“Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8b (NLT), italics and bold mine
I stared at the hospital floor for a while. I looked up to watch the nurses try to figure out paperwork. I shook my head. What? Is this really happening?
I don’t remember how many minutes passed when I covered my face with my hands and sobbed uncontrollably. “Excuse me, Mrs. Wroten. I don’t mean to bother you.” I looked up and I started to wipe my face. “My name is…I’m a nurse here. Can I help you? Do you need something to calm you down?”
I stared into the eyes of the nurse who forced a smile. She knew the reason behind my tears. “No thank you. I try not to take meds unless it’s absolutely necessary. And right now, I don’t need anything you can provide. I need Jesus.”
The nurse smiled at me and walked away. I continued to cry for a bit and then I started to pray.
Heavenly Father…She’s a week old. I need her to live. I don’t know why she stopped breathing, but I know you give life to everything. Breathe into her. Give her life. Give me life.
Seasons of loss, heartache and suffering will always appear in our lives. We can try to “plan” for them, but more often than not, they happen unexpectedly. Many times they catch us by surprise, knocking the wind out of us and forcing us down to our knees.
Oftentimes, we don’t know what to do with the strong emotions—anger, fear, depression, worry, and sometimes guilt—that tragedy produces. These feelings scare us and if we let them, they can paralyze us.
So what should we do? How should we handle these strong emotions?
Accept your circumstances. Oftentimes we believe the lie that we must hold it together and pretend everything “is just fine.” Instead of our usual response we need to accept our struggles, our hurt and like Paul (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) we need to grab on to God’s grace!
Just go ahead and grieve. I don’t like to cry. I also don’t like others to see me cry. My pride oftentimes gets in the way of me accepting my suffering. I do my best to “hold it in” or “keep it together.” Guess how long that lasts? Eventually I end up exploding.
Release the pain. I don’t have any trouble remembering bad moments. Instead of replaying them, we need to release them — we need to give it to God. David exemplifies this in the book of Psalms. You can read how many times David spills his guts to God and says, “God, I’m struggling right now. I hurt!” The Psalms gives us permission to cry out to God, just like David did.
God restored breath into my baby girl that cold day in March. And He also breathed into me a grace I have yet to forget. I have watched—over the past 18 years—my girl grow up into a beautiful young lady.
Many of you are suffering, grieving and feel at a loss right now. Remember, feelings that get pushed down fester, and eventually explode creating a much worse situation. Accept your circumstances, grieve and release your grief so God can heal your heart.
What grief or loss in your life have you not dealt with? How do you think it has affected you?