My heart hurts, but it doesn’t hurt for me, it hurts for this world. Oh how it aches. I feel as if all of sudden there is so much pain and injustice in this world. One by one things are happening that are causing my heart to break. My heart hurts for all that is happening in Afghanistan, for a fire that is raging near my old hometown, for a dear friend recovering in the hospital, and for a young innocent life that was suddenly taken away too soon.
I don’t understand why God allows all these things that are going on. I know that there is nothing new under the sun and today’s evils are no different than yesterday’s evils. But so many of these things seem to happening all at once and so many the things that are happening are hitting so close to my heart.
I have been on my knees in prayer because honestly, there is nothing else I can do. All I want to do is pray for God’s justice to be done, for God’s peace to be given, and for God’s kingdom to come. Each hard thing is a reminder that this place is not our home. This world we live in is broken. Not only does my heart ache in pain over all the things happening in this world and all the evil, but it aches for that better place. That place where there will no longer be any of this pain. The place where a friend of mine is now residing. A place where day and night we will get to worship our King and be in His presence.
More and more I am finding myself longing for more of Him and for that day when we get to be with Him. If the evils of this world cause your heart to hurt, you are not the only one. It’s okay to let our hearts ache and hurt rightfully at all the evil in this world. But may it cause us to pray and long more for the day when we will be with our God forever.
I believe that God’s timing is in everything, even the days we read certain stories in the Bible.
The other day I read the story in the bible where Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego were thrown in the fiery furnace. I have been reading through the prophets one chapter a day and this was where I was that day; Daniel 3. I have been feeling a bit sad and lonely and as I read the story I found so much encouragement for my heart. The story wasn’t new to me, I’ve heard this story so many times in my life. I grew up watching the classic veggie tales rendition of this story too many times to count. But after reading it afresh, the story hit me in a new way. What stood out to me the most in this passage was actually not the bold and fearless faith these three men had, but how they responded when they were in the furnace and that there was a fourth man with them.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
A song instantly popped into my head as I read this story (I have the song attached at the bottom e of this page). Maybe you know the song already. It’s “Another in the Fire” by Hillsong. I kept thinking about how amazing of a truth it is that there is another in the fire with us! Each trial and hardship we face, we are not alone. There is another with us, and that person is Jesus Christ.
I listened to this song in my room and let my heart worship God. Suddenly I felt so overwhelmed just thinking about all my hurt and pain that I had walked through and the realization struck me that God was there with me through all of it. There was not a single day of my heartbreak where God was distant from me and I know that there will not be a single day moving forward where He will leave me. Oh how thankful my heart is that God has been with me every step of the way through this fire.
But There is also one more thing that really stood out to me in this story. Not only was God with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were in the fire, but they were unbound and unharmed the entire time they were in the fire. When they came out of the furnace there was not even a single trace of fire on them;
Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
I think that this is such an amazing thing that these three men were not hurt in any way. In a sense, you could say they were thriving while in the fire. I can’t help but have this picture in my head of them laughing and having the best of time while in the fire with Jesus. And this can be so true of us too! I have had people tell me that I am doing so well considering how much of an emotional hardship I experienced. It’s really only been few months but I have been receiving so much healing that it is hard to believe how short of an amount of time truly has passed. My relationship with God has been on an upward climb ever since I entered into this fire. I’m not saying this trial in my life has been easy, but I can say with all my heart that this trial has been the sweetest time I’ve ever had with Jesus.
You guys, this is truth; the fires in our life are good. God has a reason and purpose for all the fires we must walk through in life. Sometimes He doesn’t tell us the reason why, but we can always trust Him. The fires grow us closer to God and allow others to see God’s glory. Whatever your fire, I hope this Bible story can encourage you too! God is always with you and he gives you everything you need to not just survive, but to thrive while you are in the fire.
When the trials come, always remember that there is another in the fire.
Have you heard the Bible verse that says we are to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice?
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
For awhile now, it’s been hard to watch all the people I know get engaged and married after I had that very thing taken from me. I struggled to feel joy for them and it was hard not to be bitter. But time really does do wonders. Though there is still some pain as I watch them get the things I desperately desire, I am comforted in knowing that that is their story and my story is different. God’s plans for me are different and in his timing I will get there too.
