And that is my goal, by the way. Not to share only the joyful parts of my journey with Christ, but the painful ones as well. I pray God will use my honesty to reach someone who needs to know they aren’t alone in their pain.
So, If I’m honest . . . I had a really tough time today. It was the second church service I attended in Ohio and the first time I would be leading the 5th grade girls since Lorrie passed away. As I participated in the worship set, sadness filled me. I fought back tears. I don’t like crying in church, though it wouldn’t be the first time. But this just felt too personal. Our church is massive, and I don’t know many people. Of the people I know, only a handful of them know that my mother in law suddenly passed away a month ago.
After service, I sat in the 4th/5th grade room waiting on my girls to arrive. I just felt sad. I wanted to distance myself. I pushed through, with Christ’s strength alone, but it didn’t go unnoticed. A fellow leader commented that I looked really tired. I felt bad for coming off that way, but when the sadness fills me it’s all I can do to keep moving forward. Fortunately, my group was small and we did have some good conversations.
But, I couldn’t wait to get out of church today.
I feel horrible writing that. I mean, shouldn’t it be the one place I want to be? Close to God, seeking Him?
It was almost more than I could take. Being around that many people praising God, it was too much. Listening to the sermon as this series wrapped up, it struck me how life just goes on. Here I am, some days completely stuck in the tragedy of losing a loved one, and everyone else is just . . . happy. Joyful.
I felt sad.
I even told God at one point, “I’m still mad.” I am. I don’t understand why this happened. I trust in His plan, though. I have to. But some days, trusting in His plan shares a space with, “why her?”
I am thankful for a God that will pursue me even on the days I struggle to look to Him.
I am thankful for a sympathetic Savior who understands my pain.
I am thankful for a loving God who won’t punish me for struggling at church today.
If I’m honest, attending church was difficult . . . but I know God still loves me.
If I’m honest, I didn’t want to praise Him in my sadness today . . . but I know He is still by my side.
If I’m honest, grief sucks . . . but God is good.
He is always good, on my mountain tops and in the deepest valleys I face.
If I’m honest, God is good.