Embrace the Beauty of Lament

I have not set my pencil to scratch on paper for a very long time. Traveling through something hard for a few years has required different work of these fingers: gripping the rail of the path with white knuckles. I walk forward in dark fog, slowly and cautiously moving one foot forward at a time. The last time I sat down to write was a year ago, and as I compare today’s words to those, I see they’re very similar. Same weary spirit. Same pain. Same feeling of walking in the dark.

“Rejoice in the Lord,” they say to me.

But I weep instead. I cry out instead. Is this failing? Because I don’t want to fail just because life has been hard.

In the last months, I have learned something about rejoicing.

God’s word is a light for my path but, in this season, a low fog light. My Bible falls open easily to the Psalms, where the songwriters are able to pick up their pencils when I cannot.

“When will you comfort me?” (Psalm 119: 82)

I sing these mournful words to the Lord as I shuffle along. I remind him that he is the God of all comfort and that my heart is aching.

Just like in our valley in Montana, the clouds have settled in low for so long, not allowing even a hint of sunlight to poke through. If the sun has come up, we have not been able to see it from underneath the hazy canopy. Dark day after dark day.

When will you comfort me?

This is joy. It’s not happy-clappy but a wounded heart turning toward God. Crying toward God. Asking questions of God.

This is joy. Letting the lament of God’s word be the lamp to my feet.

“I am laid low in the dust.” (Psalm 119:25)

When will you comfort me?

This is worship. Bringing the pain of the heart and mind to God, using the very words he has given me.

“My heart is wounded within me.” (Psalm 109:22)

When will you comfort me?

In Solomon’s wisdom, he tells me that if I acknowledge God, God will make my path straight. The way through the gloomy mist is to strain my neck and call to God in my suffering. Faith reaches forward. This is what it means to delight in the Lord. I am not failing, and he has not stopped leading me down a straight path.

“I have become like a bird alone on a roof.” (Psalm 102:7)

When will you comfort me?

This is rich, truth-saturated worship that does not need to be rushed. No need to hurry out of grieving. I give thanks to the Lord that he has given me words to express my emotions to him.

This is the way of rejoicing in the Lord, when we sit in the ashes of pain and loss, until the Lord himself lifts the clouds and lets the sun burst through again.


  1. Melani Torrez says:

    Christy – I’m right there with you. It has been a long season of waiting on the Lord and weeping. It is comforting to know that we don’t weep in solitude. Praying for you and waiting, “more than watchmen wait for the morning.”

    1. Oh, that’s a good verse for me to meditate on. Thank you for sharing, and I’ll return the prayer. May the Lord give you strength for your painful season.

  2. I have missed your writings and encouragement. I pray things get better for you. You have uplifted others so much over the years, I hope we can try to uplift yours. May God Bless you! Carol

  3. Shelbey Dutter says:


    Thank you for your words this morning. My heart aches with you and for you. I don’t have the words to express the pain of this season in life so I appreciated each of your words. I love you so very much.
    When will you comfort me?

  4. Christy,
    So glad to read your words again! Yes, yes and yes to everything you said. This is walking with Christ.
    Blessings to you.

  5. I was so happy to see your email in my inbox. I have missed your emails and hoped I would see one again. I’ve long connected with your writing…a free devotional you offered helped me through a very dark and foggy period many years ago. God bless you and I will be praying for you.

    1. You are kind. And thank you for the prayers, which mean so much to me right now.

  6. God bless you Christy. This life is full of pain and sadness, yet we are blessed with sisters here who will carry your unspoken needs to our Father. He is so faithful to complete the work He has started in us. You have blessed each one here in our trials in the past, it’s an honor to hold you up in my prayers.

  7. Hello, Christy! I was so excited to see your email in my inbox! You have always been my favorite writer to hear from, and I always have made sure I read your articles. I am sorry for the hurting and grief you are experiencing, though I’m not sure what form that takes. I remember how you were caring for an elderly parent, so I could definitely relate as I was doing the same. She (my MIL) who lived with us at the time has since passed away. But more recently I have taken on the care for my parents in most areas (financial included, which I was not doing for my MIL, as her children did that) and through some severe health trials for them, as well. Elder care is definitely a difficult journey! Anyway, I was thankful to read your article and the good reminders. Thankful for God’s Word and comfort for you and each of us. One Scripture that has helped me through many difficult times the last few years (including last year with my husband having an aggressive cancer, treatment and reconstruction of his jaw), has been 2nd Corinthians1:3-4. “Praise be to the God and Father……Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” And that’s what you are doing, friend….so thank you!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement. I appreciate that very much. I’m sorry to hear of the suffering you’ve walked through. We each carry our own unique stress and sorrows. I pray the Lord will strengthen you for your journey!

  8. Kate Fraser says:

    Thank you for expressing your deep pain so eloquently. God’s hope does shine through!

  9. I’ve missed your writing. There is beauty in our suffering. May we always look to Him to see it.

  10. Lindsey Norman says:

    You have been missed and prayed for. Thank you for your words. They are a tender reminder to go slow and seek His presence in the trudge of the journey. He is with us even there. Grief is heavy. He is “light.”

  11. Thank you for this. May our affliction always be a journey toward Him.

  12. Christy, thank you for taking time to post your heart. We love you. We’re heartbroken for and with you, and we’re praying for you. God is good. His mercy is everlasting and brand new every morning. He’s our God of eternal consolation and good hope. I’ll pray II Thes 2:16-17 over you every day.

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