The Word Weaver
Deb Weaver ~ Communicating God's love, grace, & truth
Beauty in the Shadows
by The Word Weaver, Deb on February 9th, 2012

The past few years have been heavy. Difficult. Disorienting. Disconcerting. Draining. There’s been an intensity that has weighed down and overshadowed everything.

Our dear, close friends experienced a terrible tragedy that still has ongoing effects three years later. My family has tried to walk alongside them through the ordeal. Beforehand, we thought it would turn out one way. We all prayed hard, and yet, the unthinkable happened.

And we were tossed to and fro by violent, tsunami-like emotions.

Shock. Unbelief. Growing horror. Grief. Devastation. Profound pain. Hearts bleeding while struggling with harsh realities.

Our faith was jolted, and questions besieged us. We held each other and sobbed. We wept before the Lord. We expressed our confusion and wounds to Him. There have been no easy answers; in fact, there are still many questions.

And yet, I experienced the soothing sweetness of God’s presence as I grieved. Again and again, I returned to the foundational things I KNOW to be true of God.

• He is good. He loves me. He is with me.

• He knows. He cares. He understands.

• He is for me. He’s on my side. He intercedes for me.

• Nothing surprises Him. He is in control. He’s trustworthy.

• He sovereignly works ALL things—even tragic, senseless things—for the good of his children and for His eternal purposes.

• If He allows it, there’s a good, important reason; He will work in and through it.
Photo courtesy of my son, musician, and artist, A.J. Weaver, Shot at Lake Jocassee, SC, 2012
The storm worsened this past year. I’ve clung to these truths even more when the pain became even more intensely personal and I was submerged deeply into depression. The foundational truths became my lifejacket.

In January, I experienced some frightening, deeply personal, shocking disappointments. I struggled to grapple with them. A few months later, I began to experience some disturbing health problems. My sleep patterns which had been marked for the past eight years with a recurring nightmare took a turn for the worse. I began to be awakened several times a night with a beeping sound that no one else heard. My doctor could not determine the cause. We unsuccessfully searched our home for possible alarms that could emit beeps at odd times. I became desperate for sleep.

I enlisted many friends to pray about this situation. After a week, relief came. Thankfully, though the nightmares continue, the beeping has stopped. Then, unbelievably, shingles developed a month later. Discouragement reigned supreme within me!

A few weeks later in late July, my Mom died. I am so grateful for the precious moments my family and I experienced during her last week on this earth. I cherish the privilege of being with her when she was carried to her new Home in the arms of Jesus, but the loss is unimaginable. There is no feeling like being motherless. Especially for a Mama’s girl.

It was then that I encountered more pain. Deception. Lying to protect me which ended up puncturing me instead. Though it was motivated by love, I felt betrayed. Anger. Hurt. Fear. Hopelessness.

The waves of grief were enormous and endless.

Just as I was starting to get my footing back, another wave would knock me off my feet and flip me back under the surface.

Pain permeated my soul.
Gasping for breath and pierced through my being, there were no words for prayer, just unuttered cries. Nightly my tearful eyes and aching heart searched the starry skies and soaked in its soothing silence. When I could utter words, only one emerged, “Father!” He heard. He was there. And I am grateful.

Though circumstances have not altered much, I have learned many things in the darkness and shadows. I have discovered:

There can be hope when it seems most hopeless.

Beauty in the shadows. Forgiveness in love. Healing in tears. Refuge in prayer.

There is unexplainable peace in the midst of the frightening storm.

Comfort in the night sky. Kisses in a sunny day. Encircling love of friends.

There is joy in the laughter of my family that bonds us.

These are just a few of the gifts of grace to be opened every day if I look for them.

But my greatest, most cherished gift has been this: I have drawn closer to God, who is absolutely trustworthy and who never leaves me.

My anger doesn’t push Him away. My questions don’t offend Him. My limited vision doesn’t embarrass Him. My tears don’t irritate Him. My needs don’t overwhelm Him.

He holds me through it all like the caring, compassionate Father that He is. He’s in my life for the long haul. He’s Immanuel—God with us. Oh, I love Him for that.

