About the Author

Angela Nazworth is a shame-fighting storyteller who writes mostly about the beauty of grace, faith, friendship, vulnerability and community. She is a wife and a mother of two. Angela's also an encourager, a lover of good books, coffee, girl's night out, sunshine, and waterfalls. In the 15 years since she...

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  1. Angela,
    I wish I could have read your post say 45 years ago. I was always a very sensitive child. Even as a little girl, I would cry when I had to part ways after family gatherings. I was often chided for wearing my heart on my sleeve and being “overly emotional”. I felt ashamed of my emotions and tried my best to be more stoic in any given situation – as if stoicism earns you some kind of points. It’s only been lately, thanks in a large part to my wonderful husband of 2 and a half years, that I have begun to see the beauty in how God created me – sensitive, caring, tender, cry at practically anything. God made me this way for a reason and He gave me these emotions to be used. Why else would God have created tears if they weren’t meant to flow once in a while. Mine just flow a little more easily than others. I have also learned there is a deep catharsis when sharing out deepest hurts with God – when we come unglued before Him. Like you so beautifully said…He wants us to run to Him and climb into His waiting arms. God can handle our pain and sorrow when we completely fall apart. Sometimes that’s what it takes for us to see that He’s been there waiting for us all along. Beautiful!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev, loving your insightful words today. Sometimes I think that stoicism is just pride or fear of being vulnerable, used to keep people from connecting and bearing with each other in pain and grief, loving people where they are. The trouble is it keeps people from sharing the joy too as it hardens hearts. The gift of tears is so precious; such a beautiful gift from the Lord 🙂 Grateful you are as you are 🙂 Hugs!

    • Bev, I am so very thankful for your tender heart. If God had not made you so gloriously sensitive, I and countless others would never have received the gift of your encouragement. Thank you for being you and loving others so well.

    • Bev,

      We are definitely two peas in a pod. I, too, am overly sensitive. Crying at the least little things. I have learned to be really sensitive to others-especially elderly people.

      Blessings my friend! 🙂

    • Thank you for giving me permission to not have to continue to put on this show of strength and hope.I am hurting and your words brought a kind of freedom to me.Sometimes ‘ holding it together ‘ is the last bit of strength I do not have.

      • Wendee,
        It sounds weird, but sometimes I feel like I need permission to take off the mask of “everything is a okay”. When others are real with me, I feel more inclined to be real too. I’m unglued today so let’s hold each other up in prayer?!
        ((Hugs))
        Bev

  2. I love this…..it’s an invitation to be undone in the arms of Jesus. No shame, no regrets. Just be held. Thank you for this- it will be a welcome relief to many to be told it’s ok to unravel.

    • Thank you. I so very much needed this today. Always been the one to run to everyone’s side, to pick up their pieces, I am told ” to get it together” when I need a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. Feeling hopeless today, this reminds me that,God is there.

  3. Thank you. My version of “Pull yourself together” has always been “Pick yourself up and try again”. With this latest season of struggle, I have felt immense guilt that I just can’t do it again. Perhaps it would be better to take Hannah’s example and instead of pulling myself together or picking myself up, pouring myself out before the Lord.

  4. Wonderful way to say such comforting words. Thank you. I fell into the arms of Jesus this past weekend. I unraveled everything before God. I said it is just you and I as I sat by a river bustling with activity.
    I was reminded it is all about communion with just God. No one else. At the end of our days on the earth it will be just God and I. We will be disappointed with everyone else in our lives, but God remains a constant true friend who will never leave us or forsake us.

