“Thank you my darling daughter for all the support you have given us .The advice you have given me also. You're my only child now and I couldn't imagine being without you .I am broken and can't ever be fixed .I want Jeff here with us again. I can't bear this, he will never be. Why did this happen? There's no answers to console my pain. I would give my life to have him back. I never thought I'd lose a child first. Did he know something we didn't? Mother did. Why didn't he turn to God for guidance? I love my son dearly. I will never hug or kiss him again. See the gleam in his eyes when I saw him the last time .Feel the warmth in his body and his heartbeat. I gave birth to this beautiful soul. He was taken from me too soon. How do I live with this? Only God can help me. I pray for Jeff every waking minute to know he is with his family and friends. He is high on the mountain, looking down at us, knowing we love him with all our hearts.” 
                          - A recent Facebook post by a family member

Writing Closer Than Your Breath had to happen. There was too much inside of me that needed to be said. Not my words but rather the words that our Great Creator God spoke to my heart in the midst of my greatest pains.

Now that the writing is done, the reading has begun. And for me, the living out of the words in the book. And hopefully, the message of HOPE in the book is spreading. My path and my heart cross daily with people whose hearts are breaking. I’ve been there. I cry with them. Sometimes I’m mad with them. Sometimes I sit and shake my head with them as they don’t understand their pain and, I confess, nor do I. I have no earthly answers for the why’s.

Every single time I hear another’s story of pain, I think back on my own worst days, some of them still with me, and I remember that I need to be very careful of the words I say and need to choose them wisely. I’m not always good at that as sometimes my emotions get in the way. I remember the story of Job and how his friends did the best by him when they simply sat with him and listened. It’s not always our words that help. It’s sometimes our willingness just to be near, whether in thought or in person.

Over the past week, I’ve jumped up and down in frustration for some ladies who’ve shared with me their desperate pains related to divorce. I want justice. I want healing. I want their pain to be over and done with. I’ve wanted to be with them to fix it all…like I’m Mighty Superwoman who can make all things right. Not.

I have one near and dear to my heart who has just lost her husband of 60+ years. How does she go forward? What does she do in the middle of the night?

Two precious friends are struggling with a terminal illness that comes straight from the pit of Hell. The daddy watches his daughter dying of the same disease that ate her mother’s life away seven years ago as we stood helplessly by after years and years of deliberate prayers. How do they face another day?

Another friend waits now to find out if she has MS. She’s never hurt anyone. She’s done everything right. How can this possibly be?

One dear one has a sister who struggles to live thanks to something called suicidality. Still another is having an especially hard time as the anniversary of the death of her brother approaches, a friend I will always hold in my heart.

Today it was a man I’ve worked with for years. He’s 64. He’s in the throes of cancer treatment and just had his prostate removed. Last week, his employer fired him. Out of the blue. What’s next for him…only one more year til he could have retired?

And then there’s the Facebook post above, one of several, by my cousin’s wife. They lost their only son unexpectedly several weeks ago. Their hearts are breaking. Dare I say especially his mother’s? You can feel her pain in her writing. It’s as if, on paper, she’s writhing, flailing her arms and screaming her pain and begging God that she wake up and find this tragedy nothing more than a terrible nightmare.

Although not exactly the same, I know what desperation feels like. Doc and I do it every day as we pray for one of our children in her own struggle. WHY, God? Why is life like this?

I don’t have a perfect answer but I do believe that we serve a perfect God. He knows our pains that cut us down to the core of our very being. And I trust He will never leave us or forsake us, especially those who are broken in heart and crushed in spirit.

If you have an opportunity to come alongside one hurting, take it with your arms and heart wide open. We need to be God’s hand and heart extended to ones in such desperate pain. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to say— “I’m sorry” is enough. And then don’t miss a chance to pray. God will hear you and He will do the rest.

Come, Lord Jesus. Our hearts are overwhelmed with pain and sorrow and worry and fear and desperation. Thank You that we can trust You. Thank You that you never leave us or forsake us. Thank You that every tear matters to you.

In Your mercy, please hear our prayers.


Carol Springer
07/19/2014 8:41am

Beautiful. Brought me to tears. Thank you. I pray.....

07/19/2014 9:49am

Dear Carol,
Thank you for reading and thank you for praying for these hurting.
How is your healing going? Have you read the book? If so, I'm wondering if Carl's Peace helped your heart with the great loss of Bobby.
Please let me know if I can do anything for you.

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