Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him

Today I'm participating in Peter's Blog Carnival. His topic is grief. Stop by and read our perspectives.

Those of you who know me or have read my blog enough know that God allowed me to walk through a profoundly painful season that began almost 5 years ago. A little boy we loved like our own, succumbed to Neuroblastoma (cancer of the central nervous system) on January 4, 2005. I sat with Griffin his last days in the hospital as the tumors in his 6 year old body caused him to swell, lose his eyesight and cause bone pain I can't fathom. We talked about Heaven. We talked about Jesus. We talked about how he wouldn't be sick anymore. We talked about the reunion we'd have one day. He closed his eyes and stepped into the arms of a savior he'd just met days before. I grieved. Hard. I watched his death wreck his parents and his little brother. I watched it spiral my four year old daughter into confusion about why God let children die. And I tried, on the outside, to pretend I was okay, because Christians are called to have hope in grief. I thought that meant have a smile on my face and appear to be unfazed...

Ten very short months later, I had Courtney's hand as she stepped into eternity. And I loved her as if she were my own as well. She put up a brave and faith-filled fight against ovarian cancer for 4 years. And she praised God throughout all of it. She was a daughter and best friend rolled into one. Her death left a hole in me that I swore would never go away. Losing her, and losing her so close to Griffin was more than I could take. I stopped getting out of bed. I stopped smiling. I was a shell of what I had been.

I could find no comfort for my grief. My husband, my children, my church, my friends. I tried all of it. Nothing worked. I clung to God throughout all of the pain, but only in the sense of begging Him to take it. For months, I wasn't willing to let Him walk me through it. Then one day God spoke this to my heart..."though he slay me, yet will I hope in Him" Job 13:15. I made a turning point that day. It wasn't as if the grief vanished, but suddenly I understood that this was something I simply had to go through...not endure...but actually wrestle through with God.

So many days, I was like Jacob as he wrestled with the angel. I would struggle and argue with God, but I refused to let go until the blessing came. And I still have the limp from that season--always will--but I overcame. God showed me that as His child, I don't have to pretend everything is okay, when it isn't. Grief is painful and messy. He doesn't call me to smile and pretend I'm fine, when inside I was in pain. I could have hope, but still cry and mourn. In the year it took me to re-enter my life after Griffy and Court, I learned how much Jesus loves me. I learned how much I love Him. I learned He will kick down mountains to get to me when I call Him, and when I can't even will myself to call Him, He'll scoop me up and hold me until I can. I learned that my God is faithful and my God will make all things new and my God will neverforsake me.


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11 comments:

Jojo Agot said...

That's my favorite verse in Job! Thanks for sharing.

Janet Oberholtzer said...

I'm sorry for your losses ... and that you've had to adjust to doing life without those two dear ones.

May peace be with you!

katdish said...

Goosebumps, Marni. I have goosebumps.

You're one of my heroes, you know that? You truly are.

Helen said...

God bless you Marni, for being there with and for them. I am sorry for the pain you have had to stuggle with because of it.
Thank you for describing your struggle. When you wrote that you still walk with a limp, a lot clicked for me. You know what I mean? You are such a blessing, Marni!

Glynn said...

Your grief and pain shine right through the words, and they become ours as well. Great post, Marni -- and it couldn't have been easy to write.

jasonS said...

It hit me as I was reading this that we do often give people the impression they are grieving "wrong" when we say you have to grieve with hope. There's usually a period where it feels hopeless before we turn completely to Him and we arrive at hope. That's the destination and rarely if ever are we going to start there. This is really, really good. Thanks Marni.

Bridget Chumbley said...

You are amazing! To go through what you have and to still stand firm in faith is... incredible!

BTW... I was already crying and when I read the title of the song you chose, it didn't help. It is one of my favorites!

Annie K said...

I'm so glad you said it's ok not to smile and pretend like everything is ok. Because I feel that way too. And, I'm so glad Griffin and Courtney could be blessed by you Marni. Oh, what a reunion it will be...!

Peter P said...

Thank you for sharing the hope that god gave you in this wonderful post.

I can't even imagine what you've been through!

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Marni, you are such an inspiration. I hope you know that you were being the same to Griffy and Court. Sometimes when we give until we're empty with grief, we just have to wait until we feel Him hold us really tight again and fills us with His love. Pure, unconditional love contributes to what we feel as grief, and that's a good thing. Your words have blessed me.

~*Michelle*~ said...

I am at a loss for words.....I cannot imagine the grief and pain you have (and continue) to go through.

You have shown such a level of inspiration and faith....