Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peace in Acceptance

Usually, I avoid writing a whole lot when I am struggling. Mainly, this is because I don't want to complain about it and also because I want always for this to be a place of encouragement...

You may have noticed I have not written a whole lot over the last couple of months.

It has been an incredibly difficult season. And while I don't feel ready to share all that has happened in the past two months, I can tell you this:

My health has rapidly deteriorated. Most days, I struggle to do the most basic of tasks, brush my hair, get dressed, cut my own food....

As of my last doctor appointment, my blood work indicated we need to begin more aggressive treatment on the arthritis. I have tried to avoid this for as long as possible, because beginning this course of treatment also means weaning our baby. I will not be able to breastfeed while on this medication.

Owen is the sweetest baby in the world, and while I know he will be fine without nursing, it breaks my heart. Perhaps this sounds silly or inconsequential in the larger scheme of things, but it is where I am right now, and it hurts.

Everything seems to hurt right about now. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. I just have no words to describe it. I look at my husband and feel devastated he is having to shoulder so much of the load right now, that he does not have a healthy wife who can do all the fun things he wants to do.

I look at my twelve year old soon, who recognizes some of my limitations and offers to cut my food for me, and I am brought low. Isn't it the mother who should be serving the child? It is not that I am proud. I am sad. Deeply sad. I feel like a burden. I know that my illness saddens my family, and this compounds my sadness.

Most of all, I am struggling with myself because, ultimately, though I don't understand and though I wish things were different, I trust God. Really, I do. I know He is good, and I know He loves me. Even when I feel the most alone, I *know* I am not.

The struggle is not with trusting God, it is in myself. I am not any of the things I want, I yearn, to be. When pressed, when under great pressure, I want to spill forth Christ in love, gentleness, patience, grace. But so often I fail. I get frustrated, I despair. I wonder why far too often. I feel depressed and lonely and miserable, and then I tend to shut people out, not wanting to spread this negativity all over. Who wants to be such a downer?

I want to glorify Christ, even through all this, some how.

My mind goes back to a lovely piece Amy Carmichael wrote, many years ago. For those of you who do not know me well, you should know that Amy Carmichael is not only my favorite author, she is also a spiritual mentor to me. I look forward to talking long with her in Heaven one day...

She was one who suffered many years, towards the end of her life, with debilitating illness. She struggled as well, wanting to be able to do so much more for Jesus than her physical limitations would allow. Yet it was during these years that the bulk of her writing was done. Writing that was birthed through prayer and suffering.

If this sounds like something not of much interest to you, please feel free to skip it. But I wanted to post this poem, in its entirety, in hopes it may find its way to some sweet soul, that like mine, is a bit bruised and weak right now. May it bless. I can testify that it is full of truth.

In Acceptance Lieth Peace

He said, "I will forget the dying faces;
The empty places---
They shall be filled again.
O voices moaning deep within me, cease."
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in forgetting lieth peace.

He said, "I will crowd action upon action;
The strife of faction
Shall stir me and sustain.
O tears that drown the fire of manhood, cease."
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in endeavor lieth peace.

He said, "I will withdraw me and be quiet;
Why meddle in life's riot?
Shut be my door to pain.
Desire, thou dost befool me; thou shalt cease."
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in aloofness lieth peace.

He said, "I will submit; I am defeated.
God hath depleted
My life of its rich gain.
O futile murmurings, why will ye not cease?"
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in submission lieth peace.

He said, "I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God tomorrow
Will to His son explain."
Then did the turmoil deep within him cease.
Not vain the word, not vain;
For in acceptance lieth peace.

And friends, I can tell you, it is true. I have been through the entire process described here, in these wise words. Acceptance can be difficult, excruciating at times. It is possible only with trust, with relationship. With knowing Jesus.

May the peace that passes all understanding be yours today, may it guard your tender hearts. He will not break the bruised reed. He will gently lead. He is love.

From my tender heart to yours,
~amy danielle


  1. Amy Danielle, thank you for sharing this, my heart bleeds with yours at the thought of having to wean your babe for medications sake - I had to do the same thing with my arthritis meds when my youngest was 3 months. But as I know you know to, your sacrifice of that precious thing will see blessings poured out on you and yours. Much love through these tough times x x x x x x x

  2. ((((Amy)))) I'm so sorry that you are going through this with children so young. You know I am praying for you, and it means a lot for me to know that you are praying for me. My teenage daughter posted this on her FB page this morning and it really ministered to me: ‎"God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain." -C.S. Lewis

  3. Sweet friend,
    I share in your struggles! You are not walking alone! While that knowledge does nothing in the face of deep suffering, we know by faith, through the ministry of His word and His spirit, that you are ever near the dear Shepherd and that He will gently care for you!!

  4. I will keep you in my prayers Amy. You are such a special Mom, it shines through your blog. May you feel Him close. It truly is all about heart and you have a beautiful heart. Through the heart we find Him and He waits for us.
    God Bless


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