It is the climax of faith to be able to shake off all care and to feel ‘if the Lord cares for me, why should I not sleep?'”

“I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Yahweh make me dwell in safety.”
~ Psalm 4:8 ~

:: Scattered thoughts from a 5hr conversation in a coffee shop but I pray somehow the Most High uses them to encourage your souls, lovely humans. I’m grateful for the dear, old friend who sparked these thoughts & for my Saviour Who clears a path through the dusty confusion of this dazzling yet bewildering world 🖤 ::

“Blossoms dress the trees;
Spring without permission rages on again…

Life, life is heavy but it just won’t stop.
Life, life is fragile but it won’t give up.
It cries for us; “listen to the voice of your Maker now;

hear the One that calls to all you don’t know how to be
but now you will.

We roll on in the power of the morning.
We go on in the shadow of the moment.
We roll on and we all carry on.”

~ “Juggernaut” ~
by John Mark McMillan

& this must be Spring, I guess. Soil digging, soul-searching, Spring 🖤

:: we’re in a War, my friends, and we all need Courage on the Front Lines 🖤 ::

2 thoughts on “Yesterday’s Grief :: Reflections From A Coffee Shop Conversation

  1. I am soaking in the aftermath of your blog post, Tabby; encouraged and challenged and invigorated. Reading your writing is like having lived my whole life learning to speak other languages and then finding a book written in the language of my journals and prayers. I’m so grateful my sister found you on Instagram! ☺️

    ~Melissa

    On Tue, Apr 27, 2021, 5:34 PM courage on the front-lines wrote:

    > Tabby RH posted: ” “Who knows what you have spoken in the darkness, alone, > in the bitter watches of the night, when all your life seems to shrink?”~ > Grima Wormtongue ~The Two Towers (film version) So many of us are right > there with Grima’s slithering words to Eowyn in T” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Melissa….your words brought tears to my eyes, girl 😭 The way you describe my writing is the exact way I think of Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson: I actually wrote on the inside of the title page “every once in a while you read a book that speaks your language; this one speaks mine”. So when I read your comment, it hit me so hard ’cause I know that feeling & it’s suuch a gift from the King to find another human on this earth who speaks your language 🙌 I’m incredibly humbled & honoured & it makes my heart soar ’cause that’s one of my prayers with this blog & on Insta: to give people Hope in Christ alone. I’m beyond grateful Lorraine found me on Insta too!!! & I truly love the faithful encouragement you ladies leave on my posts. Keep pressing on in Him 🖤

      Like

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