• DANCE IN THE RAINLife is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain.- Vivian Greene

my leg scar+

It took wild courage for me to post this picture.

If you can’t figure it out, it’s a photo of the scar on my left leg. I have spent much of my life hiding my scars, particularly this train track on my shin. This mark is visible whenever I wear a skirt so I have worn pants for decades. My scars used to tell me that I wasn’t like everyone else. They made me feel unattractive, an oddity, a bit of a freak.

Scars.

There are two kinds of scars, visible and invisible. Like many of us, I bear both. Each has been difficult. Each has elements of shame. Each carries its own pain. This post is about my visible scars; the next is about my invisible ones.

Some people are proud of their scars: they speak of courage. They show others what they’ve endured. But for me, with scars covering both my legs, they were not medals to wear, proclaiming my bravery. They were rather deficiencies to hide, reminding me daily of my flaws. Reminding me I was damaged.

As a teenager, I desperately wanted a perfect body, hoping that would have made me feel accepted. But instead I saw in the mirror a body deformed by polio and further marked by the 21 ensuing operations. In a world filled with images of flawlessly airbrushed models, it was a challenge to believe that my physical imperfections were beautiful.

So hiding my scars was natural. That way, no one could see how imperfect I was. That way, I could look more normal. That way, I wouldn’t be humiliated.

My scars were simply jagged reminders of my pain. View full post »

  • April 4, 2014 - 12:17 am

    Teresa S - I think your legs are beautiful. I agree with your friend Maggie; your scars make me think of strength and courage. And showing them demonstrates a sort of fearlessness and joy. I have my own scars and I hide them too. Your post makes me realize that I don’t need to be ashamed, but that I am free in Christ from my fear of what others think of me. He loves and accepts me. That is more than enough. God bless you.ReplyCancel

    • April 5, 2014 - 9:54 am

      Vaneetha - Thank you, Teresa. Even as I wrote this post, God was teaching me so much about shame & freedom, fear & acceptance. Its been very freeing for me and I’m glad it has been that way for you too.ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2014 - 7:56 am

    Kayla Akins - So very proud of you friend!ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2014 - 8:41 am

    Chrissy - It is a hard thing to say, because my faithless flesh wants to say that I would rather you not have any scar because of the pain you endured through it, but I am thankful for the woman the Lord is molding you into, scars and all. I am forever grateful for a Sovereign God who takes the broken flesh of this world and redeems it/us into vessels of His glory. I love you dear friend. Thank you for posting this.ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    Jennifer - Vaneetha,
    I know this was hard to write. But I know God will use it to bless and encourage others. Thank you for being brave.ReplyCancel

    • April 4, 2014 - 3:17 pm

      Ashley - Vaneetha….you are beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2014 - 4:46 pm

    Cathy Evans - Scars reveal your indisputable identity to any who know you. I’d never thought of Jesus’ scars from that perspective. I’m very aware of trying to hide my imperfections from others – those feel inherently my fault..in light of this post I’m thinking my way through how/when/why I am willing to show my “scars” or not….ReplyCancel

    • April 5, 2014 - 10:07 am

      Vaneetha - I hide All my scars too, Cathy. It has been a recent journey to start to reveal them…one that has given me more freedom than I would have ever imagined. Praying the Lord will show you what scars He wants you to show- both to benefit you & others.ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2014 - 7:47 am

    Nevine Wissa - Dear Vaneetha,
    Thank you for your amazingly beautiful post.It’s the first time I ponder the thought that Jesus maintained His scars even after His resurrection.I guess He deliberately chose to do this for us-all those who bear scars anywhere in their bodies,(or souls)..I’ve come to learn a lot from the scars I bear in my body.At first,I was very rebellious,and then Jesus gradually taught me,and still is, that He must increase,and I must decrease.During this period of molding,pruning,and purifying,He provided for me to read this quote,which helped change the way I lperceived my scars”Scars are wounds filled in with Living Flesh.Scars are voids overcome with Life,and they bear witness that God can raise to Life again all those who have been pierced.”(Jon Tyson)
    Vaneetha,you are beautiful:)ReplyCancel

