It’s okay. It’s okay to be shattered. It’s okay to be broken and it’s okay to be okay with that. I never thought my faith could be more at risk than it has been over the past few months, not until this week. Everything I thought I knew about God’s goodness was simply crumbling down before me. My heart-shattered. Broken. Lost. Confused. Fearful. Chaotic. Hopeless. Resentful. Angry. Empty.
Shattered. That’s the only word I can find to describe how my heart has felt this week. I simply could not fathom how much pain I could possibly tolerate. I could not fathom the pain and fear my dear friends were and still are experiencing. I could not allow myself to believe that my God, my Savior could be so cruel.
I lost my faith this week. I really did. For an entire grueling 36 hours I was without faith. What a scary place to dwell in. See, I knew God was there but I lost faith in his goodness, in his plan. This has never happened to me before, not quite like this. Even in my very own darkest days, I felt God’s goodness all around me. I felt it through the people he put in my path, the strength he gave me to allow him into this plan I wanted no part of and the stillness in my heart to remember to breathe when holding my breath felt easier. But this week, I honestly doubted it all.
This week his plans rocked my existence and had me running away from everything I am and everything I strive to be. Fear and doubt left my vulnerable heart shattered. I prayed. Over and over again. I could not feel my God. I cried and cried. I did not feel coveted by his arms. I cursed, over and over again. Nothing. Then in the moment that I knew my friends needed me to pray the most, I bowed my head into my trembling hands and with the last few ounces of strength I could muster…I sobbed and BEGGED for his healing for my friends, for this tiny little perfect child whom I adore so much for all that she is and all that she represents in this broken world.
My faith was broken but God was still there. He heard my cries, he heard the cries of so many for this dear family. And even though I doubted him, even though I cursed his doing’s-he was still there, he is still there and he will always be there and he will always be good.
How unworthy am I? How broken am I that I could doubt his love for me, for my friends and for this world? I am left to wonder if this is part of his plan. If his plan is to strip my faith down to nothing but a naked, afraid, empty existence in order to rebuild my love for Jesus in a way I could never do without this suffering.
You see, I have lost a lot in the past 14 weeks. I have lost my son. I have lost dear friends. I have lost the glass half-full part of me, I have lost a lot of who I am, who I was and who I wanted to be. I lost my dreams, I lost my son’s first breath, his first smile, his first word, his first step, his first birthday. I did not only lose my child. I lost so many things when I lost Jake.
When your heart can’t possibly bare any more loss, God knows it and he swoops in to help you catch your breath, even if it’s just for one day. One good laugh. One good friend. One good break. One good moment.
In all of the loss, there has been much gain. For every lost friend has been a new friend. It amazes me that the friendships I have gained in the past 14 weeks of my life are stronger than many I have been carrying for years upon years. God knew. He knew who could handle my pain with me, who would be strong enough to help carry me on my weakest days. He knew which ones I had to part with in order to make room for the ones who were and are capable of walking with me in my grief. He is good. Even when I have doubted, he is so good.
I called a good friend today to bare my broken heart and guilt about doubting God’s goodness, about running away when the thunder came roaring. Her response was so full of his truth. “Lisa, it’s okay to give yourself a free pass. He knows your heart better than you do. He knows you love him and he can take the doubt. He is so much bigger than that. Don’t you think that he knows how very hard it is to be convinced of his existence during such fear and doubt?” Of course he knows, of course he forgives me, because he is our Lord.
I am giving myself a pass on the past 36 hours, knowing and hoping I won’t ever go there again. However I am somehow grateful for the pain, the doubt and the guilt…because it’s carving this shattered heart into something indescribable. He is preparing me, I can feel it. I hope something extraordinary is soon to come but for now I will basque in the goodness of the many small blessings around me and the huge blessing of healing and life he has proven to have complete control of.
It’s okay. It’s okay to be shattered. And it’s okay to be okay with that.