Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Loss

Suffering Confronts Me
My heart is troubled and restless.
Days of suffering torment me.
I walk in gloom, without sunlight.
I stand in the public square and cry for help.
JOB 30:27-28 (NLT)

Some time after Dave’s amputation, I was driving to the cleaners, taking his suits to be altered. (We get the left sleeve cut off and have a shoulder built in, so the suit doesn’t look awkward on his body.)

I looked over at the suits and thought about what I was doing. Not only about the sleeve about to be cut off, but also about the arm that used to be in that sleeve. I thought about the shoulder I used to lean on, the shoulder that was now gone.I could have tried to think about something else, but I didn’t. I allowed myself to feel the sadness of my loss.

With Dave’s amputation I lost the arms that used to hold me, the hand on which he wore his wedding ring, the hand that held mine when we were dating in high school. Tears blurred my vision, and I sobbed as I drove down the freeway. I let the sadness run its course. Finally I felt a good strong sense of relief that came from allowing the sadness to flow out with my tears.

Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
PSALM 30:5 (NLT)

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Loss

Job continued speaking:
“I long for the years gone by
when God took care of me,
when he lit up the way before me
and I walked safely through the darkness.
When I was in my prime,
God’s friendship was felt in my home.
The Almighty was still with me,
and my children were around me.”
JOB 29:1-5 (NLT)

The hardest part of suffering isn’t the pain; it’s the loss. In Job 29 the suffering patriarch reminisces over all he’s lost. I know what that’s like. I’ve lost something that meant a very great deal to me. All my life I was a baseball player. My left arm made me one. Now it’s gone.

One day I was lying on my bed, feeling really frustrated with my life. All my feelings built up until I couldn’t contain them. “I’m sick of it,” I said aloud. “I’m tired of being an amputee.”

I wanted to cry. I let my mind go back to my days in Little League, in high school and college, in the minors and the majors. I recalled fond memories of throwing the ball, getting players out. I would never get to do that again. That was the first time I’d taken time to miss my arm, to realize that it was gone for good, to let the sadness sink in.

The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends
His mercies never cease.

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky