There are waves of dealing with the long-term effects of life-altering situations: death, betrayal, rejection. Some of it can be positive, such as noticing blessings and opportunities the changes have allowed. Sometimes we end up closer to people we wouldn’t have otherwise. Sometimes we recognize the depth of our friendships. Sometimes we simply appreciate the small daily details of life.
But the long-term effects can also be disheartening and exhausting. For me, it’s more difficult to watch my daughters go through such struggles than to deal with my own. I don’t mean to minimize my own struggles, because they are real and overwhelming at times, but seeing people close to me wrestle and hurt is excruciating.
When the girls were little and had an owie, I’d pull the Ouch Mouse out of the freezer. That small, cold plastic cube wrapped in a cute yellow terrycloth mouse made a lot of owies better. But some owies are much too deep for the Ouch Mouse, When our hearts are bruised and our minds are bewildered because of someone else’s choices, we need more than the Ouch Mouse.
I don’t know how many times in the last few years I’ve said, “I’m sorry. I wish I could make it better for you.”
But I can’t.
And guess what? That’s okay. I can’t fix it all. The Ouch Mouse can’t fix it all. And even God likely won’t fix it all in the exact way and timing any of us would prefer. That’s not how it works.
But it still works, because God still works. He knows our bumps and bruises, and he cares. Sometimes that care is healing the hurt, and sometimes it’s helping us deal with the hurt through the healing process, so we don’t just temporarily feel better but we are actually better.
On the road to better is a good place to be. But it’s a bumpy road at times.