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I remember some very distinct moments as a mother. The first time hearing the heartbeat. The first time I felt movement inside me. The first cry and the first time my voice brought comfort to the tears. I have four children and each time was special, each time was unique, and each time I sat in awe of the powerful intimacy I felt immediately. It's the bond people speak of between a mother and her child. My mother still has this bond with me to this day. She knows when I need prayer. She knows when I am struggling. She knows how to say things to me that I may not like, but are necessary to say. She taught me about having an intimate relationship with God because she had one. She was my connection to the heartbeat of God.

God's heartbeat reminds me that I can count on him to bring me peace. It tells me that just as I know my children intimately, so He also knows me. In a moment of reflection the other day, I told God my heart's cry, that I just wanted to matter, that I wanted to be reminded of his protection and comfort. I searched the internet and found these verses:

"God is our place of safety. He gives us strength. He is always there to help us in times of trouble." Psalm 46:1 (NIRV)

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful because I come to you for safety. In the shadow of your wings, I find protection until the raging storms are over."

Psalm 57:1 (GNT)

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I just wish someone would let me be honest about how much I'm hurting.
I just wish I could run away from the shame of my past and find freedom for tomorrow.
"It's good to be reminded hope rises again."
The absolute most silencing thing I ever felt was the need to hide my pain and deny its effects in my life. In many different times during my youth, marriage, moments as a parent, I had times when I just needed a friend and not their advice. I needed empathy and not therapy. I needed a place of hope and belief that things could get better. I began to just deceive myself and others about how bad things were and wore masks that helped others deal with my pain so I wouldn't have to. When I turned this pain into prayer, I found myself connecting more to people because I gave them the gift of compassion I needed. When my prayers became the praise on others' lips, I knew even the darkest days had a purpose. I discovered I could be that friend I needed. I discovered being honest and open allowed others to be open, too. They didn't need a perfect friend, they needed a friend who loved them like Jesus-- one without condemnation and full of love and grace.

The profound sense of dread and fear I felt when my sinful ways had been revealed was the most agonizing experience of my life. I couldn't deny it, hide it, fake it, or misplace it. I had nowhere to turn and no one to turn to, I was the friend that others turned to, but who could be there for me. The compassion and forgiveness displayed to me were overwhelming. I didn't deserve it and I wanted to hide, but God's love for me was greater. I've read so many books on recovery, healing, and faith, but my Jesus' simple act of compassionate forgiveness broke down my walls and helped me find freedom for tomorrow. All I had was a mustard seed of faith. This place of pain became a time of crying out to God for mercy, and that act of desperation gave me lips to praise an awesome God.

King David went through great moments of shame, despair, and deception, but He found hope in the God of wonders when he accepted his brokenness in Psalm 51:15-17.

"Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise."

I don't know where you are today. I don't promise a better tomorrow. I know that there is a God who loves us and wants to be our everything. If we start with who God says He is, then we won't be disappointed when we live up to our own frailty and mistakes. It's good to be reminded hope rises again.