Weeping and Rejoicing with Others

Open Your Bible

Psalm 22:24, John 11:28-44, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 11:28, Romans 12:12-15, Hebrews 10:24-25, 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

I stood with the other guests, sandals planted in the grass, finger pressed to the top of a can of Silly String, waiting in anticipation to see what emerged from the tip of the spout. Blue or pink? Blue or pink?

Time and time again for the previous eighteen months, my husband and I had experienced a similar suspense in the privacy of our own home, waiting for the results. One line or two? One line or two? But there were no shouts of joy or photos taken. No blue Silly String raining down on our heads. Just the sound of plastic hitting the bottom of a trash can as another month closed on our dreams.

As our friends learned they would soon welcome a baby boy, I grabbed my husband’s hand and dragged him through their master bedroom, bathroom, and into the closet—not totally weird, since this particular gender reveal also doubled as a housewarming party. The place still smelled like paint. In my friends’ walk-in closet, shoes lined shelves on the left and right, all in perfect rows. Without warning, I began to sob, crumbling into my husband’s shoulder, laughing and crying at the same time as I realized I wanted everything they have.

I’m not sure I know how to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. All too often, I do it all backwards, because this life is really, really hard, and I’m just barely keeping it together. I find I’m detached when others weep, never quite sure what to say or how to make it better. And I’m sad to say I’m jealous when others rejoice, disappointed with my own circumstances.

I’m even worse with my own pain, minimizing it because I don’t want to burden other people. Downplaying my successes because I don’t want to seem vain or selfish. And God’s call to walk alongside others in their deepest sorrow and joy seems almost impossible (Romans 12:12–15). So for better or for worse, I fake it the best I can, hoping that someday my feelings will catch up to my actions.

But I think God wants so much more than for me to ignore my emotions. And He is most definitely not asking me to “fake it ‘til I make it.” He’s calling me to real emotion—to the odd, uncomfortable reality of holding grief and joy at the same time, without minimizing either experience, naming the good, the bad, and the ugly. This means allowing myself to feel the depth of my pain, so that, when the time comes, I will know what it means to grieve with my friends.

Being honest and vulnerable with our emotions isn’t easy. But ultimately, if we are real with Him—and with each other—every grief and every joy can transform into a glimpse of redemption. If I let it happen, every affliction can give me a greater capacity to care for and understand someone else’s pain. Every joy I allow myself to fully experience can give me a greater capacity to dance at someone else’s wedding.

In 2017, we brought home our son through adoption; we are writing a new story from many broken pieces. And yet, our journey with infertility is not over. Our bodies still don’t do what others can. But I’m learning that Christ is the ultimate empathizer. No one weeps with us and rejoices with us like He does. “For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so our comfort overflows through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5).

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169 thoughts on "Weeping and Rejoicing with Others"

  1. lilly roach says:

    i feel like i’m today’s world lord of people, myself included, focus on our own emotions rather than others and it’s so sad how accustomed we’ve become to it. this message was such a good reminder of the importance of sharing emotions with others.

  2. Natalie H says:

    Deeply moving story, but I’m left with the question, “What does it look like to be at a gender reveal party and feel grief and excitement at once?” “What is a gracious way to be hurting so deeply in the face of someone else’s joy without ruining the joy?” Obviously, there’s some spirit work to be done here: praying for the ability to truly feel others’ joy in the midst of my sorrow and praying that my jealousy be overridden, but that can be a long journey for each individual grief. What about before you get there?

  3. Crystal Laiben says:

    Rejoicing with those who rejoice has always been hard for me, especially when it comes to mother-daughter relationships. Most of my friends have amazing Moms and as adults their moms are their BFFs. It’s hard not to be jealous when my own mother abused me, abandoned me, and then died suddenly just over a month ago.

  4. Ashley Hoffman says:

    One of the most challenging parts of going to counseling was unboxing my childhood trauma and allowing myself to feel my emotions and turn over those hurtful memories to God. Now, as I grieve the loss of a friend, I am finding it easier to feel these emotions and to run to my loving Father for comfort.

  5. Tayleur Farrier says:

    Wow. Thank you for sharing your insightful truth. It has rocked my world this morning and I am opening my heart and mind to the locked emotions and hope.

  6. Andrea Starr says:

    I never thought of it this way. Ever. This hot me so hard. I’m so detached from others’ feelings because it’s so messy to get involved so often. It’s uncomfortable and I never know what the right thing to say is. I tend to think everyone should just “be stronger” and “push through” which is a really selfish way to expect people to hurt. But that stems from my own inability to let myself hurt the way I probably need to. I don’t want to seem weak or hung up on whatever is affecting me, so I just keep it to myself. But even that is wrong, because I’m not even relaying on Jesus to help me through those times. Just myself. And how can I stand next to someone in a time of pain (or joy) and understand that feeling while encouraging them to place their trust in the Lord, when I myself am not doing that?

    1. Tara Greeley says:

      Such a thoughtful response. ♥️

  7. Reina Sikabwe says:

    I’ve been feeling this, like I cant have emotions because I’m deemed weak… 5mins prior to this I was taking it to make it after my mom enraged me with the whole when will you and your bf get married talk. And ran to my room fell on my face and cried how unfair it is for her to ignore all the strides I made in my schooling, and all the mountains my boyfriend and I reoationsjip have faced and overcome, then minimize it to, why arent you there yet. But Jesus is teaching me it’s ok to be sad and weep in his arms cuz he will teach me how to forgive and love from a distance. It’s the hardest thingie ever been learning in my whole life.

  8. Tamara Doyle says:

    I’m praising God for His grace in that I’ve been much more readily able to genuinely rejoice in the successes/celebrations of others rather than feel the pang of jealousy at every wedding or pregnancy announcement. And experiencing the grief of singleness and loss has enabled me to weep with others who go through the same. It’s a comfort to be able to offer the comfort I’ve received from Christ and know my suffering has not been in vain.

  9. Kate Morse says:

    My husband and I have also been dealing with infertility, something I never thought would affect me. It’s been almost two years of trying to conceive. I have watched friends and fellow church members go through years and years of hurt because of infertility. I always said to myself, “I’m so glad I won’t have that problem.” Although I’m not sure why I thought it wouldn’t affect me! We have an appointment with a fertility specialist this week, so reading this devotional today was perfect timing. I am going to try to rejoice with others more rather than feeling sorry for myself!

  10. Shanna Hafemann says:

    I resonate with the piece of downplaying my pain or my joy. Emotions were never allowed in my home growing up & so I assumed that they weren’t allowed with Jesus.

    A piece of the story of Lazarus stood out differently than ever before:
    32Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

    I remember hearing that awful phrase, “don’t be a Martha.” And I also remember people like Thomas being criticized for his doubt. So when I read this, I am perplexed, that it was Mary (the good one) who questions Jesus and he did not scold her! In fact we know that Jesus wept with her. How compassionate of him. To know he was & could raise Lazarus from the dead yet he still weeped with Mary.

    This is so incredibly beautiful. May I learn to come to Jesus exactly as I am. And trust that isn’t waiting to reprimand me for my pain or joy but he is waiting to mourn & rejoice with me.

  11. Tracey Kapitz says:

    As I walk through the grief of losing my mom I’ve noticed that majority of people don’t know how to walk alongside someone in grief. They either avoid or try to fix. Neither is helpful. You can’t fix something that is gone. I’m experiencing the first round of major holidays without both my parents as a single 30 something. It’s hard when you’ve got more in common with your friends parents then you do your friends. If you’re struggling with grief or you’re supporting someone who is I recommend the website http://www.refugeingrief.com and the book It’s Ok That You’re Not Ok by Megan Devine. Very helpful.

  12. Tiffany Murray says:

    I feel this deeply, on many different levels. My husband had a vasectomy from a previous marriage and 5 (ish) years ago we decided to have it reversed so we could have a child together (we both have children from previous spouses but none together). In September of 2014 he had the reversal, in December we found out my mother had brain cancer that would ultimately take her from us the following November. I put a hold on trying during this time, and after I was so full of grief over losing my mother I couldn’t think of it…and when I was ready to try again, my husband was not. He had decided he no longer wanted a child because he was “too old”. I see every pregnancy announcement and birth with happiness, but also a longing for what I’ll never have now. I know things happen for a reason, and if another child isn’t what’s in store for me then God must have other plans – but it’s hard anyways.

  13. Melissa Mcronney says:

    This reading came on time. Thank you Jesus

  14. Jessie Motley says:

    It’s been so difficult to rejoice for others this year. It’s been almost a year of separation with my husband and every day seems to have a new set of challenges. I find it easy to weep with people because I can cry at the drop of a hat nowadays….but I find myself finding it hard to weep over their problems without focusing on my own. Rejoicing with friends who are engaged or getting married or having babies is hard because all I want is just a little bit of the happiness they are experiencing. I feel like I’ll never be happy again. This devotional has come at such a perfect time in my life and I thank you for sharing your struggles about finding weeping and rejoicing for/with others a challenge. It’s nice to know you’re never alone.

