How The Place of Our Deepest Pain Can Become Our Place of Worship
Honest, when you see her face and hear her laugh, you’d never know the woman has walked through the fire, been pressed on every side by her life’s greatest pain and brokenhearted by a loss that rocked her world.
Because it turns out you could be walking around burned and no one would even know, no one would see it – because really and indeed we rarely look like what we have been through.
When we sat there talking and laughing about how we’d traveled here to this new place to prepare for this new adventure, and all the things we’ve had to say goodbye to; she just said it: “…yea, the year after I was bereaved. You know…my husband…”
I froze. No.
“Oh, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said that.” she apologized.
I couldn’t move. No.
I grabbed her hand as my heart sunk. I’d known this woman for six months, and this is the longest we have actually spoken. In these past six months, we’d only managed to squeeze in a talk or two about work and her girls, and me and work again. We had never sat together side by side. We’d never spoken this long. We’d never talked about him. I’d never known she’d walked that path here. I’d have never known. But for this side-by-side right now and this holding of hands and breaking of hearts here and now.
But she smiled. This woman smiles. And my throat swelled.
She told me of that day, two years ago, when her husband took his last breath beside her – the morning after they’d just had one of their best laughs and dreamed dreams for their three little girls. But that morning God rocked her world and death stung. And it felt like her whole life stopped and her heart was yanked out of her chest. Pain swung a blow.
And she looked me in the eye and she said this: “the way pain went for my heart. I went for the hem of His garment; refused to stop there, I grabbed hold of it and used it to climb up to His chest and I held on to His neck and like Jacob I told Him, “if you don’t bless me, if you don’t help me, I won’t let go.”
God gets our attention through our storm. And we find that we’ve always had His.
We find that He is all we need, when He becomes all we have.
And you could see how she has lived these words. Through pain.
She was still smiling. Still standing.
What was broken was now restored. What was shattered was not being pieced together. With her pain she has built an altar of praise.
My tears poured.
And she squeezed my hand and looked me square in the face, “Yes, losing my husband drilled a hole deep in my heart. He was the love of my life. But God has now become my Husband. He has filled the void. And now all I want is Him.”
“You should listen to our conversations...” She chuckled.
I chuckled. Because I remember.
When we first fall in love with Him. Our Bridegroom, The Lover of our soul.
I could see it in her eyes: that sparkle of a renewed love of Father & daughter.
And this daughter has found that dance again. Her dance of worship.
“We would never leave here if I keep this going…” she said.
Why should we leave the place of our worship? The place of our pain that has become an altar of praise. Why shouldn’t we keep this going?
That somehow through our deepest pain, we would point another heart to Him. That with an unforgettable hurt in our hearts and weighty questions, we would keep smiling. Keep praising.
And when we walk away, end that heart-talk, we would leave another heart adoring Him.