I had an epiphanic moment at church the other day that elevated me to a space where I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that I found myself lost for words and sobbing while I tried to sing along with worship. Spoiler alert: I sounded more like a blubbering whale, but that’s neither here nor there. The song I was attempting to sing along to was King of My Heart by Bethel Music. Y’all. This song wrecks me to my core every single time I hear it. There’s a part that talks about the fact that God will never let us down. Every time I hear it I belt it out 10000% off key, but those words hit me so deep that I don’t even care.
God has never and will never let me down. I don’t say that as someone who has never experienced hurt. My heart is broken in a way that feels like it may never heal, and even still I can promise you that God is not a God of disappointment.
I can admit though that I didn’t always believe that to be true. Right in the thick of J’s cancer, I stepped out of the house to go to church and have some me time. During worship, the song Good Good Father by Housefires was playing and while I was singing along, the words felt like lies rolling off my tongue. It got to the point where I couldn’t even pretend that I believed them to be true because of the hurt in my heart that was made evident by the betrayal-fueled tears that were running down my cheeks.
You’re a good, good Father. It’s who You are, and I’m loved by You.
I didn’t feel loved though. I didn’t feel the goodness of God. I couldn’t see that goodness is who He is. I saw my husband dying. I saw my prayers not being answered. I was still going through the motions and going to church, but the walls around my heart grew a little bit higher any time someone said something along the lines of “God is so good.”
I wanted to believe that to be true, but when you’re looking death in the face, it’s hard to worship a God who could easily turn this around, but (in my mind at the time) is choosing not to. Where is the goodness in allowing Your children to suffer and experience pain?
I had to get okay with asking these questions. Growing up you hear so much not to question God, but if He’s my friend and Father and my greatest ally, I have to believe in my heart that He’s okay with me wondering why this is happening to me. Where things got dark for me was the fact that I was questioning who He was and where He was while J was getting sicker and sicker.
I’m extremely grateful that the Lord pulled me out of that pit of questioning His goodness. That’s where tears of gratitude came into play that night during worship because I was reminded of a time when songs like that would have taken me even deeper into my dark place. I had a moment of awe and self-realization of just how far the Lord has brought me in the past year.
I’ve been asked before how I got out of that hole, and while I can attribute part of it to the fact that there were so many people praying prayers of encouragement over me, it was also losing J that allowed me to realize how much I can truly trust God.
It seems a bit contradictory that the ultimate “no” to my heart’s prayer was the guiding light to trusting God again, but there was a shift in my perspective that changed everything for me. I saw how earthly my way of thinking was when J died. I always say that seeing death that close really does change you. In obvious ways, it’s broken me down. But in ways that I’d never imagined, it’s also built my faith back up.
We hear about eternal hope so much in church, but it becomes even more real to me whenever I need that hope to get me out of bed each day. I know God hasn’t let me down because I know this isn’t it! There’s so much more than what’s on this side of eternity. The moment I feel hurt and pain and disappointment, I have to remember that there is so much more waiting for us on the other side of the stars and the promise of Romans 8:18.
“I consider that our present sufferings aren’t worth comparing to the glory that God will reveal in us.”
Even still, I think we can all agree that being hurt sucks. Being let down sucks. Giving your trust to someone only to have them betray you absolutely sucks. There’s no other word to describe it, but I know you know the level of disappointment that I’m alluding to. The red flags go up, your guard is at an all time high, and the ice around your heart that was beginning to melt is now solidifying again. I know it’s hard. I don’t ever want it to seem that I downplay miscarriage, families falling apart, cancer, and every other painful season you may walk through or are currently walking through, but I will tell you that His promises for us are yes and amen and the hurt and loss that cuts us deep is not from Him. His heart breaks right along with yours every time a wave of bad news sweeps you off your feet.
What’s hard is that even people with the best intentions can let us down. It’s that hurt and disappointment that keeps us guarded, jaded, and untrusting.
I don’t want to live my life this way though.
I don’t want to have my heart in that position towards God ever again. I have to wake up every day and choose to keep the promise in my heart that I can trust Him.
It’s His love and constance that keeps me trusting Him even on the days where feeling let down is a bit of a reality for me.
I trust Him in my doubt, my uncertainty, and my inability to see the full picture.
I can trust Him with my pain, my dreams, my disappointment, my prayers and even my grief. He’s standing with me in the mountaintop moments and crying with me in the valley. You can trust Him with whatever you’re going through, but you have to give yourself permission to trust Him again and to trust Him wholeheartedly.
You can trust Him and I hope you find that to be true for yourself.