Heartache. Grief. Loss. Pain. Fear.
I think a lot of times, people think that upon accepting Christ they receive an immunity from these things. The reality is that there is nothing that makes us immune to feeling the full spectrum of human emotions. And frankly, there are plenty of places in the Bible that basically say “life is going to suck” (We’ve already established my paraphrasing of scripture sucks, go read your Bible.) But right after those places where it says life is going to be hard, God says “Hey, chin up! I’m still right here and when you get to the end, you’ll be fabulously skinny.” Or maybe that’s what I tell myself to get my butt on the treadmill… The point is Christians simply have faith that there is a purpose for the pain.
But that doesn’t always make it easier to handle the moments when the shock wears off and your stomach is churning and it feels like your lungs are shriveling up and you can’t get enough oxygen to breathe, let alone cry, which you know you should be doing but you simply can’t.
It doesn’t stop your mind from racing and trying to process every single scenario of “coulda, shoulda, woulda” at the same time until you feel like a medically induced coma sounds like a delightful vacation.
Knowing there’s a purpose doesn’t always mean you can keep from shutting down and shutting out the world.
And sometimes, it starts to feel kinda good to be away from everyone. When you just get to be sad without having to hear someone say “it’s going to be alright.” … because sure, they mean well enough, but let’s be real… you’d like it better if they just shut up. Words aren’t going to fix what’s broken or bring back what’s been taken from you.
But then, it happens.
Someone takes a chance and cracks a joke. The corners of your mouth betray you, and you can feel it. Your first smile. It feels a little bit foreign and even a little wrong.
But instead of just cracking a joke, it’s like they’ve cracked a window into the dark room you’ve shut yourself into. And once that little bit of light breaks through, you realize that the dark room doesn’t feel as cozy and nice as it used to… you realize you don’t want to stay there forever…
And maybe you’re not quite ready to walk out the door yet, but slowly you start letting more and more people open windows until you can finally look out and see that things are going to be ok.
That’s what my faith is to me; a window that lets light into the darkest situations in my life. I can’t always see exactly how things are going to be ok… but I know that they will be.
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” — Hebrews 11:1