How to fall apart well

Written by Sarah Holmstrom
Published on July 29, 2022

 I am a mom of four kids and I just recently learned how to fall apart. 

As a young toddler, I lost my dad and older sister in a car wreck. My mom met Jesus in a very real way after that tragedy. She knew about God, but she never felt close to Him. After the wreck, he was holding her up. He was lifting her out of bed each day so that she could care for me. He was speaking to her and she was running to his Word. She couldn’t get enough of the Scriptures. She was so hungry for him in her grief. 

She taught me Romans 8:28 and told me that God uses everything we go through for our good, if only we would let him. 

He never wastes a hurt. 

Ignoring our feelings

Growing up, I went through many trials and tribulations as we all do. I remember at times stopping to wonder how God would use ‘even this’ or ‘even that.’ This lesson helped me get through those difficult days and reminded me to always look for what God might be doing. 

But I missed something she was trying to teach me. Romans 8:28 doesn’t say, “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose- SO DON’T LET YOURSELF FEEL NEGATIVE EMOTIONS.”

Somewhere along my journey, I believed a lie that said I needed to instantly find the positive in every situation. I believed that following Jesus meant being constantly grateful, peaceful, and able to see the good in all things. While it is true that God does ultimately provide us with peace and a new perspective, we don’t get there by mustering it up in our own strength. And we definitely don’t get there by ignoring our feelings and neglecting to share them with God and others. I tried this, and it completely backfired! 

Instead, God’s Word encourages us to pour our hearts out to him, to cry out, share that we’re not okay with trusted friends, and to fall apart well. 

David was called a man after God’s own heart, yet he complained, cried, questioned, and intimately conversed with God. 

Are you feeling overwhelmed right now? We are living in a time that is uncertain and just plain hard. But guess what? God is still good. He’s still got this.

I know that deep inside my core, and my guess is that you do too. So why do we often still feel so worried, scared, angry, and emotional?

Afraid of grieving

All throughout my life, I’ve been afraid of grieving, falling apart, and even feeling. But trusting God doesn’t mean we don’t feel. It doesn’t mean we walk around with clenched teeth and feigned gratitude. 

Maybe you’re grieving something right now. Maybe you’ve lost someone you love, you’ve lost your job, or you are struggling with mental or physical illness. 

You are allowed to fall apart.

You are allowed to feel the pain and pour out your heart to God. 

Are you familiar with Job’s story in the Bible? When Job loses his family, his possessions, and his good health, guess what he does? He wishes he were dead. He cries out to God. In fact, he shares every hopeless thought inside his head. 

Similarly, David pours out his pain to God too.  

Let God carry your burdens

It’s time to get real with God. 

Earlier this year, I decided to take my own advice and go for a walk. I told God what was really on my heart. I listened to one of my favorite worship songs and felt as though I was hearing the lyrics for the first time. I sobbed right there in public. It was the most alive I’ve felt in a long time. 

I didn’t walk home feeling fixed. My struggles were still there. But I knew that God was with me. I knew he wanted to carry each burden and help me sort through the mess. I walked home with him by my side… and that was more than enough. 

Consider a few extra resources:

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Sarah Holmstrom

Sarah Holmstrom is the co-founder of Raising Prayerful Kids, a ministry that equips parents to pray with their kids in fun, engaging, and meaningful ways. She earned her Masters in Education from Azusa Pacific University and has worked as an elementary and high school teacher. Additionally, Sarah has worked in kids ministry in multiple local churches for most of her adult life. Currently she homeschools her four kids and serves as the elementary creative director at Purpose Church. She is passionate about telling God’s story to kids and grown-ups.

The Raising Prayerful Kids book is available now at your favorite book retailer!

Read more about Sarah

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