I lost a little girl once.
When she was ten, she wore knee-length Jams. If you haven’t heard of them, be thankful. They were shorts that came in blinding colors, covered with a confusing assortment of patterns and prints. Her favorite pair was red, covered with yellow skateboards and pink triangles.
She liked to try to make her parents laugh by sticking a grain of rice on her nose at dinner time, while carrying on as if she didn’t know it was there. Her parents tried to cure her lack of care for hair, proper table manners, and socially acceptable style by enrolling her in etiquette class. This girl wrote short stories about alien boogers, loved science experiments and climbing the cottonwood tree in her backyard up onto the roof when no one was home, where she’d pretend the overgrown, gray, wooden garden house in the backyard with its broken pottery pieces and knee-high grass was a magical portal.
She didn’t go missing all at once; the loss was slow and subtle. There were words spoken, moments of realization, and there was an accumulation of feeling like she looked like too much and wasn’t enough. Bit by bit, like a cookie left out on the counter that you promise yourself to only eat a tiny corner of a few too many times, the little girl slowly disappeared until she was all gone.
It took almost half a lifetime before I realized that I not only lost that little girl along the way, but I missed her terribly.
Sometimes grief sneaks up on me, badgering and begging me to listen to its melancholy songs. I try to ignore it, but God gives me these painful songs to remember who I am and who He alone is making and mending me to be.
It has been three months since I fell off of my bike and broke my left wrist. From the first crisp, blue-skied days in October until these cold gray days after the start of a new year, I’ve been on the detour of healing. Healing is all I’ve thought about, and getting back to what was is what I’ve wanted.
Bike riding has always reminded me of joy and spirit of that little girl I lost. I would ride through our neighborhood or on nearby bike trails, a grown woman, giggling with joy. I haven’t been back on my bike yet.
Three months, and what’s felt like a million occupational therapy appointments later, I can grip a slippery pan in my left hand and hold it still enough over the sink to scrub it clean after the kids are in bed. I use both hands when switching the laundry, and I can twist jars open again. Typing no longer hurts like it used to; my fingers can stretch to the farther keys. All of these things feel like small miracles, but what keeps surprising me is the way my wrist will never be quite the same, and how much I miss what it used to be.
Healing isn’t a rewind button.
A good friend told me to make sure I grieve what was, no matter how small a deal it may seem. Everyone wants to hear about how we’ve healed; no one wants to hear our melancholy songs about what was. But when we can’t go back, we must sit still and listen to the sad songs before we move forward. Grief needs space, and I’ve had to acknowledge more than once that though my wrist has healed significantly, it’s not what it was.
After Jesus’ resurrection, He came back with scars. He carried His wounds through the darkness of death and back again through death’s defeat. And it’s by His wounds and the way His hands, feet, and side will never be the same again that we are healed.
We will break, and we will lose much along the way, but because of God’s grace, we will still beautifully become. Maybe it’s not our success or skill, but it’s our shared scars that will help one another remember, grieve, mend, and believe that there’s hope for every lost thing.
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God Comforts Us So We Can Comfort Others. says
“Maybe it’s not our success or skill, but it’s our shared scars that will help one another remember, grieve, mend, and believe that there’s hope for every lost thing.”
Amen to that. Reminds me of this scripture:
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Cor 1:4-5, NLT)
Yes, God comforts us to comfort others. 🙂 Amen.
Thank you very much for your encouragement today Tasha! 🙂
May God Bring You Comfort, Peace, Joy & Happiness says
Oh and Tasha, How could I forget to say – I am praying for complete healing for you! May God Bring You Comfort, Peace, Joy and Healing, and May God continue to use everything you experience for His glory and for your encouragement. Hugs to you! ~ Bomi 🙂
Bomi, thank you so much for your prayers and words. What a burst of light you are!
Amen. Thankful that he allows us to go through the grieving process. Is part of our healing commence a comfort to know he knows all too well what it feels like I can relate to us.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Just for kicks, and perhaps a bit of curiosity, I decided to count up the number of scars on my body from 6 years of successive surgeries. 13 was the “unlucky” total. That’s a lot of scars, and there are many things that I can no longer do as I once did. I can predict when rain is coming by how my joints feel (there is scientific evidence that this phenomenon is real lol). The scars also remind me of God’s faithfulness. During the many months of immobility, I spent time in God’s Word. I felt His tangible presence and actually had time to have prayerful conversations with Him. My physical body is no longer the same, but neither is my spirit. It’s been transformed by God walking me through the valleys and holding on to me with His righteous right hand. It’s almost as if God needed to pull me to the sidelines in order to get my undivided attention. It worked. So thankful that by HIS scars (hands, feet, side) we are healed!
