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.
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.
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.