With our Bibles and journals open and a hot cup of tea in my hand, I shared a lovely conversation today with one of my dearest friends. We talked about God’s Word, about being single, about our college days and how we’d like to go back and are ok with not going back at the same time, about our value in Jesus, about ministry, purpose and hopes for the future. While we’re aware that the Lord takes us through seasons, we both definitely attested to how hard these seasons are sometimes. While tough times produce growth and maturity there’s something in them that is often hard to shake and wrestle with: HURT.
It’s been almost a year since I’ve been back home and I can’t count how many conversations I’ve had over these last 11 months about the way my world has been shaken. A lot of the time I just want to throw up my hands and say I’m fine. I want to package up my disappointments, frustrations and questions in sparkly wrapping paper and tie it in a pretty pink bow. I want to say, “Yes, it’s hard, BUT it’s all good.” It’s so tempting to rush pain and get to the being “ok” part. This, however, isn’t truly walking though grief. While I’m no counselor and no expert on grief, I can say that healing comes in stages and through the touch of the Lord.
A week ago I had meltdown. Like the weep fest of the century. I cried so hard. I told God that it hurt. I told Him I didn’t understand a lot of things. I went to bed feeling defeated, like I took a step back in the grieving process. It wasn’t until a few days later that I really saw some clarity in it all. A few days later I was journaling and, in God’s perfect timing, had a pretty big breakthrough in an area where I needed to experience some healing. Isn’t God so good and creative in how He works? Nights before I thought I was taking a step back, but it was really the releasing of those emotions that pushed me to some healing.
As I was sitting with my friend today, I was looking through my journal from this past year. Back in November I was doing a She Reads Truth Bible study, (if you haven’t checked out their app, see it here!) and I ran across this exercise that I did. It’s very simple, but very powerful. In hard things, it’s difficult to be thankful. Here’s a great list to fill out to be thankful in a rough season:
I WILL GIVE THANKS IN:
- This joyful thing: ______________
- This suffering: ________________
- This certainty: ________________
- This stress: __________________
- This injustice: ________________
- This sorrow: _________________
- This plenty: _________________
- This want: __________________
- This wandering: ______________
- This waiting: ________________
“Rejoice always! Pray constantly! Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
In the hurt, hang in there but admit that it hurts. God can take the truth. In time and with His help, you can choose to move forward!