But this actually isn’t what I want to write about today. Today I want to write about the other part of that verse. Weep with those who weep. Last week I experienced what it truly means to weep and mourn with someone. I will not go into detail about her story, but a dear friend of mine was in the process of choosing to follow God and end her relationship with a guy she had been seriously dating for a year. Oh how my heart hurt for her. I felt her pain, like literally felt it. Only a couple of months ago I was feeling the same raw pain of heartbreak. Seeing her go through it brought the memory of my pain back. It was like daggers in my heart. I was too overwhelmed to do anything but just hug her and cry with her. I cried with her because I knew all to well what she was feeling. I knew how much it hurt and I cried because it was the only thing both of us could do.
I felt like I was able to relate to her in a way that no one else could. I was able to tell her from experience that there is hope. That even thought the pain is hard and it hurts oh so much, there will be healing. That in time the hurt will subside and God will be faithful. I could tell her that choosing to follow God will lead to the biggest blessing because God is truly all that matters in life. I prayed hard for this girl and I began praying the same things for her that I was asking for in my time of brokeness. I will never forget the moment, before saying goodbye, we clasped each others hands, looked into each others tear stained eyes, and talked about the glories of heaven and the day when there will be no more pain.
I am so amazed at how God was able to use my broken heart and the pain I walked through to bring comfort to this girl. God never ceases to amaze me in how He truly is working all things out for His good and His glory. Even the timing of my healing journey was significant. Because I was already a few months on the path of healing my story of finding healing was able to be a testimony of hope for this girl as she entered into feeling broken. I just can’t get over how overwhelmed and thankful I am to my God that he was able to use my pain to be a beacon of comfort and hope for my dear friend.
My friends, God is always working and I am realizing that sometimes He brings us through a very hard trial so that we might help others who are in the same trial. To truly weep with someone who weeps is a beautiful ack of love and trust. It is a bonding experience that brings unity and hope to two hurting souls. It is a testimony of the fact that even the hard days have a purpose in God’s good plan. If you are going through something hard, maybe God will bring someone into you life who is in a similar place. Maybe God is preparing you to be the hope that they need to keep on trusting. Weeping with those who weep is a beautiful thing and I pray that you will also have the chance to experience God’s goodness though it.
I have a message for you, healing happens, that’s all, thank you.
Truly that is all I want to get on here and say, but I’ll elaborate a little more. A few days ago (last Saturday to be exact) I was driving into town. Not even two minutes into driving down the road I was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of healing. I almost began crying, it was that powerful. I honestly don’t know how to describe it to you. It was like something broke down in my heart and my heart felt normal again. For that moment I felt like my pain wasn’t there. It was gone and all I could think about was God’s love covering me.
I’ve been hurting for so long and I think when you hurt for a long time sometimes you just get used to pain always being a part of your life. You have good days where you feel better, but there is still hurt hiding under the surface. I feel like I’ve kinda just accepted the fact that this was gonna be my life. I was going to have to learn how to live with the pain always being a part of me. But in one amazing, God filled moment, I felt healing touch my heart in such an amazing way. I truly believe God’s spirit had come down and filled up my car.
I’m not saying that all my pain is miraculously all gone after that moment. But I can tell you that something changed. I feel like I’m viewing my life now with healing eyes. If that makes any sense? The hurt and regrets are still there but it doesn’t hurt as much. In a way it’s like the wound on my heart is finally not bleeding anymore. It’s healed up, I can finally take the band-aid off, but there is still a scar left.
God put these words in my heart while I was driving – “healing happens”. And then God made it clear that I needed to share those words. Not exactly sure what to do or how to share those words, I grabbed my phone began sharing this message through my instagram account and by texting a close friend. And here I am writing this message and sharing it with you now.
