A broken heart is a very tender thing.
I was at college. Amid being a new transfer student at my university, and all the other adjustments and homesickness of new people and new classes and being away from home, I had just discovered Facebook evidence that the guy-friend I’d been building castles in the air around for some time liked another girl.
I hadn’t had good reason to think he’d be interested in me…I knew that, deep down. But that hadn’t stopped me from caring, from hoping, from dreaming. From finding signs, seemingly valid at the time, to think God might be bringing us together.
And now my heart felt like an elephant had stepped on it. And then put it through a shredder. (Because elephants are talented like that.)
I sat at my desk one morning soon after, trying to focus on schoolwork or something rather than the aching beat of my heart. My sweet roommate was playing music, as she often did to get us going in the morning, and a song came on that I’d read about but never heard played before—“Held” by Natalie Grant.
I hadn’t consciously been listening to the music till then. But suddenly it was as if every word came amplified to my ears, to my heart. And tears welled again…the kind that hurt at the time, but spring healing.
I still can’t listen to that song with dry eyes. Today, I’m hurting for my sister, who has had a long-held dream torn from her and is heartsore right now. I think of friends who have recently lost an unborn baby, and of my own three little siblings in heaven. Of students in my classes who are carrying wounds hard for me to even imagine.
There’s so much in this world that I don’t understand, that seems so unfair. I know we are to expect tribulation, but sometimes it just seems like too much. And so often in this beautiful but broken, sin-marred life, all the explanations and platitudes in the world do little to nothing for our battered hearts.
Sometimes all we can possibly do, the only thing we can do, is let Him hold us.
In those college years when I first learned that heartache is literal—and, being away from home, couldn’t run to family for comfort—I learned that while I couldn’t always understand, Jesus was always there.
And He was always, always willing to hold me.
Today I am engaged to a good and godly man, who loves me deeply and whom I love, and the tears I shed at my dorm desk that day are a distant memory. And yet I continue to learn that whatever dreams come true, life will always have heartaches, always have pain and tears and betrayal and disappointment. As I walk along this path toward marriage with Anthony, I am aware of my need for Jesus…His arms to hold me, His hand to guide me, His presence to comfort me…as much as or more than ever before.
Whatever is aching your heart today, I hope this song is of comfort. I hope you will feel His arms, and let Him hold you.
Sometimes it’s all we can do.
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” ~Deuteronomy 33:27
“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” ~Psalm 62:8