Today is Halloween. Seven years ago, things looked a lot different for my family of three. There would have been costumes, candy, and pumpkins to carve. I would have rushed home from work to get everyone dressed to go out. This year that just isn’t the case. It’s hard for this mama’s heart. In our house I’ve deemed these moments “happy-sad” times; I’m happy we are here because that means we are thriving but I’m sad that time went so quickly. Today I’m being easy on myself about how I feel. I’m grieving the loss of people, things, relationships, and my child growing up. When you are grieving the emotions you are feeling can be so overwhelming and unexpected. At times it feels like your breath is literally being sucked out of you.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve done my share of crying out to God, I’ve been honest with him and only with him on how I’m feeling, and how I’m handling things. When we are in the midst of our grieving it’s easy to feel isolated, alone, and abandoned. But have faith my dear friend, God is with us always. He is walking along the path with us even in our darkest days. David reminds me of God’s presence in Psalm 23:4, “even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” God’s with you every single step of the way. Allow him into your pain and tell him how you are REALLY feeling. Not the “I’m okay”, or the “I’m fine”, God knows our hearts, my friend.
I’m learning in this season to be easier on myself, I don’t have to be okay. Sometimes I need to grieve the loss and allow God into my pain. When you seem to be losing your footing, remember these four things to help you find hope even on the hardest days.
- God sees you. In Genesis 16, Hagar ran away from her mistress Sarai, because Sarai was mistreating Hagar after she became pregnant with Sarai’s husband’s baby. While Hagar was in the wilderness running from Sarai, she had an encounter with the angel of the Lord. After this encounter, Hagar began calling God, El Roi, “the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13b NLT). Not only did he see Hagar in her hard season, but he sees us too.
- God is with you. The Lord speaks to us in the book of Isaiah, “don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NLT).
- God knows you because he created you. “…Listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1 NLT). When I read this verse it makes me smile, knowing that my Heavenly Father, the one who created me claims me as his own! We don’t have to hide behind a mask with God, he knows the inner workings of our minds and body. He knows our hearts too.
- God loves you. “‘For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,’ says the Lord, who has mercy on you” (Isaiah 54:10 NLT). Though mountains may crumble, our God will not! He loves us unconditionally. In John 3:16 we learn how grand God’s love for us is, “for this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (NLT). That’s love right there!
Remember my friend in those hard moments that sometimes turn into hard days, and hard seasons, God does see you. God is always with you through everything you face. God knows you and He loves you! Please don’t let the lies of the enemy sink your hope in our good, good Father. Even though this year looks different for me I know that no matter what God is with me through it. I’m looking forward to new traditions and new experiences as I embrace the new season that we are in.
Papa, thank you for your reminders that you are always with me, that you see me and you know me. Lord, thank you for showering me with unconditional love. Help me to show myself and others that same love. I know you have plans for me and I look forward to what lies ahead on this journey with you. I pray for healing in my heart and body, thank you, Father! In Jesus’ precious name, amen.