Things That are True P5 – Sorrow

Sorrow is not meant to be wasted.
During the last three years, every good thing that made up my life has slowly and mercilessly been stripped from me: my love and best friend, family, job, travel, money, independence, stability. Everything that makes one feel human- gone. It is so real my mom actually said to me that only two things remain in my life: God and my dog. Bleak.
I’ve dreamt about when it will end; prayed for relief; succumbed again to His will; begged for a soft enough heart to learn what I’m supposed to learn; and cried dry out of tears more times than I can count.
It still hasn’t ended. Darkness sits wades warily around me like a fog.
What I’ve landed on, for my darkness and yours, is this- let it not be in vain. Let it not be for nothing. Here’s what I mean:
1. Let it hurt. It’s important to grieve; it’s part of the process. Fine. But don’t get stuck. There comes a time when you grab bootstraps and get the hell on with it. If it’s hard to tell when that time is, ask somebody who loves you and is not afraid to hurt your feelings.
2. Seek and find. Get in that Word. Get in the Word. There’s truth there. That thing was written thousands of years ago and it’s still relevant to daily circumstance. Open it with intentionality and consistency.
3. Push beyond the end of your nose. It’s so hard to understand suffering and why it happens – especially when you didn’t do anything to earn it. It begs the question, “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?” But here it is – to grow you. To show you your desperate need for Him. To teach strength, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, gentleness – all the things we say we want. But what’s more – to display His victory. Without darkness there is no victory. Without conflict there is no hero. When one comes upon this, he/she is sitting on opportunity… to SERVE. Look for ways to serve, seek other people and their needs. It’s SO MUCH EASIER to lose track of your own pain when you are washing someone else’s blistered feet.
4. Build an altar. When He still hasn’t answered and you’re waiting in the barren desert, erect altars of His faithfulness. Remember, with purpose, every time He has shown up in life. Remember the times when it didn’t look like there was a way out and He created one out of thin air. Write a story, paint a picture, draw a timeline of His grace – TELL SOMEBODY. Build a tangible reminder of the story He’s created through pain, and then put it in plain sight so you see it every day, and are reminded of what He’s done.
5. Praise before it makes sense. Get on two knees in ultimate praise of the One who has remained. It doesn’t make sense to praise God in darkness- but that’s the whole thing right there in a nutshell. That’s the whole nail head hit. When you can sit in utter darkness and still praise Him- that’s when Darkness has lost. That’s the whole war and every battle under it. You believe He will answer prayer, you have learned that it’s for your betterment, and you have the wherewithal, if not anything else, to say to Him, “I love you because you loved me first.” And let that be enough.
That’s when the light breaks in.
-N. Ford