So, yes, these past few years have been dark and difficult, but I am okay. And as Holocaust survivor and author Corrie ten Boom says, “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the Engineer.”

My God is fully capable and in control. He knows where He’s taking my life and what detours are needed along the way. Whether we travel with sunny skies or deep darkness, I’m going to sit still and trust Him.

*A related post, "Transplanted", is a poem written during this time of grief. If you'd like to read it, please look for it under the category of Grief or click here.

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Copyright 2012, The Word Weaver, Deb Weaver


Posted in Hope & Healing, Life Transitions, My Journey with God    Tagged with Faith, Grief, Sorrow, Transparency, Trust, Storms, Darkness, Shadows, Beauty


18 Comments

Renee York - February 9th, 2012 at 8:29 PM
Thank you for sharing something so deeply personal, with what I know is your hope of helping andcomforting others. The mask we all try to wear and present to the world as a "normal", functional adult can be exhausting sometimes. The unconditional love of God is a miraculous thing.
The Word Weaver, Deb - February 9th, 2012 at 8:49 PM
Masks are difficult to maintain, aren't they?! And yes, the unconditional love of God is a precious gift! Thanks for reading, Renee! I hope you will return often to find encouragement here!
Melanie - February 9th, 2012 at 9:42 PM
I can't come up with any words to describe how this touched me today. I have sent this to a friend who has lost faith and is very depressed. I pray this helps him open the doors of darkness
The Word Weaver, Deb - February 9th, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Melanie, thank you for sharing this with your hurting friend. It is my hope and prayer that many will find encouragement through this blog! I appreciate you reading, commenting, and sharing!
dyan - February 9th, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Awesome. Needed. Heard.
Thanks for inviting me here.
The Word Weaver, Deb - February 9th, 2012 at 10:38 PM
So glad you're here, Dyan! Please stop by often, share your thoughts, get encouragement!
Teresa Hanley - February 10th, 2012 at 3:42 AM
Very inspiring ! Keep up the great work.
The Word Weaver, Deb - February 10th, 2012 at 7:32 AM
Thank you, Teresa. I hope you'll let others know about this and that you'll stop by often for encouragement!
Mary Anne - February 10th, 2012 at 8:49 AM
Thank you for opening your heart
The Word Weaver, Deb - February 10th, 2012 at 9:31 AM
Thank you for listening to my heart! I appreciate you reading and commenting!
Jo Ellen - February 10th, 2012 at 11:02 AM
I'm sorry I couldn't be more help through some of this. There are no easy answers and "stock principles" do not help. It is just painfully hard. So glad to see that these things have drawn you closer to Jesus, that you have not pushed him away. So grateful that you cling to Him! Truly you can be such a blessing through all this to others. Thanks for remaining faithful and inspiring with your words.
The Word Weaver, Deb - February 10th, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Thank you, JoEllen! If difficulty is what it takes for me to cling, I'm okay with that! His presence and help have been tremendous gifts through many different kinds of trials.
Michele - February 10th, 2012 at 2:33 PM
Beautiful! Personal! Inspiring! Thank you!!
The Word Weaver, Deb - February 10th, 2012 at 3:04 PM
Michele, I'm so glad you stopped by! Thank you! Please let your friends know! I'd love to be able to encourage as many as possible!
Mary Anne - February 11th, 2012 at 8:50 AM
I just realized the rest of my comment above got lost in transition! I wrote so much more, about finding Him in the challenges of our life. How He uses those opportunities to bring us closer to Him! Very strange, but I obviously haven't been 100% the last couple days LOL ;)
The Word Weaver, Deb - February 11th, 2012 at 9:40 AM
Recovering from surgery takes time~be kind to yourself! Thanks for adding more of your thoughts. He does use EVERY circumstance, and we do grow through our challenges. He's so gracious and patient with us!
Pati - March 2nd, 2012 at 7:43 AM
...through Christ it gets better! ...thanks for sharing this!
The Word Weaver, Deb - March 2nd, 2012 at 7:52 AM
Thank you, Pati. I'm so grateful for the presence and help of God who walks with through these times! I know you are too!
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