My heart is heavy. I bear burdens that bring grief and heartache, and yet so often I don’t even have words to describe or process what is going on in the depths of my soul. Today seems to be one of those days when tears come far too easily for reasons I don’t understand.
For most of my life I have done an exceptional job of just carrying on, persevering in the face of calamity and heartbreak. Life has presented many lemons and I have always chosen to make lemonade. Not there is anything wrong with lemonade, but when lemonade is a form of running away from the truth in the pain, it is not helpful.
I am now beginning to grasp the truth of the consequences of all those years of not knowing how to face the tragedies for what they were and not learning how to let those tragedies open my heart to mourn well and know the intimate comfort and healing touch of God. I am learning to accept the fact that I can acknowledge the heartbreak I feel – the overwhelming burden of being both mother and father to my kids for so many years, of how I have had to juggle to keep and maintain a home for us with a roof over our heads, beds for us all to sleep in, heat when it’s cold, light when it’s dark, food on the table, comfort when they were in pain, direction when they were struggling, repairs when things were broken … the list goes on and on. I am weary, and yet, in acknowledging the heartbreak and pain, I am learning to revel in the healing and freedom and the resurrection of hope that comes as I stand face to face with my Savior in the honesty of my own failures and brokenness.
Yes, the Lord is always faithful, but we are not. Just as at times I have failed my children, my friends, my neighbors, my brothers and sisters, my husbands, and perfect strangers, they have failed me, too. It is not to our benefit to make light of our failures or of ways others have failed us. When we honestly face the brokenness of our humanity, we are able to receive the redemptive work of the Lord – in ourselves and in others. Only then can we truly engage the world around us with grace and mercy and tenderness and forgiveness and know the empowering strength of the God Who has made us in His image to reveal His glory!
As I wonder about the path before me, I am in a time of grieving. Will I lose this house that has been home to my children and me for 14 years? Will I be able to buy groceries to feed my family the rest of this month and next month and the next? Will I be able to continue with my education and the training I believe God has called me to? Will I be able to respond with genuine, God-inspired love for my husband and witness the healing power of the hand of God and possibly even reconciliation? Will I be able to love my children well as they each walk through life on paths that might take them far away? Will I be able to rejoice with them and delight in them regardless of whether or not I agree with their choices? Will I have what it takes to walk in faith and finish well and trust God to accomplish His work in me? Even when my body is in pain and my heart aches and I am doubting myself?
I am so thankful the Bible encourages our honest laments…
I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.
Lamentation 3:18-26 (ESV)
…and reveals to us the path that continues through the pain and the crying out into genuine, rich praise and gratitude. For truly, His mercies never cease!