In your moments of confusion, do you give your heart permission to speak freely?
I smiled, walking towards him across the playground, just a few steps away.
I watched his chubby little legs stand up as he’d done a million times, climbing out of the sandbox, when his feet slipped out from under the sandy slope.
His two-year-old summer-sunned body lunged forward, head first into the corner edge of a play structure.
I run, hoping to only find tears, a bump and a bruise on CJ.
Parents suddenly pressed around me as I held my baby close. I’m rocking, while inspecting, shushing and calmly repeating, as if on automated script, “It’s okay… It’s okay…”
I pour water on him from the water bottle I had with me. I can’t see. Dark red pooling in the gash on his forehead.
“Is he going to die?” older brother TJ asked, his five-year-old voice echoed with worry.
“No, sweetie.” I strap crying CJ into the stroller, maneuver the crinkled bandaid I keep in my purse onto his head, and swallow the fear that is swelling in my throat and pounding in my head . “C’mon. Let’s go. To the doctor’s… Now.”
Last week was one of the most important weeks of the summer. I was counting down the last days before TJ would start his life as kindergartner. Lots of errands to run, paperwork to fill out. But, it was also a wonderful time to catch lazy summer days at the park with sprinklers and sand.
As I clicked CJ’s belt on in the carseat, seeing my son hurt, my response was confusion.
I was just a few seconds from sitting down to dig in the sand with him. I could’ve caught his fall.
Why did you let this happen?
I would’ve never chosen to talk to God this way. But, that is what my heart asked. Unfiltered.
Moment of Need
He didn’t answer my question. Instead, without missing a beat, God spoke into my frantic state with an overwhelming calming thought — like a blanket putting out igniting flames.
His eye could have been injured. Thank God it’s just his head and not his sight.
The danger of a concussion — and the ugliness of a scar — still had it’s hook in my mind.
But God had stepped onto the scene.
God was there in my moment of need.
I knew He was riding with me in the car, even when the extent of the injury was unknown.
Earlier that morning, I meditated on a verse I didn’t realize would come to my rescue —
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
says the Lord who has compassion over you.”
~ Isaiah 54:10
His Lovingkindness — not removed.
His Covenant of peace — not shaken.
Compassion — the Lord has over you.
Do you run into moments of confusion during the day?
Give Yourself Permission
We try to safeguard ourselves against confusion. We plan, we double-check, we pray. But God stands ready to step into our confusion.
We sometimes feel like we have to have hide our fears and our doubts.
But, God welcomes them because He welcomes us.
God is big enough to absorb each time our world shakes — whether with silent tremors or big rippling effects.
When you are worried about what you have to go through, remember the Lord’s hands are open and ready for you: His lovingkindness, His covenant of peace, His compassion.
Give your heart permission to speak.
God may not answer the why, but He will answer and give you everything you need to get through the what. Himself.
In other words, everything your heart needs.
The good news is there was no concussion. My cute pie is alive.
But, a story doesn’t have to be perfect in order to be beautifully God-breathed.
I know things could have turned out differently.
In the end, I did have to spend a couple hours in a confined space at urgent care with a crying toddler and restless boy, while I ran worst-case scenarios in my head and played an unbearable number of made-up games. Slight version of torture, if you ask me.
I did have to burrito wrap my body around CJ to hold him down, as needle and thread sewed him up in stitches.
But, I finished the day thanking God. He gave my heart space to speak freely.
In turn, He lovingly carried me through the ordeal, big enough to handle all my fears with His lovingkindness, peace and compassion.
If you could give your heart permission to speak freely, what would you say?
Which one of the three is your heart longing to feel: God’s lovingkindness, peace, or compassion?
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I read your blog eveyday. It is always a blessing to me and I
forward it on to friends who I think it will bless. Friends who
I know are having a hard time or a specific need.Thank you for
taking the time to write and Hearing what God is whispering to
Have a blessed Day
Rhonda – what an encourager you are to your friends.. and to me! Thank you for the grace!
