Holding Grief and Hope
Updated: Feb 23
By Kelly Wright
I find myself saying, “Our hearts weren’t created for this” more and more.
You see, according to Ecclesiastes 3:11, God has put eternity in the hearts of mankind which means that anytime we experience something that is a result of the fallen world and isn’t perfect, our hearts break. They weren’t created for this.
Hannah was someone who experienced this pain and grief. We read her story in 1 Samuel. At a time where having children was a sign of God’s favor and blessing, Hannah grieved month after month, year after year. To make matters worse, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, was having baby after baby and enjoyed making fun of Hannah for not having any.
One year when the family went to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice, Hannah was so distraught about this she couldn’t eat or stop crying. Her husband, who loved her very much, tried to comfort her, but to no avail. Hannah went to the temple and began crying out in her grief to God.
I wonder what her prayer was like? Was she careful with her words, fearing that she would say the wrong thing to God and make matters worse? Or did she lay it all out – the good, the bad, and the ugly? Did she emotionally purge to her God that she knew loved her so very much?
We don’t know exactly what she said, but we do know from this account that she was incredibly emotional. So much so that Eli, the priest, thought that she was drunk and asked her to leave.
When Eli told her she had to go because she was drunk, she said,: “Not so, my lord, I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I was not drinking wine or beer, I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Eli obviously could see her distress and answered, “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
The Bible then shares this poignant detail : “Then she went away and her face was no longer downcast.”
Hannah left the temple and after processing her feelings with God, her face was no longer downcast. Just because she was no downcast doesn’t mean that she was over the moon happy and wasn’t grieving. I believe that by crying out to God and sharing her heartache with Him, she was strengthened and had renewed hope that God was with her.
Hannah’s story is one of holding both hope and grief.
I read recently that God wants us to define hope in these five words, “I am with you always.”
With each disappointment and heartbreak, God wants us to hold onto Him for hope – He is with us always. We can trust Him even though we are sad, mad, and confused. Like Hannah, God desires for us to cry out to Him – share our emotions with Him, even when we are angry at Him.
We bring to God our grief and He gives us His hope.
Like Hannah, we need a place to go with our grief and we need someone to come alongside and pray with us.
If you need a space to grieve and process, please reach out to me or someone on our team. We can take a walk and talk or meet for coffee or in a quiet office space.
Our hearts weren’t created for infertility, but our heart were created to love and be loved by God. May you find comfort in the mighty arms of our loving God who is our hope.