Does God Heal Our Pain?

After suffering alone for years, Jo Saxton reflects on how God knew her pain and brought her to a time and place where she could grieve and find healing.

Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection

  1. Can you identify with Jo's story?
  2. What do you think of the idea that God weeps at our pain?

I ended up in foster care because my dad walked out on our family, and our family was broken, completely broken, and, um, I didn't know who he was. I met him when I was 12, and I opened the door to a man who I look exactly like, and he's a complete stranger to me. So I asked what he wanted. He said is your mom there? I shut the door, and went and got my mom and then discovered that that was my first meeting with my dad. And, you know, I'm 12 years old and you, you resent someone, you hate someone, but you're desperate— I was desperate to be loved by that someone. He defined my existence. His absence had defined my existence. There were so many things that wouldn't have happened if he wasn't there, or at least that's what I felt. When I was 16, I remember going to this church— and I went to the church, honestly, because the drummer was really good looking— and at the end of the service, someone said they'd been praying, and they'd been praying and they— as they prayed, they felt there was a girl who'd never known her dad and she felt like an orphan and, um, that God wanted her to know that he was her daddy. And it was one of those moments for me where, how could someone know that I'd screamed alone for years? That I'd cried alone for years? And I remember sobbing, sobbing, and sobbing and hearing, "I want my daddy. I want my daddy." and realizing that it was me saying, "I want my daddy." And I can't describe the pain of it, because I think so many people are used to their dads not being around. You— it's what you live with, it's what— it's your life. Um... But in that moment, in that day, that hour, or however long it took, I was able to grieve all that was lost, all that had happened, all the horrible conversations, all the alienation and stuff. And, um, I, and I remember when somebody prayed with me, feeling like he heard, that in this room, God knew how, how lonely I'd felt and how desperate I felt, and he knew all the, the vulnerability of our family because there was nobody to protect us, um, and that he wept, too. Um, but what makes me peaceful now, um, that in a broken world that, that you can get healed and fixed, is because I know that he saw, he saw me and that he, he saw the consequences of all these crazy actions, and he began to heal me, and it did change the way I saw myself over time. And, um, it did begin to change how I live my life.