My husband’s chest rises and falls, the steadiness of his heart beating a few inches from my ear soothes me. He asks me why I’m crying. I can’t answer.
I am overcome with my own brokenness. Another month of my body betraying me, unwilling to conceive the baby we long for. Exhaustion of years going at full speed, the strain of new relationships, not knowing which way to turn at the intersection or how to get to the grocery store. Fear for my daughter, of the world that she will live in and the decisions she will have to make and my inability to protect her from its violence. And then there are the wounds left open from my childhood, or those self-inflicted from my years of wandering.
The tears flow.
To make them stop I think of those who are really suffering, who have lost the ones they love, who are persecuted and enslaved. My heart is grieved even more, I ache for the injustice the world. And yet the fact that others are enduring terrible hardships doesn’t dull the pain in my own heart.
My grief is real.
I know there is such a thing as lingering too long over our hurts, like a dog, licking our wounds so fervently they can become open sores. I’m not condoning this.
But I think more commonly our tendency is to go the other way. To say, “Oh it’s all right, there’s nothing else you can do, it’s really time to move on.” To stuff our pain so deep that we don’t know it lingers and eliminate any chance of sharing it, for our own benefit or for the sake of others.
Yet it occurs to me tonight that to forsake my own grief is to forsake my hope in a resurrected Christ.
When I tell myself that nothing is wrong l turn a deaf ear to Christ’s comfortable words, to His singing over me. When I strive to feel no pain, I rely on myself. When I let the pain of life penetrate my soul I make an opening for Christ to come in and heal it up again.
Grief drives me to hope.
Grief is my longing for God.
I don’t mean to say that on the other side of grief everything becomes easy. Scars remain and continue to shape us even haunt us.
But to deny grief is to reject a God who suffers with us. Our grief is not wasted, it teaches us to live. And so tonight tears flow, they are my prayer, they are the sign of a life that longs for God and life in a resurrected world.
Thanks for reading friends,