My son was riding his bike one evening while we stood outside and watched him. The audience made him want to show off.
He came around the corner at a super fast speed and next thing we know he flew off and hit the ground shoulder first. He screamed uncontrollably so my husband ran to him and tried comforting him. He immediately noticed the deep open wound on his shoulder. Blood was protruding and it was covered in dirt and gravel but my son would not let us touch it.
I comforted him for most of the evening but then I told him–we have to clean it out. He didn’t allow us to that night so we didn’t insist but he knew what the morning would bring.
The next day he tried to pretend everything was okay but we knew better. It was hard for me to watch him scream in pain as we cleaned his wound but I knew if we didn’t, it would get worse. In the middle of the cleaning he pleaded with tears, “Please don’t touch it again! Please leave it alone. I will clean it!” So we let him clean it.
Once again he tried to pretend it was fine. Days went by and it seemed to get better but then it began bubbling up under the bandaid and it was oozing with puss. When he “cleaned” it himself a few pieces of dirt were left behind. It was infected!
Oh friend, how many times have we’ve been here with God. Telling Him and others we are fine all the while the puss is oozing out from under our band-aid?
Have you ever found in the midst of a struggle and saying “It’s going to be okay.” or “Others have it worse off.” or “My situation is nothing compared to…”? Or maybe you’ve tried to spiritualize the hurt, loss or grief someone else is in by saying things like, “God needed another angel in Heaven.” or “Things will get better, I just know they will. It could’ve been worse.”
More often than not, these words are self-protective statements we claim in order to hurry past the pain. So we do what we’ve always done and we slap a band-aid on an open wound gushing with blood in order to hurry up and fix it, to move on with life or to avoid the uncomfortable feelings. Some times we even do it out of fear. We don’t want to ruffle any feathers in fear that we’ll lose our “good girl” status. We hurry past lament and we miss the invitation to sit with Jesus in our sorrow and loss allowing Him to work deep within our souls.
One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life was when I was encouraged by my counselor to sit with Jesus in my sorrow and loss and allow Him to comfort me.
After my first appointment I came home and told my husband with much frustration, “The counselor didn’t give me a list of 3 things to work on to make it all better! She told me exactly what God has been whispering to me all along–To stay! Ugh, it’s like she’s working alongside of God to bring healing into my life.”
I was kind of joking but I was mostly for real.
Our healing isn’t just for our own sakes, but for the sake of the One who made us. God glories in our wholeness.” ~ L. Giglio
Learning to Sit With Him
So I reluctantly took the advice.
I tried to be still.
The tears came easily.
But it was what I said to myself that shocked me. I would never tell anyone else in the midst of their grief what I told myself. These platitudes took away from the healing process. I belittled my pain. I told myself others had it worse off. I tried to fix it by coming up with plans and strategies to make it better.
But God continued prodding me and whispered, “Stop! Stop trying fix this situation, stop minimizing your pain or comparing it to others. Would you quiet yourself enough to hear me comfort you instead of you trying to comfort yourself.”
Quieting my thoughts was hard, actually extremely difficult. But slowly my racing heart settled and I asked Him in the midst of the sobbing, “Sweet Father, comfort me. This is much too hard for me. I need you!”
For the first time in my life, I finally understood what Psalm 46:10 means, “Be still and know that I am God.”
God was telling me what He was telling David in Psalm 46:10–“Stay! Stay here! Sit with me without trying to fix it, rationalize it, prove you’re good. Don’t run. Don’t hide. Don’t talk yourself out of this. I’m never going to force you to stay. So all I can do is invite you to sit here in my arms and know that I am your good Father. Your comforter. Your healer. Your redeemer and savior. I Am!”
I have always struggled just sitting with Jesus in my sorrow. I’m an optimist and a fixer now put those two things together and there’s no time for just sitting. But when I finally did it was absolutely what my soul needed. I immediately felt this weight removed. I can’t even explain it.
Lament is a pathway. Honest expression to God makes way for God to come and work His real healing. Lament is a channel for powerful transformation. ~ Esther Fleece (Faking Fine)
Will you allow Him to comfort you, delight in you and sing over you? NO fixing needed. God is not waiting for you to come to Him so He can fix you, He just wants you to draw near. No fixing from God and no fixing from you is needed at this moment.
Just sit with Him. Listen to Him sing over you.
Because He loves us He will search your heart and he will get to the “open wound cleaning process” but for now just sit.
He Already Knows
As Christians we are really good at faking fine. So I’m going to let you in on a little secret God reminded me of in this season of life–He’s omniscient. He created the Heavens and earth. He knew you before you were in your mother’s womb.
Don’t you think He already knows, you’re not okay?”
You may be doing a good job at faking fine in front of others, so much so that you believe it, but you can’t fool Him.
Let me clarify that I’m not talking about wallowing in your pain, loss or hurt for months and years on end. There’s a season for everything. What I am saying is allowing yourself to sit with Jesus and your sorrow in this season.
There’s no need to hide your pain nor your feelings from Him. I truly believe He can handle them. There’s healing to be found when we lay our tears, grief, fears and losses at His feet, when you let in “safe” people into your pain and when you honestly share with your Heavenly Father your hurt. This is lamenting is “cleaning” out the wound. I wish I could tell you it’s painless but I’d be lying. It will hurt but it’s needed for the healing to come. We find freedom when we open up our heart to Him and let Him in.
God meets us where we are at and not where we pretend to be. So let’s set aside our performing, put away our expectations, and stop our striving. God will meet us right where we are. ~Esther Fleece
God Wants Our Sad
Here’s the beautiful thing,
God not only wants to hear your laments but He desires to comfort you so He can do HIs eternal work in your soul.”
I think it’s fascinating that Jesus leaves an example of “lament” in scripture.
“Here we have the Son of God who knows the overall plan of redemptive history. He knows what’s going to happen. And yet, the pain of the moment causes him to quote this lament psalm (Psalm 22) and say, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
That helps to show us that the emotions of feeling abandonment—even if you know the arc of what God is going to do—are still real and we still have to deal with those. So many Christians think that because I feel this, I shouldn’t talk to God about it. And so, many Christians don’t have a category for complaint—what it means to humbly and biblically take our sorrows to the Lord and say, “God, I don’t understand why” or “I feel like this and even though I know that it’s not ultimately true, it feels true in the moment.”
Grief isn’t tame and lament helps us to navigate through this complicated arena of our emotions and allows us to open our hearts to tell God what we feel. The reality is that silence is a killer when it comes to our spiritual life. Lament opens the heart and opens the voice to tell God what’s really happening inside of our souls.” ~Mark Vroegop
God doesn’t spiritualize our pain he actually understands it and desires to see us whole again.
I have learned through the years that God does not just want our happy; He also wants our sad.
Everything is not fine and God wants to hear about it. God is not up there minimizing our pain and comparing it to others who have it worse than we do. God wants all pain to be surrendered to Him, and He has the capacity to respond to it all with infinite compassion.” ~Esther Fleece