For those who hurt. This post is not my usual and has been in the works for awhile. Really I was too busy to sit down and just get the idea out. It’s something that I know I have to share though. Ever have one of those feelings? Then it came to the actual words. What am I going to say that hasn’t been said? Probably nothing. At the risk of it all sounding corny, I hope people will feel like their pain is known and that they will be encouraged.

Here’s where I’m coming from:

At 28, I feel like life is getting serious and messier than it’s ever been. Friends are facing difficult decisions about families and relationships, they are facing loss of dreams, they are hearing bad news about their parents’ health. They are facing their past, the hurt and the shame. People lose their jobs or dread going each day or just need one to start a career. Marriages get rocky, children face sickness and even death, and the timing of things just isn’t going as planned. There is not a ring. There is not a child. You were not chosen, or accepted. Health is vanishing. Harsh words were said. People are far away from those they love most. Time is short.

My heart hurts to see and know that people I love are in pain. In nursing school, I learned a lot about pain, especially the physical kind. It’s complicated (there are different types with different types of pathways and its subjective) but so important that pain levels are asked along with taking vital signs in a hospital. Dealing with pain is almost my job. That’s a big part of it anyway. It’s a sign that something isn’t okay. There are things we can do for physical pain—medicine, massage, deep breathing. There’s no easy answer to emotional pain though. It is something we shy away from talking about and often even with our loved ones. But the relief from pain comes in that thing, community, and sharing our hearts with others.

Pain is the human unifier. Once we’ve experienced pain in any form, we want to avoid it. We want those we love to avoid feeling it. And yet it’s what brings us (humans) together, at least when we are honest about it.  Others’ vulnerability is valuable and beautiful to me; to be able to suffer alongside and share in what intensely matters is precious. This is when I see God’s redemption taking hold and making the bad things good. So for those are struggling, this is for you.

You matter. Your hurts and aches and sorrows matter. Tell your friends so they can hug you and squeeze your hands and pray with you and for you and tell you that you are loved. Share your burden and find others who understand what you’re going through. It’s okay to cry, over and over.

Sometimes we do things that cause pain, but sometimes we do nothing at all. It happens because we are people living in a broken world. The answers don’t all belong to us, but we’re only human to ask why; maybe a better question is “what now?” The evil one is real and uses many weapons. But he will not win. This is not the end. Hope will remain and it will be fulfilled, though it may not be when we want it.

Don’t take on guilt; let it go. Blaming is easy. Forgiveness is not. Give yourself the grace you give to others. Reflect on the blessings in your life. Look for the good in the here and now, however small it may be. Get rid of the stuff that doesn’t matter and has kept you busy or tied down. It’s time to make this day count because it has been given to you. Remind yourself of truth and the promises of God: write them down, say them out loud; repeat until you believe. Pray. God wants to hear you. He is near to the brokenhearted and will walk each step of the way with you. Keep holding on dear one.