Friday, November 1, 2013

Be strong and take heart.

When Nazara was about 2 months old, we had her sleeping on our large couch in our master bedroom. She couldn't roll yet and we had pillows surrounding her just in case :) When I was training her to sleep she would cry for a little before she would fall to sleep.  But right in front of her face…was my pillow. And I was laying there right beside her.

In fact…I was so close I still remember the little puffs of her breath and me watching every single moment. I never closed my eyes. I watched her.

There were one or two times in those days that she spit up a bit…and she never knew where I came from but in a split second I would grab her and pull her to my shoulder so she didn't choke or panic.  Instant rescue.

One of those nights as I lay there watching her cry…my eyes filled up too.  And instantly I got the picture of God with me.  How many times do I feel like I'm floundering and panicking and completely…overwhelmed and "where are you God…?" is the only cry of my heart…?

If Nazara could have articulated what she was thinking…it would have possibly been that.  But little did she know…I was so close…so close I could feel her breath on my face as she drifted off to sleep.

As I laid my head down on the pillow next to this precious little gift…it all came together.  Never once has He left me on my own.  Sometimes it's felt like I was abandoned. Floundering. Panicking. Overwhelmed. But every second…He was so close He could feel my panicked heart beat. My sweaty palms.

One night I remember reaching my hand for little Nazara but knowing it would hinder training her to sleep…my hand hovered over her. Just a few inches over her back. In the dark…as she cried…my hand was outstretched and wanting so bad to pat her back…

This picture was beautiful to me.  When He says "I'll never leave you" … He really means it. It's literal.  Just like I've never ever left Nazara.  And any time I did let her cry…it was for her greater good.  The moment she was in danger…there was no hesitation. I scooped her up and comforted her as she nuzzled into my neck.

I've thought of this so often lately…and tonight…I felt prompted to blog about it.

When you are feeling alone. Floundering.  Abandoned.  Forsaken.  Picture me with my hand hovering over my crying baby in the dark…ready to rescue the moment she's in danger.  Your God has never turned His back on your broken heart. He's never walked out and closed the door and let you deal with it on your own.

On the contrary…He's standing right there in the shadows reaching out to wipe your tears…wanting to pull you into that tight embrace.


God doesn't answer why.  He tells us we will go through difficult times.  And then follows it up with "I will never leave you…"

A few years ago I went through some heart break.  Heart break as in … I-don't-want-to-get-up-off-the-floor heart break. The loss of our 3rd baby was too much. I can't bear it. "Can you hear me…?"
"am I just another voice in the sea of pain…"  ... "Where are you God…where are you…?"

In the last few months I have met with several friends…who are going through complete…total heartbreak in their lives.  Most recently I drove home from having coffee with a friend and I was praying out loud as I drove home.  And it hit me.  Perfect, pain-free lives don't comfort broken hearts.   They just don't.  It takes broken hearts to comfort broken hearts.

For the first time…ever…I smiled as I thought about those sad, sad days in my life.  Mended broken hearts…can comfort broken hearts.

He doesn't tell us 'why'.  He tells us 'who'.  He never says 'why' we'll go through it. He tells us 'who' will be there every single step of the way.  Never missing a cry. Never missing a plea. Never missing another falling piece of our heart.

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you…
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you…and help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Recently I cried and cried as I poured out yet another broken heart to God.

He answered with this:

Be strong and take heart…all you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 27:4.

In church today we sang one of my favorite songs…and as I sang it, I was struck by how much this blog post ties into the song.

Please take a few minutes to click the link and watch.


  1. Thank you for posting this. The image is one I will remember in those moments when I do feel so alone. Right now, my life is going pretty smoothly, but when something big hits, and it always does, that is the hardest time to find faith. The "why" question will always be there, but perhaps God is training us for something, just as you are training your sweet baby to sleep on her own. Thank you! Claire

  2. Thank you friend. This was such a perfect picture of God loving us and never leaving us… and it's so true -- mended-broken-hearts can draw close, can "be there" and comfort broken hearts in a way others can't. Thanking God for His perfect plan.

  3. LOVE this post, Janice! Thank you for that reminder! And, as you can probably tell, I am reading all your previous posts, lol!

  4. Lori....I don't read my blog posts before posting I want to share exactly what's on my heart without over-analyzing it. Today your comment brought me back to this post and as I read was honestly what I needed to read myself today. Thank you for taking me back.