Most of my days are filled with joy. And I know that this sorrow is nothing like the loss of life, a loss for which I have no words of comfort.
Yet there are still moments where something catches me off guard, a baby’s smile or a little boy’s grin, that makes my heart melt into a puddle on the floor. I have to catch my breath, stop and stand in the middle of the grocery store aisle, breathe and believe.
Stephanie Bryant’s voice about preparing ourselves and embracing God’s yes reminded me that God gave me a yes for a time, and now He is asking me to wait again. I have tasted the homemade ice cream, but it hasn’t frozen yet. Here, in the midst of a summer so vibrant and hot, I still have to wait another season.
And I am so grateful for the sorrow. The grief of a lost experience.
Because the tears mean that my heart changed. And to me, the pain means wait once again. Without the grief, without the longing and desire to return to an experience, I would know the experience was over.
But it is not over. Not for me.
I am so thankful for the knowledge of a waiting heart. And I am so grateful the Lord’s voice is so clear, a resounding WAIT, I promise I will make even this beautiful in my time. In the midst of a breaking heart, I have other joy, a joy knowing that for now, I am here, just as I am reminded, “Wherever you are, be all there” (Jim Elliot).
So I will stay here. I will live in this moment, in this now. But I will not squelch this holy grief.
I know I am not grieving a perfect experience. I am not longing for heaven (Oh, that I would long for heaven in the same way). The experience was far from perfect.
But it was real.
And it was me.
It is like my heart was molded and shaped specifically for this, specifically for East Africa, for the warm, quiet culture of HIV and orphans and pain that is met daily with beautiful crystal white smiles of perfectly straight teeth. I was made not to spend 6 weeks there, but years there, never learning enough.
So I search God’s heart. I seek His face. I rejoice in the middle of I Samuel 1. And I rest in the knowledge of the Wait. The dichotomy of loving where I am, of being content and joyful in this experience, and yet longing for the next one.
Just as our hearts should be longing for heaven.
What is your lost experience? Why does your heart hurt and grieve? Sister, please do not squelch this grief. Lay it at the Father’s feet. He loves to hear His daughter’s heart. Whether He tells you to wait, or to heal, whether He answers yes or no, He wants to acknowledge your heart.
He wants to make your grief holy.
Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled…I was pouring out my soul to the LORD…” Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” ~I Samuel I:15, 17
~Mary HowellLeave a Comment