November 26, 2016

In Winter's Dark by Marnie Pohlmann

I awaken slowly, the dream fading with my sleep. I am left discontent. Something is not right. I keep my eyes closed, trying to capture the trail of elusive thought, but it is gone.

Scars burn across my rib cage, pulling taut my skin and emotions. I huddle closer to the warmth of his body. We curl together in the dark to support one another. It is all the energy we have these days.

He trembles, perhaps from cold. I move my head from his shoulder and lay on his chest. His breathing keeps time with the thump, thump of his heartbeat, and I feel secure. My arm encircles his chest, once so muscular but now reduced to bony ribs. Concern flickers, constricting my heart. I reach to touch his cheek where the soft fuzz of his remaining whiskers assures me he is still the one I love. He twitches, like a dog dreaming in sleep. I wonder if he is reliving needles trying to find veins, or is running carefree in a preferred future. No matter. My thumb rubs along his jaw and he seems soothed.

I open my eyes, expecting to see only the dark of night. Insomnia has been our norm as we keep watch. Yet I am not surprised to see dawn shadows seeping through the thin curtains on the window. Time both hangs in suspension and rushes beyond the clock that measures our days. I hold my breath, attempting to stop time, to stay in this moment of calm.

The curtains riffle and settle with a quiet breeze. Soft gray light casts onto the ceiling. The shadow looks like a giant wing hovering above us. I let my breath out slowly, claiming the peace of this scene. Though days and nights appear black, we are not out in the dark alone, but are sheltered within the dark, like a chick sheltered under the wing of a hen.

Still, I do not rush to start the day, to search for the bright lights of gratitude that can be found even in the darkest pain. I snuggle closer to the one who travels this adventure with me. I am content to rest, to remain in this dark. I will continue to experience all that comes with the gloom.
I wrestle through the swamp of each day, struggling to not sink into a deeper shadow.
I know we remain victorious if we persevere. This part of our journey is unsettling, and even scary, yet I am not afraid. We are sheltered.

Someday, probably not today, but someday, I will write from these depths, so I treasure in my heart this moment of dusky peace amid turmoil. I am safe to experience even this while under the shadow of God’s wing.

Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!
(Psalm 61:4)

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
(Psalm 91:4)

Marnie Pohlmann writes about how God’s presence makes all the difference. Read Marnie’s blog, Phosphorescent


  1. This is deeply moving - beyond any words I can think of for a typical comment. Even in these dark days, your words are a light. Please know that you have many people lifting you up in prayer.

    1. Thank you, Tracy. The many prayers make the light shine brighter for us.

  2. Thank you for sharing your deep, honest and comforting thoughts. May God bless you and your family and keep you in the shadow of his love.

    1. There truly is comfort in the shadow of God's love.

  3. Thank you for sharing this Marnie. I so relate to this in the journey I am on right now, and especially the image of being under God's wings.
    Pam M.

    1. Pam, may you too know God's peace while under His wing.

  4. Hi Marnie! You write from a heart that knows pain and grief yet is held by hope. Thank you for not sugar coating the experience you are living. Thank you also for such hopeful statements as, "Though days and nights appear black, we are not out in the dark alone, but are sheltered within the dark, like a chick sheltered under the wing of a hen." You words and the feelings that show through are what heart writing is all about. Terry and I conyinue to pray for you and Wally and your family. Blessings Marnie!

    1. As you well know, grief is a process. Thank you for your prayers.

  5. Your words are a testament of courage and grace amidst a dark time. Your love for each other and for God comes shining through each word. Amazing writing.

    1. Thanks, Gloria. Not all days have courage or grace, but God's presence makes such a difference.


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