    • April 5, 2014 - 10:09 am

      Vaneetha - Thank you, Nevine. Loved your quote. And I so agree with what you’re learning- He must increase;I must decrease…ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2014 - 10:43 am

    Jo - Thank you for showing your closed and healed wound and how you are invited into a deeper healing. I am a bit envious that everyone else saw strength and courage, May God continue to bless you with the ones that see strength and courage.ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2014 - 4:07 pm

    Amy - The beauty of our scars and of Jesus’ scars is something I’ve pondered and prayed over for about 10 years now, and you express so well what I have struggled to put into words. Yes, they are indeed beautiful. I came to understand that after I was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age and underwent a bilateral mastectomy. I chose not to have reconstruction surgery, and so my body is forever marked with those scars. (I totally relate to what you’re saying about going to the pool or to the beach…it’s hard for me to even find the right style of swimsuit to cover my scars.) But every day when I see myself in the bathroom mirror, those scars are personal reminders that I am identified with Jesus, who also bears scars in his body, and I am able to give thanks for them. Do you think that, like Jesus, we will keep our scars in our glorified bodies? That’s something that I’ve done a lot of thinking on, and part of me thinks that yes, I’ll keep them forever as reminders of God’s goodness and sovereign grace in my earth journey. More to praise him for in the new kingdom…as if he himself weren’t enough already. Blessings.ReplyCancel

  • April 7, 2014 - 7:56 pm

    Ann Dotson - So well written. Thank you Vaneetha. Almost everyone can point to a scar and tell the story of what happened and how. You have a remarkable story, and the Lord is just beginning to use you to share about your “healed wounds.” Thank you for being open and available for the Lord to use and work through. You continue to amaze me and bless me. I love you dear friend!!ReplyCancel

  • April 8, 2014 - 10:46 am

    Monininuade - Thank you Vaneetha for allowing God to use you to be a blessing. I first of all came across your post on Desiring God website a few weeks ago and I decided to subscribe to your blog. I have been challenged by your sincerity and openness which has helped me a lot during my present challenges.
    This post has brought things into perspective for me; I have learnt to ask God for forgiveness and I will be asking my husband for same too. I have blamed my husband as the reason I have scars on my body when I was diagnosed with a rare form of rash during my second pregnancy. The rash left so much marks on my body that I became so ashamed to wear clothes that would show my arms and legs.
    However, this post made me ponder and see the goodness of God in my life. The baby I was carrying in my womb then was born in a hospital car park; we were still about 10 minutes drive away from the hospital when her head came out. She is doing well to God’s glory and will be three years old in a few months.
    God bless you for reminding us that God loves us the way we are!ReplyCancel

    • April 8, 2014 - 4:50 pm

      Vaneetha - So thankful that this post was a blessing to you. I can imagine that the marks from your rashes are difficult- but I pray they will also be a reminder of God’s grace in your life with your beautiful daughter. The memories from all my scars are bittersweet…Prayed for you as you God walks you through the healing of these scars.ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2014 - 10:50 pm

    Scarred - Vaneetha Demski - […] In my life, I want to redefine scars. To see them as evidence of healing. For more of my journey, see my previous post “Are Scars Beautiful?” […]ReplyCancel

  • April 11, 2014 - 10:01 pm

    Cindy Finley - Vaneetha, this is simply beautiful. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • April 13, 2014 - 10:44 am

    Danelle - Such a beautiful post, my friend. You are brave and beautiful and I am so thankful for you. By His stripes (scars) we have been healed!ReplyCancel

  • April 29, 2014 - 5:41 pm

    Glory Rendall - Dear Vaneetha, what a beautiful post! There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in scars. Every person in this world has scars and plenty of them. But as you say scars just make us stronger and we should be proud of them. I personally think that just as God will wipe away all tears when we are called home, He will remove all our scars and give us new bodies, spiritual bodies, perfect bodies and I also feel that His scars will be removed by God because He has conquered sin but just as long as He is our Advocate and as long as we are on this earth continually sinning but are repentant, He stands before God Almighty and pleads for us and shows God His scars and says, ” I forgave my child on the cross, look at My scars, I took his/her sin upon Me , ALL of it so I ask You to wipe away his/her sin and remember them no more”.
    On a lighter note, may I say that your legs are beautiful and so are you! Love you Van and do keep in touch. You are a very brave young lady.ReplyCancel

