I had high hopes for 2018. My husband and I were getting ready to move into our first house, we were planning to visit far-away family for the holidays, and we were eight weeks pregnant with our first child. Our life honestly felt like something out of a Hallmark movie. Until it didn’t. The day after Christmas, we hopped off a plane and instead of getting to reveal our good news, I had a miscarriage at my in-laws’ house. Life hurts sometimes, you know?
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you’ve also experienced a loss, whether it was a miscarriage, a loved one, or the loss of a relationship. Maybe you’re going through a tough season of parenting, delayed dreams, or financial stress. No matter what your story is, the truth is that life hurts sometimes, but I promise there is still hope. As I was processing the physical and emotional pain of the loss of the child I already loved but never got to meet, I remember crying out to God, asking Him to give me hope. Then, out of the blue, this verse popped into my head:
… you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 NIV
I didn’t need to ask for more hope. I needed to be reminded of the hope I already have. Because as followers of Christ, when life hurts, we get to look to heaven. We get to rest in the promise that our suffering is temporary, but our hope is eternal.
I decided in that moment that I had two choices. I could let this pain draw me closer to Jesus, or I could push Him away. Now, don’t mistake those choices. Choosing to draw closer to Jesus does not mean we can’t be angry, confused, or doubtful. In fact, it would be weird to not experience those emotions.
Like, imagine for a second that I told my best friend about my miscarriage, and I smiled the whole time or acted stoic. She’d probably be freaked out. But we often do that with God. We think, for whatever reason, that He doesn’t want to see our doubts or our pain, so we hide them. And we offer Him a shallow, surface-level relationship instead of a deep, life-giving one. But here’s the thing: Jesus isn’t mad at you for experiencing painful emotions. He just wants to experience them with you.
David wrote in Psalm 34:18 NIV: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
David knew that better than anyone. The Psalms are full of David laying out all his feels and experiencing the presence of God through them. And when I think of David, I think about how he’s called a man after God’s own heart. But it’s not because he never doubted. I think it’s because he never hid his heart from God. He let his hurts draw him toward heaven.
When my heart was breaking, God was right there with me. That’s why we can still hope when life hurts. Because even though bad things happen to us, God always walks through them with us. And, we don’t mourn like those who have no hope. We get the comfort of knowing exactly how everything will turn out in the end. This Bible verse was a game-changer for me in the middle of one of my toughest seasons.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. …” Revelation 21:4 NIV
In the middle of our deepest hurts, we can cling to the freedom that heaven is coming. The pain of losing our baby will one day be eclipsed by the joy of getting to meet them in heaven. That’s why there’s still hope when life hurts. Because God will make every wrong right, every injustice just, and every hurt healed. He is with us in our heartbreak, in our healing, and in our hope. We just need to trust Him with our whole hearts, knowing that He is our deepest hope.