Friday, January 9, 2015


Late yesterday afternoon, it became apparent I was going to have to regretfully cancel our evening plans with friends, something I was very much looking forward to, because the cold weather from outside had found it's way into my bones and made my joints flare red and swell large. I did so with more resistance than usual. I normally do not find cancelling plans to be so frustrating; I know my family and friends love me and understand my limitations. But yesterday I was teary, feeling that staying home meant giving in to an illness I battle daily.

My husband was understanding, as he always is, and ran me a hot bath to soak in; when he came back to the bed to help me get undressed he looked me in the eyes, pooling with salty, hot tears, and said words that caused my determination to become steely. He told me to embrace the suck, and I knew exactly what he meant. It was just what was needed to fortify my wavering heart.

I think we originally heard that phrase in some movie or other, but last Sunday, one of our friends in church shared a similar message with the group. The basic idea is that sometimes we find ourselves overwhelmed or underwhelmed or doubting, sometimes we are hurt or numb or straining, sometimes we are simply living out a part of life that is HARD. And that's okay. Rather than fighting it or allowing it to serve as condemnation, discouragement or despair, embrace it. Lean into it. You'll find God is with you even there, in that place.

That doesn't mean we are left without questions. I still looked pleadingly into Trever's eyes and asked him why; I still long to know what is the purpose or meaning in all my pain and suffering, why am I not miraculously healed or, at very least, shown a reason... And of course he had no answers, only gentle suggestions. It was enough.

Truthfully, if I was able to stop believing in God, I would. I find myself a bit impatient with His timing and sometimes even angry at the way He seems to callously allow suffering on this planet. Yet I find myself, when He comes to ask me if my offended nature will cause me to walk away from Him, repeating the response of His disciples: To whom would I go, oh Lord? You have the words of eternal life. {John 6:68}

I realize that faith itself is a gift from God, and with as much as he has allotted to me, I will rest in the unanswered questions and trust in what is Unseen. He makes everything beautiful in His time.{Ecclesiastes 3:11} My pain will not fall to the ground, wasted. It will accomplish the purpose for which God, who is tender in mercy, has allowed it. It will drive me deeper into Him, enabling me to comfort others with the comfort He has comforted me with. It will teach me how to pray.

I wonder sometimes whether I am meant to write about such things. I tend to assume there are many other voices out there and that adding my own would be pointless. There are always those who can do better than I can. I know this. Still, He says write, and I write.

Perhaps there is one of you, kind readers, who needs to embrace the suck today. It is a crude-ish way of putting things, albeit accurate. Can I encourage you in your pain, your lethargy, your depression or frustration or despair, to lean into Him who holds all the answers? Can I tell you that whatever small measure of faith you've been given can grow and swell, even and perhaps especially during trial? That those small seeds of faith and hope planted in your heart will find in Him a nursery perfectly designed to flourish, to blossom and abound?

He will not waste your ache, your struggle, your pain. His plans for you are always good and your trust in Him will never go unrewarded.

He is not limited by weakness. I have found Him a very present help in times of great trouble, I have heard Him speak within my own heart as I've lain in my bed, soaked in my bathtub, eaten my soup. He is here and that is enough; He frees me from having to be enough or do enough on my own. While I may struggle to find my purpose, my calling... may I never stop testifying to His Presence.



  1. WHAT?! NO CAPTCHA?! It's a January MIRACLE!

    1. I have no idea. I don't remember changing the settings so it may very well be a miracle tailor made for you, Cara Sue. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing this reminder. I needed the reminder to lean into Jesus today. I hope you have a great day!


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