My Heart Hurts

Oh, how my heart hurts!

Deep down where no one can touch it-it aches for my missing child, the family I used to have, the lost opportunities, the missed moments.

And there is no cure.

Yes, there is  a Balm in Gilead-there is hope in the Person of Jesus Christ.

And it soothes the pain, takes the edge off, makes it bearable.

But it does not take it away.

faith is not an epidural

I’m sorry if that tosses grit in the works of your theology.  I’m sorry if that makes you a little afraid that if this happened to you, the pain might last a lifetime.

I wish some of the books I’d read, the movies I’d seen, the sermons I’d heard had dealt more honestly and openly with the topic of loss, grief, heartache and unchangeable circumstance.  Most of them minimized the crisis and moved straightaway to the victorious ending.  That’s a convenience and device unavailable to us who are living with the reality day to day.

I can’t turn a page and get to the finale.

I can’t wrap up my experience in three points and a tidy tag line.

So as the ache began to settle in, I questioned my faith.  I questioned my relationship with Jesus.  I questioned my sanity and my strength and my sadness.

What was wrong with me????

Why can others move through and move on????

And then I reexamined the published stories and realized that the arc presented as going from devastation to declaration of God’s goodness was very selective.

If I wanted to, I could craft my narrative the same way.

I am definitely better than I was.  Definitely more confident of God’s working in this Valley than I was.  Definitely more convinced that God will redeem and restore than when I first faced the fact my son was dead.

But it is still a battle.

crisis of faith

It is still a choice that I have to make every day.  It is still something I hold onto IN SPITE of my hurting heart.  My hope has not replaced the pain.  It lives alongside it and sometimes overshadows it-but the pain is still there.

I can not pretend that “all is well” any more than I can claim I understand when Paul writes I am “seated in the heavenlies with Jesus”.

God sees it all in the “right now”.

I am trapped in time.

Yes, these things are true.  But I do not experience them as true right now.

So in the meantime, I wait to see with my eyes what has been promised to my heart.  And the distance between now and then leaves a gaping wound that hurts.

It’s simply the truth.

steadfast-love-in-the-morning

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

10 thoughts on “My Heart Hurts”

  1. This is difficult to explain and I didn’t pray for this but one year when we did our annual balloon release and each member of our family writes something to send our daughter or their sister in heaven I laid on the ground crying watching the balloon disappear into the sky. For a brief moment, it seemed like literally a second in time, God removed the distance between us. It was like a flash and a chasm opened. It was so brief but it gave me immense peace. I wasn’t thinking about it or even hoping for it, and it is difficult to describe but for a moment I got to really feel God’s presence and a glimpse of what that means and how it feels. Peaceful, amazing, heart stopping really. This is not our home. I hope this helps in some way.

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    1. It does, Jamie. I understand the sense of not being able to explain those moments. There have been several in my life where I felt that God rent the veil and I could see more clearly than at other moments. He has spoken deep things to my soul at those moments and changed me profoundly. Almost as if lightning struck. I am thankful He gave you that gift. May He continue to sustain you in every way in this journey. What is your dauther’s name? ❤

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  2. “My hope has not replaced the pain…” Well-said, Melanie. I know that you and fellow readers truly get the “bifurcated” life, as you wrote of in another blog. I seek new definitions, new understanding, because using the language of loss is not quite right. The ache, the feeling inside, the shortness of breath… that is my broken heart as I miss my Jeff. My thoughts and words do not express it. Your words often do what mine cannot at this point. Thanks for your honesty as you walk this road. I, too, wait to see with my eyes what has been promised to my heart. 💛💙 Jeni Engler

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    1. I’m thankful that the blog helps you say what you feel. That’s really my prayer every day-that the words God gives me will help someone else unleash bottled up emotions so they can express them. For me, keeping it inside is unfruitful. When I can say what I feel, it helps me take it to the Father and lay it down. May the Lord continue to give you exactly what you need for each day dear one. ❤ Melanie

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  3. Thank you for putting my feelings into words. I have experienced the deaths of mother father and sister but the death of my daughter caused me to doubt the goodness of my Heavenly Father. It’s something I deal with every day but thankfully some days are better than others. After 2 1/2 years I know God loves me but yes, the pain is still there.

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    1. Nancy, Almost 3 years for me. A couple days ago I was laughing like crazy and yesterday we heard a family friend had been killed in a motorcycle accident and my heart dropped to my belly. Yes, good days and bad days. But God is faithful. I am thankful for Him and for those who encourage my heart on this awful journey. May the Lord continue to wrap His loving arms around you and give your heart hope. ❤ Melanie

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    1. I’m sorry for your pain and loss, Nan. I wish none of us had to walk this road. May the Lord give you strength and may He flood your broken heart with His love, mercy and grace. ❤ Melanie

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