  5. Thank you so much for this. As a child I was severely abused by my mother and my dad did nothing to stop it. She killed herself when I was 19, but I’ve always been told pull yourself together at least she didn’t kill you like other people’s parents did,abusive relationships well pull yourself together these are your fault anyway, my son was murdered, pull yourself together he’s in a better place, even pastors have told me the same thing. Oh and God forbid now on antidepressants according to my pastor I don’t know Jesus and need to be delivered from a demon.won’t talk about the fact that every time I see a a mother cry because their child has been murdered it’s like reliving the pain over again. Oh yes I forgot to pull myself together. God bless you

    • Cherlyn, I am so very sorry…I’m crying with you today.
      I do feel very strongly to encourage you, that it is OK to take your medicine. And don’t let anyone tell you differently. I know that God uses whatever He wants to, to bring healing to our lives; including medicine.
      Truly hugging you in my heart today ❤️

    • Cheryl, my heart hurts for you, dear sister. God sees, knows, understand, and loves you when others can’t or won’t. Holding you in tender prayer, sweet sister…sending big hugs 🙂

    • Sweet Cheryln – Thank you for sharing your heart in this safe place. No greater pain can be inflicted on a child than cruelty wielded from those who were meant to love and protect us. I am so sorry that you have felt such agony and I am praying that you will be released from the lies that often come from this type of hurt. Lies that tell us we are deserving of abuse and undeserving of love. Dear one, you are beautiful. You are a treasure. You are a gift to this world and others. In fact, you were made especially for the time and place that you are in by the most loving and wise Parent imaginable. You are loved — when you have it together and when you unravel. You are loved.

  6. If only we could learn to lean into the language of lament. Thanks be to God that He has provided the script for us in the Psalms and the Prophets — such a patient Teacher and good Listener to the sorrows of our hearts.

  7. Oh my gosh, how rude of that nurse. My heart broke for you as I was reading your story. And it’s true even in my own life, always reminding myself to “pull it together”. Thank you for the reminder that we can let ourselves grieve and “fall apart” in the eyes of the Lord.

  8. yes! thank you for this, i didn’t know how much i needed to read it’s ok to completely have a come apart. healing salve for my tired, weeping spirit.

  9. Angela, I’d like to say some very un-Christian things about that nurse! Can only wonder what she experienced to cause such damage. But what a beautiful offering of healing you’ve turned it into! Thank you for this!

  10. Thank you for sharing Angela. I especially lo e the part when you say, “He invites us to crumple into the comforting arms of Christ to pray or scream or to beg with abandon until we heal.” I needed this today.

  11. Angela, I can relate to how you were feeling in that moment. Pulling yourself together @ a time like that was easier said than done. It doesn’t matter how many times that you may become pregnant. ..each pregnancy is special & there’s a connection to the life that’s growing in your belly. But God…”He invites us to crumple into the comforting arms of Christ to pray or scream or to beg with abandon until we heal.” There’s no greater love than that of our Father. Thanks for the beautiful post.

  12. Thank you for reminding me that there is One to whom I may spill out my hopes and dreams, fears and doubts and He will give me rest.

  13. Such an encouraging and heartfelt post. Thank you for these words Angela. Thank you for sharing the freedom that comes in going through grief and not having to have it all pulled together. In this space of utter brokenness before the Lord we find such comfort and healing. May we be the kind of friends who sit with others and allow them to grieve and hurt. May we have the kinds of friends who do the same for us.

  14. Wow, thank you so much for this post. Right on time and so needed. I’m walking through inner healing, and it has helped put words to feeling I have that I had no idea how to speak. Thank you.

  15. He holds every tear….that was my comfort when I lost my baby. Well meaning Christian friends said-“she wasn’t right, she was deformed so this is a blessing ” and “it’s okay you’ll have other babies ” My heart broke a little more with each comment. I loved my baby just the way she was! Other babies would never replace my Shelby! Another healthy child is never a consolation prize.
    I ‘ve forgiven those people because I know they were trying to help. I am so thankful that God cherishes even our tears. He loves us so much! He yearns for us to come to Him with everything-sorrow through to celebration.

  16. As a nurse I was stunned at what that nurse said to you. We who are, for the most part, in the the medical field to bring healing to the people we meet, sometimes forget to bring our humanity to work. I’ve been the nurse who has been accused of getting too involved just because I may shed a tear or give/receive a hug or just remember to ask “How are you doing since I saw you last?” As a Christ-follower and a nurse I guess I view people as more than just the sum of their symptoms. To everyone who has been treated this way by their medical staff I want to say I’m so sorry. There are a lot of us out here who pray to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our patients every day! Thank you for sharing your story of hope and healing.

