Mary Howell
About the Author

Mary Howell loves double names, words, and all the spaces in between. She hopes Christ will comfort you with His words and His spaces.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for sharing these beautiful words. God has had me in a holding pattern for a while, and I rejoice with you in the wait. God will bless our lives with the desires of our heart in His time, not ours.

  2. This is beautiful. I just have never thought of grief as holy, but you are right, God takes everything and makes it good for those who love Him. Even grief. We know we are in a waiting pattern and His plans are always good.
    Just really beautiful words.
    Thank you. Praying God’s blessing on your ministry.

  3. Thank you for posting this…your words have completely summed up the way I feel right now. I spent three weeks in Africa this winter and coming home was so difficult. Even now, three months later, the pain is still fresh. I constantly see things that remind me of Africa, things that remind me of my orphans, things that make me cry when I least expect it. I left a piece of my heart in Africa.
    But the funny thing is, this sort of grief sometimes feels good. Sometimes I’ll lie awake at night, thinking of Africa, crying and laughing at the same time. Like you said–it means that my heart changed, and it means that my experience was real. It means that this isn’t over.
    So thanks again for sharing your feelings; it’s good to know I’m not the only one who feels this way!

  4. Beautiful. I have spent a lot of life trying to manage and squelch grief. In my own season of yielding to it, I am seeing so much of my Father’s heart. Thanks for this!

  5. Bless you for your faithful response to God and the place He has you living in now, and to His timing. Africa does have a way of burrowing right into a person’s heart. Once you’ve been to Africa, you’ll never be the same.


  6. It hurts to wait. I think of this daily. I tell God and remind God that *this now* hurts, and I want so badly to not hurt in today. I want to envelope today and just receive it for its purpose for *tomorrow*. I truly believe God has told me I’ll have another child and that I need to wait. To have a vision for *tomorrow* and have to stay focused on today, makes me feel like an antsy little six-year-old who is smart enough to know what today and tomorrow is, but know it well enough that I just feel like I can’t wait. But today really does have purpose. And my anxiousness (grief) has purpose, too. And so I just lean in and trust. It’s all I can do. And I thank Him for the waiting because I know that it will be so beautiful when I wait…

  7. sigh. oh africa. she stole my heart and i too am in a heart-wrenching, tear-stained, grieving waiting to go back when/if He says go.
    praying for you during your wait and so thankful that He has spoken so very clearly to you during this season and that you are seeing the purpose in it!

  8. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have joy and also deep holy grief too. My grief comes from a blended family. It’s deep and it hurts and I have to trust God with it daily in the midst of hurt feelings and no answers, stubborn attitudes, and a precious and innocent little boy. I never know if what I’m doing is right or if how I handle situations are correct, so I do the only thing I know is right, i lean on the Lord. And He is so good….

  9. Thank you for your beautiful message. I too had never thought about grief as holy. I know that God is in control and that all things work for good for those who love Him. The past year and a half has been the hardest time of my life. The loss of my husband, Mother and Mother-in-law is almost unbearable – yet – God has carried me and blessed me beyond measure. Yes I grieve – but not without hope. I know that I will be with them again and that God is in control and has a purpose for me that I need to complete. Thank you for your encouragement and for reminding me once again that He does love me and does understand my sorrow and that He does care!