Dad knows the way home
How can we get through unbearable pain?
I remember thinking, “I will never get over this.”
There was no way out. I didn’t care that people told me, “When God closes a door, he opens a window” or any other nice sayings that belonged in threads on a pillow, not something that was actually going to help. There were no windows. Only darkness, pain, and confusion.
I think most of us come to a place where all we can see is the storm. Where joy is a friend we’ll never see again. I talked to a girl yesterday who lost her mother to breast cancer. Her mother was the only family she had. I had coffee with a friend who admitted that she had given up hope of ever getting married after 8 years of prayer and ‘doing everything right’. She was in her mid-thirties and felt it was futile to long for a man. An email came from a girl who experienced an abusive childhood: “It haunts me and has haunted me in my dreams and in every waking moment. I can’t have normal relationships. I never feel balanced.” And then there’s the horrific story I talked about yesterday of the grandmother and two little kids drowning.
Everyone’s story is different, but the pain we all feel at one time or another is universal. Feeling helpless, scared, overwhelmed, angry, and bludgeoned by reality is the place where God comes near.
Our good Dad scoops us up, holds us close, and whispers, “We’re gonna make it. I love you. Dad knows the way home”.
Your journey will look different than mine. I was never graceful with my pain and did a lot of wallowing and ignoring God. Maybe you handle heartbreak with numbness. Or maybe you stand still in the dark, shaking like a leaf. Most of the time, there isn’t an answer for suffering or a pretty bow that graces your life and make it all ok. Jesus probably isn’t going to bring your loved ones back from the grave, your shattered dreams may still be in pieces, and longing for a relationship, or a baby, or a job may continue.
But I think we all have a choice. We can allow God to come close and hold us, or we can keep him away and cling to our deserves. I deserve a spouse, a baby, a healthy family, a happy life, to outlive my children, healing for my mom. This entitlement numbs our heart and creates bitterness. And bitterness destroys all relationships.
The path to healing, to breathing again, is punctuated with land mines that threaten to trap us; but in the distance, there’s a glistening view that reminds us the storm won’t last forever. We must press on.
When I was in my darkest hour, I finally allowed Dad to come near and show me the way out. It was one of the sweetest memories of my life, a time when I first started calling God “Dad” because He wasn’t confined to the pages of a dusty Bible or way up in the heavens. He was right there with me.
He held me so close and tight and reminded me over and over that “Dad knows the way home.” And I believe He wants to do the same for you.
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