My Journey of Grief

By Sharon Arrington
In Hope & Healing
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On the evening of December 7, 2006, I embarked on a long and hard journey that I never wanted. The journey of widowhood. Little did I know that while attending an event at IBC, my beloved husband Joe, my soul mate and best friend of 35 years, was entering the gates of Heaven and into the arms of His Savior.

During this season of grief, God whispered to my heart several times: “absent from the body, present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)

For longer than I’d like to admit, I felt my life was over as well, but I can testify God was faithful to His promises. He reminded me that He would never leave or forsake me — and He never did. In the depth of my pain, He was with me.

Two months later my father passed away and I found myself overseeing both our will and my father’s will. My mind was tired, one of the many characteristics of my grief journey. Mental, emotional, physical, and yes, even spiritual exhaustion are common to experience during seasons like this, and I experienced them all very deeply. At first, I found it hard to read my Bible or even to pray. I remember so often the only prayer I could formulate was to say, "Oh God."

Years ago, I heard a saying that even today rings true to me about the journey of transitioning back into life after the death of a loved one; “You just keep living until you’re alive again.”

One of the best things I did for myself was to join the Griefshare group at IBC. In fact, I went through the class twice! Many do as often the first series around you’re rather numb. After several years, God led me to pick up the mantle to facilitate this class, and I have done so ever since. I think it’s my way of continuing to fight the good fight and not let the enemy have the victory over death.

Over the years, I have been continually blessed to see courageous attendees come to class in their pain, brokenness, and tears; in time watch God administer His healing process. Psalm 147:3 says “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Griefshare is a thirteen-week series that helps the people walking through grief know that what they are going through is normal. So often, you feel so exhausted and alone. But there is power in walking through seasons like this with community. A support group, that truly understands your tears and pain. The holidays are the worst in this season of loss, therefore we experience together a video called “Surviving the Holidays.” And surviving is truly the best definition.

I love watching how the group begins to comfort one another (2 Corinthians 1:3,4) a sign that healing is beginning to take place.

A year after my husband and father died, my mother passed away. As the old hymn says, “Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow.” That truly is my testimony through this journey of grief. Jesus took my hand, I kept living, and I’m alive again.

Learn more about GriefShare and Hope & Healing

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