There is this whole world so many people do not know about. A whole existence, a whole way of life.

And it’s called grief.

The hardest thing about this existence is there is no way to know what it’s like unless you know what it’s like.

There’s no “My hamster died, I know what it’s like.”
There’s no “We broke up, I know what it’s like.”
There’s no “I moved away from all my friends, I know what it’s like.”

Because there is nothing LIKE it.

And what may be hard for the friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances of grieving people is admitting you can’t know what it’s like unless you know what it’s like.

Understanding there’s just no reading up or studying you can do on it.

Realizing you’ve either experienced death of a loved one or you’ve not.

And that there’s not much in between.

(Dare I say nothing in between?)

It’s black and white.

You either know the grief of losing someone or you don’t.

And with that knowledge, knowing how unusual and hard and unlike-anything-else grief is– I have compassion for the people who just don’t get it. Who say dumb things. Who don’t check up on me. Who don’t ask about BJ. Who avoid me. Who don’t know what to do/say/think of me. I get it. It’s weird. And people have no idea what it’s like to lose a spouse. How could they?

I get it. Though still I think we need to work harder and do better at supporting grieving people, I get it.

And though I get it, it’s a lonely path.

It’s like I’m sitting in a restaurant by myself as everyone else sits across from their boyfriends and spouses and friends and children and parents laughing, eating, celebrating, while I’m just sitting there alone.

Grief, party of 1.

And in the restaurant, everyone is confused by me as I sit there alone. No one gets it. They look strangely at me as I frown or sob or stare blankly or smile or reminisce or laugh hysterically or violently stab my food.

It’s a weird life to live– the life of a grieving person.

To be grieving is to constantly feel like a crazy person.

To be grieving is to lose control.

To be grieving is to be triggered by the most random of things.

To be grieving is to feel misunderstood and un-known.

(On top of the loss you’ve already experienced.)

Grieving is hard. Lonely. And not tidy.

And I think the only thing you can do to help a grieving person is to GET that. To get you don’t know what it’s like. To get that they need extra extra extra doses of grace on them. To get that they need love and support even if it’s messy.

To step back and say WOAH I don’t know what that’s like.
To step in and say I’m going to love you while you’re hurting.

At least that’s how it is for me.


Click here if you’d like to help send me to Theology School.

Click here to follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Recent posts from Andrea Enright:

First off, can you even BELIEVE I’m not the only widow out there? Doesn’t that make you sick? All the suffering? Death? Loss? Grief?

Can you believe that there even MORE women out there, more women than just me who have suffered the devastating loss of a spouse? That there are “also’s” out there, women out there who have also lost the second halves of their hearts? AGH.

(I remember thinking something similar that about BJ’s cancer. There are OTHER PEOPLE with cancer? Is it not bad enough that BJ had it? But other people have it too? Other people suffer and die from this disease? It’s not fair. It’s heart breaking. It’s sad.)

So yes, there are other widows. Others who suffer in my same way. And though I wish this could be just my story, that I could spare others from this deep grief, that’s not how this world works, this world thick with sickness and sin.

So all’s this to say I have a dear friend, a sister, who has faced a loss like mine- the loss of her husband (and best friend and lover and keeper of her hopes and dreams) and this dear Sister Friend has spoken such worth and light into my life. I like to think I’ve spoken a fraction of it back to her, though I’m not too sure. But she is so wise, so kind. She has been such a gift to me. And well, I’d like to share with you all two powerful words she’s given to me.

Are you guys ready? She’s a WISE woman. Here we go:

1. You don’t have to believe it for it to be true.

2. It’s okay to call a hard thing a hard thing.

Let’s unpack.

1. You don’t have to believe it for it to be true.

This is just the best. This word encouraged me so much. In the throes of grief your mind can wonder to both ends of the spectrum– extreme hope and extreme fear. But I needed to be reminded that God stays the same no matter where I am on that spectrum.

He is good, kind, faithful, loving NO MATTER WHAT.
He’s protecting me, guiding me, comforting me NO MATTER WHAT.

And guess what? God doesn’t need me to believe these things. He just IS it. He is it always and always and never NOT it. What comfort, what hope! God is unchanging, stable, steady, strong.

As Hebrews 13, verse 8 says:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

2. It’s okay to call a hard thing a hard thing.

This is big. My friend reminded me I don’t need to sugar coat my suffering. I don’t need to “put on a brave face” or pretend things are okay when they aren’t. My friend reminded me of that and then I was reminded of a passage of scripture where Jesus HIMSELF calls a hard thing a Hard Thing.

This is from Matthew 16, in The Message:

Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!”

But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.”

This is straight from the Gospels. Jesus himself didn’t shy away from calling hard things Hard Things. “I’m going to be killed, guys,” he says. Notice he doesn’t put on rose-colored glasses or soften the blow. He is STRAIGHT UP. He calls a hard thing a Hard Thing.

Now THAT’s the kind of guy I can get behind. A God who says “Life is going to be hard. I’m going to face it head on.” No niceties. No falsehood. Authentic. Free. Honest.

And then when Pete is like “NO!!!!!!” Jesus “didn’t swerve.” He didn’t give into Peter’s optimism. And he wasn’t afraid to call a hard thing a Hard Thing.