  15. DENISE says:

    Today really opened my eyes to the fact that although I can feel sad for someone’s situation or be happy for them, my emotions are very surface ones and I get in the way of myself which really gets in the way of weeping and rejoicing with others. My own self agenda.. My jealousy and being self centered. I’m so thankful for this reading because it brought clarity to an area in my life that I need to pray and ask God to help me with.

  16. Stacey says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your truth and being so authentic with this very relatable reality in struggling with empathizing and celebrating with others. How amazing that Jesus blesses us with family and friends to carry each other’s burdens and be there for one another through the good and bad, just as he is with us. It is all to easy to dwell on the negative and the things we miss out on but I choose to look to my saviour and be thankful for what I do have. God I pray that you would help me to be authentic with myself and others, to celebrate and weep with those around me just as you do with me. Amen.

  17. Abby says:

    I love this. I have struggled with rejoicing with others when something good happens. I lost two grandparents within 6 months and the second one was a week before my high school graduation. I felt so hurt and betrayed that they would never be there to see my life accomplishments and two years later, I am still struggling to be around other people’s grandparents or be happy during the holidays. This definitely encourages me. This whole series has been perfect for me and I’m so glad to read it every day.

  18. Emily Wolf says:

    I struggled with such deep jealousy and anger for the majority of my young adult life (the depth of it being from high school through late twenties). I knew I was jealous and angry and I knew why: my life was not what I wanted it to be and I when I looked at others who had what I wanted (material, spiritual, and emotional), I believed that “of course they are happy—they have _________. It would be easy for me to be happy if I had that too.” Consequently, I could not rejoice in their joy (I was painfully jealous of their happiness and life) or share in their pain (I was also painfully jealous of the people they had to weep with them). Every moment I was comparing it to my own life or angrily asking why I was who I was, lacking in so much. Slowly, I became exhausted of living that way. I wanted to believe that God could show me something better, and that he was bigger than what I could see. I realized that Satan had me distracted with myself, and as long as I was self-focused, I was not God-focused. I asked myself, “What kind of crazy amazing work could God do if I just let go?” It was then I realized that letting go of jealousy and anger was scary to me. If I let those things go, then I would relinquish some kind of strange control I believed myself to have. If I let go of jealousy and anger, then some how it meant I was okay with my life, even though I felt so passionately angry about my life. Why do we believe that? Jealousy and anger control us—they are not forms of control for us. I slowly let go, afraid of what I would have left. I slowly prayed that something beautiful would happen if I prayed for God to replace my jealous and angry thoughts with one small, yet miraculous thing—love for God. That’s it. I prayed that God with occupy my thoughts with just Him, and that he would open my eyes to see this world differently, with me not at the center. Over the next few years, he came through day by day. And it is such a relief. He has changed my heart. The people I was jealous for still have the lives and things I wanted, but He has changed my heart toward them (or in some cases just made me simply indifferent towards them—what a miracle). He has given me a confidence that I could never have produced myself. He has shown me things to love about myself that I was too distracted to see before. He has given me a servants heart to serve those who I would have been jealous of. He has made me see life so much differently, and that is through a heart that runs on hope and eyes that are protected by His spirit. I am continually amazed that God changes hearts. I hope this is encouraging to others, as His love and what it is capable of in our own growth always amazes me.

  19. Erin Kennedy says:

    I feel this story so deeply—it has been my story for the last year as every month I get my period again, and nearly every day someone shares a pregnancy announcement or cute photos of their kids. Learning to rejoice with others is something I’m only starting to learn to do. The bitterness runs deep.

  20. Zoe says:

    Nicole, thank you for sharing your hurts and fears with us. It can be hard to open up to deep relationships, especially if your early experiences taught you that only leads to pain and loss. I am praying for you this morning- asking God to heal your heart, provide you with trustworthy community, and give you the courage to be vulnerable and love your community well. God has worked so powerfully in my life through relationships, and I have seen Him provide community in amazing ways when I needed it most, so I am praying and believing that He will do the same for you. Love you!

  21. Rachel Anne says:

    This devotional was so timely for me. This very month, my husband and I hit the 18 month mark in our infertility journey. With every pregnancy announcement of a family member or friend, I find myself feeling broken as I ache to have what they do. I feel like this devotional spoke right to my heart. I want to fully rejoice with my loved ones as they celebrate. I am starting to realize that my pain can be fully felt at the same time that I share in their joy. Praying that I can hold this tension for however long this painful journey lasts and that I can dance and feel genuine joy in the midst of it.

  22. Avalon Negrette says:

    I’ve recently been feeling pretty similar… I got married last year which was awesome, but one of the most stressful times in my life. Definitely didn’t go how I hoped it would have gone in my head. Now my friends are getting married and having babies which is so exciting, but there is this jealousy thing that I just cant seem to shake. I can’t help but want what I don’t have. There’s a part of me that wants to redo my wedding because there was so much drama and not enough happiness. There’s a part of me that really wants to be a mother, but can’t right now because my husband wants to wait and we’re a team so that means I’m waiting too. It really can be hard to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. I find myself at a loss for words more often than not.

    1. Samantha Miller says:

      My husband and I are dealing with similar issues. We had a beautiful wedding over a year ago, but there was a lot of drama leading up to it. It’s hard not to remain bitter about the people that ruined our excitement. And now I’m struggling with wanting to start a family while he wants to wait a little longer. It’s hard, sister, but we’re in this together. Jesus knows our suffering and he near to us.

    2. Zoe Gonzales says:


  23. Nicole says:

    Sisters, I suffer with a selfish POV about relationships. I learned early on in childhood that relationships outside off family don’t really last. I know that’s not always true and it’s a selfish way too look at it – “what’s in this for me?” So I feel lonely. I feel guilty because I feel I don’t have close enough relationships to “weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.” To “come alongside and inspire others.” I have a fear of being open and vulnerable. So I guess I’m asking for prayers. I thank you all for being vulnerable with posting your hurts this morning. It inspired me to post mine. Thank you ❤️

  24. Kelly Chataine says:

    There is a part of me that would like to feel sorry for myself but I will not give in. My husband fell Saturday and I found myself following an ambulance again. We found ourselves back in a familiar situation. Again, I am fighting my emotions because I never wanted to be back at a hospital.

    So here I am trying to genuinely praise God for the situation we find ourselves in, again. It has been this way since December 2014.

    Thank you, God, that the injury was not to his head! Thank you that we are able to remain in our own familiar town. Thank you that we have a whole host of new nurses, interns, doctors, and hospital staff in which to witness.

    You know what is best and I thank you for watching over us!

  25. Cheryl Burba says:

    Thank you for your transparency. I understand your struggle. That was a tough season for me as well. Hold fast. I am praying for you.

  26. Sandi Wellnitz says:

    I have never thought of Jesus as the ultimate empathizer. But I know that He is. Lord, help me to be more like You – for your glory. Amen.

  27. Churchmouse says:

    It was a tough, humbling lesson to learn. So often I had trouble weeping and rejoicing with others because of the sin of comparison. How did my life line up in comparison to theirs? Did they have more and better compared to my lack and loss? I couldn’t focus on their sorrow or their joy because I was busy comparing it to my own. In my quiet time one morning, God called me up short with one question : What kind of ‘friend’ is that? There was only one honest answer : a very self centered one. Not the kind of friend I wanted to be or would want for myself. Humbled by my best Friend, I leaned in to His Word to be still. Be still in the midst of weeping and rejoicing, whether it was mine or someone else’s. Be still and know that He is the God of all comfort. Be still and know that He is the God of abundant generosity. I can choose to be still and know that He is that kind of God for all His children. I can be still. And I can be the friend who weeps and rejoices with others because I know the God who is in control of both.

  28. Kristen says:

    I have posted this before, but my baby was stillborn. I knew of God and went to a Catholic Church growing up, but I didn’t really know Him or His Word. Her death led me to a new church, and God used a woman to tell me to run to God and not away. I was so devastated at her death. I imagined all the things she would never do. Then, I learned about Jesus. She is in Heaven and in God’s Presence where there is fullness of joy and laughter! My daughter may have never taken a breath, but she led me to learn about our Savior. I’ve been able to help and comfort others that go through this pain. Every life has a purpose and this includes our babies that passed away. The scripture that talks about Jesus being our High Priest that isn’t unfamiliar with our temptations or pain brings me comfort. Jesus understands. I imagine that He saw and felt every sin when He was on the Cross. He knows what death felt like and He knows what we are going through. Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus. He saw the sting and pain of death in Mary’s tears. As Kaitlin says above: Christ is the ultimate empathizer. No one weeps or rejoices with us like He does. May God comfort all those mourning in any way today. May they receive peace and hope in the midst of pain. Please let us all turn our eyes on our Savior today and remember His love. I was thinking of this song today: https://youtu.be/-c6pl6CaiD0

    Life can be so hard, but this song is a good reminder of whom we serve and what is to come.

