“How,” you might ask, “can you rejoice when your heart is broken and you’re hurting?”
When I learned that my baby had died, there was no escaping the pain – you can’t stop the sorrow you feel. But feeling your disappointment and staying stuck in it are two different things. And the enemy wants you to stay stuck in disappointment. Disappointment is one of the tools in his toolbox, and it has a specific purpose: stopping you. God has incredible plans for you – and the enemy would like to keep you from ever experiencing them. God has promised to make all things new – and the enemy wants you to lose faith in that promise, and in the rest of God’s promises.
But God’s Word is full of his promises to us, and when we read it, we’re reminded of them. The psalms, in particular, helped me through my heartache because in them are some of the most pure and honest heart cries ever written. Reading them gave me permission to admit that a dream had died, a hope had waned, and I had lost something very precious. Especially Psalm 61:1-2: “Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (NKJV). After the loss of our baby, I felt so overwhelmed that at times I didn’t know what to pray. So I let the words of David, who had walked this same path of grief before me, be my prayer and remind me that God still had a great plan and purpose for my life beyond my current disappointment.
The psalmist convinced me that this promise was meant for this earthly life. “I would have lost heart,” he says, “unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13 NKJV). I meditated upon this idea day and night: I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living because higher hands, God’s hands, were at work. This gave me hope.
God has a plan and purpose for my life, as he does for each of us, beyond this moment of disappointment. We need not be passively resigned to the problems of life. We need not give up and stop fighting for what we believe in; there is always hope, and as long as there is hope, we can move forward – and bring others with us.