Share Your Heart When You Hurt

Share your heart

It’s laborious to find the right words when experiencing grief and loss, yet healthy communication is a powerful tool for people in pain. When we have questions about faith and God’s involvement—or apparent lack thereof—it helps to process what we feel by identifying a feeling with a word or phrase. And for times when words fail to express the joy of a full heart, it’s good to have a prompt to get us started. I have that tool for you.

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Last month, our church did a series of messages using four lament Psalms. Psalms of lament are prayers—statements of faith—where the writers cry out to God and voice their complaint. But the writers turn back to God with a bold ask—a request—and conclude with an expression of trust or praise. (See Psalm 10, 12, or 13 as examples.)

My friend and teammate Jim Owens is a relationship expert. I go to him when I’m frustrated with someone, and he coaches me to identify the problem and equips me to address the situation with the person in a healthy way. That is disciple-making at its best.

For our series, Jim created a helpful handout with sentence starters for the three categories found in a lament psalm. Some examples…

Pain — Grief and Loss

I am angry that God (did or didn’t]…
I wish people understood that…

Pivot — Turning to God

I have heard and seen that God…
Things in my life that are still good are…

Promise — Our Redeemer Lives

I am surprised in a good way that…
I believe that God will give me the strength to…

DOWNLOAD the entire handout with more than forty sentence starters. Use it to help you process what you’re feeling, or share it with a friend to help him or her do the same.

For two terrific resources on finding hope amid lament, click here and here.


QUESTION (leave a comment below)

Who is someone who helps you process pain? What do they do that helps you?

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6 thoughts on “Share Your Heart When You Hurt

  1. Pastor Gregg,choose 40 questions Pastor Jim wrote down are truly amazing ..I think I went through each one…I sat with him at his home a few days after Justin passed..we had a great conservation, pretty much like those questions..I was very careful not to rush him in his process of grief. I’m 14 years in..he was only a few days..I instead brought myself back in time to my first few hard as that was, Jim and I both knew Jesus has a plan for us…he’s a warm sensitive man who I ache for…but I know he will be willing to surrender like I had to…..I just ordered those two books on Amazon, to add to my collection on this subject…I pray God shows himself to the Owen’s family like He did me…I had first experience on Our Supernatural God…He wouldn’t leave me alone…Thank you God he didn’t…I do have a question for you…remember when I said I felt that I shouldn’t ask God for anything else because I knew He sustained me when my son passed….is it being prideful that I feel that way? I don’t mean for it to be…but I heard someone say that..if you dont think God cares about smaller issues..we’re not knowing the true God and its acting with pride..I dont think I’m prideful …do you get what I’m trying to say…lol…

  2. Roberta, ultimately, I think you continue to thank God for how he sustained you. God is faithful and always will be. And that same God would never say, “You again?” Not a chance. He always welcomes us and wants us to share the big and small things. I love this quote by Corrie Ten Boom: “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” Hold nothing back. Bring it all to him.

  3. It would be everything if we all turned our pain to God and God alone but that isn’t enough, especially when the pain is deep. It’s always best to speak about it and profess your pain. Often it’s a release to just speak and have someone listen.

    For the past few years, I am faced with two situations involving probably my closest family. These situations are detrimental in so many ways and the evidence is all around. Two different situations, two separate people but tormented in their own way, yet the entire family is aware of the dysfunctions yet no mutual intervention has been successful and it remains hurtful, delicate situations. I turn my pain to God with praise for how many changes have come and His work is never done so I remain in hope that love and patience and guidance and God’s way will succumb this situation.

    Roberta you are an amazing woman of faith, child of God and I fee very fortunate to have shared a very special journey of faith at our Post Alpha retreat, Joann and you made me feel so comfortable and welcome although we hardly knew one another and I praise God for the people He brings into my life. I can truly understand how the Pastors at Shelter Rock Church can almost make you feel closer to God then one can imagine, and mend your heart through the worst of pains. I have experienced this comfort so many times over the past few years and I am forever grateful. Hug from me to you Roberta.

    What truly has me in awe and wonder is Pastor Jim’s faith and love for God and that he can actually, even through his own despair, give us guidance and still teach us. And this willingness. Amen to God.

    The day before the Owen’s faced the loss of their son Justin, I was so fortunate to attend Pastor Jim’s Workshop Class – Learning How to Cope. I was skipping my usual class (Children’s Ministry) because I know how inspiring Pastor Jim’s words are, in addition to his perky, hilarious character. And I certainly made the right decision. His class was exciting, entertaining, hilarious and truly made me realize that him and I are enablers and have a tendency to remain quiet until we erupt and that is not a good way but learning how to cope is truly a way I try to live rather than allowing situations to get the best of me. I often wondered if Pastor Jim would have that desire to inspire us again after feeling such pain and grief and it doesn’t surprise me how amazing he will always be in God’s eyes and ours. God’s blessings to the Owen family for their unbending faith and encouragement to all of us.

    Pastor Gregg, Janine and you have been a big part of my faith, my walk in life, my love for God. My journey and the growth of my relationship with Jesus has allowed me to stand strong and remain faithful. I always own that to you and your persistence and love for making disciples and watching us grow. Being a part of the SRC family is the best relationship I could have ever asked for. I watch in wonder…..

    God’s blessing to all ⍭

    1. Thank you for sharing, Denise. It has been incredible having a front-row seat to watch your life transform before our eyes. There’s only one thing left to say: God is good!

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