lament and hope

I got to hang out with an awesome person from my church this week and she gave me an assignment. I told her my relationship with God was shaky, awkward, and frustrating since M's diagnosis and other changes that have been happening in our family. She told me to read Lamentations 3. The man who wrote it sounds a bit crazy; he starts off essentially whining and complaining about how terrible his life is and all the reasons why it's God's fault. Then there is a shift, and he acknowledges that even in the midst of his trials and sufferings, there are things about God He knows to be true and cannot deny. Ultimately, he throws his hands in the air to the whole thing at the end and admits God's ownership of his whole life anyway, and surrenders it. My friend asked me to sit down and write my own Lament after reading this passage, following the same outline. It pulled concealed feelings and deep truths out of my heart. I don't normally share things from my time with God on my blog or anywhere else online, it's sacred to me. But this I felt compelled to share- maybe it will minister to you. Maybe you need to write your own heart's lament. It was healing and encouraging, and gave me some new life when I really needed it.

I am the woman whose heart God broke.
I curated a whole life's worth of beautiful dreams--each one a masterpiece--and the will of God has vandalized almost every last one.
Each dream has been taken down piece by piece, blow by blow.
My future no longer feels exciting or vibrant, but rather appears to be a slow, life-stealing, monotonous labor. And for what? I'm not sure.
He muddied my waters so I couldn't see which way I was supposed to swim. 
He placed impassible obstacles in my path and said, "Keep going."
He has worn me down to my last threads; at any moment the whole rope could snap, and still he adds more weight to my load. Does He even know what He's doing?!
I've been battered, blind folded, spun around and sent into a fog; a fog about which I know nothing except that I do not get the things my heart always longed for and I must keep searching anyway.
I am immersed in confusion; voices shout at me from all angles with contradictory instruction and I don't know which to follow. 
Why should I care? Why should I keep trying?
God, where did you go and why did you leave me for dead?

I don't want to hope anymore; I am too tired. And yet I cannot help but hope because of what I know to be true of You:

Your museum of dreams for my life makes my masterpieces look like chicken scratch and stick figures.
When I feel as though my future is dead, Your number one priority is that I would be fully alive.
Though the waters are muddy to me, You can see clearly; dark is light to you.
My sight is limited; You know the secret pathways through all impassible obstacles.
You are like a hot, rich, caramelly cup of coffee at 4am when I wish I were sleeping and must stay awake; just the thing I needed.
When the voices rage and I'm pulled in all directions, Yours is the quiet, steady undertone I usually miss due to distraction.
I'm here for a reason, and that reason was etched in my heart from my very beginning; it will emerge in Your time and with my faithfulness.

God, You made me and You know my story even before I have lived it. 
You created my character to play a role in Your grand plot.
I cannot control my setting, I cannot control how others handle their roles in Your Story, and I cannot always understand what You do. 
But I know who You are, and that is why I trust You. 
You are my only comfort, my only hope.
I'm putting all my eggs in Your basket; I'm all in, with nothing to lose. 
Let's rebuild my heap of debris into Your dreams.


  1. Emily, my sweet, sweet niece, your post has touched my heart (they usually do). I have imagined your pain and heartbreaking position...wondering what I could do. You have always been so close to my heart. After all, who would drive all the way across the USA with a 3 yr old? Singing...?? :) Your maturity, faith and love are such examples to all of us. You are in God's eyes and hands. Trust in Him to be with you, Mike and especially Maddy. He will take care of you & give you peace. I believe that with all my heart. Aunt Kathy

  2. Having worked in childcare with many children with disabilities, I can only offer this to you. It takes a special, calm, compassionate, loving, spiritual, talented, and caring person to be a parent of a child with special needs. You sound like you fit right into this category! I haven't been personally BLESSED with a child with special needs because I don't possess the strength or patience that you obviously do. Keep your head up and good luck on your journey. Id like to share my favorite quote with you....unsure of the original source but I got it from a wonderful movie .... "its the character that's the strongest that God gives the most challenges." I always remind myself of this particular line when Im in a dark spot in my life....hope it helps you at least once. Love and hugs from Florida!

  3. Thank you for sharing this! Such a touching expression of a mother's heart ache and worry! I don't have a child with autism, but have dealt with these feelings for years, as our daughter struggled with chronic illness. God bless.

  4. Missed this one when you wrote it. So heartbreakingly beautiful, friend. Love all of you much, and my heart always smiles when I think of you. I am amazed at how you all embody the hope and glory of God. Blessings!