  • August 2, 2014 - 4:00 am

    erica - I had trouble sleeping worrying about a scar. So I prayed and asked God to lead me to something online that would comfort me and show me his message. And here I am, reading your article! Your scars are truly meant to encourage others. God Bless you!!ReplyCancel

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held cd+

Burying my precious two-month-old baby was devastating. I had no idea how to cope with his sudden unexpected death. True, Paul had been born with a heart problem, but he had survived the critical surgery at birth and was thriving. He’d come home from the hospital at three weeks old, and after a slow start, began gaining weight.

With his winsome smile, easy disposition, and mop of curly dark hair, he delighted us all. He was healthy and beautiful. Even the physician filling in for Paul’s regular cardiologist was so impressed with his progress that he impulsively eliminated most of his heart medications. Paul didn’t need them anymore. He was fine. At first, I was encouraged by the good news. But two days later, Paul was dead.

A doctor’s foolish mistake took my baby’s life. I struggled to accept what had happened. As I watched them lower Paul’s tiny casket, I thought this was the end of my dreams for his life. Nothing good could come from his pointless death.

But God in His wisdom knew differently. He uses everything in our lives as we submit to Him. He can turn the broken and marred and ugly into something beautiful. And He did that with Paul’s death.

My dear friend Christa penned the song “Held” and it begins with the story of Paul. The opening lyrics are raw:

“Two months is too little, they let him go. They had no sudden healing. To think that Providence would take a child from his mother while she prays is appalling.”

The chorus provides the response,

“This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life, and you survive. This is what it is to be loved and to know that the promise was, when everything fell, we’d be held.”

The words of the chorus echo my experience. God holds us in our pain. That is how I survived.

“Held” is a compelling song. Natalie Grant recorded it. Numerous awards followed. But its power hit home on a rainy afternoon when I wondered if any good comes out of suffering. Or at least my suffering. View full post »

  • March 27, 2014 - 1:26 pm

    Chelsesa Patterson - Vaneetha,

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart, and how the Lord has used this song. I wept as I read your precious words. May the Lord richly give of Himself to you. Your story deeply impacted me, and I have shared it with other that I know are going through difficulties.

    Chelsea PattersonReplyCancel

    • March 27, 2014 - 4:02 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you, Chelsea, for your sweet words. So glad the Lord is using this to minister to others.ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 2:08 pm

    Frank U - Though it seems that on occasion the Spirit will take my pen, i do not consider writing my forte. Often i find myself in a prayer that results in manna-not-meat, longing for real connection.
    The lion’s share of my comment (still hungry,hungry lion is he) i sent through the mail link.
    Thank God, Thank you
    Blessings dear sister,
    FReplyCancel

    • March 27, 2014 - 4:03 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you for writing, Frank. So glad this was a blessing to you.ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 10:10 pm

    Unknown - Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ll be praying for you, no person should have to expierence their child dying. This song has helped me through so much as well.ReplyCancel

    • March 28, 2014 - 9:56 am

      Vaneetha - Thank you for writing! Blessed that this song has ministered to you in your struggles.ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 10:16 pm

    Lynn - It is amazing how God uses our pain to bless the lives of others, so that “not a single tear is wasted” as Sheila Walsh likes to say! I’m glad that God gave you a glimpse of how he is using your story through this song. It has touched thousands, providing them comfort when they were hurting the most. My twin and I were two of those people who heard Natalie Grant sing it at a Women of Faith conference. The lyrics so described how God carried us through a season of surgeries for a rare medical condition, and then the loss of our mom to cancer, that we titled the book about it, Held by God. As with you, we’ve never understood the reasons for our suffering, but one day you will be overwhelmed when Jesus shows you all the people in heaven whose lives were impacted by your story. Lori and I will be right up front!ReplyCancel