    • Sharon,

      Thank you for investing your heart in your patients. I can tell you from personal experience that the way you minister to your patients is appreciated more than you may ever know. Recently, I was in the office of a new gynecologist. His nurse came in and did her thing, and before she left the room she asked if she could pray for me. She had no way of knowing just how much that meant to me. At a follow up appointment she told me that she realized only after I left the office who I was – our family tragedy had been on the news two plus years before. She told me that she and several others in her office had prayed for us. Going to any doctor is hard for me. The sights, sounds, smells and having to relate our personal history is stressful beyond words. You may have patients who don’t fully appreciate the concern you show for them personally, but I want you to know that there are deeply wounded people whose lives you touch, who you encourage, who just feel the burden they carry lightened by the love of Christ you pour out upon them. So thank you for serving others with both your heart and the gifts and talents God has given you. You make a difference!

    • Thank you all for your kind encouragement to Angela, and therefore to others reading. We so appreciate the hearts of you nurses, and the ministry you offer to your patients. We’re so thankful there are kind hearts out there ready and willing to help those in pain. While that wasn’t Angela’s experience in this story, we know and trust that the majority of nurses are deeply kind, caring and compassionate. Blessings, blessings to you in the medical professional field, and peace to those of you who have been hurt by, served by, and healed by them.

  17. Angela… Heart breaking. So appreciate your words and the honest tears that come with sharing your story. Thankful we do not have to hide.

  18. Angela I love your heart . . . and words. What a great encouragement for us to turn to God as our emotions are shred to bits. To lay our hearts bare before Him. So often when someone is grieving we think they need to keep a stiff upper lip. That is just not true. Maybe there are times to do so, but keeping our grief inside keeps us isolated from authenticity with God, others we’re close to, and even ourselves.

  19. Thanks to Angela, and each who were willing to share. Heart pain for Cherlyn’s cruelty she’s had to endure.
    I completely came apart again last night over the grievous actions toward our precious Grandbabies and being shut out to do anything to help by our own daughter and son-in-law, who we have loved so much.
    All of the descriptive phrases from Angela are so appropriate for such excruciating helpless circumstances we can be in.
    It is impossible to understand why HE allows such things and there seems to be no direction for help. This morning I have been asking HIS forgiveness and seeking through HIS WORD to get back to believing HE will do something on their behalf and our behalf. It has been a long and difficult road.
    My own mother told me years ago that I should not wear my emotions on my sleeve. I am like you Angela, deeply feeling and caring about others, and certainly helpless little precious babies.

    • Thank you. I forgave that nurse years ago. Her words hurt, but God used them for good. Sometimes tears make others uncomfortable and I think she thought she was helping me and others by her words. I’m glad your patients have a nurse who treats them with kindness.

  20. Oh Angela, how grateful I am to the Lord for these gracious words. I am so sorry that you experienced harsh words instead of consolation and care. If all we do is not talk to our Lord Jesus about it, then all we may do is stuff it down, hurting and hardening ourselves. How wonderful the Lord is in bringing His mercy and grace that we can pour out our hearts before Him. He knows our inmost beings, how we are afflicted, bearing with us in our sorrows and joys, sharing in relationship for that is what happens when we come to Him this way-our relationships with Him grow deeper. May each of us draw near to Him every day, pouring out our hearts before and to Him in sadness and joy in the relationship that Christ gave us through His resurrection 🙂

  21. Today I crumpled again…three years after my heart was broken. And I berated myself. Thank you for lifting my chin with these encouraging and comforting words. I needed them today.

  22. Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for saying this so well and without the bitterness that I’m sure comes out when I try to say the same thing. It feels as if bereaved parents have to justify their right to grieve, be it miscarriage, stillbirth, or any other tragic death of a child. That attitude has no place in society and certainly not the Christian community.

    I’m sorry for your loss.

    I’m really sorry for your experience with that insensitive and ignorant nurse. She had obviously become hardened to the pain of miscarriage, but the way she treated you was simply inexcusable in her profession – not unforgivable- but it is downright shocking in it’s complete lack of kindness and compassion! I hope that someone down the line set her straight if for no other reason than to prevent her from adding insult to injury – which sounds so tame for the damage her thoughtless words must have inflicted upon you and who knows how many other hurting women!