Guys, I am going to say it again, healing happens! It takes time, but it happens. It’s been almost four months of hurting for my heart to get here and I know that as time continues I’ll continue to heal. Whatever you are going through, keep on trusting in God. Keep on following God and choosing to obey Him down every path had puts before you. There will be hard days but the hard days won’t compare to the overwhelming feeling of love that surrounds your heart when healing finally comes. As you are walking through your storm, let this be the anthem that keeps you strong – healing is going to happen. If you have experienced His amazing and supernatural healing then let us praise our God who loves us so much and gives us healing!
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel completely better.
I had another rough weekend. It really was just a normal weekend, but sadness kept seeping up into my heart until it was too much. I crashed and I cried. I felt like there was this huge weight on my shoulders from pasting a smile on my face each day and ignoring all the pain that is still in my heart.
This week I realized how quickly the feelings can come back when it is triggered by something. A walk into Home Depot reminding me of the hours I spent with him in that store. A trip to the climbing gym alone, which used to be our favorite activity together. An outing with my church’s college group and one of the guys turns and for a short second he is the spitting image of him. Accomplishing something exciting in my life and realizing I can’t share it with him anymore. Scrolling through social media and seeing pictures of not just one, but three people I know getting married.
Some days I wonder if he is moving on with his life too. Guys, I’ll be honest with you, on my lowest days, the temptation to text him is so real. I hate these constant triggers that keep popping up in my life to remind me of all the things I miss about him. I know I’m on the right path, but it’s not an easy path.
Sometimes I wonder what am I supposed to do? It would be foolishness for me to hide away in my room and avoid all the triggers that bring back hard memories. No, I know that even though these triggers happen, I need to still go out. I need to keep living and make new memories that can replace the old ones. But it’s still hard and my heart is still so raw. I think I understand now why heart wounds take forever to heal, and oftentimes never completely heal.
But I don’t want this to be a sad post. Even though I’ve been feeling a bit discouraged, I don’t want to discount all the good God has been doing in my life. He has brought so many amazing opportunities into my life this summer to serve Him. I’m going to be so busy serving him and working with a few camp ministries. I am continuing to be overwhelmed each day by God’s continued faithfulness to me.
In my Bible study we just finished up the study of Joseph. It may seem strange, but my favorite part of the story of Joseph was when after he had been raised to power in pharaoh’s kingdom and he said that God had made him forget the pain of his youth. Oh how my heart latched onto that verse. I’ve read the story of Joseph so many times and just skipped over that verse. But now I am finding myself repeating that verse to myself over and over. This morning I even prayed that verse over my situation. I know that just like Joseph, someday I’ll be able to say the same thing about my life. I long for that day when I can say that all this pain was worth it and that the blessings God has for me is enough to make me forget all of my hurt.
Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
I know that as time goes on I will begin to make new memories. I’ll make new friends. I’ll create new experiences to replace the old ones. As time goes on, the triggers won’t hurt so much. It’s still early in my healing process. I know I still have more sad days to come. But oh how thankful I am for all my good days and all the joy that I have continue to find in God.
This question has been on my mind a lot lately and God has been so gracious each time my heart has a question like this one to guide me to the right answer and example in scripture. In my Bible study, we are still working our way through Genesis. I’ve talked about Abraham, Job, Jacob, and even David on this blog. Are you ready for the next Bible character that I’m finding myself in. If you know your bible, you may be able to guess which one comes next. It’s Joseph! And oh boy, what an amazing story is Joseph’s story. It’s a story full of unfair and unjust suffering, but one that is overflowing with God’s goodness and good purposes!
I’m not gonna lie to you, I’ve kinda created a new little saying that I keep telling myself each day. I’ve been saying “I am Joseph”. As I read the story of Joseph and look at my life, I keep finding myself saying “I am Joseph”. In my Bible study, we were discussing the life of Joseph and the sudden onset of suffering he faced. Joseph went from being the most favored/spoiled child to becoming a slave all in less than a day. I was thinking to myself, “wow, I wonder what it must have felt like to have everything and then lose everything”. Then I literally felt like I had my eyes opened up to the fact that, that is my story. I saw an almost identical pattern in a way my life has been these past few months. Only months ago I was so happy. I was finally on the verge of all my dreams coming true. I was engaged and in the process of starting a life with someone and oh it was bliss. But then it ended so fast. One thing after another came to light and before i knew it, it was all gone.
