It’s Okay to Hurt
I sat in my best friend’s living room recently and cried because my heart ached and I was so very sad. I felt disappointed. I felt misled. I felt discouraged but most of all I felt guilty. After all, I’m healthy unlike a young mother I know. I haven’t lost my husband like several friends. I have a job that is secure even in these tough economic conditions. I’m not facing infertility or persecution or abuse. And yet, here I sat crying my eyes out over something that hurt my soul and I felt wrong for doing so.
I didn’t mention it to her then because I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t just “buck up” and “get it together” but later when I got the courage I shamefully admitted that I was still out of sorts over this situation and that my heart just broke in frustration. I kept saying, “I know it’s silly to be upset…”, “I know it’s ridiculous to feel this way…”, “I’m aware I shouldn’t complain because…” She finally stopped me because she understood. She too felt guilty for having needs that didn’t seem enough. What we realized in the long conversation that followed was Satan loves to make us feel miserable and he loves to use comparison to kill. We compare cars and jobs and engagement rings. We also compare suffering and heartache and challenges. He wants you, me and anyone else he can find to be discouraged and as far from the Father’s plan as possible. If he can do that through a means that makes you miserable, so much the better.
Here’s what I’ve come to realize since that night. It’s okay to hurt. My suffering doesn’t lessen yours and it isn’t a selfish thing to do. The Lord gave us emotions and while I wish I only experienced the ones that left me smiling, often our lives lead us to tears, frustration and anger because we live in a broken world. What I truly realized was that Satan had convinced me not to “bother” God with my inconsequential problem when the reality is, He’s my loving Father that is concerned for all our hurts. Would you tell your toddler that fell and scraped their knee to walk it off because kids in Africa have been maimed by living in a war zone? Of course not! Your compassion on your own child doesn’t lessen the suffering of another and we don’t have to reach some level of unhappiness to qualify for tears.
I also realized that, if the tables were turned, and it was my best friend crying in my living room I wouldn’t judge her one bit or think she was being ridiculous for grieving this situation. So why wasn’t I willing to offer myself the same kind of compassion? I’ve believed the lies for so long that to be worthy of love, I have to be without needs. I’m the encourager, the doer, the helper. I enjoy being that but somewhere down the line I lost the ability to ask for help myself or accept the encouragement or not just try to make it on my own. Satan convinced me of that and I’ll bet he’s convinced a lot of y’all of the same. Busy, exhausted and secretly heartbroken women can only do so much until they are not able to do anything but keep their heads above water. That’s not what our Father wants for us.
Here’s the irony of my situation, the very thing I was so broken hearted over that I didn’t feel worthy of grieving was the very thing the Lord was calling me to be a prayer warrior over. It took realizing that I couldn’t just pretend there wasn’t an issue, to finally drag myself, with my head hung down to the throne room but luckily for me, and you, it’s a throne room of grace. He picked me up and listened to me talk and cry and wrapped me in the peace that only He can give. He then gave me clarity on my next steps. Did these steps fix my problem immediately? Nope. Am I still upset over this situation? You bet. Do tears still sneak in when I least expect them? More than I care to mention. But do I have hope and a future? Yes. Am I surrounded by a peace that is unexplainable outside of my Father? Without a doubt. Am I walking in His purpose and plan? Yes, I truly believe I am and I truly believe that grieving this moment is part of that plan. So to that I hold tightly, with the understanding that it’s okay for me to not be okay and that the Father cares for it all… the broken arms and the skinned knees.