I feel like a broken record these days. I’m so often shouting about how we need to be living our own lives to the brim, accepting them as they are, treasuring the beauty around us, taking in the story that’s written for us….
But the truth is…I am just so burdened for you. I hope that you find the freedom there is in living your life. I hope you are overjoyed with God’s desires, content in your story, and running wild with the delight you can have in Christ.
The more I have learned to accept my life in its wholeness and heartache, the more I want this joy for others. It is not joy because I have a good life; it is joy because I have a good God. It is not what I believe to be true about my life, but what I believe to be true about my God.
I struggle, as you know. I rail against the walls before me and I sink in discouragement, but the morning always comes and with it the remembrance of God, his love and faithfulness. And I can’t stay in the darkness laid before me. I am urged to rise…to rise…TO RISE.
I look around me and see all these opportunities to savor the life around me. And it is worth savoring. It is worth the effort to see beyond my own expectations and take in the world around me. I do not write from a broken heart. I write from a whole heart…a heart that’s learned that pain and suffering always has a road that leads straight to the shadow of God’s wings.
As I look back over the last 5 years of my life, I realize just how full my healing from chronic pain has come. It is not healing in that I no longer have physical pain, it is healing in that I can truly live despite it, that I can go days without thinking of it, that I have left the hardest nights behind, and accepted that pain will come but it doesn’t have to control me. This valley of chronic pain no longer defines me, and it is not because of me…but because of God’s grace in my life.
This is a beautiful testament to God’s faithfulness and reminds me that no matter the hard things coming or the darkness in my story, healing and rest in God cannot be ripped away from me. Those hard years of chronic pain, loneliness, and struggle only prove to me the love and faithfulness of my God. No matter how deep and dark the pain of life can feel, the feelings give way to hope as truth washes through me.
Perhaps, instead of stacking up the hard things in our life to hold against our God, we should stack them together and see God’s faithfulness in how He has held them for us…how He has carried us, how He as counted every tear, and heard every prayer. How He has walked us through the darkness and brought us to His light. How the shadow of His wings have been a real and gentle comfort.
When I hold up the stack of hard things, the chronic pain sits heavy, the loss of friends’ pulls down, and the tears drip sore, but heartache is no longer there, because I gave my heart to God, raw, sore and bleeding. He filled every part. Because God fulfills, no matter the kind of pain we feel.
And so I have learned to leave my weary heart in God hands, and trust that He will heal the wounds within.
I don’t just speak of the deep and gaping wounds, I speak of the everyday bruises, the ordinary hardships we face, the heaviness this life brings. It doesn’t have to be big to be really hard, and as we give over the small things, we learn again and again how faithful God always is, and we begin to throw Him the big things…knowing that He is our Strength and a very present Help in trouble.
I have written of my weariness, but I have also written of my HOPE! I am simply a woman, so thoroughly human like you. But I am learning that God takes my old and wounded things and gives them new beginnings. He makes my life full of hope simply because my heart is more full with Him. That is where true healing begins…when we surrender to God and offer up these bruised and beaten hearts as a sacrifice to the One who will cherish, heal, and complete them.
When I look back, I don’t see heartache.
When I look forward, I don’t see heartache.
Heartache is in both places, but so is God.
And God heals.
So, I surrender again and again.
And I am free—
So much freer—
Than ever before!