It Comes

I can feel it coming.  The storm. The crying jag for no apparent reason.  The way my throat thickens as I try and keep the emotions battened down because work really isn’t the place where tears for no reason should fall.

I don’t like these days.  The days where my heart beats like a drum with anxiety and I can feel the pressure mounting and where, just where does one go when you don’t know why you’re crying?  Where do you find answers for the questions you don’t even know how to ask?  Where does one go when the reason for the pain seems buried so deep you wonder what it will take to heal it.

I know what will be said.  I know what has been said to my anxious thoughts, my emotions that so very often run away from me.

“Trust that God has it all under control, you shouldn’t worry so much”

And here’s the thing. I know He does.  I know that today, this day, He has everything in the palm of His hand.  Everything, including my anxiety and the depression that will creep in and settle like a mist, it is in His control.  But there are days, really there are just days when putting one foot in front of the other is harder than it should be.  There are days when I can’t give you a reason for why I’m feeling what I’m feeling – I just am.  Trust me when I tell you, that if I knew the reason or even the cure, I would be the first one in line.  Sign me up!


What if… what if we were meant to lean into our pain?  I mean really lean in and press on the outer of edges of it until it oozed?  What if we were meant to lean in instead of run in the other direction?  What if we were meant to feel around the edges of our wounds because there we might actually feel Him?

It seems counterintuitive, I know.  To lay open our wounds, the jagged edges raw and red. 


What if the uncovering of those hurts actually becomes the open door for healing? 

And I think that Jesus may have actually taught us about leaning in.  He may actually have showed us that feeling pain is not wrong.

“Jesus wept” (John 11:35). 

The shortest verse in the bible and when we read through it in our haste to get to the end of the story we forget one thing – He wept.  Undone with grief and empathy for those surrounding Lazarus’ tomb He wept. Perhaps He wept with even the thought of losing a friend and seeing him buried.


It’s what comes next that has me fingering gossamer threads of hope today.

Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”  (John 11:38-40)

Jesus knew what was behind that stone.  Knew that death lay foul.  That time had already ravaged a body that no longer pumped with life’s blood.  He knew that decay had seeped in, cells had broken down and muscles long past rigor had become atrophied.

Martha knew what was behind that stone too – “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”    Even with Jesus the Son of Man, the Messiah standing close her head could only believe what she knew to be true – it would stink!

And yet He uncovered the mess of pain, of death and of decay in order to illuminate the glory of God.

I don’t need to run from my pain.  I don’t need to hide my wounds and cover the scent of death.  I need to lean in because there in the middle is the glory of God.  Joy cannot replace pain, it cannot cover it, it cannot remove it.  No, joy emerges, bold and beautiful right in the middle of it – Just like Lazarus being raised from the dead. 

I do trust God.  I trust that He will be my rock in this difficult time.  I trust that when I’m feeling overwhelmed and undone it will be His arms that come up and around and surround me until the wave of pain subsides.


  1. Absolutely beautiful, Tonya! So often I want to avoid the tears and the pain–I figure I’ve dealt with enough, already. But you’re right, God wants to reveal our stench in order to show his glory.

  2. Anita, Thank you for listening to my heart today. Blessings to you. {hugs}

  3. I have no words. You spoke them all for me. I’m in that place today. Thank you.

  4. This is so beautiful, Tonya! I totally agree that when we lean into our pain rather than run from it, we discover His glory. It is there that we experience His healing. I can so relate. Blessings to you!

  5. This is painfully beautiful, Tonya. I pray that in the hard leaning in on open wounds that the healing is deeper. Prayers and virtual hugs coming your way!

  6. Sara – thank you! Praying for you {Hugs}

  7. This is fabulous! Love it.

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