This reminder arrived just yesterday in the news of a friend who discovered they’re in the fight of their life against a rare disease. The questions of why and what does the future hold penetrated our conversation.
I’ve been praying ever since. But the weight of the conversation still remains.
Heavy. Awkward. Uncomfortable.
I know they’re hurting. While I don’t know their pain, I know my own, and my heart is filled with compassionate ache for them.
Sooner or later all of us are thrust into situations where we struggle with an achy breaky heart with God.
The flood of emotions. The tension of hope and despair. The wonderment of why was this allowed and why didn’t God stop it. The swing between doubt and faith. The swirl of fear and trust. No wonder our hearts feel so achy-breaky before God.
For some, the weapon of choice is withdrawal. Like a fuzzy puppy, to crawl under the house and lick our wounds and let out a faint whine.
Others strap on the weapon of anger for size. They lash out and rip into anything and anyone who passes by.
And some just prefer digging a hole of denial. Maybe if they wait long enough, it will all go away.
Yet achy breaky hearts rarely heal on their own.
When we try to heal them ourselves we end up with infections. Scar tissue. Complications. Distortions of our understanding of God and others.
Perhaps that’s why God is adamant that we come to Him.
Wholly. Fully. Completely.
Bruised. Broken. Blistered.
God is our Holy Balm.
Healing. Restoring. Renewing. Bringing clarity to the confusion. Faith to override fears. Stillness to the chaos.
And the doctor’s office for the achy breaky heart is found in the Laments. Those dark, shadowy Psalms where you can say anything, even the most unspeakables, to God.
This simple practice is a way to let it rip with God. To bring yourself, your whole self, doubts, fears, angst, and all before Him. This is unedited, uncensored you before God seeking healing, honesty, and wholeness.
Here’s how to write a lament:
1. Write a few sentences describing the achy-breaky place in your heart. Write what you’re feeling without filter, without judgment.
2. Write a few sentences elaborating on the problem and it’s implications.
3. Pause for a moment and ask how God wants to come to you in and through this. How is God revealing Himself in this painful ache.
4. Reword your problem and complaint through the lens of how God has revealed Himself.
5. Write a concluding statement of how you sense God is leading you. Include a word of praise.
6. Conclude with a declaration of your trust in God.
7. Such a simple practice can bring about restoration and healing as it clears the air with God and our innermost emotions, doubts, and fears.
Over the last few years, I’ve been discovering the importance of lament as a doorway to mourning. As I write in Fight Back With Joy, (and it may sound counterintuitive):
Joy waits in the morning and the mourning.
In order to walk in the fullness of joy, we must learn to mourn well.
My hope and prayer is that you will discover lament as a portal to healthy mourning and healing and allow the fullness of joy to blossom in your heart again.
What is the achy breaky place in your heart today? Will you consider writing a lament?
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