how to hold on when your heart aches

Rue Mouffetard & Saturday morning street market.

So many times these past few months, I have tried to return to this space, this desire to stop at this place where I know I belong, to let the words spill out from a heart ready to be vulnerable — and yet, the words seem to want to linger back, not quite forming into what I want them to become, grace overflowing in the midst of the overwhelming life.

In the moments of deep aching and stinging hurt, I confessed — I need to keep hardening my heart a bit because the pain is otherwise too much, the hurt taking over everything else. Because when did I sign up for having to walk through this path, to fight this battle once again and bear a parent’s drinking problem in a world already so messy? But his comment broke through everything, the weighty shift of focus with these words — if that is why it was so hard for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene? These drops of blood that He sweat because He could not to harden His hard against the pain of our brokenness.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:36-39)

Is this not always the answer, to finding our way through the darkness of despair — to walk with Jesus into the midst of the exceeding sorrow and deep distress, to stay there with Him and to watch with Him. Is this not always the answer, to go a little further and kneel down on our knees, to fall on our faces and surrender all that we ever held in our hands and pray those words that have changed every soul since the beginning —

Not my will, but Yours, be done.

And so we come, our knees raw and our hands barely catching on as we fall down once again, the aching too great to be contained within our hearts and the brokenness felt immensely in every part of our soul, these waves of sorrow now so high they are drowning us in the midst of this storm raging on. Yet we know, the soft whispers that we are barely able to speak out for the fear and weariness and yet, this simple but essential prayer, no matter how silent it is spoken, is always the key to Heaven breaking through — not my will, but Yours, be done. 

“And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:41-44)

Now I know, beloved — that confusion is woven into the fabric of pain, made so immense by everything shouting loud how you did not deserve one step of this journey you had been set on, all of it overwhelming and just plain too much. I know, how every step makes you want to harden your heart against the hurt, barely able to hold on and in every moment wanting to give up. How there are no words left in the midst of the breaking of your heart, the sorrow drowning and the ache stealing the light.

There are no words, I know — and yet, this is what I want you to hear, these words I needed to hear to hold on: it is okay to hurt. Never is hurting a sign of weakness, a sign of failure too big to be overcome by grace. This hurt — you do not deserve it, and the confusion is truly overwhelming because of all this. The ache in your heart so intense, it is a sign that you are a human, too.

So let your brokenness be just that — the breaking of a heart aching so greatly within you and yet, we know, that light can shine through to the darkness only through the cracks, the broken corners and fractured pieces of your heart, now being made new and the light so brilliantly bright inside of you. Somehow, these faint rays of light tell us what we barely dare to hope in the best of the moments: that our broken hearts are part of His plan, the whisper of our hearts barely holding on — not my will, but Yours, be done. So we trust, these words of our Saviour, bleeding love right through every word: He has prayed for us. He is praying for us, that our faith should not fail.

It will all be made well.

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32)

Linking up: Coffee For Your HeartA Wise Woman Builds Her HomeWholeHearted WednesdaysFrom House to HomeShine Blog HopGood Morning MondaysMonday’s MusingsTitus 2 TuesdayTell It To Me Tuesday


3 thoughts on “how to hold on when your heart aches

  1. Life Breath Present

    Heartache, no matter the cause or form, can be so life shattering. Things become so incredibly difficult and the pain can be so great that we get stuck. I think you’re right, one of the ways to go through life is to look to something else and become in tune with whatever Power it is you believe. :)


  2. Aww, this was heartbreaking and encouraging all at once. I pray that you continue to seek the peace and comfort that only our Lord and Savior can provide.

    Thank you for sharing these insights and scriptures (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.


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