I missed being a mom. It’s a grief I will probably always carry to some degree. I never had or raised any children and now that season has passed for me. Sometimes my heart just aches with that void. Do you have any aches like that? A sorrow, a regret, a deep sense of longing that you can’t fix? Sometimes it will get triggered by a song on the radio, or an invitation to a baby shower, or a commercial for diapers. You just push it down and credit your tears to allergies.
God has brought much healing to that ache in my life by giving me six step-kids that I get to love. They are all grown, so I missed the baby stage, but I get to love and encourage them and be a friend. It’s a gift for my heart and it helps soothe that ache. I hope and pray it’s a gift for them too.
These kinds of voids or holes in our hearts can lead us down a dark path of regret and self-pity if we don’t know what to do with them. I have learned and am still learning, that for every hole in my heart, God has a truth about WHO He is to sustain me.
So picture this… I am on vacation in a sleepy beach town, just driving around and people-watching. I see many families out together, walking, playing, kids skipping along the sidewalk, oblivious to the problems in the world. I see a mom scooping up her little girl who took a spill on her scooter. I feel that familiar ache in my heart watching that loving mother comfort her child. That hole in my heart is exposed again. Dang…I start to cry a little. But the cry turns into a prayer.
Just then… another scene unfolds before me. I see a precious dark-haired little boy with rosy cheeks and his dad. The boy was about five years old riding his two-wheeler bike down the sidewalk. It appeared to be a new experience for him. Maybe because his dad was running closely alongside him or maybe because of the very determined look on his little face, I could just tell this was an important moment for both of them. I followed their progress covertly from inside my car because I couldn’t help myself. I had to know how this rite of passage turned out. And as I lingered, I felt the Holy Spirit showing me something He wanted me to know.
The little boy was adorable and captured my heart as I watched him work so hard at riding his bike. But the dad… he was doing the real work! He jogged alongside his son, then dropped behind him to let him feel like he was on his own. Then he’d run and catch up close to him again and sometimes even run ahead to be the look-out for what was coming up along the route. The dad was all over the place, keeping watch, giving instruction, allowing freedom, and staying close but never in the way. The dad was the star of this ride. And I don’t think he ever stopped smiling the entire time. The dad was clearly delighted to be there with his son.
This is how God loves us!
He knows how to give us a push, come alongside, show us what to do, and get out of the way so we can try new things and grow up. He never leaves us. He never forgets where we are, and He always knows what we need the most.
When those little holes in my heart start to send me down a path of shame and sorrow, and I am tempted to believe the lie that God has withheld something good from me, what I need the most is to see who my Father really is.
And God showed me. He always does.
When you feel that familiar ache, that deep sorrow you live with that maybe no one knows about, you could push it down and pretend it’s not there. I’ve done that.
Or, you could indulge it, and throw yourself a pity party. I’ve mastered that one too.
But here’s a better idea:
Let your cry turn into a prayer. If you really want to make it better, be honest with God. Talk to Him about it. Don’t hold back. Tell Him everything! These holes in our hearts might never go away completely, but if we are honest and bring them before the Lord, He will show us who He is through them.
The more I see of Him, the smaller the hole inside of me becomes.
And then keep your eyes open because God will show you WHO He is and how He loves you in ways you never imagined- even through a little boy and his bike.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” -Psalm 105:4
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” -Psalm 84:11
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.” -Zephaniah 3:17
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