Our hearts go out to the grieving families of those lost in the helicopter accident with NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. We will continue to pray that God heals your broken hearts and that one day, though never understanding these tragic events, you will laugh again.
It was the late 1990s and I had cried every day for over a year. Yes, every day. I cried at home, at work, and at church. I cried in the grocery store, in restaurants, and driving in my car. In hindsight I should have gone to get some help but I was working as a retail pharmacist back then and I knew there was no pill to heal a broken heart. The good Christians around me quoted the best scriptures they knew for a broken heart. Psalm 30:5, joy comes in the morning. Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” They reminded me that God had given me peace in John 14:27. None of that helped me. My heart was broken and I was sure I’d never recover.
During that time in my life everything was broken but nothing more broken than me. None of the scriptures that people spouted– genuinely or cliche’ — helped me. My weeping lasted way longer than one night and I had no peace. So, I simply held on to the only scripture I could muster. Often through clenched teeth I’d remind myself to “Trust in the Lord will all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.” That’s Proverbs 3:5-6.
During that time in my life everything was broken but nothing more broken than me.
I cried every day from September 1997 well into 1999. Maybe it was spring. Maybe summer, I don’t remember exactly when it ended. One day, sitting in my living room all alone with the evening sun shining through the blinds, I laughed. It wasn’t the same cute little laugh I had before my broken heart. This was deep, authentic, and from my belly. It’s the same obnoxious, boyish laugh I have today. Similar to Jacob when he wrestled with God, my laugh is my limp. (Genesis 32:22-32)
I can’t tell you the day or the episode number. I can’t even tell you what was happening on the show at that moment. I was watching an episode of “Fraser” with Kelsey Grammer and I laughed. It was quick, precise, and rang in my ears like gun shots –HA! HA! HA! It shocked me and I froze. I looked up at God, mouth open with a gasp. To my surprise and delight, God had been with me every day, every step of the way, until one day I laughed out loud at an episode of Fraser. That was the day I realized that my broken heart had been healed.
Ask God to get you through the pain. Do not stop talking to God about your broken heart. Even if you can only say, “I know you’re here.” Say it! Pray every day.
Pick a scripture and hold on to it. Even if it’s “Jesus wept” from John 11:35 to remind yourself that Jesus, too, cried. Maybe Proverbs 3:5-6 can help you remember that God is still with you, directing your path. Keep God’s word in you heart.
Remember that healing takes time. Yes, in the Bible, people were healed instantly by Jesus. However, this healing occurred after some time. God will heal you. It might not be tomorrow.
It may seem like deep, penetrating broken hearts will never heal. You trudge on in pain. You may be angry with God. You may be confused by God. You may feel betrayed by God. Embrace whatever emotion you have, but do not, under any circumstances, turn away from God because…
One day, when you least expect it, you will laugh again.