Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise Him again – my Savior & my God!
— Psalm 43:5
This weekend I sat knee to knee with some of my nearest and dearest, giving testimony to the work God has done in my heart over this past season and praying intently for this new season that is coming quickly.
It is only a few short weeks now until we meet the baby that we have prayed for, for just over half a decade.
…The baby that doctors said would be nearly impossible to conceive.
…The little life that I whispered dreams for in the quiet of my heart with tears streaming down my cheeks.
…The baby that I never knew would ever come.
And yet, her continual kicks within my womb & my stretching body remind me that she is indeed on her way. And though there is deep joy in my heart, I also find myself asking the same questions the psalmist did.
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?”
And I realize that for over 5 years I have positioned my heart for disappointment.
For over 5 years I have tried to ease the blow of negative lines on a pregnancy test every.single.month. I have practiced putting a smile on my face to support others in their excitement of a new baby on the way, all the while holding in the deep ache within me. I have put up walls around my heart – for fear of being completely overtaken by disappointment, uncertainty, and longing.
Have you been there?
Have you ever built up walls so high around your heart in fear of being enveloped by pain or disappointment that felt too much bear?
The hard thing about these walls, these walls erected to protect our hearts, is that in trying to protect them, they end up simply preserving them. Keeping them beating, but no longer feeling. Keeping them alive, but no longer able to live.
They may not be impacted as much by darts of disappointment, launched by circumstances that life will surely throw at us, but they are also unable to reach out and receive the good gifts that also come our way.
Let me tell you firsthand sweet friend – it is no way to live.
Those walls we put up – they become a prison.
And we will find that even when circumstances change, our hearts can still be locked away.
… the Truth is this. Even the disappointment, the fear, the anxious thoughts, the ache, and the longing – all of it can be a gift. (Not because the circumstances that caused those feelings are okay or should ever have happened, as many of these circumstances are a result of the brokenness of our world, or other people, and we can be sure that God’s heart breaks with us that we have had to experience such things.) But they can be gift all the same because they can beckon us to the one place that our hearts – in all their broken glory – can find true rest and safety.
Instead of erecting walls to protect our hearts, we can entrust our hearts to the safe hands of our God. In His hands our hearts will find safe refuge.
He will not keep us from feeling pain, disappointment, or fear.
But He will hold us close with His nail scarred hands and we will know His love and His comfort in the midst of any brokenness we experience.
And when there are gifts of beauty and joy to receive? We will not be stuck with just four stone hard walls to behold; we will be able to bask in them in all their wonder too.
The same psalmist who penned the words above, also said this:
” For You are God, my only safe haven… send out Your light and Truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me…to the place where You live. There I will go to the altar of God, to God – the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, My God!
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again – my Savior and my God!”
— Psalm 43: 2-5 NLT
So – how do we break down those walls that we have put up around our hearts?
We invite God to break them down.
We sit with Him and we bravely allow ourselves to feel the pain of the journey that we have walked, knowing that we don’t walk alone.
We allow Christ to be our comforter; to speak Truth to our hearts about who He is, where He is, and who we are.
And then we choose to entrust our hearts to Him.
Whether we are over our heads doing “hard,” right now or we can breathe easy – we make up our minds to put our hope in Christ, knowing that He is the source of all our joy.
Then when the kicks of my sweet little one wake me up at night, when I see Gods hand over the past years, or when I remember the comfort that He spoke to me in the darkest of nights, I can receive those gifts fully.
…Because my heart isn’t simply a hostage, preserved by walls that I built to keep pain out. My heart is being held.