Monday, October 14, 2013

The "Labor Pains" of Grief

How long have you been widowed? Days? Weeks? Months? Years?

In the first hours it seems like you cry non-stop and you never expected it to hurt like this! Like you're flooded. You didn't know you had so many tears. Then you get a repreive. You only cry a couple times a day. After a week or two, a couple times a week.

Sooner or later--there is no schedule, each goes at her own pace--the crying gets down to a couple times a month . . . a couple times a year . . . These crying jags are like labor pains in reverse. While labor pains start out mild and far apart, grief starts out painful, fast, and intense. The next round of "grief pains" are a few seconds shorter, a little further apart. They still hit, but most of the time each new round is a bit diminished; they are a little weaker. Or perhaps you're a little stronger. Brace yourself for birthdays, holidays and anniversary pains. Like labor pains, you know they'll come. Prepare for the wave. But these, too, will become easier to bear.

If the "Grief pains" have done their job well, like birth contractions, something new has been born. When the tears diminish, don't think it's because they've dried up or you've become numb and indifferent. Tears have watered you like raindrops, and you've grown and transformed into the resilient, fruitful orchard of a woman that God had planned all along.

When we look at an apple, we see a piece of fruit with seeds. When God looks at an apple, He sees an orchard. I heard that the other day. It's true, isn't it? I think God sees an orchard when He looks at widows, too.

You might think He sees just an ordinary woman, but I think He sees the real you--the courage, resiliance, and faith. God also sees the legacy of blessing--the seeds--you'll leave for future generations by the choices you make today. There is a lot more "fruit" to be produced in your life, and many more "trees" to grow which will provide the shade of God's goodness to the world because of you. What sort of plans do you think God has in store for you?

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 17:8 (English Standard Version)


  1. Ferree the crying for me didn't subside after a couple of weeks. It slowed down after about a year. At fifteen months I now cry about once a day. Long road.

  2. This probably explains the grief process better than anything I have heard before. I needed to read this today. I have Jake's family over for Thanksgiving today and have already shed some tears.Pray that I will have the emotional strength to turn this into a happy family time.By God's grace I know this will happen.

  3. Your last question of todays blog was "what plans do you think God has in store for you"? unsure / but He knows -

    Just recently I was reading Jeremiah 29:11 and the part that got my attention was the last part of that verse ..... "to give you an expected end"
    An expected end to our griefs, an expected end from the labor pains of this grief. When Jeremiah said "to give you an expected end" I believe he was saying . . . . just as those children of Israel were taken into captivity in Babylon, he was telling them they could look forward to an expected end from their pains.
    So we too as God's child, look forward of his promise He will give us "an expected end"
    When the fullness of time had come the labor pains begin . . .and so it is, when the fullness of time has come, those grief pains will end.
    God says ...... "I Will Give You An Expected End",


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