For the Torn-up Heart

For the Torn-up Heart -christyfitzwater.comI almost cried the first time I drove on the bypass. Seven minutes. It only took me six minutes to get from work south of town to Costco north of town. I love you, bypass.

That’s been some years now, since we went all big city up here in northern Montana, and now the next phase of that road project has begun. Two round-abouts are going to become overpasses and two lanes will turn into four, and it will be glorious.

But it’s not glorious right now.

Construction speed limits have taken my drive to school from 60 miles per hour to 35. “Be prepared to stop.”

Sidumpr trucks come and go, as bulldozers tear up the sides of the roads. Dirt covers the bypass, and it’s a mess.

“It’ll be two years,” Matt says. Two years? Ugh. Two years of dirt and waiting for the sign to change from STOP to SLOW. And we’ll be glad if we can at least move forward instead of sitting.

And that has been my life the last two months, three, wait, six, no maybe 13 months. Torn up. Bulldozers working overtime, from Covid to riots to hard stuff at church to relational strains to work challenges. Grass edges have been torn up by the roots, exposing raw earth, and all that was normal carried away to where?

I haven’t written much these days. Just sitting at STOP. Waiting to be able to move forward.

“You’ll write again,” Matt whispers to me when I drip tears about it all. “You’ll come out of this and write again.”

So here I am, and I know before you even respond that your life has felt the same as mine for a very, very long time. The specifics of your hard probably have a different name, but I know you’ve been feeling the familiar earth scraped away by heavy equipment, too.

Let me tell you what’s getting me through these days. It’s one little part of a verse from Romans 15:5, and I have been putting it over my nose like an oxygen breather. (I wrote about this verse a little while ago, but I haven’t moved past it, so here we are again.)

Paul says “the God who gives endurance and encouragement.” (NIV)

We have placed our lives in the hands of the God who gives these two things, and have we ever needed them more than right now? If you’re at a full STOP like me, you have time to sit and let these words soak in.



Lord, I pray. Lord, this is a hard road, and just about every day I hit times when I think I’m not going to make it. You have to give me what I need to make it. Help me stick out this tearing-up time of life.

Lord, I pray. Lord, I am discouraged. Just getting out of bed is taking herculean effort these days. I need some encouragement from you, and I need it soon. Now.

Here’s my story: he gives.

He gives.

When I turn to the Father desperate and in pain from the latest hard thing, he hears my prayer and answers in the most amazingly personal ways.Just a few days ago I was agonizing over something, and I prayed for endurance and encouragement. Opened up my devotional book and read a wisdom there that­–no joke–was tailor made for me in that moment and that circumstance. It helped me keep living forward.

So, it’s a simple word for us today. Our struggles might be a long construction job, but God will generously give us what we need to endure and be courageous in these times, if we are only bold enough to ask and keep asking, keep asking, keep asking.

Love you guys. Hugs to you in hard times.


  1. Christy, how did you crawl into my head and write my story?! God has done the same for me Dear Sister? We moved to a booming part of Utah, far away from CA fires, and I literally have side dumpers and earthmovers out our back window of our wonderful new home. I’ve learned to be content WHEREVER He takes me. Good to see you back!

    1. I’m so glad you’ve resettled somewhere! I pray your family will be a light in Utah.

  2. I so needed this today. I’ve been struggling with lots of things and then today I found out that I had been passed over for a job that I really wanted. Your words have brought me so much comfort tonight. Thank you!

    1. Oh, that makes my stomach hurt for you. What a painful disappointment. I’m so sorry.

  3. Extra note: I’ve told you before that I’m a truck driver. Some days, at a particular fueling station, I get stuck behind trucks parked *at* the pumps, their drivers taking their sweeeeet time inside the store ~ with seemingly no thought for the lineup of trucks trying to get their fuel and get back on the road! Used to bug the bajeebers outta me! Then the Lord taught me something: Tina, you can only move when the person/truck directly in front of you moves. One rolly poly moment at a time! It took some practice {& I still pray ahead of time when I’m heading there to fuel my truck!!!}, and at first I had to MAKE MYSELF focus on something (ANYTHING!) else! Like my fingernails! Haha! But now, whether they’re blocking me for half an hour or the lanes are all clear, I just thank Jesus for being me there safely, and that it’s the end of my day. Slowly but surely, Jesus is teaching me to lay aside impatience and bitterness. He is teaching me more about His Love. When it’s time again to move, Christy, the next stepping stone will be evident, and you can move forward. Until then, you’re okay just waiting, trusting, learning, resting. You are LOVED.

      1. ??
        You’re welcome!

  4. Our Father is definitely up to something! He’s preparing us for some mystery work, and He knows what He’s doing. I know it hurts; I’m right there with you, sister! But yes, we will keep calling on His Name, pleading His Blood over these people, that situation, my {your} heart! ♡ Be strengthened day by day. Rest in Him. He’s got you, dear sister! And all things are under His watchful eye! ♡

  5. Christy. In the same place in the middle of Montana (Helena). I thank God for our big skies and ability to get outside (and social distanced). But as you mentioned….the pandemic hasn’t been the only “hard” these days…Politics…church stuff…I have wondered, “Is God mad at me for my irritation at people?” As my best friend and former pastor’s wife and I joke to each other, “People! That’s where I draw the line!” Of course we don’t really mean it, but it can be a struggle. Take good care of you and thanks for the word.

    1. People…also the greatest joy if we can just hang in there. I think we’re all walking a little irritated these days.

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