More and more God has been showing me that He can handle all that I am…even if I am confused, hurt, disappointed, tired, angry. He can handle it. It’s not necessary for me to hide because He already knows. Thanks for sharing.
What a wonderful expression of your trust, Wanda — giving all of yourself to Him and finding Him gentle and accepting.
If I could speak freely, I would shout out about relationships — why people selfishly walk away. I dont blame God for this — since usually it’s someone on the run from God. But there is no greater pain. That’s my heart cry.
Being abandoned is one of the greatest human pains. Our Lord Jesus has tasted this, knows our cries and is faithful to see us through the grief to mend and heal.
I have spoken freely from the heart to God and I asked why, did you allow abuse of my past? Where were you in all of it? Why did I feel so alone? And it is when I finally started doing this that I began to heal. Sharing my heart with God and others is when healing began. It has been four years since I started this process, and I see God’s hand every step of the way. God has used it to help others.
Psalm 139:7-12 “7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
Chils, Katie (the good kind). I’ve asked those same questions and those verses of Psalm 139 nursed me back to the loving reality of God’s care through it all. No easy answers, but in that dark place, when you hear God’s voice, the soul begins to heal. You are beautiful, friend.
By the way, I quoted the last part and gave you credit on FB and tagged you.
I would said unto God why my husband forsake me & break the marriage vow? It’s so painful & hurtful. My heart longs to feel all of the above: His lovingkindness, peace & compassion. Amen.
Christine, My heart aches for you. I can relate to those feelings. From one who has been there….. Jesus is strong, let Him carry you.
Christine – my heart aches to hear your cry. Lord Jesus, be near my friend and carry her, as lovely Dawn says.
god has definitely been teaching me to be unfiltered and fully honest with both Him and with myself. sometimes i just wish the whole being honest thing changed circumstances more! hello learning patience and waiting, but i do think there’s much to be learned and much that is sweet when you do have those get real talks with god =)
LOL. I know, katy. I wish it did too! 🙂 Every time. Love you unfiltered, girl!
Speaking freely is something that I do often with God. It looks a little different for me. If I pray by myself–whether in my head or out loud–I tend to get distracted, so I have found that writing out my prayers are the best thing for me. It helps me keep my thoughts straight (not planned, but straight) and it allows me an open space to pray as much as I want and to be as open as I need to be.
Oh, writing prayers is VERY addictive — and it has a way of drawing the heart out, like uncorking incense… letting it out. It starts to flow. Love that you shared this, Amy.
“A story doesn’t have to be perfect in order to be beautifully God- breathed.”
Waist deep in the middle of a bloody battle against cancer with my four year old son, beauty was all around us. Pain and toxic chemo and gut wrenching fear could not compete with the loving kindness, peace and unrelenting compassion that God poured over our bent heads daily.
And Lord knows my heart has done some “free speaking” through it all. A wild combination of angry tears, beating fists and surprising gratefulness for the whole mess.
Today I am aching for God’s compassion. I dislike being needy. But if I’ve learned anything at all, it’s to go ahead and be broken and empty and wanting before a God who has walked very close beside me in some utterly dark places. He can be trusted. He does not stand with His back to me. Instead He sets a place for me……
Your last paragraph……are you sure you weren’t talking to me? Thank you for your insight, even in the midst of pain…..
Wow, such depth and richness of soul words, Julie. I pictured you like the woman who broke her costly jar of perfume, washing Jesus’ feet with tears … and her love. May God honor your desire for His compassion and may moments of it flood you in the coming week, so that you know you are known and loved by Him.
Amazing testimony, Julie. Our God is SO AMAZING…only He would forge beauty out of ashes, and redeem experiences that are filled with pain. I am encouraged by reading your words today, and renewed to go into my own day….
