It Hurts

U Anáše chapel in Římov, passion tour depictin...

U Anáše chapel in Římov, passion tour depicting suffering of Jesus Christ. South Bohemian region, CZ help (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today at A Holy Experience, Ann asked each of her readers to write on:  The Practice of Suffering…. What does it mean to pick up a cross? How do we walk through hard times? How do we participate in the sufferings of Christ?

Suffering…pain…heartache…devastation.  Never an easy topic to discuss. I, like many, don’t enjoy spending a lot of time thinking about suffering, much less enduring it. It hurts too much.

But, I live in a world that knows suffering. It groans under the weight of it. There are so many times when I am silent in the presence of others pain…because I don’t have the words. I can’t answer the why questions. I don’t know why. When the heart aches, the answers aren’t always going to make sense anyway. Just emptiness.

Sometimes, during times of suffering, all I can do, is be present. Be there. Hold a hand. Calm a spirit. Love a person.

To this very day, I still cry when I hear of someone losing a loved one, to death. I don’t even have to know the person, and it still makes me cry. I know that particular suffering from personal experience…..and it changed me. My heart aches for the widow and the fatherless. The tears flow as a parent’s heart breaks, knowing that their child won’t be coming home. A child, no matter how old, feels empty when their parent is no longer there.

Suffering is hard. It hurts. It changes people.

I do know that if I had not been widowed at a young age, if my father had not died, if all my family members were still here….I would not feel the same way that I do now. I would not be able to share in the suffering. I would not be able to comfort others, like I can now, because of what I have been through.

Because of Christ‘s comfort given to me, I can comfort others. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT

I believe, as a follower of Christ, I am called to be His “hands and feet” to others who are hurting. To be honest, it isn’t really what I would have picked for myself, had I had opportunity to decide. I mean, would any of us choose suffering? Ever? If there were any other way?

I am so eternally grateful that even though Jesus knew the suffering that was ahead for him, he said, ” Abba,Father everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  Mark 14:36 NIV   It is because He chose the cross, that I know suffering will not be forever. It will one day cease to be.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 NIV

God, Are You There?

sunrise on a beautiful morning

Image via Wikipedia

A decade has come and gone, and yet I still remember those early days…

God, are you there?

A whisper in the darkness… my voice deep with emotion.

Do you hear me?

Heart heavy with the grieving

My emotions bleeding out all over the floor.

Too exhausted to even raise my head,

I lay prostrate-

the scratch of the carpet against my face.

Whispers to The One who promises me He will never leave me

I am humbled and broken.

The living room becomes a most holy place

as I quietly worship, through tears, the One who I know is a defender of widows

and a father to the fatherless.

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”  Psalm 68:5 NIV

The loss of my first husband and my journey through the valley of the shadow of death is just part of my story.

All glory be to God, that it was not the end of my story!

He takes the broken. The bruised. The hurt. The sad. The angry. The bitter.

The Great Physician performs surgery on the heart,

and breathes new life into a grieving soul.

After stumbling in the darkness of grief, I know that joy comes in the morning.

I also know that joy comes after the mourning.

Joy does come again.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18 NIV

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The She Speaks conference is about women connecting to the hearts of  other women, and more importantly connecting to the heart of God. If you might be interested in going to this conference, please visit Ann Voskamp’s blog at A Holy Experience, where she is offering a scholarship opportunity for the conference.

My name is Dawn. The name means “sunrise” and is often used to signify new beginnings.  That is what God did for me. I am a new beginning through Him.

I am living, breathing proof of God’s tender love and mercy.

When the pain is so great that words are not enough…

God will meet you there.

It is because of this, that my heart’s desire is to help others who are suffering through the loss of a loved one.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-5  NIV