    Thank you for so eloquently speaking the truth in love.

  23. Angela, how my heart echos yours. I did not miscarry but had my oldest son taken home way before a parent should have them go. He was KIA in Afghanistan January 5th 2012. My daughter-in-law went off the deep end and blamed me. My youngest son scoffed at my grief, even though he pretended he was “fine”. I was told by my sons wife I had no right to grieve him. My anguish seemed unbearable. I’m trying to hold it all together for everyone. I could not understand. For many years I have felt like I will bust if I’m not allowed to let it out.
    I do know that a dear friend gave me Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. These verses, many from Psalms, helped me to cling to our Lord and to never give up. As time has passed I am more at ease with things. I’ve turned my daughter-in-law over to God. I cannot fix it . Only through His infinite mercy and patients will this end.
    I am attending a parents weekend in early October where I’ll be able to speak about my son with others who have lost their son or daughter in this crazy war. I thank God for this opportunity . God bless you Angela may our precious Lord and Savior wrap you in His tender arms and give you peace. serving Him, Cindy

    • God bless you Cindy as the healing process continues. Your loss is so much greater than mine, and my heart goes out to you and my prayers up for you. May the Lord Jesus bring you more and more comfort and peace with each day that passes and as He uses you to help others suffering the same loss. In comparison to your’s, I feel ashamed to write my story below, but I must for reasons I can’t explain here.

    • Cindy,
      I too, lost a son to the war. He was killed in Iraq 6-20-06. It’s really difficult to continue on. Many people
      don’t understand that the grief will always be part of us in some way and that we will never be the same
      people we were before. My anxiety and depression can be overwhelming at times. I love the devotional
      Jesus Calling. It is so simple and yet so true.
      To all the others above who wrote such poignant messages of pain, I am sorry. There is much brokenness.
      Hopefully, God places special ones in your lives. I’m thankful we know we can always go to Him.
      Kat

  24. Angela, thank you very much for this. And thank you to all who have shared and commented. In the light of so much painful loss I have read here today I am ashamed to even include any comments about my years of suffering with the torment of depression and the accompanying anxiety, OCD symptoms, and all that has come with it and from it. My suffering and loss seem so small in comparison to some others, so I won’t elaborate any further, except to say that I understand the pain, Angela, of such comments you have heard. Once when I was pouring out my heart to the Lord over something that had just devastated me and laid me in the ditch, bleeding, I was telling Him how much it hurt…..and I heard Him say to my heart….”I know.” And of course He knows, the One who suffered for us more than anyone can ever possibly imagine. So, we have a great High Priest in our Lord Jesus, Who knows, Who understands, Who loves us beyond measure and Who will always be by our side to bring us through, maybe in ways we cannot imagine, to create a beautiful tapestry…..Beauty for Ashes!!! God’s abundant blessings of love, joy, peace and comfort to you all! Your sister in Christ, Donna

    • Donna,
      Your depression and anxiety are important. We all have a different journey. I deal with the
      same type of issues. Most people, even family, really don’t understand. The past couple of
      days have been difficult. I’m thankful for others who share. This is part of my life now. I’m
      thankful that God always understands.
      Kat

      • Thank you Kat so very much for your loving reply. Yes, we do all have a different journey, but I am so thankful for those, like you and others, especially in this forum of (in)courage, where we can be in touch with those who understand and encourage with acceptance and love, like you just did. The Lord bless you abundantly more than you can ever imagine or even wish. I just had a thought: wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of us at (in)courage, those who write and share their stories to encourage, and those of us who have joined this community…..wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all meet and come together there for a wonderful love and praise fest with Jesus in the center of it all? Rejoicing with us! I will be lifting you in prayer tonight Kat. Thank you again!

        • Donna,
          That would be amazing!!! Will be lifting you in prayer too. Sometimes I feel I need all the
          prayers I can get.
          Kat

  25. Very timely post. I almost skipped reading it, as it has been a difficult day. I lost a baby a year ago and am not sure that my husband even remembers the timing of the event. I am so blessed to have the children I do, but my heart is sad right now. Thank you for the reminder that I can fall apart with my Savior. I try to remind myself that He truly holds my tears in a bottle. Prayers for all who are hurting.

