by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Like a firefly trapped in a Mason jar. Stiffled, I peered out, watching others' dreams come to pass. My own on a shelf next to me.
Little by little, my happy-go-lucky heart flickered. Sadness cupped his hand over what little light was left as I acknowledged outloud the depths of my disappointment.
Extinguished. Exhausted. Expectant no longer.
“I'm so sorry your dreams are dashed,” my friend offered. “Wish I had known sooner how difficult this disappointment has been for you. Woulda been an honor to walk it out with you.”
“Thanks. But a broken heart is silly. Especially in light of others' pain.” Our friend's husband had just passed away. Who was I to be sad about a mere break up?
Silenced by unworthiness. Belittled by doubt.
Years of wisdom, scrolls of mercy, flashed in her eyes.
The beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them.
She took my hand and we journeyed back. To a time when she lost her children. And someone told her to check her pain at the door. To keep it in perspective to others' pain.
She took my hand and we journeyed back. To a time when the Lord ministered healing from the grief of empty arms and empty cribs. He rocked her tight, shielding her from the daggers of false words by careless hearts. Pain was acknowledged and given a name and sifted through, not simply tucked in a dark corner.
She took my hand and we journeyed forward. “Your pain is genuine. This valley is real and you have to walk through it to get out. Don't belittle your grief.”
She granted permission to acknowledge the ache and loss. Drastically different than her own, yet no less honest. Not till that moment did I realize I was holding my pain at a distance, shunning it for perceived absurdity. I needed her words.
And while it's true that
It is wisdom that realizes:
I cannot expect anyone to understand me fully.
We were created to at least give an effort to be understood. While our main hope and healing hinges on the Lord alone, it's vital we share our journey with others.
Is it perhaps time to ask for help out of your valley? The grace of others settling in the valley with us is needed at times. Counting stars during the long, dark night of our soul is more comforting with others beside us. The first ray of light often is glimpsed by them anyhow.
No one could hear the whole counsel of God in isolation.
Friend, no matter what other voices have said, your pain is valid. Seasons of pain come. And they also leave. Don't miss that last part. Pain is not meant to linger indefinitely. Often we need a trusted companion to walk us through it. Someone who will undo the lid on our Mason jar. And fly next to us, out of the valley.
This summer, Melissa Taylor is leading an online study of Hidden Joy. Friend, I pray you'll consider walking out of your valley with the girls going through this study. No matter what the source of your pain is, I trust you'll find hope and healing in this study. Click here for more info and to join.
Also, we'd love you to join us in our series of leaving the hurt behind. Jump on board by clicking here!