I’m not going to sugarcoat last week. I want too…because it wasn’t my best. But I won’t.
Here’s the ugly truth:
I struggled spiritually, even though I was doing a fast and God did some amazing things.
I couldn’t make myself write for days.
I cleaned. I baked. I painted. I watched movies. I ate so.much.cookie dough.
But I couldn’t write.
I didn’t want to share what was really on my heart.
I felt empty. Tired. Discouraged. Weary. Crabby.
I trusted God and his plan, but I was grieving.
Grief, they say, is a fickle friend. It doesn’t always make sense or help us to respond rationally.
This was one of those times.
With our recent crisis fading slowly behind us, all the energy and adrenaline that was carrying me and encouraging Ben ran out.
I was left face to face with my pain and disappointment for how things ended.
And I realized this morning that I was hiding.
Hiding from God because I felt ashamed that I am hurting. I wanted to trust him enough to rejoice through this season. I wanted strong faith that chose joy despite our hardship. I’ve proclaimed his faithfulness for weeks at the top of my lungs and I wanted to keep shouting.
But instead I was crying and hiding.
Hiding from writing because it was too embarrassing to be transparent about where I was at. I felt like a failure for not being able to shout from the mountaintops last week. I couldn’t even whisper. I was just sad.
So instead of writing, I backed away quietly and busily, hoping God wouldn’t notice my retreat.
But in my heart, I knew he saw me. And I began to feel shame about my avoidance…which made me crabby.
Even crabbier than the lack of food made me from the fast.
Friends, I was a hot mess.
Maybe I still am.
I felt so much shame for my sadness.
God deserves better from me…he must be so disappointed in my lack of joy and avoidance of writing was my pervasive thinking.
And my perceived failure rendered me useless.
I struggled to even meet him in the mornings…and I haven’t struggled with that in years.
Not because I didn’t want to meet with God, but because I didn’t want to face my failure.
However, I got up this morning and met him anyway. I have learned that I must pursue his presence no matter what. No matter how I feel or what has happened…because that’s a mark of genuine faith. Obedient trust. I didn’t do that in the past and it led nowhere good.
I honestly expected to get reprimanded, but that’s not how he received me.
In fact, I found the complete opposite waiting for me.
I opened the Word and found open arms.
I read something this morning that made tears pour down my face: a gentle and loving reminder from God about how he feels about me and my grief. Matthew 12:20 says this: “He will not crush the weakest reed or or put out a flickering candle.”
He doesn’t break those who are struggling and bending.
He doesn’t condemn those who are grieving and weak.
God is a God of mercy. He has mercy for those who are feeling bent beneath the load of his plan. He understands. He is not angry at me for hurting and struggling this week. He is full of compassion, and he is waiting to hold me if only I trust him enough to fall into his embrace.
Psalm 34:18 promises: “The Lord is near the broken-hearted and saves those crushed in spirit.”
This morning, I was reminded by his Word that it’s ok if I need to rest in his arms and cry. It’s ok if I need to grieve this loss for my husband and our family. It’s ok if I can’t shout from the rooftops. I can bring whatever is left of me, broken pieces and all, and lay them at Jesus’ feet and it’s enough for him.
I’m so grateful for the never-ending stream of mercy that flows from his throne.
I’m so thankful that he loves me even when I fall short.
I’m so glad that even in my brokenness, he never fails.
God’s not finished with me.
The story isn’t over.
I know that this shall pass. I know it will all work out. I know that God is good and he is using this for his glory.
I know that one day soon, I will be back to shouting it from the mountains.
But until then, I will rest in his shadow of his wings, crying and unashamed.
Because his mercy endures and his love remains unchanged.
There is no other love like his.
No matter where you are on the journey of faith…God is waiting with open arms. He didn’t send his Son to condemn the world, but to save the world because he desires mercy over judgement.
If you humble yourself before him, love is all you will find. There is no need to hide. No need to be ashamed. No need to avoid. A love such as his has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear (1 John 4:18).
I’ve never been more humbled by his love for me.
As always, I love hearing from you. Email me or comment on the blog and I will get on my knees for you. Let’s do this faith journey together.
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