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The international church service was vibrant with voices lifted up in songs of praise. Many clapped their hands and some even danced before God.

But I wanted to be invisible. Joy felt like a land depicted in a fairy tale. I had returned from the hospital the day before—a surgery to remove the baby who had died in my womb. Watching this church buzz with happiness unearthed my fragileness.

I slouched in my chair and closed my eyes. Tears trickled down my freckled face. My mind knew God was in control, but my heart ached as yet another thing I had hoped for dried up like an autumn leaf. 

God, it hurts so much. I can’t stand up and sing. 

My Savior’s words were a balm to my heart: Oh dear one, I’m not asking you to shout for joy. But taste my goodness even in your sorrow.

The Lord wasn’t ignoring my pain but pointing toward his steadfast goodness even when I didn’t have the capacity to vocalize praise. 

As silent tears adorned my cheeks, I rested in his presence—even when I couldn’t make sense of the pain. 

I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me (Psalm 57:2).

I clung to Jesus as my grief raged like a blizzard in the Midwest. The pain was relentless, leaving me in a dark place at times. But I wasn’t abandoned. When bitterness and sorrow filled my cup, I sipped God’s goodness in his faithful presence. He never left me but held me close as I mourned. 

RELATED: If God is Truly Good, He is Still Good When Life is Not

God protected my soul as I processed my grief. Without knowing how things would pan out, I had to trust God in the eye of the storm—to believe he was enough for my hurting soul. Why doesn’t belong to me but to our faithful God.

A year later, I stumbled out of my bathroom, sobbing. I collapsed onto a chair. My throat ached from the sorrow and tears. I couldn’t do this again. I couldn’t lose another baby.

The biting cold gripped my body and growing belly through my winter jacket as I walked to my doctor’s appointment. Today I would find out if my baby was alive. Fear tapped on the door of my heart whispering, “All hope is lost.” 

But this time, I was armed with one truth that I kept muttering: “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge” (Psalm 57:1). I couldn’t withstand my situation so I ran to Jesus and slammed the tower door of his refuge shut. 

The ultrasound technician turned the screen away so I couldn’t see anything. The white walls of the small room stirred up memories of loss. But as fear threatened to undo me, I turned to Jesus. Where else could I go? 

When the doctor entered the exam room, I shifted my gaze downward.

“Jenny,” the doctor said. “The baby is okay.”

My head snapped up. Tears spilled down my face. This was not the news I had expected, but the outcome my heart had longed to hear. 

RELATED: God Bound Our Hearts Together With Threads of Love

Six years later, what I learned remains etched on my heart. When I can’t utter words to pray, when hope flickers, when I walk a dark, painful path with no guarantees, Jesus is there.

In my hurt, God’s presence shines like a candle on a dark winter night. His love and goodness direct my steps even when I can’t see. 

Tasting the presence of Jesus as I navigated the valleys of life provided the stability to endure whatever was ahead. Jesus was with me even as I hurt—and his nearness and love would always surround and protect me “till the storms of destruction pass by” (Psalm 57:1).

As we face the difficulties of this fallen world, Jesus tenderly lifts our chins to turn our eyes on him—our only source of eternal hope. His presence is more than enough to sustain our weary hearts.

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Jenny Marcelene

Jenny Marcelene helps families explore God’s greatness across the street and around the globe. Her publishing credits include a variety of print and online articles, including Risen Motherhood, The Gospel Coalition, Christian Parenting, Lifeway’s ParentLife, and Truly. She works as a writer for Oakseed Ministries International. You can connect with her online by visiting her website or on Instagram.

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