Friday, November 5


i've been thinking a lot about mourning lately, and how i think we americans do it all wrong. and i figured, that if there's a way to do it right, i'll find it in the bible... and what i've found is outward, emotional, long periods of mourning. they expressed grief. they took time for it. they stopped all celebrations and rituals and habits. they sat in silence. they wailed loudly. the psalmist expressed his range of emotions through writing and song. these are the ones that grieved well.

i've met so many women who have lost children or siblings or parents, who have told me that they think blair and i are doing well to "let it out" and to write and write and write and talk and talk and talk. they had not, they tell me, and you can still see the burden they carry. 

so i am determined to do this well.

i was reading ecclesiastes 3 today, and decided to expound the verses and personalize them (vs. 2-4):

God predestined a time for Gwendolyn Hope to be born - it was October 18, 2010 at 3:10pm. He also predetermined her time of death - October 20, 2010 at 3:30am.

He gave Blair and I a time to plant and cultivate dreams for Gwen - 9 sweet months. He gave us a time to dig them up and plow up the ground, readying our hearts for His new (and good) plan  - this is now.

He created a time to die to ourselves and to our own wills as we lay them down before Him.  He also promises a time of healing, a season in which He will gently bind our wounds and restore our broken walls.

He gives us days full of breaking down emotionally before His Body, the Church. He gives the Body the grace to build us up and carry us --- physically, emotionally, spiritually.

He hollows out periods of time for weeping, and weeps with us. He graciously gives moments of laughter to balance out the waves of suffering.

He has determined a time for us to mourn, and promises that we are blessed because of it, for we will be comforted. He invites us to dance with Him, like clumsy children standing on His great big feet as He moves us along to His rhythm.

This is my God. He makes all things beautiful, in it's time. 


  1. Praise the Lord for this beautiful insight He provided you today!

  2. Wonderful! I couldn't agree with you more. I think we would fare much better if we mourned they way they did it in Biblical times: wear sackcloth and ashes, wail, be allowed to do all of this for months. I think it's healing to grieve and grieve loudly. Putting hurting people in boxes of "Are you ok now?" or "Can you look Ok now so I can feel better about it all?" is just wrong.

    I love this idea of putting yourself in the verses.

    Wail away, Erin.

    Laugh when He brings it, sister.

    You are loved.

  3. ecclesiastes is my favorite book in the bible. i want to name my second son (if we have one) Solomon because of it. ben will have none of it. ANYWAYS, i love ecclesiastes for the same reason i love this post. it swirls grief, laughter, perspective, acceptance, frustration, longing, and small joys all together in one beautiful tapestry. i can see the fabric in my head as i read both you and solomon. it's real and there's beauty. love it. and yes yes YES!!!!! take ALL the time you need to grieve. grieve loud and hard and long. after losing her boy, my mother in law didn't leave her room for a good portion of two years, took long, mournful baths, just put life on pause to honor the sadness in her soul... today, she is a tree firmly planted. i love you.

  4. What a beautiful and practical application of God's precious words. I'm so thankful that He orchestrates all our times.

    I was reading the following verses this morning and prayed them on your behalf. (Then I noticed the date I had jotted out beside them and realized they were some of the verses I prayed for myself 19 years ago - and He answered with love:)

    "I LOVE THE LORD, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

    The pains of death encompassed me, and the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: "O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!"

    Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and HE SAVED ME!" (Ps. 116:1-6)

    "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." (Corrie Ten Boom)

    love, Valerie

  5. wow... powerfully paraphrased.

  6. Huh. that's an amazing post! you took truth and made it yours. i feel like i could meditate on this post there is so much meat to it!