  29. Melody Kruse says:

    I can really relate to this, thank you. ❤️

  30. Katelyn says:

    Thank you for sharing this… yesterday I had surgery to remove a tubal pregnancy as well as the fallopian tube itself. My husband and I lost our first pregnancy to miscarriage this spring, and we were so excited about being given the gift of life again when we discovered I was pregnant last month.

    I have several pregnant friends and family members right now, and I will be around more pregnant bellies over the holidays. I am struggling to “rejoice with those who rejoice” because our loss feels so raw and unfair. I hear women joke about how quickly they get pregnant or hear them bemoan a “surprise” pregnancy, and in my heart I cry, “Why, God?!” I’ve been asking the Lord what He is wanting to teach me in this season, and I’m still unsure what that is. But I don’t want to lose faith or lose hope that He can turn our sorrow into joy. Blessings to all you other hurting women out there…

    1. Melody Kruse says:

      Just thank you for your words.

  31. Mikaela Renae says:

    This really spoke to me, to read the advantages of emotions is something I think I really needed.
    The reason I committed myself to God was because of a dark time in my life when I was trying to get better on my own and keeping my emotions from those around me. At the lowest moment, when everything was going wrong, I could feel Him with me telling me that He knew how lost I felt.
    I have found myself in another difficult time in my life, but this time my emotions have completely taken over and I just can’t hide them from anyone anymore. I cry more now as an adult than I think I ever did as a kid, any intense emotion sets me off, even happy ones and I can’t holdback the tears. I find myself laughing and crying all within the span of a minute and it feels crazy. But I also notice how much more I feel the people around me and can empathize with them. I think this makes me kinder than I used to be, less judgmental then I’ve ever been, closer to God in ways that only He can ever know.

  32. FC says:

    I have walked this road too. I do have a child now, praise God, but I still bear the scars of the trying & failing & then ultimately losing 2 babies as well. I will never forget it. But I also realise that the experience has equipped me to give comfort & to empathise in a way I could never do before, with those who are walking that road. The Lord did a great work in my life – giving me my daughter, yes, but more importantly in bringing me ever closer to Him & in giving me the comfort I received from Him to pass on to others.

  33. Gen says:

    Urg, infertility is so hard on ones faith.
    It questions everything you thought you knew.
    After four years of infertility and many failed cycles and a failed IVF I have had so many tears and so many questions of why God wont give me children. I have been hopeless as I watched everyone else fall pregnant, more then once.
    But God reminds me that He is doing a good work in me and that it will come to fruition in his timing.
    #infertilitysucks but #heisagoodgoodfather
    Trusting with you emily as we walk this road of tears and joy.

  34. Kari says:

    Woahhhh. This almost eerily spoke to me, Claire. Thank you so much for this. My ultimate goal in life is psychiatry, but honestly I have always had an awfully hard time weeping with others, as you said, I get kind of awkward. I really don’t like that I’m like that, especially with the field I want to go into. However, I also minimize my own emotions. And I have gone through SO many trials in life. So many opportunities daily to really FEEL. You made me realize I need to take advantage of them. The trials God is putting me through now, will enable me to truly help others in the future. I can “feel” with them. Thank you for this transformative devotional Claire!!

  35. Olivia says:

    This text really spoke to me this morning. During this entire summer I have had a hard time letting my emotions be seen. I lost my grandpa a couple months back and I could never let myself show emotion in public about it. I would wait until I was in my room and I would cry and cry until there were no tears left. This is something I pray about constantly. I want to let other people in but I’m just so use to pushing people away when I get emotional.

  36. Madi Grace says:

    This post was, in a way the affirmation of things that I’ve been struggling to overcome. Recently a close friend’s mom passed away and I felt guilty about weeping and mourning because I had never even met her mom, I didn’t feel it was my place. I have also had a hard time naming my emotions and fully experiencing them, preferring to not give them the credit they deserve. This particular reading was great in helping to affirm that it is okay for me to feel and express all my emotions, even when I feel bad about them, and those in turn can help me weep louder and rejoice greater with my friends.

  37. Lisa Janzen says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Alicea says:

      I love your honesty. I love that you are transparent. Your courageous sharing helps others realize we do the same thing in our lives.

  38. lexy says:

    I love this so much. My boyfriend who was 25 passed away last summer. Losing him was harder than anything I’ve experienced , and having so many friends who are married, engaged, or happily in a relationship doesn’t make it any easier. Wedding after wedding I’ve attended I can’t help but to think that was going to be us as he was going to propose soon, or seeing couples on Facebook happy like we were, or just hearing a friend talk about her boyfriend like how I once did were daily reminders of everything I lost. It’s so hard and very heartbreaking. It’s also difficult when a friend goes through a break up and confides in me. As much as I hate to admit, sometimes I have this selfish part of me that is consistently thinking, “well at least he is still alive.” But I have buried my face into God’s word and I have felt His presence more the past few months than any other time in my life. I’m overcoming my depression and letting go of everything and focusing on just trusting in Him. Death is hard but with the help of friends, mentors, and great studies like these I can better see the light in such darkness. Thank you ❤️

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Lexy, what a difficult thing to experience. Thank you for sharing this! Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    2. Claire says:

      Thank you

  39. Emily says:

    I started reading this study because we lost our 2nd son at 17 weeks pregnant 2 weeks ago. My 1st pregnancy ended in miscarriage and our son has Down Syndrome. Our son is amazing, but Im 0-3 for healthy pregnancies. So many friends have just had babies, are pregnant, or just have 3-4 healthy kids and I just don’t understand why God isn’t allowing us to have that. I’m not rejoicing with others, but want to run to the closet too. I’m trusting that God is good and He has a plan for this, but it’s hard. Today’s message really helps.

    1. Stormye Puffer says:

      Emily, praying for you in this difficult season. Thank you for sharing with us and letting us know how to specifically pray for you.

    2. Sam says:

      Emily, I started this study after a year that lead to two miscarriages and the death of my older brother. I also struggle with rejoicing with my friends in there successful pregnancies, but I know we serve a God that sees the big picture even when we don’t. I prayed for you this morning ❤

    3. Júlia says:

      Praying for you Emily… I don’t know why God allow these things to happen neither. I found out some months ago that I carry a genetic disorder that can cause severe intelectual problems in my children. To avoid that, we started a journey with IVF but because of the same problem I have low reserve ovarian and I got only one egg which we found out yesterday it didn’t make to the stage we needed to be tested… we’re gonna do it again, how many times we need. I want to have a baby so bad. I’ve been dreaming with this time my entire life and now this… Im the kinda person that wants to stay home caring for my family, raising my kids myself with all my love, but I just don’t see it happening right now. I see people that don’t even believe in God having kids, or parents that don’t appreciate their children, or healthy couples that don’t even wanna have kids… and I’m here hopeless, fearing the fact that I might never have kids of my own… it just doesn’t feel fair. I know He has a plan for everything and nothing is impossible for him, but I’m hopeless right now.

      1. She Reads Truth says:

        Praying for you in this, Julia. Asking the Lord to grant you peace in this time of hurt and uncertainty.

        – Stormye

        1. Júlia says:

          Thank you ❤️

      2. Stephanie T. says:

        Oh dear sweet Julia! While I have never walked down that road I am still single and I’ll be 27 tomorrow. My biggest dream since I’ve been a young girl is to be married and raise a large family. I thought surely by the time I was 21 (and that was stretching it) I would be married with at least one precious baby. And here I am, way past that age range and still not seeing the fulfillment of my heart cry!
        It hasn’t been an easy road. I’ve struggled with bitterness, hopelessness and the realization that I had let this holy dream God placed in my heart become an idol that I regarded higher than God himself.

        I can’t answer all of your questions but I can cry with you as we sit the unknown and trust that God is who He says He is even when He withholds what we feel like we need. May The pursuit of our relationship with Him become our all consuming desire.
        And right here, right now, in this moment, in this hopelessness you feel. I can tell you this : you are loved! More than you can imagine. More than you can believe. By a perfect love that casts out fear. Nothing can separate you! Nothing! He loves you Julia! And in the midst of your pain He holds you in nail scarred hands and cries with you because He knows the pain of loss too.

        So many prayers & tears for you my Dear Sister in Christ!

  40. Untidy says:

    I read this out of duty, feeling weary with life, knowing that I want lots that just isn’t possible right now, and knowing that well-meaning friends will tell me to try this or that. I hate going to church as it’s superficial with nice people and nice lives who don’t want to hear my pain and anger, but ironically it’s the one place that I want to be real, if only I could! I’m so glad that God can cope with the depth of my confusion/pain/frustration/weariness.

    1. Alisa says:

      Keep trying different churches – you will find those real people you seek

  41. Elizabeth says:

    This was beautiful!

