I can’t even imagine!

Nope. You can’t. I’ll just say it. You can’t imagine what it’s like to be in my shoes. Husband. Daughter. Son. Gone in an instant. 


But I think there are some good imaginations out there and enough pain to go around to give the thoughts some tracks to run on. Each soul knows their own pain, but it is a common language.

What I really don’t think you can imagine is …the grace. The mercy. The provision. The tenderness. The personal, intimate sweetness. 

I constantly “find grace to help in time of need.”

Here, in this place of grief, God is truly my refuge and strength and very present help in time of trouble. (Psalm 46:1). And this upside down kingdom leaves me in awe once again. Somehow the depth of the grief increases the ability to have joy. Shouldn’t the pain negate joy? Shouldn’t there be no more smiling or enjoying or looking forward to? Seems like that makes more sense than the face-splitting grins I sometimes find on my face and the joyful anticipation of the future that catches me off guard. 

And the only reason it’s possible is because I have a safe place to go with the pain. One who sees me, knows me, is aware of what I need and completely capable of providing it. 


“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

And I can draw near because I have a Savior who gets it. 

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:14-15

In the midst of the pain and the things no one can imagine because each heart experiences their pain, see a glimpse with me of how big God is, how unfathomable his power, how deep and wide His mercy and compassion. His resources are endless and He looks on us with tenderness. 

14 thoughts on “I can’t even imagine!

  1. Julie, this is such a true picture of the grace I’ve received as well as God himself has been with me in pain. “Sometimes the depth of grief increases the ability to have joy.” This is profoundly true because of the sweet presence of God in pain. Thank you for sharing this. I hope to share your words with others who hurt and wonder. They too can, “…see a glimpse with me of how big God is, how unfathomable his power, how deep and wide His mercy and compassion.”

    Because, who doesn’t need to know this in their pain.

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  2. I was just thinking about you this morning. I have been “stuck in” I Timothy 6:11-13. But what has grasped my heart is where Paul writes “Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called..” That has just really struck me as encouraging. It doesn’t sound like Paul is talking about eternity in heaven, but the eternity of the here and now. How we live the life He’s given us, in spite of the circumstances of life. And my mind shifted to you. I’ve also been thinking about something you told me one time when we talked on the phone planning Andrew’s trip to Alaska several years ago. I was complaining about having to drive him to and from school, etc, and you gently reminded me that car rides are great times to have meaningful conversations with our kiddos. It really convicted me and completely changed my heart about my attitude towards the “being the taxi driver for my kids” season of life. Life really is fleeting, and these times with our kiddos go so fast. I’m pretty sure that I haven’t complained since that day about “having” to drive my kids everywhere or the long car trips we take to watch their events because the time is just so precious. And when tragedy hits one of my friends, it’s always a reminder to cherish the time I have with my precious loved ones.

    It’s always encouraging to me when someone tells me that something I said greatly impacted them, so I just wanted you to know.

    I love you and continue to pray for you.

    Erin

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  3. Once again, your words are incredibly beautiful and relevant to everyone reading them. Sending love and kisses your way.

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  4. Hi Julie. How our family has prayed as Ryan and I have grieved with you and for you. I want to thank you for your willingness to share your journey and speak out these truths which shout of God’s infinite love and grace to carry us through the darkest of days. How we all must be encouraged that Jesus is greater than any loss. Thank you, thank you friend. Beauty from ashes. Restoration is coming. And I hope I get a front row seat to watch your reunion!❤️

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  5. Julie- thank you for continuing to be a mouthpiece for our God! Continually amazed at His provision and your capacity! Love you! And you and the boys are always in my prayers!

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  6. This helps me! My mom died last November but actually became brain dead on my birthday a few weeks earlier and couldn’t say goodbye. I can’t imagine your pain, she was old but I have peace in knowing God took her and although I am know full of cancer and he may take me, that he loves us and protects us and uses us. Thanks for sharing your story and I hope it helps many others.

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