Thank you for sharing. Having a son who it seemed was always getting hurt, and having been to the doctor or ER for one reason or another, I can totally relate. Now he’s grown up along with my other two kids. But that’s not what spoke to me, reading your blog. This week (year) has brought so many changes so fast. To give a brief overview; eldest son in AirForce getting married, second son starting college and daughter graduating from high school this year. To top it off this week, my husbands grandmother, whom he was close to, passed away. I have to admit my reaction Sunday night wasn’t what I thought it should have been. Instead of praising God that she wasn’t suffering any longer, I was more like, ” Just how much do you think I can handle how strong do you think I am, God?” . And in that moment I could hear Him say, ” you’re not but I AM.” And just that simple, His peace surrounded me. It was so freeing to allow my heart to speak openly. Like a huge weight was lifted. And today, after reading your blog, I realize that what my heart is saying is, ” God I need Your peace.” Thanks again so much for sharing.
Lisa, thanks so much for sharing. God’s words are blanket of calmness over igniting flames.
Over the last several months, I have been allowing my heart to speak more freely, as I have experienced some difficult times with infertility and miscarriage throughout the past year and half. While some may prefer to keep thier thoughts and feelings about their experiences to themselves or just amongst their family, which is fine and not at all wrong, I feel (and hope!) that God is using my experience to help encourage others who are going through a similar situation. I feel as though my blog has been an outlet for me and a source of healing. I also feel that if my experiences encourage even one person, then it is worth God giving my heart permission to speak freely to help provide lovingkindness, peace AND compassion to others.
Your post reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Thank you so much, Dawn, for sharing that encouraging and appropriate verse from 2 Corinthians. I may just have to add that verse, permanently, to my blog! 🙂
Terri, your faith is inspiring. In the midst of suffering, you open up to others. God never intends us to be alone, eventhough we must each carry our own crosses. Thank you for sharing your story here, friend.
Thank you, too, Bonnie, for always being so encouraging and for always providing a warm and hospitable place to share our thoughts, our faith and even our needs. Your posts and thought provoking topics always help others reach deep into their hearts and souls to seek their own strength and to better see/hear God’s will for their life.
Five months into my second marriage at the ripe old age of 33 and I’m already separated from my husband. The confusion is overwhelming. My dad so hurt by it all cried out to God in front of me, “Why, God, did you allow this marriage to take place? If you knew the beginning to the end, why did you let these two walk down the aisle?” My words to my Maker have not been as nice. But in the midst of the discouragement, brokenness, pain and confusion I dig deep, and if I find no answer I go deeper still. I wrestle with the angel like Jacob did, and I demand to be given some light in the midst of the storm. God answers. He shows Himself to me in the hug and kiss of my 7 year old. He reminds me of where I have been and where I am now. Though the storm rages on, I am no longer sinking down like I did 5 years ago, but now I walk on water because I learned how to keep my eyes steadily on His face. He answers me still with gentle words showing me the hardness and pride still in my heart. And He whispers, “I want to heal you of this my daughter. This is not who you are.” He wants to use this “bad” circumstance and mold once again to look more like Him and less like me. Thank you God for your compassion, lovingkindness and peace that permeates in the midst of a raging hurricane.
Wrestling like Jacob did. What a great word picture…… Praying for you,sister.
Janelle — simply faith-inspiring. You are turning to God in your heart-breaking injury and He is faithfully yours, no matter what. He makes beauty out of everything, even the broken parts of our story.
I long for peace…..I’ve been in an “unsettled” state for a while. Life is good in a lot of ways for me, but there is this nagging voice inside of me that there is more. More. I’ve tried different things and doors have slammed shut. So, I get through that, but then wonder….if not those things, than what? I wish that God would give me a glimpse of His plan. I just need peace about it. Hard for me…. so hard.
Dawn, keep praying for that peace while your dreams may seem frozen. At my lowest lows, God inspired me with this “See this time as a season of fasting. Not for food, but for your dreams. And while you are fasting, draw near to me for strength, look for ways to encourage and bless others, and nurture your beautiful heart for me. Don’t confuse this time of fasting with lack of favor in my eyes. I value your faith in me. It’s going to be worth something amazing in eternity when I see you.” That is His answer for me, but He has one just.for.you. Keep seeking. Don’t give up. You’re beautiful Dawn. Through and through. You are more than your circumstances.
