Adjusting to the Darkness

A precious friend sent a small book through the mail just after we buried Dominic.  Lament for a Son-the title was enough to draw me in-and the pages ministered to my soul.

Here was someone who, like me, was wailing for what was lost.

Someone who was declaring out loud what my heart harbored in secret: that the darkness of child loss is unrelenting and horrible.

Will my eyes adjust to this darkness? Will I find you in the dark – not in the streaks of light which remain, but in the darkness? Has anyone ever found you there? Did they love what they saw? Did they see love? And are there songs for singing when the light has gone dim? Or in the dark, is it best to wait in silence?
Noon has darkened. As fast as they could say, ‘He’s dead,’ the light dimmed. And where are you in the darkness? I learned to spy you in the light. Here in this darkness, I cannot find you. If I had never looked for you, or looked but never found, I would not feel this pain of your absence. Or is not your absence in which I dwell, but your elusive troubling presence?

Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son

I comprehend Wolterstorff’s question-“Will I find you [God] in the dark-not in the streaks of light which remain, but in the darkness?”

I had long followed the light of Christ.  Walked boldly even when the light was very dim. Trusted the smallest flicker of a tiny candle of hope when night closed in and began to speak fear to my heart.

But this-this unrelenting, palpable darkness that swallowed any light and even the promise of light-this was new to me.

I understood David’s cry:

“How long, O Eternal One? How long will You forget me? Forever?
    How long will You look the other way?

How long must I agonize,
    grieving Your absence in my heart every day?”

Psalm 13:1-2a VOICE

But time is helping my eyes adjust to the darkness.

I am learning to feel my way around in this new room, to navigate days that feel more like night.

I know in my heart that this night will not last forever.

I will be able to say:

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with me.”

Psalm 13:5-6 ESV

God has promised that Jesus is the Light and even this darkness cannot overcome Him.

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was already with God in the beginning. Everything came into existence through him. Not one thing that exists was made without him. He was the source of life, and that life was the light for humanity. 5The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it.

John 1:1-5 GWT



Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

4 thoughts on “Adjusting to the Darkness”

  1. Beautiful words. That book also helped me in the dark times. I lost my son 13 years ago in a drunk driving crash. Three years later my husband chose to end his life through suicide. I chose to find Christ in the depths of m y darkness. He was there beside me through it all. He has brought me through the fire and is using me for His kingdom. Only God understands the secret things. We have to trust Him in the midst of all the darkness. I was given words of encouragement the day I buried my Nicholas to “get in the word I promise you God will bring you through this”. I made a choice to do just that and He has. By the blood of the lamb and the words of my testimony many have been saved. The glory belongs to God. Thank you for stepping out and bearing your vulnerable places. It isn’t easy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Again this morning, I think how God has gifted you to take the incoherent thoughts of someone you have never even met, namely me, and put them into beautiful, poignant sentences. May God bless you today with more light, strength, and peace. You truly minister to me thru this blog.

    Liked by 3 people

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