Amen and amen!! Yes I’m thankful for my scars inside and out.. and for the rising awareness of eternity, which colors our daily living \0/
Amen, Sadie. Thank you!
Rita Harvey says
I love your response!I can relate. I’m going through a real struggle as I’m aging. Having had a very difficult childhood I’m feeling like a burden to my husband. I’ve always been independent and carrying my load in our marriage. Now, I need him more while I recover from a couple tumbles. It’s hard. I feel like the foster child that showed up for dinner unexpected. I was that foster child. I had a hard time with God growing up. I didn’t understand why innocent children are victims of abuse. I still struggle with that when I hear of horrible things happening in our world. What I didn’t realize HE was always there for me until a few years ago. I’ve been so blessed! I just need to feel worthy and know my husband will be there for the long run. My reality was abandonment if I’m not perfect. My temporary health issues just brought up all of my abandonment issues to a head. Another layer that needs to heal. I’m trusting the process, although painful. I’ve gotten so much closer to God. I am HIS child and I am worthy and loved.
Thank you for the reminder to slow down.
Rita, praying right now, that you would be able to release the shame that says you are burden, and come to know that your needs are okay, and that you are just as beloved in the midst of them.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Praying that God would erase the lie that you will be abandoned if you aren’t perfect. Praying He will replace that lie with His Truth that He will always be there for you. Just because one person abandoned you, doesn’t mean that your husband will abandon you. Praying you can lean into God and trust Him for your welfare. Look back to what He’s carried you through and let that give you confidence as you head into the future.
Blessings and prayers,
Bev, I am so thankful for that as well. Isn’t just incredible, that Jesus knows the depth of all we feel, internally and externally? That sure is a lot of scars…and I’m so very sorry for the pain surrounding them. Praying for God to continue to be your comfort and for you to know that your are BELOVED then, and now.
Amen! Praise God! Your sharing blessed me today. I needed to read your words. My body suffers with pain daily. I have been in a wheel chair for 9 years now because of my back and legs. I love to create. My hands ache and shaping clay or crocheting now is painful, but I press on. What my father endured makes my pain seem small. That He did it for me, is beyond my understanding. The crown of thorns, the cat of nine tails, the piercing of his side to be in hell for three days for me, for you, for us all, makes my suffering seem so small. I love Him so, from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head. He understands, He holds us close and tells us He loves us. What a mighty God we serve!!!
Thank you, Connie. I’m so sorry for the pain you face everyday, and for the loss of creating art with your hands. That’s no small loss. Your perspective and joy are evident though, and I’m grateful for a taste of it.
Grief needs space…Yes it does. I am sorry to hear about your wrist not feeling the way it was. In time, it will start to feel better and stronger. This weekend I will be saying goodbye to my mom who just passed. It feels like I just created this space for grief to heal from the loss of my best friend 2 years ago this same month and now will be needing more space for my momma. My bestie and momma got along so well, you would think she was my momma’s daughter. Now they both had received their wings and I definitely need space for healing. Grief never ends no matter what it is we are grieving. It’s this dull aching feeling for things/people. Thanks for reminding me that grief needs space to heal no matter what it is and that it’s ok…
Thank you, Maylee.
I’m so, so sorry for your great loss, and for the way it’s come on the heels of another grief. Praying for your heart, and yes, for that space and tangible support. I’m glad you are here and hope you know that this community has open space for you as well.
I love the description of the little girl lost. I’m working on finding that girl again too.
Yes, let’s keep remembering and becoming as we find her. Thank you, Heidi.
Beth Williams says
Praying God sends His healing touch to you quickly. May you get some use back in that wrist. God allows trials & tests in our lives
so we can offer comfort to others. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. When we go through these trials we eventually receive healing. It is through that healing that we can comfort others going through the same things. Lately I’ve been grieving the younger me. The one who made tons of mistakes & bad choices in life. I know I can’t go back & change anything. Would love to fix a few things & make life better for my hubby. Praying he doesn’t have to stay at his super stressful job much longer. Others seem to find jobs away from the hospital so why not him? I have to accept life as it is & move forward with the decisions we have made.
Thank you for those prayers, Beth! I pray that God would grant you glimpses of hope and give you and your husband a sense of his presence right where you are.
Sometimes we pass through times of barren lands and remembrance of loss that seem to leave a void of inspiration, faith and passion for who we were or are meant to be.
But then, a miracle occurs when unexpectedly God touches our soul and brings us round full circle to find that little girl full of wonder and spirit. Sometimes it takes years, or a plot second of touching your soul.
