Aug 10 2015

When My Heart Aches

Published by at 3:18 pm under Church Life,Grief,Suffering

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Job 30:22
You lift me up on the wind; You make me ride on it,
    and You toss me about in the roar of the storm.

There are many types of suffering, and I understand that the sovereign Lord allots for each of us what He deigns best for us and greatest for His glory. I don’t always understand the nuts and bolts of it playing out “in real life” but I acknowledge it from my heart and from my mind. I understand He is that way, and He is the author of life, even when I can not explicitly understand the whys and the hows behind it all. He is God, and I am not.

I can not count the number of days (let alone hours or moments) when my heart has been in utter and complete anguish within me. And for the large part, in what the sovereign Lord has allotted for me personally, my anguish has been related to miscarriage and its many nuances. I’ve had the deepest anguish, suffering, pain, and grief from burying nine children. There are other reaches of this, though, where the pain seeps ~ basically any conversation about pregnancy, about morning sickness, about surprise pregnancies, about family size, about babies, about childrearing, about being pro-life, about stairstep children, about family vacations, about schooling, about siblings… some anguishes ooze into so many aspects of life that you lose count. And really, to be honest, you don’t want to keep count. That is too painful, too!

Psalm 55:4
My heart is in anguish within me

But one of the biggest blessings for me, both in the midst of the anguish and “on the other side” (to some extent…) of it, has been the giving and receiving of comfort through this journey.
I have been on the receiving end of so much comfort! Some of it has been well-done and some of it has been less-so, but all of it, I truly believe, has been heartfelt and genuine.
I have also been given the opportunity to be on the giving side of comfort through the years, both in various online communities & capacities and in real life (friends or friends-of-friends suddenly facing the grief of miscarriage themselves). I am sure that the comfort I have sought to give has been occasionally well-done and occasionally much less-so as well, but I can honestly say that the comfort I have extended has also been heartfelt and genuine.

Regardless of the years I have spent in the trenches of grief…
regardless too of the years I have spent in the trenches of lifting up others downtrodden in similar griefs…
I still feel thoroughly unequipped to offer much specific counsel or advice on how to come alongside someone who is suffering a miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage, other death, other infertility, other anguish of heart.

When I posted my open-ended question a couple days ago, I was so overjoyed and blessed to have some of you chime in on how you have been comforted when you needed comfort, and how you too seek to extend comfort to others in need of that blessing! Thank you for participating in the conversation! (and please do keep it coming!)

I am going to spend just the next few posts here at Joyful Domesticity sharing some thoughts and experiences I have had.
I’ll share some tangible things that have been a comfort to me from others, books that have blessed me, activities I have done myself that have brought comfort or healing to my own aches, as well as links to online communities & resources that have ministered to me and given me opportunities for ministry as well.
If you are looking for something specific, don’t be afraid to ask; I would love to have some prodding as I go back in my memory banks to some of the darkest days of my life. So many things have actually been blocked from my memory (PTSD style) that sometimes I need a prod to even recall certain days or events or seasons.

The upcoming posts may be redundant to many of you, especially those who have walked alongside me for years through my own miscarriages and sorrows. But whether this is old news or new news, I pray that it would be good news: that it would remind you of how the Lord has ministered to me and been faithful to me! I don’t forget His faithfulness through my anguish!! I don’t want you to forget either, simply because He has been so good to me, and He deserves to be continually praised for it. And I also pray that this would be good news to those of you who are suffering, or ministering to those who are suffering: to see what has blessed others, and to see if the Lord has equipped you to share any of these (or similar) things with those around you, or even to ask for these blessings yourself ~ or at least to extend some of these graces to yourself if you are the one in the trench of anguish.

And remember… if you leave me a comment… I am just a click away, and my heart is ready to step alongside yours wherever you are on this journey of grief… I will pray with you, email you, share resources with you, simply even be a listening ear.
You may have to endure suffering, but you certainly don’t have to do it alone.

More soon.
And in the meanwhile, peace be with you.

Isaiah 25:1-4
O Lord, You are my God;
I will exalt You; I will praise Your name,
for You have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
For You have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the foreigners’ palace is a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.
Therefore strong peoples will glorify You;
cities of ruthless nations will fear You.
For You have been a stronghold to the poor,
a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall…

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “When My Heart Aches”

  1. Samanthaon 11 Aug 2015 at 7:38 am

    This is exactly what I was thinking just a few weeks ago: “I don’t always understand the nuts and bolts of it playing out “in real life” but I acknowledge it from my heart and from my mind.”
    Won’t it be awesome one day when we get to Heaven and there is no more anguish and grief?

    I was blessed to see the responses to your open ended question too. I think there is always more we can learn about comforting, empathy, compassion and the like. I know that for me, I tend to look to see what I can do for someone physically/tangibly first because I don’t always know how to comfort someone other than to pray for them and be there as a listener.
    I have to take this moment and say that you, dear friend, have been an amazing encourager, supporter, listener and comforter! Thank you for always being there.

    I look forward to ‘listening’ to more of your experiences and thoughts on comfort and what has worked for you.

    ((Hugs))

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