What Do You Do When the Pain is Deep?

by Robin Prater

This morning while on facebook I looked on my home page and there before my eyes were pictures of my beautiful granddaughter on her first birthday celebrating with all of her family. Except there were a few family members missing. Like her Nana, Poppy, Uncle Jake and Great Grandma Ruff… me. Apparently, we weren’t invited. I cannot express how my heart hurts except to say I feel at a loss.

I have cried out to God and asked Him, “Why? Can You please show me why? What is the purpose in such pain?” I hear nothing in reply. What do you do? I left my mother crying on the telephone this morning because she too was not invited. You all but just want to give up. Nothing seems to bring joy any longer because of your tear stained cheeks.

It has been six months since I have seen my granddaughter. Six long months, until a few days ago. I saw her by accident at my mom’s house while visiting my sister. My heart jumped a beat as I saw her beautiful face. She still takes my breath away. What broke my heart was that she didn’t sit on my lap. I couldn’t hold her. Why? She didn’t know me. It was as though I was a stranger to this baby girl. I left there crying as my heart broke even more. Is that even possible? This is not how I pictured being a Nana. I pictured my home filled with grandchildren. Not begging to see them without a reply. What do you do when nothing at all makes any sense? What a mess. The really sad part is I really don’t know why. Do you have a mess you are going through? Gosh, sometimes I just want to pack up everything and move far away. I don’t know how much more hurt I can possibly withstand. Even if I did move far away, my heart would still ache for my grand baby.

Oh, she is precious. She is the spitting image of her mommy. I look at her and I think back to how my daughter stole my heart when I heard that first heart beat and then to feel that first kick and then to hold her tiny hand. We never know what life is going to turn out to be. We always think, “I’m mad now, but later will be better.” But what if later never comes?

I hear people share with me, “Just give it to Jesus.” I have. I have given it to Him day after day after day and nothing is better! Trust Him? I am trusting Him, but my heart hurts. The tears come at the blink of an eye and I am so tired of hurting. As time goes on you would think things would get better, but in fact they are getting worse. It’s like the elephant in the room. Everyone knows it’s there, but no one talks about it.

My wise friend, Shirley, shared with me, “At least she is only a year old and knows nothing of this.” I totally get that and I am there with her, but I can’t stop thinking about all that we are missing out on. I think that is the part that hurts. I have given everything I have to my children, but it still wasn’t enough. I wonder if Jesus feels that pain when His children walk away and blame Him for everything. To have His children walk by and not even call Him Father? Not share the life He gave them with Him at all. He wants to be a part of His children’s life and nothing. But He continues to wait. He calls out in prayer to His Father and with patience and grace He moves forward, not looking back. Knowing He paid the price so that they could have life, but still yet, they walk on without any notice of Him.

God sent these quotes to me today:

“Snuggle in God’s arms when you are hurting, when you feel lonely, and left out. Let Him cradle you, comfort you, reassure you of His all-sufficient power and love.”  Kay Arthur

“God never wastes a hurt.” Rick Warren

 “You don’t have to be alone in your hurt! Comfort is yours. Joy is an option. And it’s all been made possible by your Saviour. He went without comfort so you might have it. He postponed joy so you might share in it. He willingly chose isolation so you might never be alone in your hurt and sorrow.” Joni Eareckson Tada

And He too sent me a reminder of His Word:

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.”  Romans 5:3-5

We try to tell ourselves we are strong. We try to sell that strength in a bottle. We put on the face that all is right with us. I can be totally transparent with you and say that is a crock. We are a broken people. We are fragile in life. It doesn’t take much to knock us down. Satan can move through any one to try to destroy us and who better than those very people we love the most. He knows all the possibilities we have with Christ living in us. He knows once we have accepted Christ as our Savior he can’t touch our life, but he can try to destroy all that is around us.

Friends, he can only take what we give him. We can’t change people. We make situations around us right by wishing on a star. Oh, how sweet life would be if that were true. But it simply isn’t. Life hurts. Struggles are real and our pain is real. We cannot compare pain. I hear people say, “Well at least it isn’t this or that.” Please, pain is pain. It doesn’t matter what it is, it all feels the same. You feel as though your heart is shattered into a million pieces and no matter what you do, once you pick up one piece you drop another.

It makes me think of a stained glass window. Look at that broken glass. All shattered. Alone it doesn’t look like much, but place each piece together and look at the beauty. My life might feel so broken right now, but the Lord knows each piece that I feel is out of place. He knows where those pieces go and He will one day gather them up to make them a masterpiece of His brilliant power and it will shine with His grace for all to see.

All we can do is all we can do. The rest is up to the Lord. So, yes, this is where I sit today. Broken before you. Shattered will. But as I realize I cannot change what is around me, God forever reminds me of His power, grace, and strength. He reminds me what my knees are for. Prayer is a mighty and powerful thing. In all the hope I have in Christ, I know I will sit before you one day and share just what the Lord made out of all this mess created by selfish and prideful people. He has a way of humbling us and bringing us to our knees.

Friends, you are not alone. Whatever you are facing today, like me, you can trust the Lord. We may not hear the answers we want. Every situation may not turn out as we expect, but God’s expectations are much greater than ours and He can see the whole picture to where all we can see is the pain we feel today.

Hang in there. Hang on to His hope and strength. There is a purpose for all. Instead of focusing on our trial, may we remember all Christ did for us, does for us and will do for us. Sweet blessings to you, friends.

Robin Prater is a member of ACFW, a Freelance Writer, a book reviewer,
 and loves writing at her blog, Robin’s Nest, while she is working on
her first novel. Her passion is to serve Christ and inspire others
through His Word. She lives in Missouri where she is enjoying the
journey of being a daughter of the King.

Photo source for header image:ChristianPhotos.Net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications

Christa Allan

A true Southern woman who knows any cook worth her gumbo starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, Christa writes "not-your-usual Christian Fiction. Her debut novel, Walking on Broken Glass in 2010 was followed by The Edge of Grace, which released in August of 2011. Love Finds You in New Orleans will be available in early 2012. Christa is the mother of five children, grandmother of three, and teacher of high school English. She and her husband Ken live in Louisiana, where they enjoy their time between dodging hurricanes and anticipating retirement.

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  1. I’m sorry for your hurt. I cling to God’s promise in these situations to use all things for our good. He’s made good on that promise in my own life again and again. He will in yours too.

  2. Oh Robin, my heart hurts with you. I am praying for reconciliation with your daughter. What ever has happened, God is bigger. I pray that being a mother opens your daughters eyes to the fact that all mothers fail because we are human but we do the best we can out of love. I know my eyes opened as I had children and I understood my own mother’s failings better. Sometimes, we can only do so much. I’m going to have my own daughter be my reminder to pray for you and yours, each time I interact with her – she’s 6 so it will be often.

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

    1. Robin,

      I understand that kind of pain. We’ve been going through this for two years now. I’ve seen our seven grandchildren four times in that time period and we live only three hours away. When it first happened, we didn’t know what hit us, we were so shocked. As the story unfolded, we were even more shocked. Nothing made sense, but we had to let them go. Like the butterfly in the hand, hoping one day the family would return to us.

      Letting go was the wisest decision we could have done, because our son does reach out to us sometimes and I think we can see an end to this. We’ve learned to allow God to take the reins. To be patient. To wait. We’ve been rewarded in isolated times.

      We’ve also learned that no one is more important than our relationship with Lord God and his Son.

      I’ll pray for you, Robin!

      God bless you.

  3. As a writer, I hope you have started a journal of letters to your sweet granddaughter, telling her about the family she does not know, and how special she is to you.

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