START HERE

Today’s Truth

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God!”

(Psalm 42:5, NLT)

Friend to Friend

The other day someone asked me about our infertility. It felt a bit like being asked about an old scar, one that has faded and become so familiar it feels more like a freckle.

This question was part of a radio interview; the host wanted to know what I would say to a woman in a similar situation. I paused for a very long time, reaching back into those memories like one might a trunk in the attic.

I pulled out a single memory like a brightly colored scarf. I held it up to the light and watched the dust drift down. The scene on it was a particular Christmas morning. We were visiting my in-laws and I felt certain I was pregnant. I jumped out of bed and practically skipped to the bathroom only to be devastated again. My husband found me and put his arms around me, my tears soaking his t-shirt.

I could sense the silence on the radio line. I cleared my throat. “Feel the hurt,” I said to the interviewer, “It is real. Cry the tears. Yell into the pillow. Be sad and mad and confused.”

Then I thought of another memory in my life, a morning curled up under the covers, Bible in my hand, coffee next to me. God took me to the third chapter of Genesis where Eve is called the mother of all living. I began to understand in that moment all women are mothers because all women bring life into the world in some way. I started to believe my story might be different than what I imagined—but it could still be good (and it is).

“Feel the hope,” I said to the interviewer, “It is real. Embrace the unexpected. Trust the story is still being written. Be curious and strong and brave.”

You may not have walked through infertility but if you are alive on this spinning earth then you know what it is to have trouble and heartbreak. You know what it is to be disappointed or discouraged or tired. I think in those moments we tend to choose one of the options above.

We ignore everything but the hurt.

Or we ignore everything but the hope.

We do this because we’re afraid. We think if we don’t hope then we can’t be disappointed. Or if we don’t hurt the pain can’t overcome us. We might have some mixed-up spiritual ideas—that God doesn’t like certain emotions (even though He created them all) or that pure suffering somehow brings Him more glory.

But the reality is hurt and hope are part of every hard experience. “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God!” (Psalm 42:5).

Hurt reveals our emotions to us so we can heal. Hope gives us the strength to persevere through that process. The wound slowly transforms. Then one day someone asks us about it and we’re a bit startled because we suddenly realize what once felt like it might kill us has, in fact, taught us something about being fully alive.

We don’t have to be afraid of hurt.

We don’t have to be afraid to hope.

They are both part of what makes us who we are, part of our beauty and strength and scars.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, sometimes choosing to hold onto hope is a painful process. Remind me today that I don’t have to be afraid to hurt or afraid to hope. You are making all things new. You are the God who redeems and restores. I will trust in You as I choose to hope through the hard days.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Today, feel the hurt. And then feel the hope. Look back at one or two situations that felt hopeless and remember how God can bring good from even the hardest moments.

More from the Girlfriends

Holley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. Her new devotional Hope Your Heart Needs is filled with 52 encouraging reminders of how God cares for you.

10 Responses to “Hurt, Hope and Making it through Life’s Hard Times”

  1. jacqueline says:

    Psalm 62v8 pour your heart out to me.
    so every day i typed on my laptop dear God and then i did exactly that poured and poured it all out, then i would delete it, it was between me and God and my relationship with him now is very real, it developed a realness i needed and unfortunately life is so hard,painful and unfair, and we can assume God doesn,t care and. He does its difficult to grasp when we are hurting so bad but a sincere heart of prayer did help lv Jacqueline

  2. Carolyn says:

    Thank You for sharing in this devotion. It has stopped me in my tracks, as I’m dealing with tremendous hurt on this issue right now. My husband doesn’t want to have children, but I keep praying that God will change his heart..and it feels like time is going by too fast. My closest co-worker is pregnant, and I’m so happy for her, but of course it’s so hard at the same time. I pray for women who are hurting because of longing or loss. I will continue to pray and continue to hope 🙂

  3. Janelle says:

    This was one of my psalms I prayed when my hurt was so real it almost felt like a person next to me. And from time to time when it springs up again I would recite it as a reminder. My greatest fear after feeling hurt was to hope fearing that I would be hurt again, or worse fearing that what I was hoping for was not in alignment with God’s plan and it made me feel more destitute and discouraged. Holley is so right, it is okay to feel the hurt but more importantly it is okay to feel hope.

    Pray God continue to strengthen us as we walk day by day with us.

  4. Janelle says:

    This was one of my psalms I prayed when my hurt was so real it almost felt like a person next to me. And from time to time when it springs up again I would recite it as a reminder. My greatest fear after feeling hurt was to hope fearing that I would be hurt again, or worse fearing that what I was hoping for was not in alignment with God’s plan and it made me feel more destitute and discouraged. Holley is so right, it is okay to feel the hurt but more importantly it is okay to feel hope.

    Pray God continue to strengthen us as we walk day by day with him.

  5. Ramona says:

    For years I’ve been starting my morning with this devotional and for years I’m always amazed at how God has used something being shared with so many women to speak to ME personally. Yesterday I lost my mother and although it was not unexpected, although she was old and frail and wasting away, the loss has leveled me. This morning I felt as if God was holding me telling me it was okay to hope and look past all the years of caregiving and that He is with me through the inevitable pain and hurt of the loss.

  6. lizbetts says:

    Thankyou for this article.i really am at my worst facing serious accusations which only women of God like you can pray for me.i need peace and a heart to forget and forgive.i find myself remembering it all through because the accusation are not laid upon me by a common person but my pastor.i am at my lowest and only prayers from spirit filled women can help me stand up again.i need you more than ever . God bless you

  7. abby says:

    ty for sharing and writing this devotion for today…. i can relate to this..hubby and I cant have kids we want them but cant (me health) but we are foster/foster to adopt parents and we know that there is a child out there for us. but at times I am still feeling the hurt (people who don’t deserve kids/mothers day and fathers day-just another day for hallmark to make money and the flower people and restaurants). its just something need to accept but still feel that hurt emptiness…..as for the hope again, that someday God would place a child with us if its even meant to be.. but in His timing. just I guess cant give up hope

  8. Holley Gerth says:

    Thanks to all of you for reading and sharing! I’m praying for you right now. XOXO

  9. Lana White says:

    I needed this today. I lost a son to heroin a little over a month ago. I hurt and am scared of everything now. I’ve been reading my Bible everyday for over a year. I guess I thought I should be able to handle anything because of my faith.. and this awful tragedy has stripped me to the bone. I hurt, I’m angry I hurt for my grandchildren. I hurt for us all. A year ago, after he was arrested for driving without a license. I was screaming at God..” Why won’t you help him?” The Holy Spirit spoke to me loud and clear “Get out of the way.” So I did. I stopped letting him live with me and would talk to him but not give him money. I paid his phone bill off and on so I could contact him. I feel so much guilt. I thought he was doing great. He had been out of rehab and living with my other son, was going to church, being the awesome Daddy he used to be. I don’t know what happened or why. I’m filled with the could’ve should’ve would’ve. This helped my soul. I know it’s going to be a long road.

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8