Emotions don’t follow a plan. Growth doesn’t happen all at once. Things you thought were dealt with come back, often when you don’t expect them. The battles you wish were over, come roaring back, taking the joy out of joyful things and leaving you not wanting to do even the most basic things like eating and getting dressed. Sometimes it hits you out of nowhere, burning and stinging all over again fierce and painful. In its wake, you are left wondering why you had to experience that again, why you had to feel so deeply what you wish you could forget.

But in those experiences, you get a deeper glimpse into the heart of our Creator. The one who walked that entire road with you comforting and hurting with you. Sometimes it takes revisiting those hard emotions to be able to see how much of his love was there for you during the whole process.

When we turn our hearts away from God during suffering we close our hearts to the only help we could ever receive that would make any difference. As my heart was breaking, so was his, as I was falling apart and didn’t want to speak to God, he was drawing me close and holding me up. When I cried angry tears he held me and softened my heart so I wouldn’t be bitter. Of all the things I went through, the nightmares, hormones, empty arms and fears, he was closer than he’s ever been because that was when I needed him most. He was a constant voice and presence. Keeping me soft and feeling deeply every little pain. So my rebuilding can come from a place of strength and confidence. Even on my bad days when I’m so afraid and want to hide from everything. He is still here, never impatient with my slow growth or to busy to sit with me. He never leaves. God walks through every single trial and pain. In every suffering, he is with us. Even though the valley of the Shadow Of Death, he is with us. Showing us another, deeper layer of his love that has always been there but we’ve never seen it before. Because we have never needed it before.

So a thankfulness that didn’t have room to grow before can now start to bloom. A space in our hearts has opened up to be able to catch a small glimpse of what has been happening this whole time. How even though it feels like your falling apart, that is not the end of the story or his loving purpose for you.

Samantha Hendrickson