My name is Audra and this is my story of grief.
Dad. He was my best friend. He had such a natural way about him that made his presence comfortable, easy, and loving. My relationship with him was one of laughter, song, life, faith-building and nourishment. He was the best person I knew. He was my person.
When I lost him, it was like I went into a thick, dark, unknown woods to look for him and became lost myself. I would try to go down one trail and it would lead me to thorns. I’d go down another and it would lead to thistles. Then I’d try to go down another trail and it would lead me to fruit, water, and light. There’d be a Man (Jesus) there with a smile of love and acceptance. It would become a place I’d never want to leave. But, alas, I’d wander into the darkness of the woods and begin searching again.
For five years my life looked like that analogy- so much darkness with bursts of light mixed in. I got into the rhythm of finding anything that would help me feel anything but my true pain, all of which would fall short. I’d then run back to faith, to my Jesus. I would then push him away and go back into my unhealthy grief.
Somewhere within that fifth year of grief, God started to prod me to see a counselor. My pain had become overpowering. The first two months were extremely hard. My river of tears had been frozen for years. As I faced the pain and began to look it in the face, that river started to thaw. I began to feel again. I began to cry. I began my healthy journey of grief.
It’s been seven years since my dad died. His death has become a part of me. This grief will always be woven within me. I’ve just recently been able to think back on the life I had before the storm with joy instead of pain. This is not done, though. But it’s so much more bearable.
My friends, Jesus has brought me out of darkness and into His light. He was always waiting in that forest for me. He was always ready for me to eat from His fruit, drink from His water, envelope me in His light. I still struggle, but I struggle with Jesus. I still fall to my knees in grief at the thought of not experiencing my dad’s delight in his grandchildren or that he will never meet my husband, John. I can’t bear the thought of wishing him back in this broken world, so instead I’ll look forward to my future and cling to the hope of seeing him again. Because that hope is enough.
I used to blame God for what happened to my dad but as the years have gone by, I have realized that He would never wish this pain upon anyone. It’s the result of the sin in this world that my dad passed away. God is using the ashes of dad’s death to form something beautiful. If you have experienced loss and you’re in the depth of your grief, please know that the unconditional love and peace of God is healing and freeing.
A little about Audra~Hey y’all! My name is Audra Arnold. I’m a wife to my husband, a lover of all things birds and a nanny to three adorable boys (I love my job). Most of all, I’m a daughter of Jesus. If you would like to continue to follow my story or would like to get in contact with me, feel free to add any of my media links that are listed below. Thanks for taking the time to read my post!