For so much of my life, I thought sucking it up and faking away the pain showed true strength. But real strength is identifying a wound and asking God to enter it. We are robbing ourselves of a divine mystery and a divine intimacy when we pretend to have it all together. In fact, we lose an entire vocabulary from our prayers when we silence the reality of our pain. If questions and cries and laments are not cleaned up throughout Scripture, then why are we cleaning them up or removing them completely from our language?
~Esther Fleece, No More Faking Fine
Social media is replete with memes, stories and “pass this on and Jesus will bless you” messages that imply if only our faith is strong enough or our hope steadfast enough things will be alright.
But sometimes they aren’t!
So when I see posts about a survival story and another family spared the awful journey my family must make, I am truly thankful but my heart cries out, “Why him and not MY son?”
It was a long, long time before my first reaction to someone surviving an awful car accident or motorcycle accident (my son died on his motorcycle-instantly) was joy for the family of the one that survived.
I would have a moment of relief for them (that they didn’t have to suffer this pain) but then my mind went to the place I wish I didn’t-why them and not us?
One of the hardest tasks in this journey has been to lay aside the questions I know won’t be answered before Heaven and to learn to live in the now with them tucked away.
I’m better at rejoicing but I still can’t tolerate talk of “miracles” (even if it really IS a miracle) or “answered prayers” or “prayer works” or someone trying to justify why one person dies and another lives in the same circumstances.
I can tolerate mystery but not men’s attempts to explain away God’s working in the world.
So I have learned to let it out in the privacy of my own prayer closet or journal and beg God to pour more mercy and grace into my broken heart. Pretending it’s OK doesn’t help me or anyone else. Lament allows me to exhale my doubts, questions and disappointment and make room to inhale the truth that the Lord is faithful and that He loves me.
I know my Redeemer lives and that every promise of God in Christ is “yes” and “amen”.
I hang onto that truth, even when my heart begs for more.