Staying through suffering; remaining in pain. I couldn’t live hope and joy without the God who sustains me in the midst of a corrupted relationship. It is hard not to run away to a place that seems safer and hide in a shelter of my own making. But the reality is that all places contain the seeds of suffering, even if they have not yet sunk roots deep.
He can deal with the questions I ask, so long as I don’t listen to the evil whisper, “Did God REALLY say…?” And start asking myself whether God REALLY is good, instead of asking him HOW he is good when I can’t see it.
Dependent suffering draws us nearer to Christ. If so, then why resent when the reward is so abundantly more than the price. He is my shelter … because I need shelter. He is my strength … because I need strength. He is my life … because I need life. He is my joy … because I need joy…. The promises aren’t about my circumstances, but rather his overwhelmingly good presence, no matter where I am.
“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” Psalm 62:8. The idea of pouring my heart out to God unfiltered has been on my mind. I have a habit of talking to God about what I think He wants to hear, but prayers from the deepest pits of my heart are left unspoken. It’s a funny reality that it takes panick/fear to open the gates of our hearts. Thanks, Bonnie
I would say, “God, Why? Why, when i raised my children to love you are they rejecting you completely. why, after living YOU, serving YOU, teaching YOU, has one decided he is an atheist. I know they are only 20 still but WHY? My #1 goal was to raise them to love you. I gave it 100% and cannot think of much I would do it different if I had to relive it.” That is my why! i don’t usually give myself the opportunity to ask. I just pray. But, of the three, i need peace: peace that He will lead their hearts to Him.
I love this….I did this just yesterday morning when my heart was holding so much it just couldn’t contain it all and I had to let it pour out. Some of it was confession; some of it was joy, and some of it was “why is my life like this?” I went on and on…knowing I could say anything to God and He would listen, gently sift it, and give back to me what I needed to hear. He answered me in a way I couldn’t have even predicted, showed me more of Himself than He ever has, and was faithful to me throughout the day to provide for me in just the ways He had promised He would (and that I doubted).
I’ve tried to encourage my children, also, as they walk through dark waters at times, that they can say anything to God. They can even yell; He can take it. They can question; He has answers. They can tell Him they downright don’t like what’s going on; He can soothe. We don’t have to play pretty Christian and pretend we love our lives all the time. But we do need to acknowledge Him as the source of all life and power, all of the time.
Thank you for reminding me that God can handle my doubt and confusion. I need God’s peace right now, and yet I am struggling with a restless spirit and an overall unsettling feeling. I am starting a new job, which I need to do for financial reasons, but my heart is just not in it. I am a hard worker and don’t mind working, but God has placed dreams in my heart that I pray will come to fruition and this job feel so left field..if that makes sense. I am trusting God and will be obedient to walk through this open door and pray that He will begin to breakthrough in other areas of my life soon. My heart is to be a wife and mother (God has some quick work here…I am single and 42), work my stay at home business and encourage/mentor women to be all that God made them to be.
Thank you for listening and for bringing encouragement.
Lisa- take heart….even though you can’t see the reason for this job, God is directing your paths! He knows the dreams He’s placed in your heart and won’t let them go. Hang in there!
Thank you Beth. I just keep reminding myself to trust and be obedient and God will provide the breakthrough in His perfect timing. This lengthy season of waiting is so painful, but worth every tear when He receives the glory.
My 4 month old son died of SIDS this year. I pray for peace to move forward. Even though I don’t really want to move forward. It’s hard to pray unfiltered when I’m not even sure what is in my head. Sometimes I just say I don’t know what to think or say or do God, so just put me where you want me and tell me what to say.
