Have you ever had a crushing moment of grief or heartache? Ever suffer a depression so deep that you didn’t know how to keep going?
I wanted to share a few paragraphs from the book Notes from the Margins: Healing Conversations with God, by Alane Pearce. Through this book, Alane shares her story of trial and devastating loss, but also the healing she received from God as she drew close to Him through reading the Bible.
At this point in her story, Alane and her husband Brandon had just lost their son, Andrew, who was only a few days old at the time. They are away from home and a friend’s pastor comes to visit them.
He reads 2 Samuel 12:19-23 to them, regarding the time David and Bathsheba lost their infant son:
When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked.
“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.
His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.”
David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”2 Samuel 12:19-23 NLT
In Alane’s Own Words
“I was amazed at how the Bible seemed to have an answer for our situation. I noted in the margin of my Bible, ‘You have to keep living’ and wrote how this verse helped me deal with Andrew’s death. This was actually my first grief counseling session with God. Granted, the pastor read the verse and prayed, but it was God who taught me many things as I meditated on this verse for the rest of the day.
“First, he gave me a plan to work through my grief: get up, wash, dress, and do my hair and makeup–every day. For the first few months after Andrew died, I always considered it a good day if I could accomplish these things….
“Finally, both Brandon and I learned what we had to do next as together we pondered verse 20: ‘Then David got up from the ground. After he washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshipped.’ It’s easy to worship God when life is sunny and fair, but here we were, as David was, deeply hurt by a confusing event in our lives. Worshipping God in the midst of this is truly a sacrifice. It is not easy to go to a God who just let your son die and say, ‘I love you and I trust you anyway.’
“Even though we were in no place to say that to God the day after Andrew died, we did choose to go to church to worship. The verse prompted us, but I think we really made the decision to go out of habit–it’s what we’ve both always done. The next day, Sunday, we almost longed for church; not so much out of a desire for God but in need of the routine–something, anything to make life feel normal again.”
Finding Healing in Routine
I don’t know what your heartache is right now. Nor do I know what routines might help you keep going in the midst of your hurt.
I know that routine has helped me to keep moving in the past. Taking one day at a time. Doing what needed to be done until I got to a place where I could better process and think about what was going on. Showering. Eating. Sleeping. Keeping it simple.
I appreciate Alane’s honesty and vulnerability here in sharing her story, and I pray that God will meet you in your pain and grief like He met Alane in hers.
If you want to read more about Alane’s journey of healing, I highly encourage you to check out her book, Notes from the Margins.