“The heart has a far greater capacity for pain than can even be imagined—because it can love far greater than ever imagined.”
-Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way
More than four years ago, I felt compelled to tell of the story which was unfolding in our hearts and home. I was eager to begin the journey of adoption, sensing God strongly calling our family to take this leap of faith, free falling into His secure embrace. Not allowing fear to hold me back from stepping into all that God had in store for me and my family.
In my very first post entitled Free Fall, I concluded with a prayer. I ask that God would break my heart for that which breaks His heart. Little did I know just how deeply my heart would break and how this simple prayer would transform me. My heart longs and aches for our daughter in Bulgaria. I can not wait to meet her and hold her for the first time. To play a vital part in her healing and transformation from orphan to beloved daughter.
Yet, this longing and ache I have experienced in the waiting is only the tip of the iceberg. The heartbreak I feel goes much deeper. There is an undercurrent, that at times threatens to overwhelm me. My eyes have been opened and the lens in which I see humanity has shifted.
I have come to understand more fully my own brokenness and how God has made me. Realizing at a deeper level, how my experiences both good and bad have shaped me. My resolve has been strengthened to live wholeheartedly into the unique ways He has called me to share in His transformative work.
I can’t say that I have any answers to why we suffer in this life. I won’t give any platitudes to ease or dismiss the pain and grief that we each experience. Why death comes too soon or why babies are abused and neglected, abandoned and orphaned. Why some live with abundant resources while so many more live in scarcity. I have wrestled with God over these hard questions for most my adult life.
Yet, in the in between and not yet, I have found Jesus. He stands in the gap of my unanswered questions, holding me in the
in between and the not yet. He sits with me in my darkest, deepest pain. I have come to truly know Him as one acquainted with my sorrow.
Jesus promised that He will not leave us as orphans, He will come to us. He has given us His Holy Spirit, our ever present comfort. Yet we wait, all creation groaning for the day when…
“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.””
Revelation 21:4-5 NIV
Despite this great hope, we live in the tension between the brokenness in the here and now and the promise of eternity. I can’t ignore the ache that I feel from the sorrow that I see all around. How can I live this one beat up life with a constant aching heart? I fear that I have nothing of value to give. How can I, in my weakness, make any difference?
The one and only answer is Jesus. He picks up our broken pieces in his nail scarred hands. It is through His wounds that we are healed, made whole. It is in our weakness that He makes us strong. Strong enough to see the brokenness in others and bravely enter into their pain. Once in a while this comes in the form of doing something. Mostly, it is simply being present. Silently sitting and listening, fervently praying, patiently waiting, bearing together, holding tight to another’s hand.
From the cracks and crevices in our own bruised and busted up lives, His love seeps through, His comfort overflows. Jesus is near to the broken-hearted. When He is near, there is more than enough, immeasurably, exceedingly, abundantly more.
“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 receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV
Lord, give me your eyes and heart for others. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Help me to not be afraid to live into all that you have created me for. (Prayer written in first Magnolia Heart post, Free Fall, Dec. 2013)