June 8, 2011

When It's Not Okay

She and I were in a kitchen, preparing food, arranging trays. The next room bustled with energy and excitement and conversation from friends and children and husbands. Shoulder to shoulder at the counter, I (the aching, childless one) said to my friend, ‘They came over to announce they were pregnant last night.’

For a moment the house seemed silent. We were alone in the quiet of a moment, our long friendship made solid while walking this shared road of infertility. Her heart (though her arms are full) well remembered this ache; well remembered the grief of watching others move ahead along the road to motherhood while feeling isolated, left behind.

I tried to muster up other words, shrugged helplessly. My desperate attempts to express the twin ache of thankfulness and loneliness fell short. I fumbled and dropped ill-fitting words into the air, onto the counter and finally, over the gooey mess, I managed: ‘It’s okay. I’m okay.’

And my friend, cupcake icing on fingers, wrapped her arm around my shoulder and whispered to my aching heart: ‘No. It doesn’t have to be okay.’

It’s not okay.
It doesn’t have to be okay.
It can hurt right now, because it’s hard.
And sometimes the best thing we can do is avoid pretending that the pain is something other than pain.

Because really, isn’t that the heart’s cry some days?

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
~ Psalm 13:1&2

David knew. He knew that sometimes it’s just not okay… that sometimes it just plain hurts. And not just the ‘tight pinch’ kind of hurt but the heart-wrenching, breath-snatching, kick-in-the-gut pain that doubles you over and leaves you sobbing.

I know that pain.
Maybe you know that pain, too.

Today, if pain, sorrow, or grief is making your throat ache with unspent tears, will you let me whisper to your heart that it doesn’t have to be okay?

No more pretending. No more stubborn chin, brave face.
Let shoulders shake, tears fall.
Hunker down into grief, knowing that grace could never leave you there.
And cry out.

God knows. The Word knows the pain of a life lived in a beat up, busted world.

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17

There, in the dark shade of grief, He’s waiting to quiet you with his love, to rejoice over you. There, in the dark, will be the only Light that matters. Let Him sing your heart back to Him
Thelma is wife, writer, and relentless joy-seeker: a Canadian girl learning to love God, her best friend and the joys and sorrows of their life as two. When she's not writing or putting her feet up, she likes to pretend she knows a thing or two about photography and dreams of running a marathon some day.

Author Website: Life as Two