Permission to Feel

The other morning I thought my headache was going to stop. I could see more clearly, the pain was weak, and my dizziness barely there. I  thought “this is it! It’s going to stop!”, and in the next second “probably not, but enjoy it while it lasts!”. I praised God and gave thanks and turned my joy to worship at some release from the pain to Him.

That afternoon my head returned to “normal”, which by now is completely manageable 90% of the time, despite pain and dizziness. But it still felt like a small defeat AND triumph rolled into one. This time my prayer was different, as you can imagine.

Is it wrong to praise God in the good moments when you question Him and lament in the hard?

I was pondering that question, and honestly feeling infantile examining my fickle heart.


Then I thought of David. The Psalms, David’s heart-songs, following the hills and valleys of his life. Praising and lamenting and questioning and faith-ing in the same chapter. Such is life. We were made in the image and likeness of God, the ability to emote and know good from evil and mourn and rejoice.

Then I thought of my daughter. When she is supposed to go down for nap she seriously questions my judgement. She believes her needs are not being met and that I am making her do something that can not possibly be good. But I know better. I know she has to do something she doesn’t want to for her health and peace. And when she wakes up from nap I look totally different in her eyes.

Before nap she yells “mama I feel alone” from her bed behind her closed door. It has taken me writing this out to realize that is what I cry out to God behind the closed door of suffering.

Mama stands by the monitor, right behind that closed door, listening to the child.

God is just as present although unseen.

When my daughter wakes up she is full of sweetness and cuddles and closeness. When she calls out she says “mama, i’m awake!” in a sing song voice. She knows I am there on the other side of the once desolate door, now redeemed.

God is just as present although unseen. 

It is wise to mourn in our suffering. It is wise to rejoice in triumph. It is permissible, even exemplified in the bible to mourn and weep and cry out as well as worship and praise. There is a time for everything under the sun.

It’s the rhythm of life. The biggest triumph in suffering is the grace of faith no matter what that God is on the other side of the door, even when we cry out “Abba I am alone!”


Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I know my God is with me. -Psalm 23:4

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me besides still waters. He restores my soul. -Psalm 23:2-3

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