Life Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Life Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Photo taken at Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville, Alabama (May, 2018)

Grief and loss can gush like water and run for days, weeks, even years –finding routes into the tiniest cracks and crevices of our innermost being.  Sometimes the seed of suffering and loss gets lodged between a rock and a hard place and forces it to crack open until the cracking and the spilling make you feel like life is over …leaving in its wake the feeling that it’s the end of the world as I know it and you don’t feel very fine at all.  The shell of comfort and protection has been ruptured and our insides are left gaping  …vulnerable and bare.

I watched a mama-friend spill out her grief as she agonized over the loss of her  30 year-old daughter.  Too soon.  Too much.  Too tragic.  Open caskets can crack open any heart.

I held her face …one mama to another.  I have a daughter the same age.  Words don’t hold water.  Love does.  Love holds the weeping and gives space  for the joy and the sorrow to  mingle freely.

You pray she has reason to get up in the morning.  You pray she doesn’t lose heart …that true joy will come in the morning after the weeping rain.    You pray that the Comforter will wrap His arms around her with the weight of His glory and you trust the Father’s love to hold her, knowing His mercy and grace  also have a way of raining down on every cracked open  seed– producing a ray of hope!

Our own son has been going through a battle of his own and the soul of a man can feel the skull of his existence cracked open …wondering if it will ever be put back together again.  Scans.   Scopes.  Specialists.  Sans answers.

And there is loss that lands like a rock too heavy to bear up underneath  –crushing us with painful force against the wall of emotions until we break apart.

But hope still lives even though it seems all is lost and we watch for the tiniest sprout of tender green to emerge from the cracks.  Life.  God always gives life after death.  He told me that in my own deep loss.  He always gives life after death.

I’ll start looking and watching and praying and hoping and waiting for that life to sprout from the spaces between the rock and the hard places.  Beauty. Growth.  Renewal.  Hope.  The wild flowers that sprout up in the most unlikely places where you thought all hope was gone — uninhabitable.

Photo taken on a routine #walkingitoutwithJesus walk near our home

And we feel and ache out this hope  that “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” 

And we believe and have faith in Jesus Christ to redeem and restore what has been lost. 

 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”  Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,   because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.   All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”

And we pray that we can somehow keep our eyes on what is unseen …eternal …what really matters.  

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.   So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

And we keep walking it out together with a Holy and Loving Father Who takes us by the hand and whispers, I am  with you alwaysI will never leave you.  Sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” 

Waiting. Watching.

Scripture Quotations from Psalm 30:5 (NKJV), Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT),   II Corinthian 4:7-18 (NIV)John 14:16 (NLT).

Photo Challenge:  Unlikely

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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  1. Dianne

    From the song Jesus Messish….ALL MY HOPE IS IN YOU,ALL THE GLORY TO YOU GOD THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD…..How many times I have sung that over and over and over again to remind me that everything that concerns me God knows and he is in control.I do have my questions of “why” but I know He is faithful and joy will come.
    Love you my friend!

    1. Great song to sing right now Dianne! We need the Light of the World to shine His light on our situations and bring Light to the dark places of uncertainty, unknown, and overwhelmed. Love you friend!! You’re a gift to me.

    2. Angela

      Thank you Aunt Joy! That was beautiful! Amen! Right there with you😘

      1. Love you sweet Angela!!! Thanks for encouraging me to keep writing by your love and encouragement. Can’t wait to see you!!

  2. maryjanewaters

    This is pure truth to my needy heart. Thank you my sister for walking it out with Jesus in a way that takes the rest of us by the hand and allows us to sense His nearness in new and tender ways. We are praying so much for Ben! God is working out His purpose in us all on different but similar levels as we learn afresh to hide under the shadow of the Almighty in sacred trust. I love you so! 💕

    1. Oh Mary Jane — I wish I lived near you! Thank you for walking with us and praying and holding Ben up before the Throne of God. Today we prayed for miracles …and miracles for today! I know your mama-heart understands and you’re praying for your own babies in all of their journey. God knows. He sees. He hears. Thank you for your encouragement today to me. I love you !! Hiding under the shadow of the Almighty with you :).

  3. beckyjuettmiller

    Sent to three who have lost children as adults

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. May God use this to bring comfort and peace to their hearts in some way. My heart aches for these parents. May they feel God’s arms around them.

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