An Ephiphany

Have you ever had one of those moments when you suddenly see the why of something? It comes to you as clear as fresh spring water and floods your soul with freedom and peace. I had one of those on Sunday.

In my last post, I talked about all the loss I've faced in the past five years. I said, "... I don't hurt for the departed. I hurt for the people I love who left behind. I stagger between soul deep pain on their behalves, and shutting my heart off. How can anyone continue in such pain?" I've been trying to work through issues of loss for years. (Not just death of loved ones, but the death of my dreams, too.)

When a friend's husband was killed in a car accident this spring, leaving her and five kids behind, I struggled with my inability to take away their pain. Not just the pain of today, but the pain of all their tomorrows. The graduations. The weddings. The grand-babies. And for the little one, the loss of memories to come. This is a hard thing!

Three families I know have lost a Godly husband and father while another family lost a Godly wife and mother  - all within the last 14 months and at a time in society when broken homes are more the norm than homes that are whole.

Why? I don't understand what God is doing. It's devastating!

At the close of service this past Sunday morning, God opened my eyes to a truth about myself. It's true I feel deeply for people. It's true I want to help heal hurts. It's true I want to comfort and encourage and strengthen others. And there's nothing wrong with those desires.

Until they usurp God. 

He gently reminded me that ultimately it's not my job to comfort hearts, to heal wounds, to give encouragement and lend strength to others. It's the Holy Spirit's job. See, I didn't want to simply give comforting hugs. I literally felt a soul deep responsibility to take away as much of their pain as I could. I wanted to pull it out of their hearts, mend the broken pieces - make their problems go away.

I wanted to do what only God should do. 

You would think this epiphany about myself would have broken me, but in truth it freed me. I can give words of comfort and encouragement. I can pray for them. I can love them, but I shouldn't feel guilty for not being able to fix things or for not always being able to be there for them.

God has a purpose for their pain and I have to trust him with it.

This is, at least in part, why he took my health and refused to let me be the wife, mother, friend, counselor -the woman I always wanted to be. I would have spent my life trying to do God's job. I'm sure I'll still struggle with letting go. For now, I'm just glad to know I don't have to be all the things I thought I should be in order for him to love me.

Are there things you're striving to attain?
Things you think will make God accept you and love you more?


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Linnette. Don't you think women have more of a problem with wanting to take away all the pain...I think it's part of our nurturing nature. But you are so right. We can't do it, only God. And whatever comfort we can give comes from Him as well.
    Thanks for linking this to B&BB. I pray you have a blessed week.

  2. Thanks, Gail! Hope you have a blessed weekend! :)

  3. Visiting from B&BB - such good thoughts. I sometimes do the same, as I have a lot of empathy for others. But good to be reminded of what is my part, and what is God's part. Thanks for sharing!