Maybe it’s hard to hear, tough to read and unpleasant to think about. Those stories of trials which one endures. Like the friend who deals with chronic illness, still. Or the one who deals with anxiety & depression and can’t seem to move past it. And the ones who grieve great losses or the ones who experience financial struggles, one after another. I get it.

Some days I just need a dose of laughter and I long for a life less full. Because, never going there, where pain and truth mingle together, seems easier. For the day anyway.


Dear one who lives through trials, may I whisper into your ear?

For the one who keeps sharing their hard and allowing vulnerability to shine through, all tattered and bruised, go on brave you. You show us truths about living and you make us feel less alone in our own constricted places.

For the one who has not much else to say because this is their life every day, keep pressing in & showing us how you to seek Hope beyond the struggle. Even when it’s hard and you don’t have much positive to say.

Keep on trusting when hurt speaks louder than hope.

I’m not so concerned with the spouting of spiritual sentiments. I’m really not interested in false facades of fiction. But when you show me your reality, and give me a glimpse into future glories, I’m given the chance to see a greater God than I’d known before.

Truth be told, I’d be more concerned if the tears never came.

After all, what happens to a dam of emotions when the release valves remain blocked over time? Pressure builds, and eventually fortified walls crumble.

Hearts all around us swell with need, waiting to flood out of our souls one way or another. And the bursting always follows unrelinquished internal battering. Then comes the onslaught of destructive outpouring through harsh anger, ruthless bitterness, extreme anxieties, isolating depression, feeling stuck, or living in intense fear.

Perhaps the greatest danger of all is the unrelenting internal demand to release who we really are while simultaneously capping off the ability to let it go.

You and I, we were created as emotional beings. Fashioned after the image of a relational, emotional God. The giver of emotions. Loved by a God who felt great compassion, grieved deeply, and mourned and wept bitterly. He endured trials and persecutions to the point of the most excruciating death imaginable – on the cross. For us.

We want to push the pain away. Pretend it isn’t there. We don’t want to hear about it, and we much less want to feel it.

Oh, I get it. I really do.

Thank God, He walked into the pain so we could be free.

In high school I didn’t know how to deal with friends who stayed, only as long as I acted right. I caved internally when others wanted solid emotional ground and a steady yes to their ways.

In the end, it was me who ended up in the hospital chair embracing my legs and wishing like crazy that I weighed 85 pounds, and hating myself for not being less than 100 anymore. It’s me who wears the scars of watching my flesh burn and bleed in order to release deep pain within.

The dam eventually breaks, one way or another.

God caught me when I cried out bitterly with honest feelings. “Ugh God, I don’t really want you. But I kind of want to want you. Help me to want you.”

All this after being date raped & impregnated, and receiving written lies from another man about my character. My identity cut to the core. Needs unmet. Lack of love left me longing.

Being ruled by emotions is one thing, but refusing to let them out is another. Destruction goes inward or outward, it only moves into dissipation when the healing calm settles over the pain.

Deal with your emotions or your emotions will deal with you.

Thankfully we have a God whose arms are open wide, waiting for us to believe in emotional authenticity and pour it all out before Him. Knowing Him means knowing the one who cares for our every need. Not just that He cares, but how he does. He is our safe place. We really can trust Him, honestly. Fully.

Go ahead, take that tiny step of faith.

When the release valve of emotions is blocked, so too is God’s access into our hearts. He wants to bring healing to the painful places. He desires to see wholeness come out of the brokenness. But he never forces it.

Many times God allows us to experience the hard to know the healing.

To come to know Him and His ways. To see His glory. Trust His power. Live in His love.

When we believe its OK to face our hard and seek His presence within, we experience His authentic love in return.

When we open the valves and the swells of hurt trickle out into safe places, we see land which flourishes. The beautiful, rich land of heart healing, wholeness and freedom which He desires to give us.

So dear friend, keep on being brave as you pour out your heart. May we let the valves open enough to keep internal pressure from building. May we be safe places for each other where the resulting runoff finds welcome ground.

And when it’s all too much, let it burst before your Maker with all the honesty and openness you can muster.

Hope meets the hurt and healing follows.


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with love,