An Open Letter to The Hurting.

Dear the precious soul hurting today,

As you know, the unfortunate part of living in a fallen world are the unfair hurts that it forces upon us. Through death of a loved one, through divorce, through abuse, through disappointments, through chronic illnesses, through depression… This list can go on forever. Pain is real and oh so deeply personal. It’s inescapable. It strips us of hope. It sucks the breath out of us. It leaves our minds clouded. It leaves our hearts in our stomachs. I’m not a stranger to the feeling either. In fact, the feeling has become quite the acquaintance.

If you’re in the hurting today, you might still be in the hurting tomorrow. You might still be in the hurting in a year from now. But the thing about Jesus is, He doesn’t leave us there. He meets us in our mourning and breathes new life.

The title of my blog is “From Ruin to Redemption” because that’s what Jesus does. I tweeted this the other day…

…and that’s what God does. He sees the ruin and is always faithful to bring it to redemption. That’s what I love about God: He oh so creatively takes each situation, each death, each anxiety, each hurt, each sickness and works it for our good if we let Him. We are never without hope of redemption. We are never too far gone to come back home. We have never sinned too much for the Lord to lavish His grace. We are never in too much pain for His comfort to fall upon us.

In this time of hurting, I beg you, cling to the hope of Jesus and the promises of Scripture.

Here’s a promise to cling to: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” – 1 Peter 5:10

And here’s another one: “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” – 2 Corinthians 4:17

Dear hurting soul,
Please know that it’s okay to be weary. It’s okay to be angry at God. It’s okay to weep. It’s okay to scream. It’s okay to be confused. But amidst these times, remind yourself of the hope of Revelation 21:3-4 which says:

“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Cling to these promises so tightly and remind yourself of this promise that is to come.

Oh sweet friend, your pain has such a purpose and your pain is oh so temporary. But while it’s here, let it bring you to your knees in surrender because whether you feel it or not, He is clinging to you. He’s whispering “My child, come to Me. I have something better for you than you could ever ask or imagine. Don’t walk away from Me in this time, but seek Me and you will find Me in the middle of your pain. I’m right there with you. I’m in this with you.”

A friend of mine recently told me of a vision that someone had, who we will call Maria, that went something like this:

Maria was at the most elegant ball and everyone was dressed in the most extravagant dresses and tuxedos. She looked down at her dress and noticed that it was full of stains. She was immediately filled with shame and embarrassment, and left to go hide in the corner of the room in hopes that no one would see her. She sees this man from across the room wearing white coming over to her, and she said “don’t come near me,” completely ridden with shame. He comes to her, holds out his hand and after much hesitation, she finally took his hand and he pulled her close. She pulled back, looked at him, and saw that all of her stains got onto his white outfit. Flustered, she looks away. Once she looked back at him, she noticed that he is completely clean, so she looks down at her dress and her stains have also been removed.

Dear hurting child,
This is Jesus. This is Jesus for you.
He takes all our guilty stains on as if they’re His own and removes them from us completely.

He was striped for you.
His blood was shed for you.
He rose again for you.

Hold onto hope, my friend. He has good plans. He is holding out His hand to you this very second saying “Your stains no longer belong to you. They belong to Me. But I can only remove them if you give Me your hand and let Me pull you close.”

It gets better. It might get worse before it gets better, but sweet friend, it gets better.

Please cling to the Father.
Please surround yourself with friends who will speak truth over you.
Please take advantage of community.
Please don’t just read the Bible, but learn it. Soak in it. Rest in it.

Please grieve in whatever way is healthy for you.

I don’t know why you’re hurting today, but oh sweet friend, my heart is hurting with you. I’m carrying this burden with you. You are never alone, and you are never unloved. We’re in this fight together.

“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.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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