Bonnie, I’ll say it again: you spur me on, you inspire me, you are used of God to increase my faith. This part:
“Instead, without missing a beat, God spoke into my frantic state …”
…yeah. It’s so good to experience that. I have been in many frantic states. 🙂
Oh, “Help, help, help!” and “cover me!” and “be Lord of this” are some of my favorite cries of the heart. I thought I live too unfiltered and need more filters, but then I might have to evaluate where that message is coming from. Thanks Bonnie!
I would ask God why my cottage hasn’t sold yet and why I haven’t met a really, nice Christian man to share the rest of my life with. I know it’s in God’s time and that’s the best time but we humans want things when we want them. I am staying calm and just waiting for the Lord to move and I know He will. I would want his loving kindness to surround me all the time. I know He is there but sometimes I can’t hear him because of the busyness of my life. I am trying to slow down and wait upon the Lord. He has guided me and taken care of me thus far so I know He will continue to for the rest of my life. God bless Bonnie, it’s nice to talk to you. I do have friends to talk to but sometimes I need someone else to speak at. Love you
Thank you! I’m in a state of being unsettled right now. Things are just not right within me and I am saying things like “I should have’s or I shouldn’t be’s….” a friend pointed this out to me yesterday. I am only evalutating myself negatively and not realistically. I made the comment I’m not spending good quality time with God and I guess I need to go away to do that for a day or so but I shouldn’t have to do that!
Her answer: WHY NOT? Why shouldn’t I have to go away??? There is nothing wrong with that because that is when God does some of his best work in me! She’s right! I need all of these things from God, peace, compassion etc.
I’m always asking why but I’m learning to say, now what? Its so very hard to do when my tempermant is one that is emotionally driven. I react emotionally to everything instead of rationally and realistically. Eventually I see the reasoning and can think rationally but it takes a minute to get there.
Now about your little man. Its situations like those that I become most focused and driven. I function in medical crisis situations like a completely different person. Guess thats the nurse in me coming out. But things of the heart that are my own personal matters send me in circles! I’m glad he just needed some stitches and will be okay. It may take you a little longer to get past the trauma of it though!
Sometimes i don’t have any words to say, when my heart can speak freely. i can only cry hoping it’ll lessen the pain a broken man has brought to my life. i am a single-working mother, and i’m longing to be embrace with compassion from God. and i long for rest. Rest from weariness and pressure at work, rest from great expectations, and freedom from the pain that left my heart broken. i just want to smile and laugh. and not faking it.
This post really struck a chord with me. I have been blindsided time and again by external circumstances over which I did have control over and sometimes not. Soo hard to see the blessing(s) within the pain though. Too hard at times. Right now I’m grappling with the loss in my community of a really good girlfriend of mine who’s also a missionary (Jesus calls to certain places, she follows). She told me she was staying at least till the beginning of October, but He’s calling her away now. I really don’t want her to go, but I know in my heart she’ll be back in God’s timing.
My heart, unfiltered right now: Why are You putting me through this pain?
What my heart needs desperately right now: I’d say it’s a toss up between God’s lovingkindness and His peace.
His Peace…this scripture is so good. He speaks it over me all the time. Praise God. I have been in a place for way too long and now I can’t seem to get out. Like in a pit. Feeling hopeless and I can’t see a way out even though I know in my heart of hearts that the exit is always there, just around the corner and that God is Mighty & powerful and is not by MY might nor strength but by His. Still, I long for His peace. For Fellowship with Him to be restored and back to how it was..no..even more than what it was. I have been in a dry and weary land for so long. Maybe of my own making. Like the Prodigal Son. I know He is calling me back home but its hard to pick up and go. Don’t know why. It just is. Thank you for this scripture, your words, your story, I praise God for His lovingkindness over you and your precious little one is ok.
My mind gets muddled with worry, displaced guilt, and the urge to please everyone.
Maybe I should choose peace?
Peace, stillness…the lack of voices running around in my head telling me what I am doing wrong.
Yes, peace and God’s lovingkindness.
Whoa, Nelly…I love this! Just shared it on my FB wall! Thank you again, Bonnie!
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