    • March 28, 2014 - 9:55 am

      Vaneetha - Thank you, Lynn, for your encouragement. Your book sounds wonderful- I love the title! Its humbling the way God uses all of our losses to minister to others- what a blessing to see the way He uses everything!ReplyCancel

      • March 29, 2014 - 1:21 am

        Lynn - Thanks Vaneetha! If you send me your address, we’ll be happy to mail you a copy of our book!ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 11:42 pm

    Ro elliott - I have loved that song “Held” …I discovered Christa just a few years ago and found out she wrote it… Now it is sweet to hear the story behind this most powerful song. So sorry for you pain but I am so glad you knew you were held.ReplyCancel

    • March 28, 2014 - 9:52 am

      Vaneetha - Thank you, Ro. What a blessing that we are all held by Jesus!ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2014 - 11:45 pm

    Natalee - I love that song and I listen to it and think of our son that was taken from us much too early. I have been trying to get connected with any women who have had multiple miscarriages and early infant deaths that are now content or moving forward without children. I got married to my first and only husband when I was 36. At 38, I had an early miscarriage. In 2010 we gave birth to our son who only lived 10 minutes and finally in 2012 I found myself pregnant again with my due date on my father’s birthday. It seemed that God was doing something different this time. We really thought that this time everything was going be healthy and good. At our 10 week appointment and my husbands first opportunity to hear the heart beat, there wasn’t one. We were crushed. My husband and I are now 45 and 47 and have decided that for whatever reason, God just doesn’t want us to have babies . I am too old for invitro and we don’t have the income to adopt and not sure if we even want to anymore. I called Focus on the Family and the only resource they had was a book called “God, Why Can’t I Have A Baby?’ Have you heard of it? Please advise if you have any resources. Thank you and God Bless you 🙂ReplyCancel

    • March 28, 2014 - 9:51 am

      Vaneetha - Natalee- I’m so sorry for all your losses. Thankful that Jesus is holding you, (and me) now. I don’t know of any other resources on that specific topic, but Joni Eareckson Tada has amazing books on leaning on God in suffering through other types of loss. Prayed for you, dear sister.ReplyCancel

    • March 28, 2014 - 2:57 pm

      Jean - Hello Vaneetha and Natalee,

      (Vaneetha, I have written you elsewhere that recounts in greater detail my response to your entries. :))

      Natalee, I am sorry to hear of all your losses. May our Lord comfort and encourage you with the truth, as Vaneetha so beautifully conveyed, that none of the losses experienced in this life is meaningless (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

      I concur with Vaneetha that Joni Eareckson Tada is an excellent source, a woman acquainted with suffering and pain yet vibrant in her joy in and relationship with God.

      I do have a lady who comes to mind who has had specific experience with losing her babies to a rare genetic disease. Her name is Nancy Guthrie. She is now a biblical teacher, biblical counselor, author and speaker. She specifically wrote about the loss of her first infant, Hope, in the book, “Holding on to Hope.” Here is a link listing her biography and all her books: http://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Guthrie/e/B00287RFZG/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1396032128&sr=1-1. And this is from her website: http://www.nancyguthrie.com/about/.

      I hope this little bit of info helps. Nancy’s devotional book, “One Year Book of Hope” incredibly blessed my friends who lost their mother to cancer recently. May God point you to the right resources He has for you.ReplyCancel

      • March 28, 2014 - 3:37 pm

        Vaneetha - Jean-
        Thank you so much for that thoughtful response. How could I forget Nancy Guthrie? I love both Holding on to Hope and Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow- they have both ministered to me profoundly. Thank you for that reminder!ReplyCancel

  • March 28, 2014 - 5:06 pm

    Melissa - Vaneetha,

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your son. 3 years ago my husband and I had a son who was born premature with multiple birth anomalies. He only lived for 11 short days. I was introduced to “Held” shortly after he passed away and have loved the song ever since. It hit so close to home and felt so familiar. I played the song several times a day and would sing right along with it. It brought me so much comfort and continues to as I still will play it to remember my sweet Gavin and the beautiful love God has for us and comfort God gives us during the most challenging times of our lives.

