Here’s the truth: Life sucks sometimes.
When it hurts so bad that you can’t go on…
life keeps moving on.
This week has been hard.
Monday around noon, I felt this huge pressure in my heart. I fell on the floor and cried out “it hurts so bad!” to the Lord. Over and over again, with tears flowing out of my eyes.
Seven hours later, I listened with a heavy, confused heart as the relationship I’ve been so excited about came to a close. I instantly went into self-preservation mode and got defensive and tried to make sense of it.
and I drove home without tears.
and I fell asleep without tears.
But then I woke up and remembered, and I cried out to the Lord again. I prayed for grace – grace for him, that even in my confusion and hurt I wouldn’t look on him without grace… grace FROM him, that he would offer me the same… and grace for myself, to evaluate mistakes I’d made not through a lens of regret but of grace.
A few days later, I decided to go to Target. I walked upstairs to change my clothes, and then I suddenly remembered. I felt the pressure again and I fell on the floor again and cried. and I was reminded that I needed to trust God.
and I said, “I trust God, but I can still be so sad.”
One of my favorite blog posts I’ve ever written is called “When Christ Wasn’t There.” It talks about how Jesus INTENTIONALLY didn’t go to Mary & Martha when Lazarus died. Jesus kept his distance from his mourning friends. Not because he didn’t care, but because I think sometimes we need to really feel sad to remember that Christ is our Healer.
So these are the ways I’m trusting God even though my heart hurts:
Listen, I’m not going to be able to truly pray right now that Ryan finds the girl of his dreams and gets married and lives happily ever after. I can’t pray that, because that’s a lie and we all know where liars go. But you know what I CAN pray? I can pray that he is always responsive to the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the motives of your prayers until you’ve been left with the truest prayer you can pray with your whole heart.
Cling to God’s promise to never leave.
You know what I want to do with my hurting heart? I want to take it on a tour of all my friends and have all of my friends hug my hurting heart, give it a smooch and cover it with glitter. I want my friends to bear my burden with me. And there’s some reasonable expectation to that, but not at the caliber I need. I need Someone in my corner when my eyes pop open at 2 am and I remember suddenly that things have changed. and that Someone isn’t my friends who are probably sleeping. That Someone is God, who has been watching over me in the stillness of my room while I sleep. He is not scared of my sadness. He’s not going to get overwhelmed because of it and leave.
Scripture says that blessed are the poor in spirit and that God is close to the broken hearted. Tears are the economy of the broken-hearted kingdom, and I am making sure that every single one of them falls at the feet of my loving and compassionate God.
Let your friends hold your hands up.
In Exodus 17:11&12, we read that in the battle against the Amalekites, as long as Moses held up his hand Israel would prevail, but eventually his hands grew weary. Aaron and Hur got him a rock to sit on and then Aaron and Hur each held up one of Moses’ hands so that his hands were steady for the rest of the day. Despite my trust in God and my certainty of his love for me, my hands keep getting tired. and I’ve been texting my friends in waves – two here and three a few hours later – because my hands and my heart keep getting weary and I need them to fill in the gap for me for a minute. They’re doing that with words of encouragement, with I love you’s and with declarations of prayer.
Jesus said “in your anger, do not sin.” Don’t allow the tenderness of a hurting heart to be the soil for crippling sin. I am praying for grace and favor. I am refusing to speak unkind words, despite my confusion and hurt. Don’t. sin. Don’t let Satan get the glory of your broken heart.
I know that today I am not the only person on the whole wide world whose heart is sad but surrendered. That’s why I’m writing this – I hope it finds someone else who is so very sad but is so very certain of a God who cares and hears. Sometimes it’s hard to be sad and full of joy at the same time, but from everything I’ve read in the Bible, it is hard but it is probably the best place to be because God is close by.
I’ve been clinging to a few songs this week, and I decided to share a few of them with you. The first is a beautiful arrangement by my friend Phil Laeger of an old hymn called “I’m In His Hands,” and the second is a song we’ve sung with the kids before, “He Knows My Name.” I’ve spent a lot of time sitting at the piano singing these songs, so I thought I’d share that with all of you. <3