When church is hard.
It was especially difficult for me to be in church after Ethan died. I was wrestling, doubting, and so sad. I wanted to feel near to Jesus and I knew the best place for me to be was connected to other believers, but I felt hurt and even bitter. Smiling faces and upbeat songs were difficult. “Don’t cry, just have faith.” I didn’t know what to do with those words. I had faith, yet my heart was broken. Reassurances spoken with a smile were meant to encourage me, but made me feel even more sad and lonely. I felt shame for grieving, as if my pain counteracted my faith in God and His Word. As if my tears meant I must not trust Him.
The easiest thing was to hide, but something I needed was to be in community. To allow others to carry me, even imperfectly, extending grace knowing I too have had grace poured out on me.
I share this today because I’ve lost count of my loss mama friends who have shared similar frustrations. As we point people toward the hope we have in Jesus, may we not neglect to mourn with those who mourn. May we acknowledge the reality of grief and doubt, while encouraging one another to seek truth and cling to Jesus.
Friend, it is possible you've made the false assumption that God doesn’t want your grief and doubt either. While it is possible to sin in our grief, grief is not sin. God can handle your hardest emotions—come to Him with your anger, your doubt, and your pain. Grief is a promise. We have an invitation to lament. We grieve, but not as the world does. Yes, there is joy in the midst of incredible suffering--but suffering hurts. And hurt doesn't mean you don't trust or that He doesn't want you to come to Him.
I have some reading for you: Psalm 34:18, Psalm 22:24, John 11:35, Isaiah 53:3, Luke 6:21 , John 16:33, Revelation 21:4.
Jesus did not avoid sadness. He faced it. He comforts us in it. He died to conquer sin and death. And one day He will wipe every tear from our eyes. Draw near to Him. Wrestle with a firm grip. Don't go into isolation. Find sisters in Christ who can speak truth to you and cry with you. We were never meant to do it alone. 💛