    MelissaReplyCancel

    • March 28, 2014 - 7:48 pm

      Vaneetha - Melissa-
      I am so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. I’m so thankful that the Lord used Held to minister to you. It has been a huge blessing in my life- and I too play it whenever I miss Paul. We’ll see our baby boys in heaven one day!ReplyCancel

  • March 29, 2014 - 12:45 pm

    Phyllis - Dear Vaneetha, Thank you once again for writing with such clarity on the subject of sorrow and pain. Our second son died suddenly at 2 months of age of an undiagnosisable and untreatable heart problem 32 years ago. We have learned to live with the sorrow, but it never goes away. And due to other complications we were never able to have any more children. We were thankful for our first son and learned to live as a one child family.
    And as others have said here Joni Eareckson Tada’s books are so encouraging. The one that I keep as a reference and re-read often is A Place of Healing, Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty.
    And for Dear Natalee, the book that encouraged my heart when going thru the years of trying for another baby was: Childless is not Less by Vicky Love. you can find it on amazon as it was written in 1984. Sincerely hope this helps you in some small way.
    sincerely Phyllis.ReplyCancel

    • March 31, 2014 - 10:35 am

      Vaneetha - Thank you, Phyllis, for writing. I am so sorry about losing your precious son at two months old. Thank you so much for your book recommendation and your encouraging words. And I love that Joni book too!ReplyCancel

  • February 24, 2015 - 11:47 pm

    Angela - Thanks for sharing! Going through a trail of loosing a child that I am realizing God is using for His glory. ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2015 - 10:00 am

    Paige Lee - Held was played during our church service this morning, and it definitely touched many lives including mine. Thank you for sharing your story Vaneetha! God bless!ReplyCancel

    • July 26, 2015 - 4:03 pm

      Vaneetha - Thankful that the Lord continues to use that song!ReplyCancel

      • July 26, 2015 - 9:44 pm

        Paige Lee - Hi Vaneetha! Indeed a privilege for us (in Singapore) to hear about your heart-breaking story, yet encouraging one at the same time. Thanks for sharing this hope in Christ and truly living a life that teaches us what it means to be held. May the Lord continue to always shine His light through you and your wonderful posts! : )

        Blessings,
        Paige from SingaporeReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2015 - 10:20 am

    The Christian hope | Getting into God's Word - […] Went to explore further behind the story from the first verse, and found that it’s actually from one of my favourite bloggers whom i follow – Vaneetha. And her reflections can be found here. […]ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2016 - 9:33 pm

    Nicola Walters - Superpowerful!ReplyCancel

  • June 16, 2016 - 1:51 am

    Gaye - As I read this after once again facing insomnia, I was wondering if in some small way your post might reach those parents who have just had a small one taken from them from the oversight of the Disney people who did not erect a barrier between that small child and that alligator…how does one comfort parents who have experienced this loss…it is unbearable; unthinkable. If I was comforted perhaps they would be as well.
    Your story was indeed fitting just for tonight and perhaps for another night for another who has to face this gut-wrenching loss….we do not understand but God does. Thankful for our heavenly Father’s love and comfort when no one here on earth can do so.
    Thank you I was blessedReplyCancel

  • June 21, 2016 - 1:24 pm

    Olivia Ryan - Vaneetha–

    Wow. I am so sorry. I cannot imagine how you dealt with this loss of your sweet baby boy. My heart hurts just reading this story, but you LIVED it. I am praying for you today. What an immense blessing your words are to women who have faced similar circumstances. I lost our first six biological children through miscarriage, and my heart is to see healing come to other women walking through the same battles.

    This song has been instrumental in my healing as well. It’s amazing how one set of lyrics and one tune can be used in such an amazing, powerful way by a sovereign God. He works the darkest things together for good for those who love Him. His truth has been my anchor through the many storms of life.

