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Brené Brown says it best:

"Faith isn't an epidural. It's a midwife who stands next to me saying, 'Push. It's supposed to hurt.'"


This is what I wish I'd learned in church growing up. This is what I now know the faith-journey to be. And yet this flies in the face of the breed of Christianity I was raised in.

Faith was a balm. Salvation was a rescue plan. Jesus was a Savior from all things hard and uncomfortable and icky.

And then life happened.

And I discovered none of that was true.

Jesus didn't come to immunize me against pain or grief or heartache.

He didn't wrap me in bubble wrap and send me on my holy way, safe from harm and hurt. He didn't say I wouldn't (or—gasp!—shouldn't) grieve, be uncomfortable, battle illness, or face insurmountable hardship. He didn't promise that things would be easy or fair or fun.

What He did was assure me that I would never be alone.

God came down to the messy hell-hole that this life can be and chose to sit in it with me. He's right here, sitting cross-legged beside me in the dirt.

He's not trying to fix anything. He's not spouting platitudes—"Let go, and let Me. I'll work all things together for good."{GAH!}or even trying to make sense out of the senseless. He's just being present with me. Holding my hand and my heart. And assuring me I don't have to do this alone.

I'm not spared. I'm held. 

When I stop looking for Him to deliver a wonderdrug or bippity-boppity-boo me into a blessed life, I'm able to recognize the gift of His simple presence. His simple, powerful, heart-strengthening, more-than-enough presence right here with me.


It's supposed to hurt.

And then I realize what it means to love like He does. What it means to be Christ to you as you face your own darkness and grief.

It doesn't mean pretending to have answers or presuming I can fix things. It certainly doesn't mean telling you what you should or shouldn't be doing.

It means simply being willing to sit in the pain and discomfort with you. And just be.

What I can do is assure you that you won't be alone while you push.