Thank you, Lord.


Click here if you’d like to help send me to Theology School.

Click here to follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Recent posts from Andrea Enright:

I feel discouraged. Isolated. My heart is breaking, is broken, is dying, has died.

I prayed for God to give me a dream with BJ in it last night. God didn’t answer my prayer with a yes.

And how I prayed that BJ would be healed. Would not die. God didn’t answer my prayers with a yes.

In fact, he keeps saying no.

Has anyone known more hurt than I?

More rejection? More pain? More prayers answered “no”?

Has anyone known more suffering? More hurt? More abandonment?

Oh I’m sure there have been many. Many who’ve known this suffering.

But how isolated I feel.

How sad.

How hopeless.

How scared.

But I cry to you for help, Lord;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Why, Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?


Click here if you’d like to help send me to Theology School.

Click here to follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Recent posts from Andrea Enright:

I’m coming off the high of a few days spent at Cannon Beach on retreat. I’d go into more detail but gosh, I’m too tired. It’s not that I don’t WANT to tell you all about it, it’s just I’m so tired.

That’s becoming the moral of this blog. I WANT to write more. I HAVE a lot to say. But I’m too tired to say it. Or too overwhelmed. Too something.

I’m also too much of a perfectionist. My thinking goes like this: if my blog post can’t be PERFECTLY WRITTEN, then there SHANT BE ANY BLOG POST AT ALL. Which is stupid. I can be imperfect and ramble-y and you’ll all still like me and come back for a read, won’t you?

So here I am, imperfections and all.

I wanted to tell you about an image I had while I was on the retreat, or rather a sensation. You see, I was praying and I just had this sensation come over me.

I started feeling like I was being carried by a huge and mighty rushing river.

The thing about this river is it was BIG. And scary. And moving fast and all-encompassing. And I was limp, helpless, and totally surrendered to it. Being carried by it to who-knows-where. I was completely out of control, at the whim of this mighty rushing river. But I was alive. And I was okay.

So I started thinking about my life. And this image of me in a river encompassed everything I felt about my life right now.

You see, in the river, I was scared. But I also remember thinking I’m okay. I’m alive. True, my future was uncertain (where is this river taking me? why am I alone? what is going to happen?) but the water was warm and it was big and it was carrying me. It was exciting to move through the crashing river rapids. Maybe even fun. Perhaps painful at times, good moments and bad ones, but I was okay. And the river would guide me.

The thing about being stuck in a river is you can’t fight it. Once that river’s got you all you can do is relinquish all control. Through twists and turns, over rocks, round bends, there is nothing you can do but trust the river and enjoy the ride.

Man this image excited me. The parallels to my life feel CRAZY accurate. Abundant. Necessary. Good. Thank you Lord for this metaphor from you.

Yes God is the river. And I am me. I am alone and it’s just me and God now. He knows I have no control over my life– life has taken my down an scary and unexpected path. But God is my river and He will carry me. I just need to trust Him.

It’s scary yes, but the rivers are also warm and exciting and fun.

It’s okay to be scared. But it’s also okay to enjoy the ride.

This new journey is going to be painful at times.

But the river will carry you.

I am here.



Fear not.


And it’s okay to enjoy the ride in the meantime.


Click here if you’d like to help send me to Theology School.

Click here to follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Recent posts from Andrea Enright:

I want to be the best.

That’s ok, right?

And not The Best as in better than other people but The Best as in the best I can be.

Because if I do something, I want to do my best at it.

I’m just not one for doing something Good Enough. (I’ve tried and I WISH I could drop the perfectionist thing. But nope. Can’t do it.)

And I know there is something about just DOING something, just for the sake of accomplishment, not for the sake of Best-ness, and I KNOW I need to give myself a little more grace—

But still, if I care deeply about something, I can’t help it,

I want to do my best at it.


You see, this Saturday, I shared part of my story. I got to speak to hundreds of women at a women’s event through my church.

And I was excited to talk because sharing my story is SO healing for me. It brings meaning and redemption to the suffering I’ve faced.

But MAN was it hard to cram my life and my heart and everything I wish I could tell women into twenty minutes.

And I think I did good. But I don’t know if I did my best. And I WANTED to do my best.

But who can blame me? I was a sad widow talking about cancer and death.
AND it was my first time public speaking that wasn’t my husband’s funeral.
AND it DID go well.

But it wasn’t my best.



But I sit here and think– hmmm.

This is telling me something.

This longing for doing things well is a SIGNAL:

It says I really cared about this.

And it tells me this is what I want to do.


I know for me that if I care about being my best at it, it means I care.

It means something fierce to me.

It’s important. Urgent, even.

So I think to myself– I want to talk to women. I want to pastor women. I want to lead women and inspire them and encourage them.

And I think maybe I didn’t do my BEST at the brunch, but I can work towards it. I can try and practice and work and pray and log hours and get better.

Because I want to be my best.

So I will start that journey today.

And guys,

I think I want to be a pastor.


Click here if you’d like to help send me to Theology School.

Click here to follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Recent posts from Andrea Enright: