Does Jesus Care?

Photo Credit: Cathy Baird

Photo Credit: Cathy Baird

You may be familiar with that old-time hymn, “Does Jesus Care?” I’m really thankful that Frank* was asking the same question in 1901 that I have been asking in 2015.

In the song, Frank asks, “Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth or song?” And, “Does Jesus care […] when my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks – Is it aught to Him? Does He see?”

When deep pain enters our lives, we have to ask these hard questions. It’s who we are. There may be something wrong with us if we don’t ask them at least a little bit. You’re not betraying God if you ask them. If you’re angry with God, it’s okay. He can take it. He already knows your anger, so you might as well be honest with Him.

I’ve asked God these hard questions. It took a while to get an answer. Sometimes it feels like no one is listening.

In my pain, I was thinking God was doing hurtful things to me and expecting me to pull myself up by my own boot straps. Then a friend looked me in the face and said, “I want you to know God is grieving with you. He isn’t expecting you to be okay.” That rocked my world and changed my perspective.

I started letting God grieve with me. Instead of trying to act strong when talking to God, I told Him how I really felt. I fell apart with Him. And you know what I found? Grace. Grace that heals. I found God’s heart resonating with my own. I found not only does He care, He is grieving with me!

So, along with Frank, I say:

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

 

*Does Jesus Care? was written by Frank E. Graeff in 1901.

 

 

Infertility’s Impact

hand-garden-flower-dandelionOn April 10 we received the confirmation through surgery that we are not able to have children. I was in shock. I underwent the surgery to find out if I have endometriosis and if so to clear away problem growth to make it easier to get pregnant. I was not prepared for the doctor to tell us the damage cannot be reversed. The massive weight of this news didn’t start hitting my heart until four days later.

The past weeks have been a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs. In the downs, I have never felt this level of grief before. Hours of ugly crying ensues. On those bad days I am afraid to interact with the world around me. It feels like emotional land mines are everywhere. Even making my doctor’s appointment the other day I was bombarded with the dreaded, “why don’t you have kids yet,” question.

It has been a long journey. Four and a half years of trying, hoping, praying, wondering…suddenly ended. Years of testing… done forever. The Death of a Dream.

Scripture says, “hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov. 13:12). Let me tell you my heart has been throwing up all over the place. I’m realizing that this isn’t like other pains and hardships I’ve experienced in my life thus far. This is something that is life-long. I know the majority of the pain will be healed but it will always be there at some level – like a battle scar. There will always be baby showers, birthing stories, pregnant friends, and people who won’t understand. It feels like being suddenly cut off from a shared experience of 80% of the women I know.

Today is a good day. My heart is hopeful and my eyes are on Jesus. I know He knows and He cares. Scripture says He was, “a man of sorrows, acquainted with the deepest grief” (Is. 53:3). He is with me in this pain. He is actually the only One who can fully understand it. I’m clinging to truth about Him today. He is faithful. There are other days when clinging to truth doesn’t come so easy, but today, this is where I stand.