  42. Steph says:

    Yes the vulnerability is tough for me for sure. Fear of being misunderstood as well. But God is so real! Endurance of believing. And even when we cannot see, we must hope! Go to God! Those who are heavy laden.

  43. Erin Mitchell says:

    12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

    I am in tribulation-currently going through a divorce, selling my home, buying a new one, panicked that I can’t afford it all, panicked that I’m messing up my kids, and choosing to drink instead of turning to God. I am so sick over my bad decisions as of late. Last night, I spent hours reading devotionals and praying. I know God forgives me, but I am struggling to forgive myself. I am so impatient with this tribulation. I just want it to be over so I can move on. But the moving on is part of the journey and accepting the tribulation. This is exactly what I needed today. God is good!

  44. Kelly H says:

    My guinea pig Ferguson just passed away today, I buried her in the back yard with my mom this morning. For hours I cried and held onto the box she was put in. When I came back to my house and got inside, I went to my computer and started today’s devotion. This helped me through the tears, I know my guinea pig is up in heaven dancing and squeaking happily with God. <3

  45. Whitney says:

    I struggle a lot of burdening people with my emotions. Even my mom- I’ll share something and then apologize for being a ridiculous girl about it and laugh it off. After some very difficult relationships sometimes it’s even hard to want to feel. Rejoicing with others as their lives move toward what I’ve wanted is hard, but it is doable. …just in His power- not mine.

  46. Lauren carter says:

    I too have battled infertility everyday for 7 years. I completely understand the confusion of truest wanting to be happy when your friends are on their 3rd or 4th child, but so deeply longing for just 1 of your own. God has showed me- His plan is going to be so much better then the one I have. Even if that doesn’t involve my own children.
    Thanks for sharing your heart. This has been such a help to so many people- people who maybe can’t share their story. It’s been a help to me.

  47. littlecountryme says:

    Oh my… I needed this so much today. It’s incredible how I started this two-week reading exactly when I did, so that I could read this section this morning. Last night was one of the roughest nights I’ve had in months, (and this year has been stuffed with the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced,) because yes this life is really, really hard. And sometimes, all I can do is cry out my pain to God and pray that He’ll work everything out because I know He loves me and these trials are meant to strengthen me. There were so many verses in the passages this morning that spoke to me in the exact way I needed, at exactly the right time. God is truly amazing.

  48. Danette Williams says:

    Wow! Claire I felt my face start to moisten with tears as I read your story. What a story and what truth you share.
    I come from a very different place and though it is a VERY painful place, when placed beside your story I feel very grateful in my pain. You see I have had two children. So that in itself is a blessing that is unmatched in my life. My son is now 27,married and not only a believer but a follower of Christ! My other child, my beautiful daughter Holly, now lives in heaven. She was tragically killed at the age of 20, 11/11/2007 by a drunk driver. I feel so selfish going into the depth of my pain here. I truly do Claire. Please know I do. Our founder of our local chapter of The Compassionate Friends has a quote she shares after she lost two children, one stillborn the other at 22 in a work related accident. It comes from a book by Williams Faulkner, “between grief and nothing I chose grief.” So yes, I lay my story next to yours I feel very blessed. I cannot put into words how sorry I am for your pain.
    We now chair the local group of The Compassionate Friends. We started attending this group 2 months after Holly’s death. After almost 9 years we made the choice to take over the role of leaders in January after the couple who had chaired for almost 12 years stepped down.
    When I shared this with my son months ago, he said “mom, I just worry about you being around sadness so much. It seems to weigh on you.” His heart was in the right place as a son. But as I reminded him, if someone had not STAYED and been there when we first came and the years that followed to comfort us, where would we have been? Also ” we are to comfort as we are comforted.”
    Yes, each month that we meet and we circle around with our voluntary introductions and I, month after month still hear the deep pain in the voices of those precious parents who are still “raw” in their grief, or when a new parent walks in the door and I see right away that they are still having trouble just taking steps, which I feel certain you have felt Claire, when time and again you don’t get to feel the joy that comes with the “positive line” on the test and all that is to follow. I know they are finding it hard to take a deep breath because it causes such a tight feeling in their chest.
    It does weigh on me and it does make me so sad. But I am sad for them. But I also know that one day, some day, they WILL feel differently. NEVER the same but different. But even if I tell them that they wouldn’t believe me. Even though I’ve been where they are, if someone had told me outright (and they did!) who had lost a child, “you’re JOY will return”, I wouldn’t have believed it!! The most I can give them is to let them SEE in me a renewed sense of peace,( which absolutely 100% does pass all understanding!) yes joy, and see me be able to laugh and function physically (walk and breath!) and then maybe little bit by little bit they too will survive what they certainly thought would kill. It’s only that way I can be of help to them, and walk with them. That’s what we as followers of Christ do.
    But I must confess, even though the Lord has renewed my JOY (not happiness, it goes and comes with the wind!!) and even in my darkest hours after the knock at the door, there are still days when missing my girl overtakes me and I am curled up in bed in the fetal position. On those days I am angry, bitter and wonder “why my daughter?” I’m with you here Claire. We all have those feelings and I don’t think we have to be ashamed! It’s these days that I have to fake it!! I even confess I feel I have to fake it with my son many times. I feel if he knew how often I have these negative feelings he will feel he isn’t enough. So, I make my voice an octave higher on the phone when we chat every few days, and I say only “yeses” and positive things, then take a deep breath that our conversation is over when I hang up; on these days even talking with him is wearing!! Faking zaps your energy!!
    But then there is this, those parents who lost their only child, and yes those who have lost 2 children or both the children they have had. Which unfortunately I know personally a few. How do they function? How do they go on? So I like you Claire, can lay my story by another and always change the vastness of my pain. But even more vast the work it takes to fake it!! I find myself apologizing for my pain at times, or not wanting to burden others. But what you said here Claire hit me so hard and it is a good peace giving hard!! When you said ” if we are real with Him and with each other, every grief and every joy can transform into a glimpse of redemption!” Wow Claire, that is so beautifully shared, and impacting! Then how ” every affliction gives us a greater capacity to care for and understand …and every joy..” I would say the Lord has surely worked through you and speaks life giving words through you that can impact so many!! I thought I had such an understanding and grasp on how He uses me. And though I ache for you,and I really do, you have a mighty powerful gift of putting pain onto paper! I for one thank you so much for your vulnerability and your willingness to share. God bless you in the days ahead. I will be praying for you everyday!

  49. Jen says:

    Claire, thank you for your vulnerability this was so simple & vulnerable but so incredibly accurate and what I needed.

  50. Bobbi says:

    I’m late coming in on this study, but currently my marriage is falling apart. It all looks impossible. We are separated and much has happened. I know I serve the God of the possible in the impossible.
    This hit home for me today, as it is wedding season and it seems to be hitting me from all around. The happiness and the joy of others. I try not to cry, to steal any of their joy with my grief. The pain of losing something right now and trying to celebrate with them is so painful. I’m learning.
    I do not want to be selfish, but to leave room for both emotions at the same time.
    A friend’s husband passed away also yesterday, last night my heart felt so heavy for her. I felt guilt for my pain, but was reminded that my pain Jesus also is weeping for too. He is weeping for my broken heart. Just because I have thought it to be less than her pain it’s not.
    My heart still so heavy for her I desperately prayed for her to find peace. I was able to mourn with her through my prayer journal and fervently pray for her to feel peace. (Unsure if she is a Christian)…. But also that God would radically reveal Himself to her at this horrific time.
    God is with the broken hearted. No matter what.
    I’m going to pray to be able to feel all of the emotions, joy, grief, and hope.

    1. AmyQ says:

      Praying for you, Bobbi!

    2. Natalie says:

      Praying for you and your friend! Stay strong in Christ, God bless

    3. Phylicia says:

      Praying for you and thinking of you Bobbi! Through Christ, all things within His will are possible. Rely on Him and His promises! He WILL bring healing!

  51. Kate says:

    I first read this study when it came out, but thought I would retread the entire study. I was on this particular day when I was interrupted. On my way back to the study, I checked a text that had come in earlier. It was from a friend whose husband recently and unexpectedly passed away. She asked me to pray for her as she was bringing her youngest to college, eleven hours away. I sent her a text of encouragement only to come back to the study and read Matthew 11:28. Sent her another text telling her the faithfulness of God. Then realized, as I wiped away my tears for her on the joyous occasion of her son starting out on this new journey, but yet the loss of a father and husband, the next verse was Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Precious words of comfort right at the very moment they were needed. Thank you!

  52. Abby says:

    Thank you SRT. Filling my mind with these uplifting words and realizing that I’m not alone in this is comforting! God has me in a season of waiting for a precious child but I KNOW he will give us all our desires in his timing. Ladies I pray for all of you. I feel your pain! Our time will truly come, expect it.

