We all know the valley of tears.
On Friday, April 13, 2019, I lost my father. After weeks of fighting illness, he stopped eating and began to shut down. My brothers and I prepared to go –
“Even when their paths wind through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain.
He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring. (Psalm 84:6 TPT)”
My mind had already been fighting the what-ifs. Even from the beginning of the year, I had been working through forgiveness, feeling compelled to restore relationships and help my family move forward in freedom. The reality of the words still hit me hard.
You need to come
My emotions were raw, anxiety overwhelming, and fear was at the door. Nevertheless, we drove for two days, hoping to make it there in time.
Dig deep, you can do this
I began to prepare for what I knew was coming. My family had been through a lot. Would we be able to help each other now?
No matter the situation, death always brings tears. It is a finality that brings some closer together, and tears others further apart. Some of you have lost loved ones to addiction, some to disease, others to accident or injury. We all know the valley of tears. It cannot be avoided.
Dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain
Even in the midst of sorrow, fear and anxiety, there is something good. It seems impossible to see through the tears. As my husband and I drove that day, I knew I had to dig deep and rely on the Lord to keep me going. I pulled from some place deep within me, opening doors of communication that I had resisted and allowing my heart to love and forgive.
We made it to the hospital Friday afternoon, along with other family members. I was able to let my father know I was there. I was able to have compassion and mercy like never before. My baby brother arrived late that night, and was able to do the same. My father waited for him – I believe somehow the Lord knew how much we all needed that. Fifteen minutes later, he let go.
He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring.
Even though we were all grieving, we spent Saturday morning sharing and remembering. We pulled together as we found old memories, report cards, even a story my mother and grandmother had written. There was such peace and love with us as we were able to find blessing in the midst of sorrow. Forgiveness had opened the windows to let the rain from heaven in.
In my Bible, the words “Where others find only pain” are highlighted. I do not want to be one of those “others.” Too many of us get stuck in the pain, in the sorrow of death. Yes, it is hard. I cannot imagine losing a child, as I know some of you have. But if we find only pain, we are losing ourselves as well.
Dig deep. If that’s not enough, dig deeper. The key to the good in Psalm 84 is that He gives. God sees your pain, your struggle. He saw my anger and bitterness. He knows your hurt. He is still there and is ready to give blessing out of pain.
There have been many families who have lost a loved one recently. Some are still in the middle of saying goodbye. My prayer for them is that they find the good in the middle of the sorrow. Dig deep into your heart and find that place where God is all there is. If there is unforgiveness, let it go. If there is anger, let love in. Don’t be one of the “others” who find only pain. There is a pleasant pool, a brook of blessing waiting for you if you just dig deep enough to unearth it.