Most of us, at one time or another, fear the dark. Oh, nights can be beautiful if our world spins along upright, if those we love are nearby, if we are in a familiar, safe place. As long as there are friends and family and lovers with us, we stand in the special silence a night brings and wonder at the stars; the moon rides high, silver as a coin, or rises copper and heavy out of dark water - or the branches of a pine tree. We can actually look at the moon, the stars - our eyes can bear that. Not so the sun. Still, the sun gives light and when there is light to see, we are less afraid.

But if the person who made the moon lovelier, the sun more golden, in your world has gone, whether by death or divorce or any other drastic change, do you wonder, cry aloud: "Will this night ever end? Will I ever get through it?"

If you are in a long night, these pages are for you. Perhaps you can read them only one or two at a time, but they are for you. If you have not yet entered that long night, the book is for you, too. The way through any shadowy place is always less confusing if we have even one small idea of what to expect - one tiny glimmer of light.

Nights can be wondered over, marveled about - but they are dark. And unless we are complete, happy, untroubled, they can be dread- and fear-filled, simply because of the darkness.

At night we don't see things as they are. The shapes of trees and flower gardens and houses, even on moonlit nights, distort before our eyes because we cannot take in their true dimensions. We are able to see by night-light only the portions of familiar objects not erased by shadow and blackness. In the dark the shape of a familiar bush or shrub moving ever so slightly in a night breeze can appear a threat - can trip a mysterious lever in our minds so that the very bush we may have planted with our own hands appears shadowy, unknown, sinister.

Not only do shapes loom in the dark; sounds intensify. A giant oak or elm limb, settling for the night in cooler air, may sound like a strange footstep. A branch may brush our window all day without our hearing it, but the same branch, scraping against a window in the darkness, can stop our hearts. At age six or sixty, we cry out for the light, for the safety it offers; because with it, we can see around us.

Nights have always come as regularly as days. In a sense, they should not be unfamiliar to us, but when the familiar, harmonious patterns of our life have just been shredded, nights can be the very worst times of all. When a beloved one is suddenly gone - nights seem to make the loss unbearable. "If I can just manage to get through the first night alone," we cry, without husband, without wife, without child, friend or parent - Night has always come as regularly as day, but it so changes the familiar that we fear getting lost in it.

The aching heart can somehow survive peopled, light-filled days. Darkness has long been the symbol of loneliness, of being lost; the symbol of danger, of dread, of weeping.

"Weeping may endure for a night ..."

If you have lost someone, if a part of your very life has been chopped off by that loss, you do not need an exposition on the horrors of a long night of weeping, of waiting - in the dark - for morning to come. You already know.

We have the word of God that He knows, too: "Weeping may endure for a night..."

Does it help that God knows about our nights of weeping?

Yes, but not enough. Desperately we need to know that the hard, grinding work of grieving will somehow, sometime, end. Will I ever smile again because I feel like smiling and not just to make my poor, patient friends feel better about me? Will I ever learn to live without him? Without her? Will I ever be a whole person again? Will this long night ever end?

God says that it will.

The missing will go on, but the hard work of grieving, the darkness, the agony, will end. You can be whole again. It won't seem possible now, perhaps, but because God is a Redeemer God, there will someday - for you - be "beauty for [these] ashes." There will be "joy for the oil of mourning."

Joy? Yes.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

Did God really mean that the grieving heart can know joy again?

He did. He does. But the joy about which God speaks is far deeper than what we think of as happiness. There is as much difference between God's joy and human happiness as between night and day. For some of us, once our night has ended, this joy can be an entirely new, never-before-realized experience.

In my novel Maria there is this line: "Joy is God in the marrow of your bones."

Whether you know God or not, in the present darkness of your grief His promise that "... joy cometh in the morning" may sound ludicrous, even cruel. It is neither. It is fact.

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I do understand what is being said here, it is through Faith and trust in God there can be joy and peace even with a hurting heart. We need to perservere and have hope listen to the heart and He will lead the way.

Honestly it has been over six years and I cannot say "it gets better" but I do believe as long as there is Faith, it will be the primary source of peace and joy. By saying that ..then it does get better in a sense .. a larger supreme power is helping to lift a burden like  "Foot Prints in the Sand" He gives you the knowledge and wisdom to continue on the journey to jump each hurdle with a greater ease.

It has worked for me and I have heard similar testimonies from many others who walk in Faith.

Psalm  23  

The Lord is my shepard I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadth me beside still waters.

he restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


This was beautiful and I agreed with much of it but the statement:  "Desperately we need to know that the hard, grinding work of grieving will somehow, sometime, end."


Grief does not end.  It's a wave that flows in, through and out of you and starts the process again. But like a wave the intensity the impact can vary with each wave of grief.


When you have a loved one missing there is no label, no tag of grief or any other emotion.  Nameless and unknown but whatever "it" is "it" still flows through you like wave.  When it quits flowing through, recycling and "it" gets stuck inside is when help from a professional is truly needed.

That was wonderful to read.  Thank you for sharing it!  Puts loss in perspective.
Thru Project Jason and their retreats for families of the missing, we were able to look upon the many faces of grief and to learn to know how grieving works.  We learned positive ways to deal with the physical and emotional impact of loss.   We were able to intact with other families as well as trained and caring professional caregivers.   I highly recommend this healing experience to anyone who is looking for ways to deal with loss.
Thank you for all your sister Maria Aldridge went missing in 1968 age gives hope to a dark day ...
Thanks for sharing that ... xoxoxoxo



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