  53. Reandra says:

    I love this so much! I can totally sympathize with downplaying the grief in your life to not make others uncomfortable, but God gave us each other as a gift to carry us through the bad times. It is a total struggle to carry and feel both the joy and the grief of this world at the same time and I love the way you explained it. It’s encouraging to know it’s ok to feel both, and perhaps we need the joy to make it through the grief. A month after I met the man I’ll marry, my mom was diagnosed at 54 in the later stages of dementia, and it’s been aggressive ever since we got the diagnosis. Life these days has consisted of the deepest grief I’ve ever felt, and also the greatest joy. I’m convinced now these two go hand in hand because we’d never make it through the grief without the joy even if it is someone else’s joy. For me sometimes it’s just the hope that joy is still there, and this grief is only for a season. How good is the Lord to look upon our sorrow and comfort us, and still bring us joy!

  54. Caitlyn says:

    I feel today’s lesson so deeply. Recently, my younger sister got married. And shortly thereafter, all three of my best friends became engaged and are now wedding planning. At around the same time that all of their fairy tales began, my boyfriend (who had purchased a ring for me and was waiting for the time to propose) broke up with me over a text message. I have struggled so much with feeling the hurt and disappointment when seeing all of the girls close to me get everything that I had within my grasp. I am genuinely happy for them, but I also have that grief and loneliness in the back of my mind, wondering what is so wrong with me that I’m the only one that isn’t starting their new life. Today’s reading spoke to me so deeply. Thank you for sharing.

  55. Lidia Zamarripa says:

    I’m currently reading this devotion in the cafeteria of a hospital. My future father in law is in the hospital again for the third time this year. Trying to remain positive and faithful in the times of grief is so difficult, but I have a massive amount of joy because of the little girl that I helped led to Jesus yesterday at vacation bible school. Although my heart is breaking for my family, I’m rejoicing for the name written in the Book of Life.

  56. Mindy says:

    Ohhh infertility. My husband and I have known it well for the past 5 years. So so hard to have joy and grief at the same time… Especially when it comes to this subject. I have really really struggled having joy for others in the midst of pain. All I can do is my best… We are only human after all. Thanks for sharing and prayers for healing for you and your husband!!! Xo

  57. Brit says:

    This series has been both rewarding but troubling for me as well. As many of the readings bring up the topic of death, and dying as believers, I am left asking about the flip side. Coming from a non religious background, and a family of non-believers, I did not find Christ until college. Because of my background, I have experienced death of friends and family members who were not believers. How should I still rejoice in the mourning? I have such a hard time attending funerals of friends and family who I know were not believers, who even committed suicide, and at the funerals they are talked about as ‘being with God’ and ‘in a better place with the Lord in heaven’….. but is that true? I have faith in the Bible and in God’s word, and His word does not say those things about people who do not believe in Him, and people who live in darkness. I do not only mourn their death but I mourn their death without knowing Christ. Where should I rejoice?

    1. Pamela says:

      Brit, That is so hard and certainly an appropriate cause for mourning. I think rejoicing may not happen in those situations. I think there will be other pages in your life story where there will be cause to rejoice. But I think you can cry out in sadness when unbelievers die. I heard a story about a tribe in a remote part of the world that heard about the gospel for the first time. As these people came to Christ they rejoiced. But they also mourned with the knowledge that their past loved ones didn’t know the gospel. Mourning and rejoicing side by side. I pray Jesus returns quickly.

  58. Lexi says:

    A little behind in my reading, but my goodness, this post struck me in a million ways. It’s as if the author of these posts can read read my mind and see my heart. So very thankful for SRT. Thank you. ❤️

  59. Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Just this morning I have found myself in this mixture of grief and joy and jealousy. A good friend announced her pregnancy while I was lying awake early in the morning with cramping. I have been in tears and prayer about Gods timing all morning. It has been a year of trying for my husband and I and some months are easier than others to accept God telling us not now.

    1. Abby says:

      Sarah I understand your pain. You and I are similar in our waiting time for a baby. My sister just found out she was pregnant with her 3rd child…when I thought it would finally be my time. I found myself more jealous than happy. I feel so guilty. BUT. God is faithful. If you need someone to talk to or vent to, please reach out! I would love to talk with someone who understands. Have a blessed week.

  60. Kathryn says:

    You nailed it. Wow. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions. I myself have had the same mentality towards my emotions and not quite sure how to rejoice with others while I’m going through the darkest season of my life. Praise God for using your words to minister to others.

  61. sandra says:

    This has touched me deeply…I love you.

  62. Jenna Hoff says:

    This post deeply touched me thanks

    One thing i would add is there are so many children reciprocally crying out to God for parents. We adopted our beautiful samantha from foster care aged 10 and she speaks of how she prayed for a family. Over 500,000 kids are in foster care in canada/ USA and a statistically tiny number join forever families. Being Sammys mom is my life’s greatest gift ever. She is my child of my heart. Let me encourage anyone who reads this comment that infertility does not have to mean non parenthood. It can be an avenue to a beautiful family and amazing children. Anyone who wants to discuss with me please email me [email protected] God bless you !!

    1. Kylee says:

      This is GOOD, Jenna! And what more for Godly parents to rise up and adopt foster kids, so many of whom have had HARD lives and need the love of Jesus and of a family!

  63. Kellie says:

    Thank you for your honesty and challenge… my husband and I have also been walking through a season of infertility, and your story hits home. It’s a difficult circumstance of being vulnerable with your emotions and challenging circumstances, but not wanting others to feel like they can’t talk about their kids/pregnancies when you’re around. I too need to work on experiencing grief and joy at the same time- that unnatural, but trusting place where emotion is raw. Thank you for being open and honest about the journey many (often myself included) have a difficult time talking about. Praying God blesses you with babies soon

  64. Brittany Burkman says:

    There are also babies with no mommies weeping for a mommy

    1. Jenna Hoff says:

      And big girls/ boys crying out to God for parents. We adopted our beautiful samantha from foster care aged 10 and she speaks of how she prayed for a family. Over 500,000 kids are in foster care in canada/ USA and a statistically tiny number join forever families. Being Sammys mom is my life’s greatest gift ever. She is my child of my heart. Let me encourage anyone who reads this comment that infertility does not have to mean non parenthood. It can be an avenue to a beautiful family and amazing children. Anyone who wants to discuss with me please email me [email protected] God bless you !!

  65. Karla says:

    Claire, I love ya girl! Praying for you and Patrick.

  66. Jana says:

    Claire – I am praying for you everyday! Such a good message!

  67. Taylor says:

    I am an icu nurse and deal with a lot of families who experience the loss of their loved one and the Thessalonians verse is just jumping out so that I can share this truth with them.

  68. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much for this. It was just what I needed to read this week. My husband and I are in a very similar situation and you spoke exactly how I have been feeling lately.

  69. Rachel says:

    This is the exact situation my husband and I have found ourselves in. We have been trying to conceive for over 2 years now and when we finally got pregnant last fall it ended in a miscarriage. Many of our friends who got married after us have already had a child and some are due with their second. I just found out last week that one of my best friends is pregnant with her third and I had a similar closet crying experience. I take comfort in the fact, as you point out, that this pain will help me to help others down the road. One of the hardest of things I have had to do yet is constantly live in that tension of being happy for all my friends while feeling like my heart is being broken over and over again. Thank you for this post.

    1. Sarah says:

      I’m a week behind in the study, but I came across this on the very day that I have been in tears all morning for this same reason. It’s been a year for us:

  70. “He’s calling me to real emotion—to the odd, uncomfortable reality of holding grief and joy at the same time, without minimizing either experience. ”

    This speaks so much to me. Something I must speak over myself daily.

  71. Jess says:

    I’m a day behind here, but I have a question for the community: the writer describes Jesus as the ultimate empathized, and says that nobody weeps with us like He does. In what ways have you experienced His empathizing and weeping with you? As I’ve written before, I’m mourning five years of infertility including two miscarriages since the fall after intensive fertility treatments, and I’m struggling with feeling stuck at “why have You forsaken me.” I’d love to hear your encouraging story of how the Lord wept with you or showed you empathy.

