One Woman's Pilgrimage
by Linda Bush Cannon
Into every woman’s life comes a broken heart at some point on the path. For some the path is littered by the rubble, and for others it is blessedly infrequent. Caused by many factors, it can be a long-expected tragedy, or it can suddenly appear out of nowhere, no announcement, no preparation… one moment you’re fine and the next you can’t even breath. All you can do is cry and cry and cry… and then cry some more, gasping for air and reeling from the agonizing pain. Or sometimes it just leaves you numb, dead stone cold numb…
Hopes and dreams lie shattered around your feet like blood-soaked bomb shrapnel, and as you drop to your knees you cry out to God. Maybe you can’t even speak. Maybe all that escapes is a groan that only the Holy Spirit can decipher. Maybe it’s nothing more than the choked whisper of the name of Jesus. Prayers you thought were answered are tossed away in confusion, and plans you thought were from the sanctioned center of God’s will have now turned to ashes.
There is no way out. You must go through it. There is no immediate relief, no easy answers, no escape, except perhaps to sleep, and even then the dreams haunt you and taunt you until there is no sanctuary… just pain and sorrow. And you just don’t think you can go through this one more time…
It is in this darkest hour, when there is nothing left of you, that you must remember that God is still God, no matter what. Our understanding is limited, but God is limitless. Through the tears we must seek His face and believe He loves us, and that His heart is breaking as well. We must look past ourselves into His sovereignty, His majesty, and His Lordship, and know that He is God. And know that He is in control. And know someday He will turn these ashes into beauty.
We are not called to an easy walk when we follow Christ. It won’t always make sense, and it may require us to walk through the valley of the shadow of death – including death to self and all our hopes and dreams and desires – put on the altar, sacrificed. We may never know on this side of Heaven the answer to the WHY that we cry out to him over and over. But we must try and find our rest, our peace, the mending and filling of our crushed heart, in Christ alone, our only hope. He loves us with a love that will never abandon us, never leave us… hold fast to this truth. Hold on, even if it’s one minute at a time… hold onto Jesus.
A segment of an old poem called “After Awhile” by Veronica A. Shoffstall:
…And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth and you learn and you learn, with every good-bye you learn.
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You can find her on her website at www.cannoncrosscoaching.com
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