  26. I thought about Hannah’s story. She is already in the pit of dispair but now has to answer an accuser haggling her that she’s doing things she’s not. In public when she is there because she has to be out to go to the place of prayer. And in a holy place. And that same sickening cold shame that washes over when you’re being beaten when already down. Or when you are being stripped of something you wanted dearly. And it seems you’ve talked to God but He remains silent for an unknown reason.

  27. Angela,

    There have been times recently that I have become “undone.” I sat in the hospital reception area just crying to Jesus and praying like Hannah. At that moment I didn’t care who saw me & no I wasn’t going to get it together quickly. After a fashion I was able to “get it together, some” and drive home. I am like Bev an overly sensitive feely touchy person. Crying at the drop of a hat for no good reason. God has made me this way & I will treasure it!

    Blessings 🙂

  28. I am so glad that you shared this for those who have not been through these time yet. I have been there also. I had seven pregnancies and had four babies to hold. There was a nurse who was a lot like the one you had with your loss. This one said that I should be thankful for the two I had ( as if I wasn’t). I had wanted this baby as well. My husband and I wanted a large family. He was one of six.
    When I lost my grandfather who was my best friend at the age of 17, I was told by an uncle that I needed to pull it together for my mother. When my dad died, I had to be the strong one again for my mom. Thankfully the Lord was always there for me to talk to and for comfort.

  29. It’s amazing what we mumble to one another when we are trying to comfort others and sometimes not lean in and listen to their pain, but instead brush it away and under the nearest hiding place. Your story makes me want to be a better listener when others who are in pain, to try not to have a pat answer. It also reminds me of when my husband, very young daughter, and I were in the hospital for weeks after a school bus turned into our lane and hit our car. So many people came in and said, “All things work together for those who love God.” Or “It could have been worse, so look on the bright side.” I thought to myself, if one more person says that, I will scream. But I didn’t, I instead tried to smile and be polite. But now I think maybe I should have screamed. Because the sad thing is that not one person really asked how I was doing/coping or feeling emotionally. It was always how was I feeling physically/ or pain wise. But the important thing to remember is that we can look fine on the outside and be crumbling on the inside. Thanks for that reminder and that we need to run to God who want to hear our pain and begin the healing process.

  30. Thank you. I’m here allot lately. Not feeling able or capable of much these days. Never ending of shocking constant bad news from to many of my family members

  31. Patricia,
    Sometimes it does seem as if the bad news and pain never stops. I’m hoping that the Lord brings
    you someone to listen and hug. I will be praying for you. When I couldn’t pray others were. That
    was all they could do but it was huge.
    Sending a hug too.

  32. Angela, Your loss was so real and the world wasn’t worthy of your suffering. Love your words, the Word, your embrace, your stance, your heart for the One Who carried you through. I lost six of my precious ones to miscarriage and was silenced by the presence of the four children I had on this earth. Oh! My own children didn’t shut me down. It was the world saying that I should be grateful for what I had. People just don’t want us to hurt or stay in the suffering. Sometimes, don’t you think, well-meaning people want to protect God’s reputation like He should have taken a better look at what He was doing. Life doesn’t want to hear about “hard knocks” cause they don’t want to live there. They live with their creature comforts in view. I don’t know Angela, I’m just wanting to respond to your precious post cause it touched something beautiful in me. Thank you so!

  33. Angela,
    Thank you for this. “Beg with abandon until we heal”. I had 2 stillborn children years ago. I still beg. I still come. He is there every time in my wounded spaces. Many don’t and cannot understand. We cannot demand them to.
    Blessings to you my friend.

  34. As a Registered Nurse for 24 years, and having worked in an ob/gyn office, I would personally like to apologize for the nurses behavior. She forgot one vital component to being a good nurse…..compassion. you have every right to grieve, whether or not any one else may see or observe it. So proud of you for the gift of your words to share with others. I am sure you have been a blessing to many.