    1. Abby says:

      Jess, I am so sorry you are having to walk through this. I don’t have answers, and I can see why you would feel forsaken.
      Here is my story–and it’s very different than yours so I don’t know if it will help–but the day before my 29th birthday, my mom died of breast cancer. It was an inflammatory cancer that ate her breast right off, leaving an open wound that she dealt with for over a year. She believed God would heal her, and we all believed with her. There are promises in Gods Word about healing, and she held on tight to those. We were attending a church at the time that taught God always healed if we have faith, and I knew mom had faith, so I just knew she’d be fine. But then she wasn’t, and I watched as the wooden box with her body in it was lowered into a big hole. What the heck? I knew what God was going to do–what He said in His word: heal my mom! So why didn’t he?!?! And if what I had “known” about God wasn’t true, what else wasn’t true? It was a big crisis time for me. Did He even care? Didn’t He know how much I needed (still need) my mom? I was still postpartum after my 5th baby, and how could I be a mom, how could I do life without my mom?
      But there is all my questions He just met me. He just spoke to my heart, reassuring me that He LOVES me, that He is for me and I could just REST in Him. I could rest in His love for me. The pain of all my questions sapped all my energy and it felt so necessary to simply rest and draw strength as I could in Him, even though I felt frustrated and angry that God didn’t do what I wanted, and even what I tho He had PROMISED he would do.
      Being a mom and not getting to keep and hold and raise your babies–that has to be a taste of hell, so painful. I’m so sorry. I hope your heart is, or will soon be able to draw strength from resting in Gods love, even if at the same time you are angry or hurt or confused.
      Also, my best friend is walking through something very similar to what you are describing. Do you have anything you could share with me on how I could be a blessing to her?

      1. Jess says:

        Hi Abby, thank you so much for sharing your story – your words touched me. My advice for your friend struggling with infertility would be to be as patient with her as possible, offering to just listen whenever she wants without offering any easy fixes or cliche words of wisdom. Just listen. If she’s had a miscarriage(s), validate the enormity of her loss. It will bless her heart (although may also bring tears) to bring up her baby in conversation, and find out and remember when the due date was. Reach out to her on and around that day and let her know you’re thinking about and praying for her and her baby. Thanks again for your kindness.

    2. Claire says:

      Jess — Claire here — I wrote this post, and something that has really helped me… rather than reading a bunch of scripture and trying to “get something out of it,” I just spend time closing my eyes and picturing Jesus, the holy spirit, and the father with me. For some reason (like the guy who wrote the book the shack) I picture the Father like a large, african american woman who’s standing in my kitchen preparing a meal for me (later, I realized Psalm 23, references that God prepares a table for us.) Sometimes, I just picture falling into Her arms, receiving a huge hug, her scent. I need that kind of motherly comfort. The Lord is there to give it to us. And it helps me cry — which releases some of the anger and bitterness I can store up. Also… the Old testament is FULL of infertile women. I take comfort in their stories. God had plans for their pain.

      1. Jess says:

        Thanks Claire – I appreciate that.

    3. Melissa says:

      Jess, I am so sorry that you are dealing with infertility. I don’t know what it feels like, so it’s difficult for me to relate, but my heart honestly hurts for you. When I lost my brother 2 years ago, I was so angry with God. I just couldn’t comprehend how someone who claimed to love me so much could take something so good from me and cause my already dysfunctional family to completely fall into shambles. I have found that being completely honest with God about my frustration and my hurt is so helpful. He meets me right there. And He isn’t holding a lightening bolt ready to scold me for those feelings. He’s got His arms wide open and He hurts with me. It took me a while to understand this empathy. One of my friends shared a profound video by Brene Brown on Facebook one day, and it was exactly what I needed. (https://vimeo.com/164049575). If the link does not work, search for “Brene Brown Jesus wept”. Brene talks about Jesus’ ability to feel human emotions and to understand us. She tells a brief but powerful story about grief and Jesus’ empathy. It finally made me realize that my brother was Jesus’ child, too. My brother’s death, the brokenness of my family, and my gasping-for-air-because-it-hurts-so-bad emotional rollercoaster are all something that he can and does understand. He weeps with us. He really, really does.

    4. Laura says:

      Hi Jess, I don’t know if you’ll see this since I’m replying late to an old post, but first of all, I’m so very sorry for the losses of your babies and for the pain of infertility. I think the thing that helped me the most after my miscarriage was to remember God has a Father’s heart, a Parent’s heart. That He lost His Son, His only Son, whom He loved so much. Whatever feelings of pain and loss and longing we feel, we feel because He felt them first. To an even greater degree. When we experience that kind of pain, we are able to commune with God in ways that people who haven’t lost children can’t – it helps us understand a part of His heart……Those were the thoughts and the line of thinking that helped me remember His true heart towards what I was experiencing. But I still struggled with thinking of Him as a “taker” and a “withholder” as I longed for a child after miscarriage. Then, around Easter, I was praying with some friends through one of the Suffering Savior passages in Isaiah and the Holy Spirit just convicted me that our God is SO not a taker and He’s SO not a withholder – those things couldn’t be farther from His character. He gave up even His only Son (which we cannot even fathom, right?!) so that we might also enjoy adoption into His family. And Jesus, our precious Jesus, who willing gave up His place at His Father’s right hand, to come down and BECOME HUMAN (to feel all the searing pain and loss and humiliation and brokenness we experience, but again, to an even greater degree bc He knows how it OUGHT to be (and will be one day soon!)) and then gave up His life for us…the Jesus of Gesthemane, who was sorrowful to the point of death and afraid and asked if there might be another way, that is our empathetic Jesus.

      Sorry, this is getting long. But Jess, I am praying for you right now that the Holy Spirit will allow you to see God the Father, Son, and Spirit as the mighty comforters that they really are. He cares so deeply for your loss and pain, maybe even more deeply than you do. He sees you. He understands. And He loves you OH SO MUCH.

      Ps. “Inheritance of Tears: Trusting the Lord of Life when Death Enters the Womb” by Jessalyn Hutto was a huge encouragement to me after I lost my baby. I’d highly recommend it to any grieving momma.

  72. Chrisi says:

    As I was reading the scripture I was confessing exactly what you wrote! As a believer for almost 40 years I was thinking how is it that I can be so desensitized to people’s pain and so envious of their joy? Shouldn’t I be better at this by now? Sometimes I have let the pain of this life harden my heart. Help us to be like Mary and run to Jesus! Thankful for your transparency and the power of the gospel!

  73. Allison Janae says:

    Loved this one. I love all of them, but this one was particularly honest. <3

    Please continue to pray for my boyfriend who is dealing with depression and an alcohol addiction. Pray for his heart to be softened and that he will hear the Lord's whispers and that he will come to believe and seek help.

  74. christina unruh says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for these words. You have captured what my heart has been experiencing this past year. Thank you for you openness and honesty.

  75. Lauren says:

    Thank you so much for this, Claire. My story is very similar to yours & I’ve often felt myself alone during all of this. Your words and the comments of the SRT community reminded me I’m not going through this by myself– I have a God who loves me more than I’ll ever know. Like you said, “No one weeps with us and rejoices with us like He does.” So incredibly thankful for that!

  76. Chris says:

    Thank you all for your openness. I work at a Pregnancy Resource Center. Breaks my heart when we have abortion minded women. I wish they could know your pains and your anguish!! Please pray for adoption to be accepted in our nation instead of abortion.

  77. Evan says:

    Laura, my situation is very similar to yours. I had my first miscarriage in October and then had a ruptured ectopic and my right tube removed the end of April. Last month one of my closest friends and colleagues told me they we’re expecting and everything had gone exactly as planned. I had a completed melt down for hours she my husband didn’t understand and told my I should not be jealous. Since then, I have tried to burry my emotions and do feel joy for her but it is so intermingled with my own grief and frustration. I haven’t had a period since before the surgery and had many pregnancy symptoms but negative tests. I am praying daily that His will be done but it is a struggle: I remind myself that He is faithful and that I need to trust his plan is greater than mine but I often feel disheartened and the crazy out of wack hormones don’t help. I am so thankful for this study and knowing others are also walking similar paths. I am also thankful the Lord has already created connections with old friends who I have been able encourage in similar paths. He is faithful even in our grief!

    1. Christina says:

      Praying for you Evan! I am infertile myself and the pain is too overwhelming sometimes and then other times seems to make sense. I will keep you in my prayers that God would heal you both physically and emotionally from your experiences that you may be able to press on to see what His will is in all of it. Blessings, -CW

  78. Karis says:

    I literally cannot deal right now. Two days ago I did the same thing at my best friends wedding. I watched them dance and we locked eyes and something inside of me broke. I want that. I want marriage. I want a husband who will love me like Christ loves the church and I am here waiting like Abraham and Sarah thinking of ways to make something happen but not wanting an Ishmael.
    This reading is so on point and I’m crying because of how much community I feel in one post. Thank you

    1. Sarah Beth says:

      Karis, I have been there. I’m not there now, but I’ve been there and I weep with you. Praying for you, sister.

    2. Mandi says:

      I find myself in this season, too. I have yet another dear friend who got engaged, and yet I still wait for my turn. While I’m so joyful for her, when she told me, I broke down once again because God is still telling me to wait. I weep with you, as we both wait for that dream of Christ-rooted love and marriage.

      1. Jordan says:

        For the longest time I fought this want. I didn’t want to want being married, having a family, all of that– I grew up in a crazy broken family and just didn’t know how to create a successful one (and I was afraid to screw one up, honestly). but the last few months, I’ve been realizing that it’s there. This desire to get married and have a family– the one I wasn’t given growing up. I want it more and more as I see my friends get engaged and married one at a time. It’s the most bittersweet feeling. I get it.

