There are seasons in life where it seems as if everything is falling apart. Just when you think nothing else could go wrong, it does. There are seasons when we find ourselves utterly heartbroken.
We've all been there, at some point. We all know someone who is there now. There are some real hurts in our lives.
Just this weekend, I attended the funeral of my uncle and watched as my aunt had to say goodbye to her husband of 60 years. She's hurting deeply, in a way I can only imagine right now. I came home to learn a neighbor's family had been devastated by a fire, leaving them in shock and trying to pick up the pieces after losing everything. They are hurting, deeply. A friend text me that she won't be able to join us for our new small group because she's too distraught from the blows life has given her lately to face a group of strangers. She's hurting, deeply. A dear friend is battling cancer and wading through the terrible side effects that come with the treatments. She's hurting, deeply. My sister, like so many others, is struggling everyday to raise her children and be a good wife, daughter, sister and friend while fighting hard against a disease that wages war on every fiber of her being. She is hurting, deeply. A friend just suffered through yet another miscarriage, with no real explanation why, and is fighting hard to hang on to any hope that she will bear a child. Her husband stands by her, struggling to know how to encourage her through this and facing his an overwhelming sense of helplessness. They are hurting, deeply. Another friend, close to bringing home a baby they had been matched with through adoption, has to go home to a nursery, decorated so beautifully, that will remain empty for a while longer. The adoption fell through. They are hurting, deeply.
To those of you who find yourselves in the midst of a deep hurt, I wish with every fiber of my being that I could fix this for you; that I had the magic words to toss your direction that could take all the hurt away. I know how deep your hurt is. I know what it is to experience a heart shattering pain that you feel to the core of your being. There are no magic words. But, please know, you are not alone. You are surrounded by those who have gone before you, survivors. Those that God will put in your life to hold your hand and pull you through.
We are not made to suffer in isolation. God placed people in my life to whisper words of hope and encouragement, to sit with me and just hand me tissues while I cried, to hold my hand. And now, as a survivor, I see so clearly those that He brought into my life at just the right time. I see those that He places in my life now that need me to be that support for them. God gives us the gift of each other because at the end of the day, when you close your eyes at night and face your biggest fears and loneliness, He sees you. He loves you. He will carry you through this season. He will never leave your side. You are not alone.
Tape these verses verses across your mirror. Put them on your refrigerator. Read them often. There will be days that's all you can do; just read them. There will be days they won't mean much and are hard to grasp on to. But never lose faith that God's promises do not change. He will not let you down. He will not fail you. Keep reading those verses, claiming His promises, looking forward. Know these tough times are not forever. They are not without purpose. They are not without hope. Please find someone you can reach out to. Someone you can talk to and work through your feelings with. God did not make us to do life alone.
If you are not in one of these seasons right now, please let this be a reminder that so many around you are. There is real hurt in our world, in our churches, our communities, even on our own streets. It is my prayer that I never forget how deeply that can can run, so that I never become blind to those around me who are in the midst of experiencing it now. I pray we never lose sight of how wonderful the comfort of the Holy Spirit can be, the strength that comes from placing our hope in a God who loves us, and how a simple conversation with a friend can be the ground in which this comfort and hope flows freely.