That We Might Have Joy: Leah's Story

The unseen pain...

Long ago my mother helped me understand that, in this life, we will all experience pain. She said, "Leah you must always have compassion for those around you...if you could see into the hearts of man and experience their pain you would shutter in disbelief". I believe this to be true.

So much of the pain we experience comes in the quiet solitude of our own souls. When speaking of a deep unyielding pain that has existed in a dear friend's life for many years she said, "It is simply too painful to carry. I take the pain and tuck it away in a little box. Every once in awhile I take out the box and experience the pain. I tell myself...yep, it's still there...then I tuck it away again." I have thought about that a lot.

I understand that the pains we experience in this life come from many sources...the actions of those around us...our own poor choices...and then there is that category (health, financial, and death) completely beyond our control.

The 4th of July 2017...it had been a long but good day. It's 10:00 at night, and as I'm going to put the kids to bed, I decide to sneak out onto the driveway to watch a few last fireworks. One by one my children discover my adventure and join me. Julia is the last to come outside. I watch her as she approaches. She sits on the front porch and scoots herself to the top step. When she feels that she is there, she makes her way down our two stairs.

My mommy heart breaks.

Then she stands and ever so slowly walked with both hand extended in front of her waving them so she can feel any obstacles in her way.

My mommy heart breaks.

She slowly walks to the sound of our voices and stops when she feels Anna right in front of her.

My mommy heart breaks.

BBS...Oh my sweet Julia. What trials await you? What pain, struggle, heartache await you in this tender life...it breaks my heart to think about so I usually don't. Luckily for me, my pain for her comes in waves, and at this point, as we sit in the land of "hurry up and wait while your child slowly goes blind."  The waves are infrequent, but they are there. They hit me like a wave, hard and fast, rolling over me and threatening to drag me under. I have learned to deal with the pain in a "one day at a time" way. If I don't, it feels like a black hole...too big...too dark...to deep to escape from.

This post isn't meant to be depressing. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a "glass is always half full" type person. I guess I just felt compelled to share my thoughts after this most recent experience.

As I've grown I have also come to understand that the "rain falls on the just and unjust" alike. We will all experience deep pain, BUT what is important is what you do with that pain. As far as I have been able to observe in the lives of many people throughout my life, pain only leads down two paths.

The first path is the path of "turning away." Turning away from people. Turning away from God. Turning away from everything good in your life. This is a path filled with hopelessness, anger, bitterness, lack of trust, loss of faith, and isolation.

The other path is the path of "turning towards". First and foremost, turning to our Father in Heaven & His son, Jesus Christ. Seeking His guidance, council, comfort, and healing. Turning to our close family and friends, seeking their love & support. Turning to everything good that is around us. Finding the rainbows in the storm. This is the path that leads to hope, happiness, joy, trust, faith, and not feeling alone. This is the path I choose. Again, this in no way means that this path is easy or pain free (far from it), but it is the path filled with light & joy.

So in my moment of heartbreak I turn to my Heavenly Father, I turn to my husband, I turn to my friends and I turn to my family. Then I tuck that pain away in its little box and place it back in my heart until I need to go through the process of experiencing it again.


  1. I can't imagine, I can't comprehend, I can't feel, I haven't been there, but I can cry and that I do. This is a wonderful place to blog life's tender and traumatic experiences. May the Lord hold you in his hands. I love you.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I can't imagine how hard it would be to watch your child slowly go blind. My heart breaks for you both. Thank you for sharing your faith.