    Sending love!ReplyCancel

  • November 17, 2016 - 1:14 pm

    Ndetei - Oh! What a wonderful God we serve! The comfort we have in such moments of grief can only come from one who has already gone ahead of us!…I’ve enjoyed playing the song using my acoustic for years little did I know the story behind it! Christ is our Lord of ALL comfort! Great is His Name…1 Thessalonians 4:13-18!!ReplyCancel

  • January 17, 2017 - 4:52 am

    Jude - Thankyou thankyou thankyou for your blog and your honesty. Today i stumbled upon your blog for the first time and, after years of ups and downs, and being in a down at the moment, this is just what i needed to hear. God bless you sister.ReplyCancel

  • February 15, 2017 - 9:11 pm

    Karen Runkle - What grace to have found you. My heart is overwhelmed to have a connection through that song. It was such an anchor during a loss of my own.
    Surely as the Lord lives this very day, You are His beloved and the apple of His eye. Praying in the name of Jesus for You. Thank you for your light in this world.ReplyCancel

    • February 15, 2017 - 9:40 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you so much, Karen! So glad the song ministered to you!ReplyCancel

  • March 12, 2017 - 6:54 pm

    Julie - I found your blog after reading an article on the loneliness of suffering on desiringgod. Thank you for writing. It’s been just over 3 months since my husband and 2 of our 4 kids died in a plane crash. You articulate so well what runs through my muddled brain. Thank you for your story and for the reminder, again, to press into Jesus, the man of sorrows who is acquainted with grief. He will hold me, even when I so long to be held by and hold the ones who are gone. And while it seems like a small consolation sometimes, He will use this to comfort others and to bring glory.
    I think that comment was a compilation of thoughts from 3 things I just read, but thank you is the bottom line.ReplyCancel

    • March 12, 2017 - 8:28 pm

      Vaneetha - Oh Julie. I am so sorry. I cannot imagine how hard that was – and IS- to lose half your family.

      You have such courage and faith to even see that God will use this to comfort others and to bring him glory. Of course, that is true, but I can usually only say that in retrospect. It takes me a while.

      I’m so glad and grateful that you found my posts helpful. I am praying as I write this that God will comfort you, hold you, and give you strength as you continue to walk this difficult path with your children. God is certainly being glorified through your life and your testimony, Julie. You have encouraged me so much today!ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2017 - 4:50 pm

    Is There Anything I Can Depend On? » Vaneetha Rendall - […] Our infant son Paul’s death was a huge shock, as my long-held assumption that my family would somehow be protected from disaster was shattered. Well-meaning people kept assuring me when Paul’s heart condition was discovered during my pregnancy that nothing bad would happen if I trusted God and prayed fervently. It all depended on my faith. So I prayed and trusted and begged God to give me the faith I needed. […]ReplyCancel

  • July 1, 2017 - 4:10 pm

    Debbie Brown - I lost 2 daughters at the hands of others and 2 babies that died at birth and without God’s grace and support I would have lost my mind and would not have gone on. “Held” came out when my dad died and my mom found it to be a good comfort. Thank you for sharing your story. My last daughter just died 4 months ago. It has been very hard! My daughters were 22 and 32 and left 5 children behind. I am sure you hear a lot of sad stories. I wonder if anyone ask you how you are doing. If you like I am asking. I hope you are doing well. Grieving is a constant process that is non-ending but just becomes more enduring. It is true what was once said that what does not kill you makes you stronger at least for me. I believe through all the pain and loss I have become a very strong person and strong woman. Thank you again for letting the public into your life and sharing your story. Debra BrownReplyCancel

    • July 6, 2017 - 11:43 am

      Vaneetha - Oh Debbie – I cannot imagine how hard it must be to have lost four children. It’s amazing that you even get out of bed and could write your message to me. I’m praying as I write this that God himself would comfort you with his love and would show you that you will never walk alone. And that he would comfort your precious grandchildren who have lost their mother. I don’t even pretend to understand all the suffering in this world but I am so glad that God does. Thank you for writing.ReplyCancel

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healing_vaneetha+

As I read the words from my old journal, I vividly recall my emotions. Shame, humiliation, doubt.

