When Grief Runs Deep

Gwen Smith Blog, Devotions, Encouragement, Faith, Grief, Healing, Sorrow, Trials 4 Comments

I read the text in horror and disbelief.

How could he be gone? He was the picture of potential. So much going for him. He had been through so many challenges and had come so far. Achieved so many accolades. How could his world have crumbled so low that taking his life became the answer he turned to?

Shockwaves ripple through the core of my heart. A landslide of sorrow.

All who knew and loved him grieved. In our homes. On social media. In our conversations. In our prayers. In our hearts.

We grieved deep with a pain that stings fierce.

We grieved for his family, for the empty seat at their dinner table, and the empty gape in their hearts and home. We grieved for his friends, our children, his teammates, and our community. We grieved because death hurts.

As we gathered in community to celebrate his life many stories were shared. In the sacred sanctuary of God’s presence, we were reminded that God is the healer of the broken. We were reminded that death is not the end for those that place their faith in Christ. We were reminded to cherish those we love and to keep our eyes wide open to the needs of those around us.

The pastor painted a canvas of Hope as he spoke. Each word a stroke of truth. A smattering of grace in full and vibrant color. He shared from the Word of God about the Word made flesh: our Hope, Jesus.

And then this… “Our friend did not die of hopelessness, he died of brokenness.”

Oh, my soul.

How does one who is surrounded by a community of love feel broken to the point of death? To the point of thinking that suicide is a solution to the pain?

I struggled to breathe as I think back on this tragedy.

I consider the lives I love that are tortured by depression and sigh inwardly.

The weight of it all still sits heavy on my heart.

Inwardly I speak to the Father. I remember pouring my heart out to the Comforter and sensing His peace in the middle of the grief. The burden remains, but the pressure of it is lightened in His presence. And I’m reminded that God’s strength comes to me as I yoke myself to Jesus and allow Him to share in the carrying of my grief. In doing so, I am locked into His power that walks with me step by step through every struggle.

When life is jagged and darkness taunts us like a bully, how can we see beyond the despair that grips us?

I don’t have a simple list of answers, but I do know this: when grief runs deep God’s comforting love runs deeper still. 

The peace we long for and the rest we are desperate for will always be found in the arms of Jesus. And those arms are constantly reaching out to us.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

This is the invitation Jesus gives to each of us.

If you find yourself in a place of unrest… if you are trying to sift through a landslide of soul sorrow… if you’re carrying a heavy load, will you turn toward Hope and accept His invitation right now?


Dear Lord, Please help me bring my grief to You. Thank You for being a God of hope and healing. Remind me of the peace and plans you have for me.
In Jesus’ Name, amen.



Read Isaiah 41:10. What two things does God not want you to do? Why? What three things does He promise to do for you? How will these promises affect the way you deal with your challenges today?

Who is one person you know that is struggling and in need of encouragement right now? How will you encourage her/him?

Warmest Blessings,



There are endless opportunities for us to worry, wander, and wonder. But that’s not God’s best for us. Though we remain broken and impacted by an imperfect world, you and I can get through anything in the power and hope of Jesus. Download this FREE ebook today and join me as I share Biblical truth, honest struggles, and practical help.


Comments 4

  1. Thank you for sharing. I lost my fiance January 30th 2017 to the same thing. It was very unexpected and I struggle with the why’s of everything. Why he made this decision, why my life has been turned upside down in an instant. This event created a lot of blame against me with family and friends and the aftermath almost pushed me to a mental breakdown.

    I also lost a baby in September 2016 and then had to go through the process of putting down the family dog last month (unexpectedly), as well as handle the news of my position at work being made redundant. Within 6 months, I have had to go through so much grief, I try to hold on the fact that God doesn’t put us through more than we can handle. I am trying to make my way through the maze of grief, but also the fact that I need to make some big decisions, because I can no longer afford to live in my house on one income. So, a move is also pending. I try to think of the story of Job and that there must be a bigger picture to this all. I know God is a God of love, I know that deep within my heart, and I find comfort in knowing in my fiance is now at peace and is with our daughter, Crystal, in heaven.

    With all this…..I am still standing. And I think that matters.

  2. Gwen,
    Thank you so much for sharing. I lost my husband one year ago this week although it seem like it was just yesterday. We had been together for 43 years and his passing was unexpected. God has been so faithful to me I can feel myself sitting in the palm of his hand and it is at those times I have felt like the little girl holding onto her daddy’s hand. And if I can give any one a one of encouragement keep looking up hold on tight to fathers hand he don’t let go even if you don’t think you can hold on any longer. For he will always be ther. Learn to listen for his voice and remember, just as it says in Ecclesiastics 3 there is a season …and yes I believe that during this time as we grief/mourn with he will a healing a wholeness. I know for myself my loss has much sting still he willbut with God’s, Mercy Grace he will give me the strength to continue on.

  3. Dear Gwen,
    The timing of this email was perfect. My youngest brother committed suicide about 4 months ago. My family was shocked even though we knew it was always a possibility. He had tried 4 times before; once given hours to live God literally raised him from the dead and healed him. When on his own again, the same thoughts started to plague him, he started to partner with them and this time lost his life. The pain of suicide is different from natural death. I hurts like a sword of fire piecing your heart. The thoughts of torment he went through, the things I could have done.
    After it happened I was paralyzed with grief for a few days. After not showering or leaving the house I became so angry with the enemy. I stood up from the couch and declared, “Oh death where is your sting!” Then I fell to my knees in and wept like I’ve never wept. I felt a weight lift off of me. I knew the Father in a much more intimate way. I sensed Jesus with me from that day. He’s always there, I know but this is different.
    On top of his death I didn’t know whether he was in heaven or not. He was once close to him but after multiple personal tragedies he was broken beyond what man could repair. He was so bound in confusion he refused to look up. One night I started crying when thinking of it. I asked, “Jesus, where is my brother.” I heard, “You don’t know what transpired in his last moments. God is a God of mercy.” I then had a dream, soon thereafter and saw my brother running in heaven towards Jesus and they embraced for what seemed like eternity. I woke up with confidence that he is indeed in heaven.
    If you know someone who has been through a lot. Their behavior changed, they no longer work, start drugs or drinking and seem to refuse to change. Reach out! I beg you don’t judge them. They are in shock and don’t even realize it. Feed them, cloth them, offer them kindness, make them feel significant again. Even if they are harsh and calloused, remember hurting people hurt people. It takes more than one to restore them. These motels that are in every city that rent by the night or week are full of potential, full of broken dreams, hope deferred makes the heart sick. What you do for them you’ve don’t for Him.
    Don’t think your exempt no matter who you are. We are pastors children. When my father passed away all hell came against us. I’ve quickly learned how to war in prayer for my family. don’t be too busy, its too vital. Thank you for reading. May God bless and keep you and yours. Gwen North

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *