My parents divorced when I was very young. Because of the nature of their divorce, I never had a relationship with my biological mother. After decades of drug abuse and mental health problems, she took her own life before the Christmas of 2000. As you can imagine, even though we were estranged, her choices and death affected me on a very deep level. After my bout of postpartum depression, last winter my grief bubbled to the surface and God told me it was time to deal with the pain I had been avoiding.
I found out quickly that grief and past trauma is a heavy load to carry on your own. However, it was amid this pain that I felt a closeness to the Lord I had never experienced before. Even in my darkest moments, the Lord kept reminding me that He is Emmanuel, God with us. He could have instantly taken my pain and healed my heart, but He wanted me to press into Him, walk this road alongside Him and truly heal. He wanted to share in my suffering and exchange it for His comfort. Psalm 81:6-7, “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. In your distress, you called, and I rescued you.” I dragged my grief around for many years and suffered mentally because of it. Even in my stubbornness, when I finally cried out to the Lord, He showed me boundless compassion and removed the heavy basket from my hands when I was ready to hand it over to Him.
We may never clearly see what God is doing in the hard places in our lives, but we can rest assured that He is always doing something on our behalf and always has our well-being in mind. Isaiah 43:19 says, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. “I see Him bringing something new and powerful out of the darkest parts of my life. Even when we are in a painful season, God can redeem every part of our story. I wish my biological mother knew that God would break the chains of addiction and lead her to freedom. I wish she had cried out in her dark moments and allowed the Lord to lift the burdens from her shoulders. While I might not ever understand why her story ended the way it did, I am so thankful that He revealed Himself to me during my struggles and that I could see the purpose behind the things I went through.
There are so many people hurting around me, carrying burdens they were never meant to carry; wandering in the wilderness thinking they’re alone. The Lord wants to take the weight from your shoulder and lead you down the path of freedom. Don’t miss the miracle God wants to perform in your life. There’s peace on the other side of surrender.