This has been the hardest, darkest, most challenging year of my entire life.
After we lost our first child to miscarriage in March of this year, we were no doubt broken. However, we quickly found peace in God’s Word, we devoured the book of James every day, and we found worship songs that seemed to be given to us by God at the perfect time. We were extremely sad, but we were hopeful that God would give us another child soon.
And He did. We were pregnant two months later and we praised God, thanking Him for His faithfulness.
After seeing the heartbeat and the tiny, wiggly baby multiple times, after a few scares and hearing the doctors tell us that everything was perfectly fine, after taking our baby announcement picture in the mountains, I miscarried again at 12 weeks. Unspeakable heartbreak and unbelievable physical pain.
We handled the loss very differently this time. Our first thought: “God… What?! We thought this was a gift from You after experiencing the terrible loss of losing our first child. Why would You allow this again?!” There was no answer. Our hearts hardened and suddenly grew cold.
The morning after returning from the hospital, I opened my Bible and began to read His Word, hoping to find the same comfort that I did last time. And you know what? I didn’t find any comfort. I was so beat down, so tired, so confused, and so lost. The words that had previously given me life seemed dead on the page.
I woke up the next morning, struggling to get out of bed. Not knowing what to do with myself, I opened the Bible again. “Maybe this time I’ll feel Your presence, Lord.”
Of course, there were scriptures that were encouraging, but my heart was not responding. My mind knew what was true about God, but my soul felt a million miles away from my mind. I’m now painfully aware that knowing something is true and believing it in your heart are two very different things.
Day three slowly arrived, and I returned to His Word. The silence was miserable. In fact, so much of me wanted to take a break from seeking comfort through the Bible. But without it, I had nowhere else to turn. He was all I had.
My husband, who is often a source of comfort, was hurting right alongside me. My friends, while I love them deeply, really didn’t know how to console me. And my family, while they were truly the arms and feet of Jesus, couldn’t give me the answers to the questions I was asking.
“You don’t really know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.” – Timothy Keller
So, I kept reading the Bible. Verse by verse. Page by page. Two weeks passed by before I started finding peace through scripture. Fourteen days of digging deep to find a remedy for my bruised heart. Fourteen days of silence. Fourteen days of waiting.
It’s been about two months now, and the highway that is being built between my head and my heart is nothing short of supernatural. God has shown my husband and I more than we could have ever asked for through the study of His Word, and I can truly say the roots of my faith are growing deeper. He is answering some of my questions and Ryan’s questions and giving us peace about the questions that remain unanswered. While we are still deeply grieving the loss of our children, we are now being carried by Christ.
However, if we would have hung up when we heard nothing on the other end of the line, none of this would be happening right now.
This is what I want to encourage you with today:
Keep reading every single day. If anyone tries to say that the daily reading of scripture isn’t a need in their life, or it doesn’t help to bring them out of the pit, then my questions to you are:
How desperate are you for help?
How long have you waited during consistent reading and prayer?
Is there anyone or anything else besides Jesus that knows your heart better?
Do I believe there are other things that you can do to help you stay mentally and spiritually healthy? Yes, certainly. However, I have never been more convinced that you have to start with the Word first.
I want to be very careful here, as this is not me boasting in my consistent pursuit of the Bible. God led me to His Word. He put the hunger for truth in my heart. Listen, I have my fair share of “bad days” where I struggle to trust and believe in His goodness and faithfulness. I just want you to know how good He is even in the moments when you don’t understand Him. I want to boast in His love.
Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31
Maybe it will take two weeks or two years of reading the Bible every day, but trust me, He is a God that can be found.
If you have a hard time believing the words you read, tell God. Be honest with Him. He already knows what you’re thinking, anyway. He will give you wisdom and understanding, I promise (James 1:5-8).
Once your heart begins to wake up to the love and beauty of Christ, keep going. There will be days that your time in God’s Word will be refreshing and lovely, and there will be days when it feels like work. It is work. It is the most important work you will ever do.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
Caitlin Jordan is the assistant editor for TheCourage. She lives with her husband, Ryan, in Dallas, Texas. She is passionate about the importance of transparency and loving those that disagree with Christian beliefs. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.