The God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. — 1 Peter 5:10
I want healing to be as neat and predictable as a checklist. I don’t want to be inconvenienced by it, and I most certainly don’t want to be caught off guard by the emotions that can go along with it.
Of course, if you’ve ever had to heal from having your heart broken in excruciating ways, you know you can’t schedule healing. You can’t hurry it up. And you can’t control how and when it will want to be tended to.
Part of what makes healing so hard is the deep ache left behind after the trauma. Loss envelops us with an aching grief that comes in unpredictable waves. It’s hard to know if you’re getting better when a string of good days suddenly gives way to an unexpected emotional crash.
You feel angrier than ever over the unfairness of it all. The wounds seem raw, confusing, and unhealed. And you just wish someone would please tell you how in the world you’re supposed to make it through all 86,400 seconds of this day in the midst of so much pain.
Trust me when I say I understand all of these feelings. When my marriage was in shambles, I remember wondering if my heart would ever feel whole again.
I believed God would make something new and wonderful from the dust of my circumstances, even if that didn’t include restoring my marriage. I just didn’t know how to function while hurting so much in the midst of daily life.
Like when I laid my head down on the banana display in the grocery store, completely spent. I was just standing there with an empty cart, a heart full of pain, and my face pressed into the display. The teenage worker saw me and couldn’t figure out what I was doing. I guess he assumed my concern was about the choices of fruit before me. So, Heaven help him, he asked, “Can I help you?” I turned my face toward him. Tears flooded out. And all I could think to say was, “I need a tissue.”
Lovely. Nothing makes a day complete quite like a breakdown in front of an underpaid fruit attendant at the grocery store.
But I’ve discovered those days don’t have to be setbacks. They can be evidence we’re moving through the hardest parts of healing. The new tears over old wounds are proof we’re tending to our emotions. We’re processing the grief. We’re wrestling well with the ache in our soul.
Feeling the pain is the first step toward healing the pain. And all those emotions that keep bubbling up and unexpectedly spilling out? They’re evidence you aren’t dead inside. There’s life under the surface. And while feelings shouldn’t be dictators of how we live, they are great indicators of what still needs to be worked through.
When we love deeply, we hurt deeply.
This is why we have to learn how to trust the process of healing. We have to let it ebb and flow around, in, and through us. We have to grant it access to our heart.
And when we start to see healing as unfolding layers of unexpected strength and richly revealed wisdom, it doesn’t feel so unfair. It starts to feel like the sweetest secret God ever whispered into the depth of our soul.
Then one day we suddenly realize the future feels stunningly appealing. Not because circumstances have changed but because we have embraced reality, released control, and found this healed version of ourselves is what we’d been looking for all along.
I don’t know what kind of pain or heartbreak you may be walking through right now. But I do want to point you toward the hope found in our key verse: The God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).
Our God is a God of restoration. And all that aching within you is proof there’s a beautiful remaking in process. Don’t give up.
God loves you. You are not alone. Healing is possible.
Father God, when all I want is to be done with my healing journey, remind me that I can trust You in this process. Thank You for being a God who keeps His promises. I know You will use this heartbreak for good. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Excerpted with permission from Seeing Beautiful Again by Lysa TerKeurst, copyright Lysa TerKeurst.
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I’m not crying; you’re crying. (Actually, it’s me. Maybe you, too!) Our God is the God of restoration! It’s His wheelhouse. Whatever is a mess right now, He will restore. In the hurt, it feels impossible, but it’s not. Let’s not give up, ok? Let’s trust Him to use this heartbreak for good. ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full