The Sacred Space of Sorrow

As I walked to my car the smile that had been frozen on my face started to slip down. I quickly climbed into the driver’s seat and turned the car on. The tears began flowing instantly.

With vision clouded by tears I somehow managed to get myself home crying out to Papa the whole way home. I unleashed fury. I unleashed sorrow. I unleashed disappointment. I unleashed discouragement. I let it all come raging out.

So when I pulled up to my house and put my car in park I felt the familiar numb settle in. The deadening of my heart beginning. The fortress walls growing taller and taller. I sighed, wiped my tears and went inside.

It all felt wrong. It felt angry. It felt hopeless. It felt lonely. It felt scary.

I wish I could say morning brought relief. But morning seemed to only bring more sorrow. The overwhelming anger started to suffocate and I didn’t know how to breathe. In a sick twist of irony I had flashbacks to this same suffocation in February. This same hopeless place. This same feeling of teetering on the edge of explosion. This same place that ended when I met him.

I raged at my Papa all day.

why did you give me this desire if you refuse to fulfill it? is this a game to you? is the deepest longing of my heart intended only to be something that haunts me? what? what do you want from me? 

and I’m certain He wanted to tell me.

But I was hard. I turned deaf ears to the situation. I didn’t want to choose trust and faith and truth. I wanted to be angry and pout and throw a temper tantrum. Surprisingly there haven’t been many of those on this side of the break-up. Anger at Papa hasn’t been present as I’ve processed.

So when it showed up, it caught me almost as off-guard as the rage that came crashing down at him not very long ago.

I let myself be swallowed up by the dark place. I let lies win. I let myself slip into the murky waters of hopelessness. There were less than a handful of people who knew the depth I was sinking into. They alternated between speaking truth and holding my hand as I sunk, making sure I knew they would pull me out if I started going too far.

So that night I just wrote to my Papa. I wrote about what hurt. I wrote about what disappointed me. I wrote about what made me angry. It was alot of “I have nothing Papa. I have no fight. There is nothing left in me.” I listened to three very specific things: two worship songs and one clip of a prophetic word that was spoken over me at the beginning of September.

As a final desperate act to look for the light, I chose these things to try and remind myself that morning comes. I didn’t have hope, I didn’t want to borrow hope, but I could listen to hope and pray that the Spirit would intercede for hope on my behalf.

And because our Papa is so gracious, He showed up with big love and gentle words and hope for me when I had none. He didn’t come take my suffocation and my sorrow and zap it away. He didn’t remove the thorn from my flesh. He only met in my dark nights of the soul and reminded me that He is constant and steady and true when my circumstances are not.

When the dawn broke the next morning I felt the suffocation ease a bit. My circumstances had not changed. My life was still on the same path as it was the days before. My heart was still full of sorrow. But the day was more bearable and the aching less all-consuming.

I took this back to my counselor earlier this week. Disheartened and confused I confessed that I had let darkness win. I could recognize and see and identify but I didn’t know how to fight.

So she offered me a way to find holiness in sorrow.

There is a sacredness when we come to our Father with our sadness and sorrow and hurt and emotion without an agenda. It is a space that exists where those things are found in their purest form because they are experiences that connect us to the suffering of Jesus.

But, my raging and fury and sadness came with an agenda. TAKE THIS FROM ME OR FULFILL IT I raged at Him that night.

She reminded me that Jesus prayed a prayer similar to that. He asked His Father to let the cup pass but “thy will be done.” She reminded me that often as part of our sanctification process we must walk into suffering to know Jesus in that way. And it’s not out of cruelty or retribution. It is out of the Father’s jealous love for us. His beautiful jealous perfect love.

My face crumpled and the tears came pouring out once again.

“That’s what I wanted to do that night. I wanted to meet Papa in my sorrow and my hurt and my fear and my sadness. I wanted to meet Him there and have it be okay.” I whispered.

But fear won.

As I sat on the couch and let my soul empty much of its sorrow, I found worship in the depth of my unfulfilled longings. I found worship in the ache. I found worship in the sorrow. I found myself stripped down to my frailty and my fear and my humanity. And I found a love that says its okay.

So as I’ve wiped sleep from my eyes in mornings since I find myself dumping my sorrow into the sacred space. Offering it to my Papa with no expectations other than for Him to continue to meet me there. And with unclenched fists, learning to grasp the weight and freedom of these words, I quietly whisper, “thy will be done.”

 

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