I AM JOSEPH. I can feel the same hurt and pain and disappointment that he must have felt. All his dreams, gone. All his family and friends gone. His life suddenly taking a completely different route and an unwanted move to a new location. (Okay, wow, there really are a lot of similarities here, granted I still have my family and friends, but I moved to a new area and have been struggling to get connected so I do relate in a way to the loneliness and I do in a way also feel like I lost a family because how close I became to his family).
There really is not a lot of good happening in Joseph’s story, but if you keep reading the story of Joseph there is something very encouraging. It is said at least three times in the book of Genesis that God was with Joseph. In each season of suffering Joseph faced, Joseph had every right to complain and despair. Maybe he did at times, but the Bible never mentions it. Instead Joseph rose to the top of every situation he found himself in. He was greatly blessed and God gave him success in all he did. Even as a slave Joseph rose to high favor. And let me tell you something, you cannot rise to favor if all you ever do is complain about how bad your luck has been.
I imagine Joseph must have known that God was with him. How else could he have had the faith to keep on going without despairing. His pain had to have been great. And I’m not saying he no longer felt the pain and hurt that his brothers inflicted on him. Later in Genesis Joseph says “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” So obviously, his pain during this time was constantly on his mind. But what Joseph shows us here is how to rightly respond when suffering happens and we have no control over it. We must get up and keep going. We have the choice to either wallow in our self pity and despair, or make the best out of whatever situation we find ourselves in. I’ve gotta believe that when we choose the latter, God truly blesses it, just like he blesses Joseph.
God blessed Joseph and gave him favor in each place he found himself in. In Potiphar’s house, he rose to leadership. In prison, he rose to leadership. Then, lastly, in Pharaoh’s kingdom, he rose to leadership. None of these places Joseph found himself in were places he wanted to be. In fact, if he had the choice to go back to his family, I’m sure he would take it without even looking back. I can tell you that there are definitely times in my life that I wish I could just go back to those happy days and forget about the pain. But I have no control over the place I’m in right now which is why Joseph’s story has been so encouraging to me. I’m learning from Joseph’s story that God’s will for me in this season is to keep on trusting Him and to find ways to keep on serving Him even while I’m hurting.
I also want to talk a bit about the end of Joseph’s story. As I’m sure you are familiar with how in the story of Joseph we get to see how all his suffering would one day make sense and play a role in God’s amazing plan. God used Joseph to be the means of saving many nations, including Israel, from a devastating famine. Joseph became a great leader in Egypt, a wise man who was full of integrity. But if he became a ruler in Egypt right away without first spending years as a slave and in prison, I don’t believe he’d be the same ruler. God was using the hard seasons of suffering in his life to teach him how to be humble and also how to lead and manage other people. When God’s time was right, Joseph was given one of the most coveted positions in all Egypt. Truly, Joseph was finally able to say that God had taken all his sorrow away.
I think that it’s so encouraging to see how God was using Joseph’s suffering to position him in the right place at the right time to bring provision to God’s people. God was preparing Joseph for something greater. And that is what God is doing when we suffer! God is preparing us for something bigger, better, and greater. God is using all the suffering in our life for his good purposes. Often times, like Joseph, we can’t see the whole picture of what God is doing while we are in the middle of it. Maybe all we see is the pain and unending waiting. But we can hold onto the truth that God is going to work all things out our for good and God will be with us, as He was with Joseph.
So yes, I am Joseph! And maybe as you look at your life, you are Joseph too. Maybe God has brought sudden or unjust suffering into your life. The big question to ask yourself then is “what is my response?” Remember, it’s okay to feel hurt and pain. In fact, if you don’t feel any pain as you suffer I’d be worried that something is wrong with you. What really matters the most is what you do with the hurt? Do you dwell on it and let it lead you to despair. Or do you get up and keep on chasing after God and serving him in the place your at, trusting that God is going to do something great through it.
