I’m a member of a club. Many don’t even know it exists. It’s exclusive; in fact, you can’t even apply for membership, you have to be chosen.
The membership fee is extremely pricey. Priceless, actually. The cost of joining is the life of someone you love, taken before you were ready to let go.
We have a secret handshake. Actually, it’s a hug. A silent, tear-filled hug. Since we know that no words can help, we simply hold each other in silent understanding.
Membership means every time we hear about a tragic accident, the pain feels fresh again. Non-members say about our new members, “I can’t imagine what they are going through.” I hate that not only can we imagine what you’re going through, but we feel it. It is that shared pain that prompts me to extend this welcome.
To the new member:
I may not know you personally, but I know your pain. I know the shock, fear, anger, and extreme sadness you feel. Such deep feelings you didn’t even know existed before. I know that right now, you are focused on making it through this moment, this day.
I’m sorry to share there aren’t many benefits to your new membership; instead, there are long, hard days ahead.
Our only comfort is that the founder and leader of this club, He’s been there, too. He’s experienced the pain and grief that burden us. He watched His own Son die a horrible, painful, awful death. It is because of His Son’s death that we can have the hope of eternal life. It is because of His Son’s death that we can have a relationship with not just the founder of this club but the founder of this universe.
As our leader, He offers to walk alongside you through these first, most horrible, difficult days. He will be there through the coming weeks when those around you go back to their normal lives and you are left realizing there is no longer a normal to return to.
Only He can fill the loneliness of a grief no longer felt daily by those around you.
He’ll walk beside you as you rediscover happiness. He’ll urge you not to feel guilty about smiling in the midst of your sadness. He is also the founder of unexplainable joy and peace that surpasses understanding.
He’ll give you courage to let go of the fear. The fear of leaving those you love because you’re scared it might happen again.
He will teach you that true strength comes only from Him. You will find yourself in situations you think are unbearable, situations you feel too weak to survive. He will be there. His strength will hold you up and push you forward. You can’t do it on your own, and that is OK. He doesn’t ask you to.
My friend, my words cannot truly express how sorry I am that you have just received your membership into this club. My heart hurts for you more than you will ever know. But I want you to know there is hope and healing because our leader, our God, knew, long before you did, the exact moment your heart would break. Let Him heal it. Let Him use this membership to draw you closer to Him than you have ever been before. Let Him use this membership to prove He is in control and He will work all things for the good of those who love Him. Trust Him, lean on Him, love Him, and know you are loved more than you can ever imagine.
Someone who understands
Originally published on the author’s blog