We shared a bedroom as children, played Marco Polo, loved crawfishing in the creek, and played ‘King of the Hill’ in the form of crabapple battles. Vicious battles, but they paled in comparison to the lifelong addiction battle my sweet brother fought. Life together continued. It just didn’t look quite the same.
Michael needed help, but most of the time he didn’t want it. He was strong, stubborn, and self-sufficient. Until he wasn’t. Like the times he lived with my family as an adult because adulting is tough, especially when you struggle with addiction.
My heart sings when I think of happier, healthier days for Michael, like his arrival home from rehab, which was met with twinkling eyes and wide grins, and a hug that revealed his once thin frame had disappeared completely. What a blessed moment! Life was good. Until it wasn’t.
Those happier, healthier days eventually took a backseat to forces he couldn’t withstand. Weeks passed without a word, so my heart leaped for joy when the phone rang. But only for a moment. It was his number, only it wasn’t him. He had fallen at work, and was on his way to shock trauma. Hours later his life ended. It felt like mine had too.
I wanted to believe in God’s sovereignty, to know He was in control. I gleaned wisdom from these words: “From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2
I felt like the psalmist in exile, only grief and heartbreak were my exile, driving me far from the safe and familiar place I yearned for called ‘home’. In the midst of the shattered mess that was me, I cried out to God. Often. He wants us to come to him in prayer; real, authentic, heartfelt prayer. When our heart is faint, our tears many, and our yearnings cannot find words, He promises that the Holy Spirit will intercede.
God is our rock of salvation, our safe place, the ‘home’ we yearn for. We can find peace when we trust Him to replace disbelief with assurance, and despair with hope and joy. Truly, life isn’t always “good,” but God IS!
I believe God has the power to do all things, and yet my brother didn’t survive. I prayed for his healing, but answered prayers come in all shapes and sizes. God lifted me to that rock the psalmist sings of, a place I couldn’t reach unaided. I found peace in knowing that God rescued my brother from a life of battling against forces he just couldn’t beat, and once and for all those heavy chains that held him captive were broken.
I don’t know what kind of heartbreak you’re facing today, but let’s call out to Him when our hearts are faint and trust that His ways are higher than our ways.
ENGAGE: I’d love to connect with you on my private Facebook group, She Lives His Way. This women’s only community is a safe place where I encourage women to live unhurried, intentional, Christ-centered lives in a hurried world.
FOR DEEPER STUDY:
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)
How has God walked with you in your grief and loss? Look back and praise Him.