    3. Claire says:

      Karis, I’m so glad you found a sister in this post. It’s definitely why I wrote the line “dancing at someone else’s wedding.” The pain of loneliness is real. Pour it out girl. Feel it all. God has not forgotten you.

    4. KatieKimball says:

      Karis, i ache with you. My heart knows what it’s like…! I worked with my (now) husband for 8 years, always asking God why he gave me a love for him that was not returned. A dear friend told me long ago to look up to God, love him, worship him and do his work. One day you might notice someone but keep looking up to God, loving him, worshipping him and doing his work. One day that someone may be closer to you but keep looking up to God, loving him, worshipping him and doing his work. One day that person may be standing right next to you but just keep loving God, worshipping him and doing his work. And one day, you’ll be joined, and together, you’ll both keep looking up to God and loving him, worshipping him and doing his work. I’m not saying it’s easy- but I pray you will keep crying out to Him for focus and patience…. He makes all things beautiful in his time and when we find our delight in him, he gives our hearts desires that are pleasing to him.

  79. Vanessa says:

    So beautifully written. To the author know that your Heavenly Father is using your affliction to bring in life and comfort to someone else’s pain. This past year God has had me no longer hide my emotions in specific areas of my life….and it’s been one of the most blessed years with Him. Allowing my heart to be honest through prayer with God has brought forth a joy I cannot fully describe. To just simply know Him and to have Him through all of life’s experiences is the greatest gift. Thank you for this short devo. It put into words what God has been teaching me.

  80. Deena says:

    I too have felt detached when other’side mourn or rejoice. My private world of sorrow and joy not showing to my world. I don’t feel anger like the rest, I am sensitive to their experience, but I waited 57 years to get out of the trap of life. The biggest help for me is knowing, I’m never alone.

  81. Sarah says:

    This passage particularly struck me today. I am a long distance collegiate runner and have been unable to train/compete for 3 months. I am constantly bombarded with my teammate’s updates about how much fun they are having training and it’s really hard because it’s something I love to do and wish I was doing. I am learning to rejoice alongside them and to encourage them rather than allow myself to sit in jealousy and despair. I am learning that the Lord is my ultimate comforter when my frustration with my body image, lack of exercise, or coach’s demands become too much to handle. Thank you Jesus, for being a wonderful Comforter.

    1. Bev says:

      Sarah — I feel your pain! I’m a runner but I have been sick and/or injured all year. It has been a year of rest, recovery, and reflection. The Lord is teaching me a lot about identity, grace and trust in Him. Thank you for sharing.

  82. Stephanie says:

    It’s like you read my mind….like you’ve been pouring over the deepest thoughts and musings scribbled in my prayer journal. Next to all the smileys and doodles there are tear stains, there are hastily and angrily written words, there are baby announcements and sonograms sticking out of the pages of my well worn Bible. I needed this. Needed to know that someone else holds their raw pure sorrow just as close as the overwhelming joy she feels for her friends and loved ones. Thank you for writing this, for baring your heart. Keep the faith.

  83. Casey K says:

    I usually only get the free studies but I bought this one because I hoped it would help me with mourning of my own infertility. Every month I have hope and then am crushed with the negative tests. Every month it seems I buy diapers and onesies and celebrate with my friends and their growing bellies. Every month I weep with my husband. I relate more than ever before with the psalms and how David can ask God why He is forsaking him and praise Him for His goodness in the same sentence. So thankful for this raw study.

    1. Lauren says:

      I know your pain and am praying for you. When the agony seems unbearable, remember you’re not alone, in heaven and on earth.

  84. Caroline says:

    Today’s scriptures and writings remind me of a beautiful song my Francesca Batistelli, “If We’re Honest”: ‘It may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, Is bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine, Love can heal what hurt divides, And mercy is waiting on the other side, If we’re honest.’

  85. Casie says:

    I am like Claire, I don’t know how to comfort people in grief. I pull away and look away. In joy I minimize celebration as it may be a bigger celebration than my own. I love how Claire shows us that God is always our biggest celebrator as well as the one who mourns closes with us. The scriptures from
    Today shows me how Jesus felt all the emotions we feel and embraced them. He didn’t shy away from weeping lose of a friend. He was of this world and that brings me comfort and hope!

  86. Patti says:

    Being vulnerable is not easy.

  87. Chloe says:

    Lord, I pray that each and every day, every occasion I will allow myself to feel all of these raw emotions instead of bottling them up, waiting to burst. I pray that you will allow me to be vulnerable, opening up to myself, You, and others so that I may have community to weep and rejoice with. I have struggled with labeling and expressing my feelings, but I know that You can do anything– You have suffered for us and comforted us.

    1. Jordan says:

      I love this prayer so much, Chloe. Do you mind if I write it down for myself? It’s beautiful.

  88. Keri Underwood says:

    It’s so hard to rejoice for others when your current situation calls for mourning. I think we all can do better at this, we all struggle with this. The honesty of these words are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing them! Praying that we can all be intentional about allowing God to soften our hearts when we need to mourn with others and to help us rejoice with others as they go through seasons of joy.


  89. Robyn says:

    Claire read ” He remembers the barren”

    1. Claire says:

      thanks robyn :)

  90. Robyn says:

    Claire, this hits home to me to. I am your sister who also has walked this road of infertility, we just passed the 5 year mark and God has had me on the most amazing journey learning about His perfect timing. I have mourned and rejoiced but it has taken me a long time to get here. There are still those days that seem just way to hard but remembering God sees you and hears you is a powerful thing. Praying for you today ❤️

  91. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, I feel some of that pain and my heart aches with you. In August my husband and I will have been married for two years. In our first year of marriage we lost our first baby, our son, at 17 weeks. We were devastated. Then 8 months later we found out we were pregnant again, but two weeks after the initial good news I was in emergency surgery having my right tube removed because the pregnancy was ectopic and my tube had ruptured. I’m pregnant once again, and once again we are facing loss. The numbers for this baby have been abnormal and every day I wait to see if I’ll bleed or have pain in one side, if I’m facing another miscarriage or another ectopic pregnancy. Meanwhile it seems like everyone around me has big beautiful pregnant bellies and lovely baby showers. I’m only 26 and I had never imagined that this would be the road I walk. I feel so deeply for those who have walked through loss and infertility, and while the news of friends’ pregnancies once brought me great joy, it now brings me great pain, and with that pain I feel guilt. I often feel like God has abandoned me or despised me to allow me to go through such heartache, but today’s readings were so timely in showing me that he does hear my cry and feel my pain. I know in the end this is for his glory and I pray for strength for the fight for anyone who walks this hard road. Thanks again for sharing your story, it deeply resonated with my heart.

    1. Janet says:

      Laura, my heart hurts for you, that you have experienced such sadness and loss and grief. I will be praying for you and your husband and the little one you now carry. May God bless you and sustain you.
      I walk a different road of struggle and I too have sometimes wondered if God has abandoned me. Why do I have to feel so much heartache? I don’t have the answers, but I know that God loves us and has a plan for us.. I love what today’s writer wrote..”Christ is the ultimate empathizer. No one weeps with us and rejoices with us like He does.”

    2. Bethany Philpot says:

      I’m praying for you and your pregnancy Laura! It is not a road any of us would chose to travel but I know God is still faithful to us even in the midst of our hurt and worry. God bless you!!

  92. Ana says:

    thank you for sharing this. I also do this. I am single still and all my friends are married now and having babies. I am happy for them but I often feel like What about me God!?…I know He is faithful and He is with me through this season and I know I can rest in his promises.

    1. Lexi says:

      Oh I relate to this. I love my life and what I do, but there are times that I think…it would be wonderful to have a family and experience motherhood. Trying to lean hard on God’s promises and remember that I am not forgotten.

  93. Angela says:

    When my mom passed last year, I was beyond sad. I was mourning. I was embarrassed when I would breakdown crying for “no reason”. My mom and I worked together, we went to church together, we loved spending time together. She was in every part of my life. Then she was gone. Everywhere I looked was a reminder that she wasn’t coming back. The time was gone. And the pain was real. Mother’s Day came and I couldn’t bring myself to going to church. And I recieved messages and text that many women were thinking and praying for me. Right after my mom died we had a special weekend event at church. There was another member who talked about her losses that year too. She had lost her mom 3 years before then both of her sisters earlier in the year. I realized that we were going through the same things. Pain! I did rest in on major thing that she does not. And that is my mom was a Christian and my friend was not sure about her sisters or mom. So for that I am greatfull. Because I know I will see her again! It is hard to remember when we are going through these times that there are others out there who have experienced the same things. But when we do find someone we are reminded the of how God is Good!

