to hurt, to grieve, to cry, to scream

There are several things I can not explain.

There are many things I can not even begin imagine.

When I think long, pull into myself, and feel deeply, I still can not even fathom how a heart could possibly heal.

Yet, there are so many that woke up this morning and felt that tragedy.

There are many who wake up every day and relive moments of anguish that I would not dare to describe.

The loss of the love of your life.
The grieving of a child.
The pain of daily treating and loving through illnesses that we know have mortal consequences.
We step backward and audibly gasp at the loss of brothers and sisters, moms and dads, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, and friends who became family.

We see our friends struggle as the only surviving spouse, and we melt.

We hear of the loss of yet another mom and dad’s baby, and we scream in collective agony.

We try to imagine the pain of kids who lose their parents and we can not breathe.

What do we dare say?
How do we quantify the hurt?
How can we utter a word of encouragement?

Somehow,
“We’re sorry for your loss,” doesn’t cut it.
“You’ll always have the memories,” seems trite,
“But, you know they’re with Jesus now,” is condescending, and
“You should be glad to have had the time you did,” might as well be a slap in the face.

When every fiber of your being cries out to God, “WHY?”

“YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD, yet YOU TAKE MY HUSBAND / WIFE / DAD / MOM / DAUGHTER / SON / CHILD / FRIEND?”

“HOW COULD YOU?”

When everything you are doesn’t know how to choke back sobs or break through apathy,
When your heart shatters and your knees bleed from prayers and slam out screams from that deep place of brokeness.

Know this, God can take it. He’s not some person who is just listening so He can give you advice. He’s not waiting for you to get over your grief. He’s not waiting for you to get your life together. You don’t have to mince words or pretend everything is going to be alright. Prayer and cussing aren’t mutually exclusive languages. He’s big. He can take it. He feels your hurt, and He would have us right smack in the middle of our hurt to lean into His chest, so close that He can embrace us tightly, so close we can Him breathe, even when we don’t want to anymore.

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. ~ Psalm 34:18 MSG

Friend, you are still here for a purpose. But, you don’t have to find it today. It’s okay to be sad, to mourn, to grieve, to hurt, to break. Our wounds may be gaping, but God wraps our blisters in His grace.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3 NIV

Pray with me:

Father, give us the wisdom to say the right words, but not offer advice. Give us supernatural comfort as we lean into Your breath. Your breath offers life even when we don’t want to continue on. Your breath draws us closer to Your heart. Surround those who grieve with people who love them enough to know when to step forward and when to lean back. Bind wounds, loosen bonds, and allow Holy Spirit to move freely through the cracks of our hearts and the empty places of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

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Dawn Sutherland

misfit-writer-speaker & social-justice-wannabe. I wander, but I'm not lost. I love Jesus not religion. My heart's cry is for every person to feel an empowered sense that they belong, and that we get to face the world wild and equipped with the love and hope of Jesus. I live in Suffolk, Virginia with my amazing husband, Louis and have four awesome kids: Katie, Ronnie, Selah, and Sami. I am also a passionate fitness instructor at the Suffolk YMCA. Subscribe to the blog, and stay tuned in for the book YOU BELONG to be published soon, which will talk about our desire as women to "fit in" and how we can harness that to change the world!