Let us hold onto the truth that God is always with us through every trial we face. Every season of suffering has a purpose that we may not be able to see until the time is right. But we can know this, God is taking us down these hard paths because he wants to prepare us and make us into something greater! God’s purposes for your life are so much greater than whatever it is you have lost, so let’s be like Joseph and keep on suffering well in this life!
The past week was harder for me for some reason. I had many emotional days. All I wanted to do was lie in bed and cry. Multiple times I did just that. And I was feeling so good the week before. I was finding more joy in the simple things and not finding myself as sad. So why did I all of a sudden take a few steps back into despair and start feeling sad again?
I think I have figured some of it out. On Sunday it all made sense to me. After worshipping the Lord on Sunday and spending time praying and journaling, I realized a sudden change in my attitude. Nothing changed in my circumstances, but I suddenly felt more joy and I had a peace that I didn’t have before. What did I do that made me start feeling better? I simply stopped thinking about me and started thinking more about God.
I’m actually a bit ashamed at how me-focused I let myself become the past week. I didn’t feel good and I missed him so much. I know that it is normal for me to have these feelings and I know that I’m not going to ever stop missing him. But I was letting myself narrow in only on how I felt. I was focusing on my feelings and my hurt so much that I found myself paralyzed by the pain. I was no longer able to see the bigger picture or God’s promises to me.
That wasn’t a fun place to be. I’m so thankful that Sunday came along. On Sunday, worshiping brought the blinders of my eyes and I saw again of God’s goodness to me. It was refreshing for my weary soul to focus on God and being able to find rest in God. For the first time in a while, God’s joy returned to me.
This experience reminds me that when I focus on myself and my troubles, that is all I will see. When I ignore God’s goodness and choose to give into my worries and fears, I find myself trapped in a cycle of damaging emotions. I need a perspective change in order to be set free. I need to be living my life with eye’s that are focused on God. When I look to God, the hurt is still there, but I can finally see it in its proper perspective. I see how my pain is nothing compared to God’s goodness towards me. I see that God loves me so much and has good things instore for me. I see that God is going to work all things out for His good.
Where in your life do you need a perspective change? When you begin to feel overwhelmed, stop and look to see where your focus is. Is it on you or on God? It’s amazing how the simple act of shifting our focus back to God can encourage and return us back to joy. As we go through life, looking to God is the only cue to our hurting and weary soul. We need less of us and more of God.
He must become greater; I must become less.
Also before I end this post, one last little tip I’m learning that really helps get the focus back on God is listening to worship music. To often I just let my playlist play. It will play christian songs and some songs that aren’t christian. But when I start playing worship songs in the car and while I’m working it helps my heart stay focused on God. So try jamming to praise music when your feeling down and see where it takes you 😉
Somedays I just want to lie in bed a forget about everything. Forget about how lonely I am. Forget about all the memories that are no longer a part of my life. But how can I forget all these memories when I still want to have them.
Somedays I wonder how I can feel so happy and full of hope one day and then the next depression hits me. I miss him everyday, but today I miss him more for some reason. Nothing triggered it. I just miss him. And all I want to do is lie on my bed and dream about the past and make up a new future.
I don’t know what good this does to me. But I do know that somedays the hurt is too much and I can’t make myself do anything else. And those days are okay. Those days are a part of life. Those are the days I need to cry out to God for strength. Those are the days that I learn to truly rest in my Savior’s arms.
Today has been one of those days.
The only thing that is getting me through today is the promises I know God has for me. I came across this letter I wrote to myself from God two years ago, on February 5, 2019. It speaks to my heart today and gives me the strength I need to get up and out of my bed. How did I know two years ago that this letter I wrote would still be speaking to my heart today.
I can see that you are confused. I don’t give you the things you ask for because I have something better for you. You can’t see the whole picture yet. There are some things I am doing that you won’t understand in your life. But you can know that I am always working for your good. My plans are always for you because I love you. One day it will all make sense, but not yet. I know all your heart’s desires and I want to give you more, in my perfect timing you will see.
