sheryl pepple kit hinkle a new season a widows might i will never leave or forsake you trust god

When There Are No Words

“I will not leave you or forsake you”.  Joshua 1:5b  (ESV)

The feelings are too deep. The pain is too horrific. How do I put what I am feeling into words so that others can understand?

Sometimes there really are no words.

I can remember early in my journey when my pastors and a few close friends gently tried to give me an opportunity to talk about what I was feeling. Just the thought of trying to connect to that abyss in my heart was more than I could bear.

Later, I tried to go to counseling, but I was so terrified of sharing my feelings that I created a task list of all I was doing and dominated the entire conversation with everything but my feelings. I went one time and never went back.

But God had it all covered. About a year before my husband was killed, my best friend’s husband was diagnosed with cancer. As they progressed in their journey, I became overwhelmed with grieving for them. Eventually, I asked another friend to support me by meeting once a week so I could process some of my feelings. Only God knew how critical it was going to be for me to have her support when my husband was killed unexpectedly.

There were times when I would just sit with my friend and I couldn’t say a word, tears just streamed down my face for hours. There were times when I called her late at night because I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the next few hours, let alone over night. There were many days I talked non-stop, but didn’t say anything about what was going on in my heart.

Even now, three and a half years later, I find it hard to talk about my husband. He was the love of my life. We shared twenty-one years together. At the time he died, I had just turned fifty. We had been together almost half my life. I find it extremely hard to put into words what a tremendous part of my life he was. We had a very special love story. It was love at first sight, on his part. It took me five years to trust him with all of my heart; it had been broken before. He is the only person I have ever trusted with all of me. He knew everything about me. He loved me anyway.

I imagine we all share times of having no words. Fortunately, we have a God who needs no words. He loves us and cares for us beyond our comprehension. He sent His Son to die for us. In Joshua 1:5b, He tells us “I will not leave you or forsake you.” Even in the midst of pain where there are no words, HE is a gift beyond words.


16 replies
  1. Joyce Schultz
    Joyce Schultz says:

    I have been widowed for 5 years 7 months. I still miss Marion every day. We were married for 38 years 10 months and 22 days. We were so very close. We spent as much time together as possible in spite of his heavy work schedule. I talk freely of my husband’s death and my grief recovery to friends and in Sunday School or small group settings; but I worry that people will tire of hearing about my grief recovery. There are so many things that God has taught me and helped me with that I just cannot be silent. Sometimes a classmate will say, “thanks” I needed to hear about your experience.” One Sunday worship service shortly after my husband’s death our pastor asked people in the congregation to share some of God’s promises. I was clinging to “I will never leave you for forsake you.” as a lifeline. With a very shaky, quivering voice I said this promise to the congregation. It was hard to speak up, but it was a blessing. I still cling to this promise.

    • Jill Byard
      Jill Byard says:

      Dear Joyce, Thank you for sharing about the way you are working through your grief journey and sharing God’s faithfulness to you as walk through it. I pray that your testimony to His faithfulness will encourage others in their walk. Please come back and visit us often. ~Jill

  2. Donna Hendrix
    Donna Hendrix says:

    Even almost 7 years later, there are times where words are difficult. I like talking about my husband of 26 years at this point, but I find that unless I bring him up, most other people want talk about him as though it may hurt me. At this point I love the memories. I was 48 when he died and we were just getting used to each other again as our baby had left for college and we had an empty next. I still miss him daily and that huge void is still there. Only God’s grace has sustained me.

    • Ami Atkins
      Ami Atkins says:

      Donna, yes sometimes words are difficult. I love talking about my husband also. I had started to feel self-conscious that I talked about him too much, but I’m so thankful for several friends who reminded me that not only was it still ok, but that it was also good. I know people often don’t understand, but I’m learning to extend grace to them. When I remember how much grace has been given me, it empowers me to give grace to others. Praying you will have some friends in your life who will let you know it’s still ok to talk when you want to. Praise God for His sustaining grace in your life! He truly does carry. ~Ami

  3. Cindi
    Cindi says:

    You know when u hear a lyric and it touches you so deep u knew you could have written these words. That is how I felt when I read this

    Thank you so much!

  4. Karen Emberlin
    Karen Emberlin says:

    Sheryl, What a blessing to share a friendship with someone who “understands”! Thank you for sharing your heart today! Much Love,

    • Sheryl Pepple
      Sheryl Pepple says:

      Thank you Karen! I feel very blessed that God has brought us together and that none of us have to go through this alone. Love you!

  5. Seven of Nine
    Seven of Nine says:

    Felt your pain Sheryl. Thank you for sharing and trusting God. Beautiful piece of longing and hope.

  6. JoAnn Hamiklton
    JoAnn Hamiklton says:

    I just found your website yesterday. I really enjoy reading the shares of other widows. I just lost my husband of 18 years in November, the day before his birthday. Words are hard to express without tears. Thank you for all of the posts. It helps me.

    • Sheryl Pepple
      Sheryl Pepple says:

      I am so sorry for your loss JoAnn! I am so glad you found our web-site. It really does help to know that others understand. Praying for you! God Bless! Sheryl

      • Grace fowler
        Grace fowler says:

        There is so many of us out there grieving . My heart is so broken I lost my husband only 9 months ago . Don’t know how I will get through this sad time in my life . As my husband was my life . Will it ever get better I don’t think I’m so broken I miss Alex so much he was my best friend . God help me

        • Sheryl Pepple
          Sheryl Pepple says:

          Hi Grace,
          I am so very sorry for your loss. I can so relate to your words. I remember so many times thinking I am never going to make it through this. I begged for God to take me too. You asked ‘will it get better”. It will. I remember early on someone telling me that the early part of our grief journey is like any open wound. And for awhile even while you are healing if anyone or anything presses on it the wound can break open again. But eventually our grief will become more like a scar. It is always there but it no longer breaks open when pressed upon. I found that comforting to have that picture. It also reminded me of a famous Christian artist who wrote a song about how much he loved a scar he got because then he got to tell the story. You will have a story to tell about God’s goodness and faithfulness during this time in your life. God cares deeply about your pain and even though the enemy intended it for harm, God will bring blessings from it. That may seem unimaginable in some moments, but God is faithful! That is why we write. To share our stories of His faithfulness. Grace, please know that by reaching out you are taking positive steps to heal. We will be praying for you! I am praying that you have the support you need on an ongoing basis. If you need anything, please let us know. We’ve walked this path. We know how hard it is. We can speak from experience, we know God is faithful. If you would like to email me privately – just let me know. Hugs & prayers, Sheryl

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