It doesn’t have to make sense right now. . . wherever you’re standing or sitting or crying, you don’t need to make any sense of it. If this place feels hard and awful, that’s okay. It is hard and awful.

Can’t quite push the Christian catchphrase out? Don’t try. It’s good to grieve. It’s healthy to acknowledge hard things. You are allowed to feel. You are supposed to feel.

It’s necessary. It’s healthy. You have permission!

But if you’re drowning in the emotions, consumed or controlled by them, then I urge you to make a one choice. Just one.

It is simply this–


Return to the comfort of God, your Father. Return to the God who will help you hope. Return to the truth of God’s steadfast love. Return to your Friend Jesus who can see through and beyond the chaos and turmoil in your life.

Just return.

When you’re in the midst of hard emotions, God looks on you with compassion not disgust. When you can’t quite see past the sorrow, God just wants you to see Himself.  When you’re sitting in the messy, ugly, middle, God is undaunted. He is working wonder. . .even still.

So return.

We live in a broken, sin-saturated world. Heartache may not be given by God, but He has the power to turn it all around and hand you a gift. The pain itself is not the good gift, but maybe the good gift is nearness to God. Maybe the good gift is becoming more like Him. Maybe the good gift is discovering your good God despite all the odds stacked high against you. This is all possible, because our God is powerful. But I’m not God, so I have no authority on how He will turn all of this around and show you His goodness.

But I do know He gives good things. I do know He wants to satisfy your soul. I do know that He can make beauty out of weary, wandering, wilderness hearts. I do know He loves you with unquenchable, unrelenting love that you cannot fully understand.

You’ve just got to return.

Over and over and over again.

If you’re standing in a place full of heartache and you’re feeling every tangle of emotion screaming there, you’re not a failure or a drama queen. Painful emotions are here and so is the comfort of God.

So always, always return. 

Return by uttering a broken prayer. By opening up to 2 Corinthians 1. By listening to music about the truth of God when you can’t say it for yourself. By confiding in a friend and asking for their help to see God’s goodness. By seeking counsel. By closing your eyes to sleep through the night because you trust God with your future.

In this returning, you will realize God has dealt bountifully with you. God has a heart of love toward you. God is a ready Forgiver. . .a compassionate Father. God is your Rock of peace, the Home of all your joy, the Keeper of your hope. He is here, present, listening.

And God is the Giver of your painless, good, eternal future in heaven with Him.

You can lift your wilderness-worn hands and rejoice. This is not the end. Not even close. God is always worthy of all our praise, and these pain-imprinted hearts can freely sing to the God who has spent centuries making new songs burst forth from old, devoted Returners

Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed even when I spoke, “I am greatly afflicted.” ~Psalm 116:7-10

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