The entry is dated April 16, 1983. The spring semester of my first year in college.

I remember the day well. My friends suggested I go to the meeting, but I was resistant. I had been to healing services before. Each time I had expected a miraculous healing. Each time I believed it would happen. Each time I had returned disappointed.

I wanted to shield myself from further frustration, but at the same time so wanted to be healed.  All day I felt unsettled, vacillating between fear and excitement.

Though we arrived early, the room was packed. The only seats left were in the first row. As we walked to the front of the auditorium, I was painfully aware of my limp. Everyone knew I had come for healing. My presence seemed to intensify the excitement. Were they going to witness a verifiable miracle?

After a short sermon, people started lining up. This travelling evangelist touched people where they were hurting and prayed for them, commanding them to be healed in the name of Jesus. And they all were. Hip pains, ear aches, migraines – all disappeared immediately. For everyone.

My stomach was in knots when someone grabbed my hand and led me onto the stage. There was silence as everyone turned to me. I was terrified. View full post »

  • March 21, 2014 - 10:36 am

    Martha - Thank you for being so transparent and for sharing this insight. I think your faith is huge, and I look forward to running along side you in heaven, where you will be whole!ReplyCancel

    • March 21, 2014 - 11:22 am

      Vaneetha - Heaven will be wonderful, won’t it? Looking forward to running in heaven with you, and our glorious cloud of witnesses!ReplyCancel

  • March 26, 2014 - 3:53 pm

    Margot - AUGH!!!!! Your fault?!?! I know that feeling of feeling ASHAMED for not being healed. So sorry you had to endure that.

    Delighted that you share your voice in this space. Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • March 26, 2014 - 4:30 pm

      Vaneetha - Thanks, Margot. It was difficult- but I’ve definitely grown from all my hard things… Though I’m looking for an easier path to sanctification!ReplyCancel

  • April 2, 2014 - 6:34 pm

    Danelle - Amen, my sweet friend. AMEN!!ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2014 - 8:04 pm

    Linda - Vaneetha
    This quote from Valley of Vision speaks to me today.
    ” Let me find thy light in my darkness, thy life in my death, thy joy in my sorrow, thy grace in my sin, thy riches in my poverty, thy glory in my valley.”
    I sense if we sat across from each other over a cup of tea, it would be a very sweet encounter. I enjoyed reading this today.ReplyCancel

  • July 28, 2014 - 10:16 am

    Carolyn Watts - Beautiful. Thanks, Vaneetha. As a fellow traveller with disability, I echo your discovery. The deeper healing and intimacy God is bringing through my illness is worth far more to me than complete physical healing. Bless you.ReplyCancel

    • July 28, 2014 - 7:50 pm

      Vaneetha - Intimacy with God is a treasure worth trading anything the world has to offer, isn’t it? Thank you for writing, Carolyn.ReplyCancel

  • May 28, 2015 - 5:55 pm

    Job and the Prosperity Gospel - Vaneetha Rendall - […] As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been ushered out the back door at healing services, after being publicly chastised.  I have heard countless similar stories from other disabled people. The assumption is that if you’re not healed, you don’t have enough faith. Because God’s will is for everyone to be healed. Always. The faithful will never suffer. […]ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 12:25 pm

    esther kalule - thank you dear…….
    may the Good LORD have mercy upon you and me to deal with our physical disabilitiesReplyCancel

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ebenezer board+

I’m discouraged. Again.

Lately it seems as though nothing is going as I planned. I wake up some mornings wondering how I got here. Is God really working in this mess I call my life?

I open the Bible to Psalms, my go-to book for lament. I am comforted by the psalmists willingness to put their pain before God, raw and unfiltered, and let Him handle it. I read Psalm 77, a Psalm of Asaph when he is desperate.

“I cry aloud to God, and he will hear me…My soul refuses to be comforted… Has God forgotten to be gracious? …Then I said, I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds…You are the God who works wonders … Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.”

