When Life Breaks: A Lollipop, Broken Hearts, and Straining to Hear God’s Voice

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Photo adapted from source

A few days ago my three older kids came tromping home from a two-day adventure with their grandparents. 

There was joy. There was laughter. There was candy. 

Each child gleefully opened goodie bags they’d brought home. Special gifts from Papa and Gamma. Each bag contained, among other things, huge multicolored lollipops. They oohed and ahhed over these cavity-inducing treasures. 

The girls ripped into theirs right away but my son knew that this was a special treat. He wanted to linger a while longer in expectation, so he decided to wait until after naps to have his lollipop. Oh, the self-control. 🙂 

Later that day, my son bounced down the stairs with a huge grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye. The time had come! Time for his treasured lollipop! He happily went to get his bag and I went to put the baby down for a nap. 

Suddenly there was a loud crash. My son cried out in a panicked sort of way “MOM! Oh no, Mom! Oh no!” I came rushing down, expecting the worst, and saw him crying over a floor covered with lolipop shards. He was absolutely devastated, the way only a 5 year old can be at such confectionary disasters. 

I tried not to smile as I gathered him up in my arms and sat in a chair. As I rocked him and looked into his genuinely sad face, my mind wandered to a harder tragedy. And it lingered there. I began to cry with my son. 

Not a week before, some close friends of ours lost their baby. I saw my husband’s tears as he talked with the dad who was driving on his way home from the hospital. I read the mom’s words as she described what happened. I heard the mom’s voice. I saw the letters of the baby’s name appear across the screen as we chatted. I could almost hear the painful beating of her mom heart from several states away. 

My son and his lollipop made me think of all the times when good gifts are snatched away. Too soon. When expectation turns to disappointment and joy turns to mourning. That these things will happen even though it’s not how it is supposed to be! 

I wanted so badly to take away the pain from our friends. To make it all better. To say or do the one thing that eased it. 

I still want that. 

But with this sweet mom, and with all the other friends who have experienced great loss – and even with myself – I have mostly silence to offer. Silent tears and silent, shaking sobs. Silent prayers and silent whispers of hope that I know are true in spite of the pain. 

So many times there are just. no. words. 

But God is still speaking. He is speaking truth and life, even in this fallen place and these dark situations. Even in the midst of pain. Especially there. 

In times like these, each word and each breath feels like straining to hear His Word and to see His Light. 

He promises that He’ll be with us. We know this and can offer it as the lifeline to ourselves and others. Let us cling to His side and hang on His every word. 

I wiped away my son’s tears and said “Hey buddy, I’m sorry. Sometimes these things happen and it stinks. It’s not your fault. I know it will be hard, but let’s keep moving through the day, ok? Here, let me help you.”

And we prayed.

I published this with permission of the sweet couple I mentioned above. Would you consider praying for their little family right now? God is with them. And He is with you in whatever storm you are facing today.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Rebekah

    I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss. I wish that somewhere, someone had the right words to calm the grief and heal the hurts. That healing only comes in spending time with Jesus – just as your son came to you when his lollipop broke, how wonderful that we, too, can go to God with our broken hearts and know that He will heal us.

    The closest I can come to understanding this kind of loss is through the journey we walked of losing a baby to miscarriage. That was 12 years ago, and I can tell you that God has given me so many opportunities to glean from other moms who suffered loss, but God was also faithful to give me other moms to minister to, once my own heart had some healing.

    Please encourage your friend to take it slow, to really soak up some of God’s love and goodness right now, knowing He will heal all hurts. Go through the emotions, really feel them, don’t try to suppress them. They are real, they are true, and part of who you are, and ask God to provide, even in the midst of the emotions. Praying that God ministers to your friend in amazing ways, and that she will see His hand of love and care for her and her husband every minute of every day.

    1. Tauna M

      Wise words! Thanks Rebekah.

  2. Dalynn McCoy

    What a heartbreaking story! Even the candy is heartbreaking – I feel that stab of pain for silly things like that often. Whoever came up with the expression of not crying over spilt milk was heartless IMHO. Seriously, I’ve cried with my kids over popped balloons, because I can recall my heart breaking over those small joys as a child as well. Compassion is an important virtue.

    For your friend, praying now that angels would carry her before the Throne of Grace.

    Absolutely, God is still with you. God still cares, God still loves you! Even if you can’t see Him, even if you can’t hear Him or feel Him, He *IS* with you and carrying you through this. His heart breaks with yours.

    There is an enemy in this world. The enemy’s ONLY mission is to steal and to kill and to destroy. We are under the covering of grace and mercy of the sacrifice of the Lamb on the cross; we are seen by God through the rose-colored glasses of the blood of Christ. The whole point of the cross was to reconcile us to our Maker. That said to make the point that there is nothing that has been done wrong, no mistakes made, no sins, no stepping out from under a covering that “allowed” this to happen. It’s just not the case.

    The enemy has been in this world long enough and has his hands in enough things – environment, even genetics – that, sadly, these things happen often. NO, it’s not okay. NO, it’s not an excuse. NO, that doesn’t make it any better or any easier. But DO let it get you some righteous anger righteously directed – at the enemy himself. Put on your armor and fight that enemy for all you’re worth. He’s already taken so much from you – don’t let him take joy, peace, and many other things at the same time. Get your praise on, even when you don’t feel like it, and press ever harder into the presence of God Almighty.

    His love is what will carry you through.

    Praying for you now and every time I think of you in the weeks and months to come! God bless you!

    1. Tauna M

      Thank you for your encouragement Dalynn!

  3. futureflyingsaucers

    I too have suffered a miscarriage, but I still cannot comprehend the hurt and pain that is surrounding this couple right now. I do know that God blesses those who mourn, whether here on earth, or eventually in heaven. I also know that God cares and He sees before, during, and after times of suffering.

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