Purposeful Faith

“When Faith Doesn’t Take the Pain Away”

POST BY: Kendra Broekhuis

It would have been our daughter’s third birthday. At least, in a perfect world where mothers don’t bury their babies, it would have been.

I laid in bed imagining what our baby might have been like as a three year old. A curly red head like her mom? A brown eyed brunette like her dad? A sassy pants like her older sister? On the third anniversary of her stillbirth, the only thing that streamed as heavily as my imagination were my tears.

Sometimes I think it’s a miracle my faith has remained intact since this devastating loss. I chalk that up to a huge dose of mercy, really. My beliefs about Jesus are no longer phrases I learned to regurgitate in Sunday School, rather truths that anchor my soul:

He is victorious over death. {John 11:25}

He is working all things for my good. {Romans 8:28}

He is close to the brokenhearted. {Psalm 34:18}

But even though faith stuck around, that hasn’t stopped grief from practically bulldozing me over sometimes – like the day our daughter would have turned three. And on those days I learned that the presence of pain doesn’t mean there is an absence of faith.

Our pain simply reminds us that not all is right with the world, that we aren’t dwelling in the perfect garden paradise God first created us to. And therefore, our faith and our pain are forced to coexist. Nancy Guthrie describes this coexistence well:

The day after we buried {our daughter}, my husband said to me, “You know, I think we expected our faith to make this hurt less, but it doesn’t. Our faith gave us an incredible amount of strength and encouragement while we had Hope, and we are comforted by the knowledge that she is in heaven. Our faith keeps us from being swallowed by despair. But I don’t think it makes our loss hurt any less.” {Guthrie, Holding On To Hope}

Before Jesus returns, there will always be tension between our hope in heaven and our current reality living in a broken world. It’s not a matter of either/or, but and. We can have faith in a sovereign, victorious God and admit to Him the heavy pain we are bearing. We will face trials and God will strengthen us through those trials. We will walk through valleys and He will ultimately rescue us. We will grieve and one day He will wipe away all of our tears.

So whatever trials, valleys, or grief you are facing today, let God’s promises both anchor your soul and remind you that He is near, carrying you and tending to your broken heart.

Pray that even when faith doesn’t take the pain away, hope will remain steadfast too.



Lord, I pray that in Your great mercy You will strengthen the faith of Your people. Remind Your children in mighty ways that Your promises are true, even when life’s circumstances can take remarkably painful and unexpected turns. And show us through Your miraculous provision that You are mending our broken hearts. Amen.



Kendra is the author of Here Goes Nothing: An Introvert’s Reckless Attempt to Love Her Neighbor. The book highlights her 30 Day journey to recognize the Lord’s “I love you’s” in her daily life, as well as her somewhat awkward attempts to be the Lord’s “I love you’s” to her neighbors. For her day job, Kendra stays home with two of their children, Jocelyn and Levi. She and her family live in Milwaukee. Kendra’s love language is Dove chocolate.


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Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a "Cheerleader of Faith", Kelly's greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Today would have been our 15th wedding anniversary but my beloved was killed in auto accident Sept 1, 2017. My daughter died suddenly June 21st 2016. The pain is greater than I can bear and when I want to give up, when I want to die I am reminded “Why aren’t thou cast down oh my soul, and why aren’t this DISQUIETED within me? Hope thou in God Who is the HELP of my couentance and the. HOPE OF my couentance. Thank you for today’s devotion. It came from you sent by God especially for me today. Thank you Jesus, my Comforter!!!!

  • This is so true, Kendra! I’m sorry for your loss and for Annie’s too! Lifting up prayers for you both.

  • So beautifully written. I am so sorry for your loss. I agree our faith does not make it hurt less. I am amazed at how many people think it will. And the. When it doesn’t they many times turn their back on God. My grief is different but I do know I would not be standing without my faith. I chose to trust God no matter what the outcome was. It didn’t turn out how I would like but I don’t regret one minitue having my faith to carry me forward.

  • Thank you for sharing your loss with us. I’m really sorry, and I would like it not to happen in your life and for you to be happy. For some reason, sometimes bad things happen to good people and there is nothing we can do about it. I really hope that your pain will be less over time and you will be able to move forward no matter what. I would really like that. My daughter has been gone for two years and five months and I understand you like no one else. Hope you have good support from family and friends.

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