But there is a sense of returning to ‘ who I am’ and who God knows I am,
That fills you with inner peace and His love. Have faith , your spry little self is still there. It is a season you are passing through that will come round to meeting who you are, and who He wants you to be once again.
Thank you, Lyn. I receive that. Glad you are here.
So it is ok to grieve what used to be- grieve what we have lost in ourselves. Be thankful for healing and for scars… thank you
Indeed, it is more than okay. Thanks, Renae.
Dear Tasha, I felt this kind of grief, when my daughter was diagnosed with a chronic, progressive disease at 18. I had to come to grips with the fact that her life would never be the same. Everything would be just a bit harder for her than it would be for most people. But she has risen above her disease and battled through the hard times. She is married to a wonderful young man and has a beautiful 3 year old daughter. We have mourned her losses, but we celebrate her triumphs. Every day.
That’s beautiful, Irene. What a wonderful mother, champion, and advocate you are.
I’m there ! my daughter has a health issue that has made most my days wrapped in helping her and helping her grow into a lovely young woman. I have faced that grief and it’s a barren space as I have no time for friends in it.
I’m so sorry for the trial that you and your family are facing. You are doing good work and I see how much love you have for your daughter. Praying for God to provide comfort and friendship that fits this new normal.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
You know when we loose someone close to use. If saved don’t despare. We have not lost all. We might not have them any more on this earth. But yes we will miss them. But we as Saved of Jesus will have sad days wishing they where still here. No matter how we lost them. No matter what age they were. We can rejoice we will see them again Glory with Jesus. We can’t go back to the way things where. When we had them on earth. But Jesus heals us this side of earth to cope without them here on earth. It take time to get there as we all grief differently in our own way. But still down the line at times like their Birthday or Special occasion you might cry over not having them about. But that normal. As you can’t go back or bring them back to celebrate theses special day together. But Jesus will help you heal and still remember them in your own way. Plus all the good days you had them. Until you see them in Glory again. When your time up in earth with them. Then you will be completely healed yourself as you will be again with your loved ones you lost. Excellent reading once again. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx
Indeed, we have hope in Jesus. Thank you, Dawn.
Nancy Ness says
Tasha, the tears in my eyes reflect the memory I have of this lost girl, and, the fact that I can’t go back. I’m just now learning that God sees something new and he wants me to see it too. Thanks for sharing a piece of your heart. It is a good reminder on this cold, gray day.
Thank you for sharing, Nancy. Yes, we can’t go back, but we carry some of what’s been and God is making something new. There is hope and we are not alone.
I’m there. I am grieving being a more fun younger mom. hurt from friends has changed me the past 6 years until I sit and grieve who I was..i was fun and loved company. I was happily on the go.. until my very best friend of 20 + years told me she never was my friend that she faked most of it and felt obligated to stay friends. all the while I have everything to her and her family and was a true loyal friend. so that scar is a deep one and now I’m changed and am not who I used to be. would be nice to go back and be that bubbly person but now I don’t trust and can’t get close to any friend. yes indeed those scars run deep.
Krissy, this is heartbreaking. Prayers for you. I struggle with friendships, I think partially from living overseas for 5 years and when we returned, relationships had changed, for all our family actually. It is hard to trust and yet that is what we must do. Bit by bit. And to really love means turning my focus off of myself and instead focus on Jesus. Who does he want me to love on? Who is he putting in my path? I have new friends. I do find that I struggle and over think sometimes… But when I do that, I realize my focus is on myself again, not on Jesus! This is exactly where I found myself as I read this devo today. Coincidental? I think not. HE has to be my best friend first!
Krissy, I’m so sorry for that deep hurt. That is a big loss, and I can understand why it would be hard to trust another friend. I hope for God to bring healing in this wound, and for another friend that you can trust -even if it takes time.
I have been mourning myself this morning. Slow recovery from knee surgery means realizing I can’t do everything I used to do. I’m not enjoying this part of getting old. But this does help my perspective as I care for my 86-year-old mom. She used to be so vibrant and caring. Creative and busy. Pain and age has been difficult for her too. She hardly leaves her chair now. I need to be more aware of her own mourning… Healing truly isn’t hitting a rewind button. Realizing that and embracing my new reality may lead me into a new life of new opportunities to serve Him in new ways! I want to live expectantly!
Tami Harbin says
Jams! I’d wear some this summer if we could bring them back! Mine were Hawaiian print.
I didn’t get to read this yesterday and I am glad because I needed it for today. Thank you!!
Mary Carver says
Tasha, this is beautiful. But more than that, it’s important. Thank you.
Gina Green says
Thank you so much Tasha for sharing this- I needed to read this today.
Praying for your complete healing-