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Acknowledging Our Pain

Living in the early stages of grief can definitely have its days where you feel like you’re in the middle of a nightmare. I still say “early stages” for myself, even after 18 months. The fact that this is my new reality for the rest of my time here on this earth makes 18 months feel not all that long. When your arms still feel like you held your baby for the last time just yesterday, 18 months doesn’t even seem possible. That’s how weird time is. 18 months can feel like yesterday, and also like another lifetime ago, all at the same time.

When you have a child that left this temporary earthly home early for heaven, you realize how effortlessly it is to feel two opposite ends of the spectrum, all at once. I watch my three girls play together, I look at family pictures, we go on family vacations, and I experience such joy, and such heartbreak, simultaneously. It physically feels like my heart is being ripped in two.

There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to experiencing pain. Everyone walks through pain differently. Some face it well. Some try to deny it and out run it. Others try anything they can to numb the pain, which ultimately leads to even more suffering.

We can heal from pain by acknowledging it.

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.” We heard this phrase over and over after Ellie went home to Jesus. People meant well. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what to say to someone who is facing unimaginable pain. But that statement simply isn’t true, and can even be dangerous, leading us down a path of questioning God’s heart. If we could handle suffering by our own strength, there wouldn’t be a need for our Savior. We simply do not have all the strength it takes to walk through painful seasons on our own. We need God’s love. We desperately need His grace. And we especially need His strength to help carry us through.

There will be seasons where God may allow us to struggle beyond what we feel we can handle or solve on our own. He wants to strip us of ourselves. To reveal His truth and His goodness to us. To prove that we aren’t here to silently suffer alone. To show us what is possible when we surrender to His will, instead of relying on our own.

People often miss the opportunity for the growth that pain provides. They’re too busy running from it that they completely miss the unique circumstance that they have been given. Scripture tells us in Psalms 34 that God is close to the brokenhearted and He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Perhaps this is because those whose spirits have been crushed are running after God with all they have. They are desperately seeking and drawing near to God like never before. And He always meets them there.

God wants us to discover the hope that He provides when it feels like hopelessness is consuming us.

We won’t be fully healed from grief while on this earth. We won’t be made whole. We won’t be fully satisfied. But, that awaits us in heaven. There is still hope to be found, right in the middle of your suffering. Hope found in Jesus Christ.

Our earthy lives will one day fade away. But the nearness to Him we gain is something we keep for eternity.


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Aug 29, 2023

What a phenomenal message here and what the Lord has done through this crisis . Look at the strength He has gave you and continually gives you and your family. All the people that the Lord is using you to reach. God has a plan from the very beginning and most of the time we really don’t understand but we must be obedient. You chose to be Better not Bitter. I truly believe Jesus is coming soon and you will be reunited with our Savior and sweet Ellie . Finish the good works that He has created in you until the day of our Lord . Bless you and your family ! Love Meena Heidenreich


Aug 29, 2023

Alexis: I have posted before and every time I read on of your posts my heart breaks for you and your family after this loss. I have lost grandparents, both parents, and a wife, so I definitely know pain. However, I've never lost a child and have been told it's worse, especially losing them so young as you have experienced. I also agree that so many times people misconstrue that scripture that "God won't give you more than you can bear", as that's not true. As you stated, He will give us more than we can bear, but never more than He can handle, and wants us to turn to Him for that strength and love to get through the…


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