  94. Churchmouse says:

    Claire, thank you for sharing so eloquently and personally. Keeping our eyes on Jesus and seeing His care in our circumstance can be oh so hard. Our eyes ever so slowly drift over there, making comparisons between their perceived fortune and our apparent lack. But our vision is never clear, based on perceptions not reality. If we knew all of their story we very well may not want it at all as our own. We only want their good, not their struggles, their disappointments, their heartaches. Far better for us to pray for continued strength and trust in God’s goodness and care. He will deliver! He delivers in the power of His Word and so often through the embrace of good friends. Let us be honest with ourselves, not denying any of our emotions, and then once again step out in faith. One, sometimes shaky, step at a time. He will hold us up. And He will send others to do so also. We move forward, lock step. Sure-footed.

    1. Alisa says:

      Thank you . We don’t know what others truly feel – we all have seasons of mourning and dancing

  95. RM says:

    I think we are often given more opportunities to formally celebrate with others than to mourn with them – weddings, baby showers, gender reveal parties, housewarming events, on and on there are so many social occasions that often call us to swallow our hurts. It’s easy to splash the good stuff all over social media. It’s harder to express our hurts, and I think we often have to listen and look a little closer to draw close to our friends when we need to mourn alongside them. When we rejoice, may we do so with humility, gratitude to God, and sensitivity to others.

    1. Alexandra S says:

      Wow! Good point

  96. Katie says:

    I want to weep for what God weeps for and feel joy for others. I’m not a very emotional person and it’s hard for me to truly be in the moment. But this is what we are called to. stepping outside of ourselves to serve others. not to have all the right answers for them, but to be a shoulder to cry on or a smile to join theirs.

  97. ~ B ~ says:

    Yet again, I lay awake last night with heavy thoughts and heartache churning, one after the other chasing my sleep away. Another day today waking to the reality that life, in this specific season, isn’t as we had hoped and prayed for. Instead, we are staring down the pike of disappointment, feelings of isolation, life entrapment and burden. Waking to the reality of those around us with grand vacations, home renovations, college tuitions 100% covered, good health & uncomplicated diets, schooling & bills working my heart into an envious frenzy of, “We’ve worked so hard too. After all we’ve been through, can we just catch a break? What will our kiddos remember? Will there ever be rest?” … It’s a place I’m not used to being in. I’m normally the one excited to see what God does with challenges, I’ve easily accepted, through my years, the difficulties and differences, not looking too much at what our “neighbors” have but right now, as the clock winds down on a deadline, I struggle. Right now I hurt, right now my husband struggles and my husband hurts. The enemy is working overtime to use the years of crisis, unfortunates, mistakes, heartaches and poor decisions prior to salvation & reconciliation as a way to separate us, again. As a way, to hurt and make us feel “less” and we know, in our core, it isn’t so. We are united in this, prayerful and hopeful BUT it is a warfare season and we are limping. I am thankful my husband and I are together and thankful we are, hand in hand, crying and praying this out, that alone is answer to prayer … Prayerful God’s mercies over us, God’s strength in us and peace in a terribly trying season and perhaps a miracle on the way. In short, this message feels written for me … Reminding me that despite feeling we are going this entirely alone, I AM NOT alone … There are others who struggle as well and that our God sits weeping it out with us and when it passes, He will be rejoicing WITH us!

    1. Janny says:

      B, as I read through your thoughts, this song kept coming to mind. May the Lord wash over you and your husband with His peace.
      “I am not alone” Kari Jobe

    2. Joanna S. says:

      Thank you for sharing this, B. Beautifully said. You are definitely not alone! I feel like I’m in a similar season…praying, waiting, and hoping for something good to happen – a miracle would be nice! These words really hit home: “every affliction gives me a greater capacity to care for and understand someone else’s pain.” Praying our painful, difficult seasons will be used for a purpose and I’m thankful that Jesus is our empathizer who weeps and rejoices with us.

    3. Chanel#5 says:

      Lifting you and your husband and children up in prayer B. You are setting a wonderful example for your children on how a husband and wife can lean on and trust God during difficult times. They will remember your strength and your devotion to each other and to the Lord during this time. I praise you for your steadfastness and your strength. I have to believe it will come in handy down the road when you will weep with others who are experiencing hard times as well. Keep fighting and praying sister!

    4. Christy says:

      Praying for you, my sister. Your sweet willingness to share your burdens with us reminded me of one of my favorite authors, Elyse Fitzpatrick. Her latest book may provide you some encouragement!

    5. JamiB says:

      Praying for you right now, B! We, too, are going through a season of unimagined pain and bewilderment, fighting daily- hourly- against the enemy who seeks to steal our hope. Our son, our sweet, sensitive boy the Lord blessed us with, has turned his back on God and is living a life focused solely on the lust of the flesh, utterly contrary to anything he learned in our home. I’ve learned that there are not many who want to weep with us, rejoicing is so much easier. I’m weeping with you now, praying that we would feel the presence of the Holy Spirit – and for miracles.

  98. Kristina says:

    This was everything I needed to hear today. For weeks, I’ve been struggling with understanding the emotions and trying to wrap my mind around God’s timing in my friends’ lives versus my own. God will not force His way in to comfort us, He is a perfect gentleman , waiting for our welcome. He desires to rejoice with us, weep with us, and comfort us. I am so thankful to serve the God who cares for us, through all emotions!

  99. Spilledmilkandsunsets says:

    I love that the readings and the reflection today showed how we don’t have to hide our emotions from God – or each other. We are created emotional beings – Jesus wept – and we can bring our true selves to the one who carrys our burdens. God isn’t unaware of or cold to our emotions. We don’t need to get ourselves together or put our best face on to face the Father. So draw near. Our Father loves us. The great burden-bearer.

  100. Hailey says:

    When Claire said she often gets jealous when people rejoice this really hit home for me. I have family members that often get jealous and I have noticed it creep up on my heart over the years! It’s a struggle that I know many people struggle with. I pray today that I can memorize scripture to say to people or to myself when jealously approaches our day!

  101. Lacey says:

    Thank you for this… i felt like I was alone and selfish and you shared a dose of grace this morning.

    1. ~ B ~ says:

      You are NOT alone … Not remotely. I, too, needed this “dose of grace” this morning. ❤️

  102. Sarah says:

    When I was miscarrying I was so jealous of friends who had uncomplicated pregnancies. My pregnancies weren’t a time of joy but of fear. I know the heartache you felt very well. My story had a happy ending as I believe that all of our story’s do one way or another. No matter the outcome of the story Christ makes sure that all things are working for the good of those who love the lord. Feeling joy for others in our times of sorrow is so hard. Feeling sorrow for other in our times of joy is so much easier. However it seems we are called to do both. My sincere prayers are with all of the SRT ladies who are walking this path. I pray with you for peace, comfort, and blessings on this journey.

  103. Lauren says:

    It is five o’clock in the morning here and I just logged on to SRT to begin my day. It’s an important day. Today, after a three year battle with infertility, with every emotion you describe above, my husband and I will find out if our IVF cycle was successful or if it was not. My heart is a flurry of hope, fear, doubt and excitement. I cannot believe that today of all days, your story was here to reach me. Whether it is our time to weep or feel joy, I know that God has joy in store. Bless you in your journey (such a hard one, I know) and thank you for this timely piece.

    1. Sarah says:

      I am praying for you. ❤️

      1. Kelli says:

        Lauren, you are in my prayers today.

    2. Stacey says:

      Prayers for you and your husband, Lauren!

    3. Hailey says:

      Praying for you! God works in such amazing ways!

    4. Becky Horne says:

      Lauren, I have been there. I pray you may have peace today, in knowing God’s will for you is perfect. He loves you, and has plans for you which are beyond anything you can imagine. My prayer for you is from Ephesians 3: “16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

      20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

    5. Mary Lynn says:

      Lauren, you and your husband are in my prayers.

    6. ~ B ~ says:

      Prayerful over your day Lauren!

    7. Katie says:

      praying for you. I have not been on this journey, but I can only imagine.

    8. Churchmouse says:

      My prayers for peace before and after the results.

    9. Theresa says:

      Praying for you and your husband this morning. Believing that God is doing great things!

    10. Lauren says:

      Thank you all so much. I’m taking Claire’s advice and trying to let myself feel each emotion. Your prayers are so appreciated.

      1. Claire says:

        Lauren… I am here for you to rejoice and mourn. I really hope you’ll reach out to me privately. :-) Congratulations on your brave, brave day. ([email protected])

  104. Nicola says:

    Thank you Claire.. God’s love hit me this morning.. Whilst reading what you wrote it was like I wrote it myself! Like you, we’ve been trying to conceive for about 18 months now and all the while my friends are having babies left right and centre. I have struggled so much with this tension that comes from the deepest disappointment in my own heart yet knowing that I should be rejoicing for others and not wanting to burden others with my grief and pain. Life is complicated, but I have been clinging on.. And I mean clinging!! To our Father God who is the ultimate comforter and who weeps and rejoices with us. Thank you SRT for this series.. Much needed for many xxx

    1. Nikki says:

      Praying for you!!