do you ever wonder how we can find our way back to praise when life has yielded a gutting loss ?
when we are left empty-handed.  when fear and the despair of grief are pulling hard on our shirt tails.

when darkness is haunting and hemming in our fragile hearts…sweat pulsing through face and palms- heart racing.

mind flooded and foggy with grief.

it all feels too much for a soul to endure.
the weight seems unbearable and the deep rips in our flesh feel permanent and irreparable…out of hopes’ reach.

i have been surrounded by stories of deep loss over the past years, and each time i am given the sacred privilege of hearing a story it reminds me afresh how wobbly the ground of grief is.  and how it can make us feel like life is a total loss.  pain has this strange way of eclipsing our view of joy.

all goodness feels hidden and it’s so             058
hard to believe that life could ever be beautiful again.
grief says , I’ve stolen it all- all the good days are gone.

this feels so true when we are weak with heartache and have lost sight of hope.

but this is what i know of grief;  it yields a strange and unexpected understanding of what it looks like to find joy.  it leaves us cut deep and vulnerable and fresh out of strategies for living a nice, good life.

 it catapults us into messy and this is the very place God cuts through.

He comes near to soften and melt off the hardness of winter’s edge.

then, He reckons our pain with His unending mercy. and by reckon, i mean He considers, regards, and looks FULLY upon.  He literally feels every single measure of our suffering and takes it upon Himself.  He is with us in the deepest possible way and feels the sorrow with us.  and that is the very reason we are not destroyed by pain.  He not only understands, but has walked in our shoes and has overcome it.

this alone gives us hope and speaks of life beyond the now of loss.  then little by little He invites us out to places where we can dance on the ashes of this life.  not because we forget the gash or the losses…

but to the contrary, because He has reformed them.036

and so, it’s the very remnant of our brokenness and ache which are now- against all hope- being rendered into beauty.  it’s His signature and unmistakable handiwork.

afterall, He is a God of the impossible.

and so it is from bended knee that i continue to whisper a hushed, gutted and costly yes to the life that’s been rearranged by death.  and from this sacred, tear soaked ground i choose to believe in joy again.  and if you are unable to utter these words dear one, then i will keep walking and weeping with you…and hold onto hope when you cannot.

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 
They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.                   Psalm 126: 5,6


for Ginnie, Jenna, Celia, Kathy, Kim, Diane,Eileen & Christi  and all those who walk this holy road of gripping loss.  may you taste of a goodness that is altogether otherworldly … meant to wet the appetite for heaven and hold us in the hope of now.   xxoo jamie

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8 Responses to reckon

  1. hungarymom says:

    “He reckons our pain with His unending mercy.” I find comfort in that today. I cling to that today. Thank you for sharing real and raw things. It ministers to me every time I read your writing. love you, v

    • jamjobryan says:

      thank you precious friend. i’m still astounded by the gifts brought about by loss and sorrow …and that somehow, someway they make space for us to taste of His unrelenting mercy. what a beautiful place to cling to and i am right there with you sister ❤ Jesus open your floodgates of mercy on us and come mend in our deepest places. amen

  2. evermorecolor says:

    Love this aspect of “reckon”–the WITH.
    YOU have a beautiful and deeply compassionate soul, my friend.

    • jamjobryan says:

      thank you dear friend…i am only able to be compassionate because i too have been taken down to that broken and hollowed-out place of grief, but somehow was able to find Jesus there ❤ the "harvest" brought forth in grief is strangely rich indeed !!

  3. Wonderful stuff Jamie Sue. What a beautiful way to enter into such a mystery and inviting others in, so they can be invited out. To go from grief to joy. Short cut the process and it seems part of your heart is left behind… stuck… waiting… wanting. I believe grief will always be mystery (the impossible)… accept to those who will go there. And to those that do, may they will find joy in time and then, attempt to explain the unexplainable way of how God meets such hearts. Those courageous enough willing to feel loss so deeply that there is but only one who can walk their hearts out of such a place of death. The only one who is in it waiting, and has marked the path of resurrection and into joy.

    • jamjobryan says:

      thank you warrior michael !! let’s continue to be courageous together and keep inviting others into the mystery and beauty of walking intimately with God in both our sorrows, joys and feeling all the glorious weight of this delightful human existence ❤

  4. Georgina says:

    Love this, Jamie. Thank you.

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