Living in Sorrow’s House—Part 2

Living in Sorrow’s House—Part 2

Corrie ten Boom — was a Dutch Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. She was imprisoned for her actions. Her most famous book, The Hiding Place, describes the ordeal.

Corrie ten Boom would quote this poem as she told her story.  She had a crown done in needlepoint and showed the backside as she quoted these words:

Not till the loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly, 

Will God unroll the canvas And explain the reason why.


The dark threads are as needful in the Master’s skillful hand 

as the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.   


With the experience of my losses and reading many books about  grief, I have adopted several mantras on the “process of grieving.”  Corrie ten Booms poem reminds me of God’s threads of gold He wraps around our sorrows of despair and how He will produce a plan of beauty. 


Stephen Arterburn reminds me, “Time will fade the pain and lighten your despair, but it will not heal.”   What he is referring to is time alone will not heal your pain. Time spent well can be healing. Time spent in a healing environment, aka family/friends who bring strength and are sustaining, not draining, helps the grief process. 


 But again, being completely honest with you, I had many days that I didn’t want to see a soul.  The last thing I wanted to do was to talk to someone. Sleeping most of the day on the couch is all I wanted for some time.  For me, it was like an “out-of-body experience.”  I wasn’t sure why I should keep trying to move on, while at the same time, I kept hearing this whisper, what I believe was the Lord’s voice saying, “it is ok to rest, don’t feel guilty or unworthy for laying down and mourning, you need rest.”   And so, I did.  However, after some time had passed, I also believe I heard the whisper of the Lord say to me, “these losses are not your identity.”   


We can get consumed with “ways of thinking” that are not healthy, and it can steal our true identity.  The enemy desires for us to cover ourselves up in labels he has given us.  Satan doesn’t even have to repeat his name-calling to us, as we help him by repeating it to ourselves, over and over.  


Please don’t miss my point here. I am not saying the pain of loss, whether it be the loss of a loved one, loss of a marriage, career, health, can be unbearable pain at times. And who doesn’t want the pain to stop? We continue deepening our pain by going down the road of guilt, what if’s, regrets, should have’s, should not have’s, why’s, confusion, doubts, self-punishment, only to add anger, and of course, that sometimes subtle thought of why live another day.  These feelings and emotions are part of the grieving process. Notice I said “process.” You are to go through the process, and there is no specific time set for this progression. However, when grief consumes your identity, then you become a dead man walking.  Nothing is worse than being alive but not living.  It doesn’t just affect you but infects all those around you.   


I will continue this series next week with what living with unprocessed grief looks like, but until then, grieve if you need to.  Cry, throw rocks, sleep on the couch, go out in the back yard and scream your head off. But after that, fall back in the arms of God and allow Him to heal you. Ask Him to give you peace, to persevere through this trial. Pray for God to heal emotionally as well as physically.  And to help you accept your “new normal” and be free to move ahead without regret.   


Listen for His whisper.  You see, Jesus completely understands our grief.  As a man of sorrows and grief, He identifies with our sufferings.  The Lord wants to help.  Our step is to ask, and then the critical step—accept His help.  


Sometimes not knowing what to pray— the lyrics of songs can put a voice to my pain. I can’t tell you how many times I pray the lyrics to the Casting Crowns song- – Just Be Held.  


Hold it all together

Everybody needs you strong

But life hits you out of nowhere

And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting

Chained by your control

There’s freedom in surrender

Lay it down and let it go


So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away

You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held

Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place

I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm

You’ll wonder if I love you still

But if your eyes are on the cross

You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted

In time, you’ll understand

I’m painting beauty with the ashes

Your life is in My hands


So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away

You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held

Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place

I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

Just be held, just be held


Picture of Tanya Magnus

Tanya Magnus

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