I feel like I have been running nonstop. I desperately need a break but I just keep going. I’ve been busy, so busy, and I hate to admit it, but I’m finding that I’m getting addicted to this busyness. When I keep myself busy it numbs the pain. I don’t have time to think about how much my situation hurts and the wounds that are still bleeding inside of me. So staying busy has become my answer.
But last night, I felt tired, physically and spiritually worn out. I spent some time alone in my room journaling and enjoying the stillness. And I realized that I need things to change, I need stop this go, go, go mentality, I need to take a break and slow down. When I am busy, I forget to spend time with the Lord. I begin to create habits of ignoring God in the still moments of my day because of the fear that in those moments I will also awaken more hurt. To be honest, now that I write it out, I am actually quite ashamed that I have let myself get so busy that I don’t seek out God’s voice like I was doing about a month ago.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that staying busy is good. When your heart is heavy and hurting it is not good to lie around doing nothing. Staying busy has been my therapy and it keeps my mind focused on moving on and off of the past. There is even a proverbs about how idle hands breed trouble. But being busy can also be dangerous if we don’t balance it out with rest. If we don’t have the proper mix of resting in the Lord and being still and quiet then it won’t be long before we begin to feel overwhelmed.
Why is rest important? Rest is important because rest is how we recharge and refocus our lives on God. It is in the times when we are quiet and still that God speaks to us and tells us what his will is for us. Rest keeps us on track with God’s plan for our lives. Sometimes we need physical rest from the weight of the world and other times we need spiritual rest. Spiritual rest can be found when we take the time to slow down, read God’s word, talk to God, and seek his presence in the stillness.
I have decided that even though I often don’t want to, I need to make an effort each day to spend time in quiet with God. Even if it’s as simple as spending ten minutes of quiet with God in the morning before my day starts, or quietly journaling before going to bed. It may even be going on a long peaceful walk and talking to God as I walk. Having these habits of rest in my day will help me to stay focused on God and keep me from getting burned out.
I will admit to you all that I’m not looking forward to the pain that I know will come back when I slow down. But the only way to heal is by giving that hurt to Jesus and I can’t give it to him until I learn to truly rest in his presence every day. So here’s to making rest a priority in my life again. To slowing down and taking moments in my busy life to seek God’s presence in the stillness.
It’s okay to hurt, it’s okay to feel the way I feel right now. It’s okay to miss him. I don’t know why I keep telling myself I have to be strong, I have to put on a smile and act like everything is ok. Because everything isn’t ok. I cried again today, the first time in a couple of days and it felt good. It felt good to let the pain back in and let the memories return. It felt real.
Things have to get worse before they get better, right? I know the pain I’m in now won’t last forever, but some days it feels like it will never leave. When I watch everyone around me living their life and getting blessing after blessing, I can’t help but be sad. Maybe even a little upset. Oh my heart cries; What about me God? Did you forget about me? Do you still care about me and my life? Why did you take all these things away from me? It hurts, oh it hurts so much to see others receiving the good things from God that I desperately desire.
I’m scared to hope, scared to think about the future. I don’t know what God is doing and even though I know he is doing something great and good in my life, it’s hard. But I hold onto the fact that God is faithful. No matter how hard this path may be, it’s the path I’m supposed to be on and it’ll get better. This pain won’t last forever.
I heard this song today for the first time on the playlist I had on. It was so encouraging to my hurting heart. I guess I just like the idea right now that things are gonna get better. There is hope, change does happen, and God is always going to be with me.
It’s ok if you’re not ok It’s not gonna end this way Today is the day to change It’s the time, it’s the place
All that you’ve locked inside Is ready to come alive Embrace your great design Now’s the time, lift your eyes
I don’t have to fear ’cause I trust his love I know where my help, where my help comes from
It’s gonna get better It’s gonna get better
There is no mistake I could ever make That you’d let erase all you’ve done for me
The longer I live I see Not a past that you can’t redeem I know my identity Failures won’t define me
I don’t have to fear ’cause I trust his love I know where my help, where my help comes from
I’ve walked through the valley, the shadow I’m ready for all you have for me All you have for me No matter where you lead as long as you’re with me I’m where I need to be