Where do you go when you are in pain, sad, frustrated, hurting. Who do you run to? I often run to food, send a voice mail, numb out on my phone. Last week I spoke at a conference and found the words tumbling out of my mouth. I challenged everyone listening to pause in those moments of grief and anger. Just stop and go to God. Tell Him about it first. Invite Him into the hard of it all. Now here I am with waves of grief hitting my heart being tested by my own challenge and instead I ate an extra cookie and muffin. But there was still a little reach in my heart. “Help…God…” I say at the sink as I load the dishwasher. I heard Him say in response. “Worship me.” So as I moved to the bedroom and folded the big pile of laundry I sang the song that literally carried me through my Dad’s death last year.
“All my life you have been faithful. All my life you have been so so good!” And my 5 year old came in and started singing with me. I saw the ripple. An hour before that I had been laying on the couch searching info about something on my phone. My face mostly covered and not looking available. But here in my room I was weakly singing and folding and he joined me. What happened when I reached out to God. Something shifted. I think though my self -pity/victim rut often makes it even harder for me. (Not that I am the only one who struggles with that but it runs deep with me.) Because when I am hurting I do not want to work for healing. I want to hide. I want to tuck in and protect. It takes effort and work to reach out and be known. Be vulnerable.
Eating my feelings has been a timeless way to hide. Intermittent fasting has been a beautifully exposing way to find freedom and to know God in the hard. (More on that in another blog, but I will say I started IF to lose baby weight and God 100% highjacked it and it has been one of my favorite gifts from Him!). “Come of out hiding and know Me. Know true comfort. Know the only one who can heal Your heart.” We can talk, declutter, read books and try and try and “do” all the right things to heal these hearts of ours. But I can attest to the little reach of my heart saying “God…help… I am hurting, I am mad, I am sad.” And every time if I let Him I am met by the Holy Spirit. Often I am challenged to find higher ground with Him. “Let’s do something different sweet girl. These things and ways are not serving you anymore. Let it go.” I hear Him when I let Him speak into the challenging places.
I promise seeking Him with a holy heart is the way to go. So today as Mother’s Day causes pain for some of us I know He is waiting to talk about it with us. Patiently present in the hard moments. I have been just counting the wins. When I do not get angry about something ridiculous. Because those angry moments have a ripple affect too. They mark and hurt others, especially those we live day to day with. Who will still love us after but still what if we have. a part in changing the story.
Today I ache with the thought that it has been almost 16 years since I physically saw and hugged my Mom! That kind of separation leaves a mark, an ache. Death is so permanent. In some ways it does not hurt on the daily like it used to. But when it hurts it can sometimes catch me off guard and knock the wind right out of me. Then I can be cranky instead of vulnerable and tender. “God, I’m hurting. I miss her.” Simple prayers that change things. “I know.” For years I honestly did not even know how to do this or even that it was so necessary. I was a push through and do it myself kind of gal. But when you find yourself married with three little kids and you are just yelling and you do not even remember why anymore you start getting desperate for a change.
2019 was my hardest year of marriage and motherhood. But I have learned so much from that year. And I mean that. I have also learned I do not want to go back there. But I know what shifted more for me than anything else. The little prayers. “God help…”
“Michelle, do you know that I love you, even like you right now. Right now in your hardest moment. I see you and know you even in this moment and I delight in you.”
“So you can come to me any way you are, every way you are. I am here. I will give you rest. I am what you need. No post, hack, suggestion, friendship, program can do what this can. Just you and me. Me and you.”
Maybe you don’t hear God talk back to you when you pray those prayers of help. I had to delete social media apps for a season and turn off the YouTube shows I watched. Resist the initial urge to voice memo or Marco my friend. I had to get a little bored and uncomfortable. I had to read a chapter or more of my Bible everyday (I did and do miss days). I had to make space for His voice. Read His word to know what to listen for. Tune into His frequency to be able to hear more clearly. Let’s make space for His healing to flood in or drip in. However it happens I KNOW He will meet us in these vulnerable, weak moments. I have set my heart to not just invite Him or talk to Him when it is easy or makes sense. But in all the difficult moments when I just hid or muscled through before.
For 7 years after I lost my mom I stumbled with this seemingly gaping hole in my heart. I longed to be healed from grief and immature decisions and just ached to be whole. I didn’t know as a single woman in ministry if I would ever get married or get to become a mom myself. But I decided to take things into my own hands. During a season of raising up partners for my ministry. I honestly stopped caring if I raised up financial partners (although I did need to pay rent and all that.) But I reached out to the ones who were willing to meet with me and said “would you pray for my husband?” Everyone I asked seemed excited to pray with me and many of them are dear friends to us today as a couple. I had to do something. I had to change my story. I couldn’t just wait and hope for something to change. And honestly the minute I started praying and asking for prayer my life changed forever.
But guess what?? That awesome husband God gave me. He didn’t heal the hole in my heart. I know its a bummer. But its true. And he honestly doesn’t want that job either. I have tried to give it to him. (lol). Only these bit by bit prayers and invitations of weakness have healed my heart. It has a been a journey of healing and obviously its still ongoing! Let’s make a change! Be the change we want to see! No one can make my negatively go away! No one can help me ask God for help. But I know I can do it! I can change my family tree in this way. These little moments really are where all the difference is made! “Help God…” I would venture to say me crying out to God when I feel achy, broken, weak, angry, etc are His favorite moments with me.
Let’s pray for ourselves!
Father of Glory, give to me a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of your Son. Open the eyes of my heart. God give me wisdom on how to bring my pain and anger to you. Give me revelation on how You see me and who You say I am. Give me a legacy of healing and intimacy with you to pass to my children. Write a new story for them. A story of knowing You in every moment of their lives. Give us the Fear of the Lord. I love you and I am so thankful to be growing into love everyday! Meesch