My Heart Still Hurts

Sometimes my kids offer a profound word that gives me pause.

Yesterday, a deep, cavernous reflection seemed to come out of nowhere as Jake, Caleb, and I walked one of the neighborhood trails.

Usually, the boys walk 20-30 paces ahead of me on our daily jaunts. Their long and strong gait out strides my short, but resolute steps. No matter how fast I walk or even jog, I just cannot keep up with my quick-walking duo. Only if they slow their pace, do I ever catch them.

Lately, though, Jake has become more aware of and more sensitive to where I am on our walks. In fact, he offered to keep me company – to take care of me. Sweet guy.

This is an opportunity to have one-on-one time with Jake now. He seems to understand this, too. Jake fell back to where I was on the pathway and put his arm around my shoulders.

It was then that he remarked, “Mom, I am praying a lot, but my heart still hurts.”

BAM!

Out of nowhere, my son shared a deep, soul-thirsty reflection.

I asked, “Jake, what are you thinking and praying about?”

He replied, “I miss my friends and team family in South Africa. I pray for them, but my heart still hurts.”

Every one of us has some kind of COVID-related loss and sadness. Health-issues stemming from having COVID, loss of a loved one, loss of work, loss of relationship, loss of connection, loss of special-memory-making moments, loss of time, space, and more have resulted from countless COVID-related consequences. Like Jake, we have all prayed about this life-impacting matter.

And, our hearts still hurt.

What do we do with that?

How do we keep praying, keep looking up in hope, and keep seeking our God when we are hurting, when there is no end in sight, no resolution to be realized, and no quick-fix-not-now-and-not-ever?

What do we do with the pain?

This is what Jake wanted to know.

Shouldn’t his prayers take away the hurt, the loss, and the sorrow?

Not necessarily.

I don’t know about you, but such moments cause me only to draw closer to my God for His help, His strength, His love, and His care.

In Psalm 42, we read the heart-felt cry of the Sons of Korah. They had been exiled from Jerusalem and could not worship their God in the temple. Lost purpose, lost opportunity, lost identity, lost relationship, the Sons of Korah were alone and praying-but-not-feeling-any-better. It was during this poignant time that they penned these words:

As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”

 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

Like Jake, they offered their own deep, soul-thirsty reflections related to their circumstances.

This is important.

We may not be able to pray a prayer and have our pain evaporate during times of irreparable loss. But we can still voice our struggle. Share our hurt. Write about it. And go blaaaaaaaaaaaaah to a trusted friend or family member who will listen and love us through it.

My dear friends, many of us are having a difficult time because of this-that-or-any-other-thing that has resulted from the pandemic. We never chose this to happen. Yet, here we are. And like Jake, some of the hurts that have resulted are not going away anytime soon.

So, what do we do?

Here are some suggestions:

We stay connected with people.

We do not isolate ourselves.

We voice our feelings to someone safe.

We keep praying and keep seeking God.

And if we need help, we ask for it.

Okay?

There are no easy answers to the pain and struggle we are dealing with and working through right now. Our family has been turned upside-down too many times to count since this pandemic began.

How are we doing?

We are holding onto our God, holding onto each other, and holding onto our friends.

Jake nailed it: We are praying, but our hearts still hurt.

God knows that. He is familiar with pain. And so, we put our hope in Him for today, tomorrow, and forever.

We trust Him.

2 thoughts on “My Heart Still Hurts

  1. Shirley Hethorn May 2, 2021 — 6:12 pm

    Thank you Heather. I know exactly how Jake feels. No matter how much I pray, so oten my heart still hurts. I played that song and just let the tears flow as I sang along and worshiped our God.He knows our sorrows and He sorrows along with us and HE promises JOY in the morning!

    1. Oh, Shirley, I pray that you are comforted. I found the “As the Deer Pants for the Water” song on YouTube. I hadn’t heard this song in years and years and years. However, it was so nice to listen to it again. May the peace of our Lord enfold you. With love always, heather

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