I ponder the last line, long and hard… “Yet your footprints were unseen.” Asaph is remembering a time when God guided the children of Israel though they couldn’t see Him. And yet, their deliverance was so miraculous, so extraordinary, so impossible that only God could have done it.

I need to remember my own stories. Unmistakable evidences of God. Times when the Lord has helped me.

The Bible calls them Ebenezers. Stones that remind us of God’s presence, His help, His faithfulness.

The Israelites frequently gathered these stones of remembrance, affirming their victory was the result of divine assistance, not human strength. Remembering the past gave them hope for the future.

I actually have an Ebenezer board. I made this board a month ago at the suggestion of a spiritual mentor. We were talking about spiritual markers. Pivotal moments. Encounters with God.

She gave me a basket of shells to use as my “stones of remembrance,” naming each one I found significant. I sat and prayed, asking God to remind me of specific times when I was changed by an encounter with Him. View full post »

  • March 14, 2014 - 7:52 am

    Brenda - As I lay awake at 3am this morning, the awareness of my deteriorating physical condition hitting my heart and my mind full force yet another day, in the middle of the night when things seem the darkest and the most hopeless, I knew what I had to do – again.

    Lord, I trust You.

    My body is not my own; my health is not my own; my life is not my own. I surrender again. Whatever brings You the most glory, Lord … … … is what I want. At whatever cost. Do with me what You will. Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.

    Lord, I trust You.

    And soon, I begin to know, once again, as sure as I know my body hurts all over and the day will be long and difficult and people will not understand, I know that God Most High, El Elyon, is on His throne and is managing and controlling all things – ALL things – for my good and for His glory. And I can begin another day – with Him. For Him.

    Lord, I trust You.ReplyCancel

    • March 16, 2014 - 6:43 pm

      Vaneetha - Brenda-

      Thank you for sharing your heart with us. How hard it is to trust in the midst of overwhelming pain. Thankful with you that our gracious Lord is working all things for our good and His glory… A truth I need to be reminded of daily.

      Blessings to you Brenda. Thank you for showing us what trust looks like.ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2014 - 4:46 am

    georgia - Hi, Veneetha. I have just stumbled upon your blog because I decided to start reading the Desiring God blog and came across your most recent post there. I saw that you mentioned the Ebenezers in that post, as well. So when I read about your suffering and saw at the bottom of that post that you write on your own blog, I thought I would pop over to read more from you. So glad I did. I look forward to reading more, but I specifically wanted to read this one first, as the title caught my attention. As I read about how your were encouraged to recognize your Ebenezers by a mentor, I smile knowing I had the same exact admonishment from a spiritual mentor of mine. She had been counseling me through my last pregnancy {in 2013} in which I found out that the daughter I was carrying would likely die if she made it to and through birth. Sure enough, my daughter did pass. But, though such a painful experience, I also saw God’s goodness many times, and recognized his loving hand throughout our ordeal many times. She told me to keep a record of the Ebenezer fingerprints of God’s hand on my life. I even wrote a post about it on my own blog, where I write about the experience of the loss of our daughter…
    http://justhowiseethings.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/what-i-remember-before-i-forget/
    I my faith is heartened as I read your similar words and outlook through suffering. For me, it has definitely been an ebb and flow. I, too, appreciate that there are those in the Bible who lamented very openly about their suffering as you have pointed out. In fact, that same mentor who suggested I keep a record of Ebenezers has been daily writing to me with some reflection to help my perspective as she reads through the Psalms each day. And so much of what she says is what you have said here. {actually, your writing style reminds me a lot of hers… she is also a devotional writer/blogger like you.}

    Anyway, what you wrote at the end… about suffering and pain… reminds me of the C.S. Lewis quote about pain… “It is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”… or as you have put it {and Piper did in his last post on suffering}, a mercy. Loved your post on suffering over at Desiring God. Still very much grieving our loss, I hope to be able to come back to your post on my most difficult days and do those seven things you suggest.

    Will be subscribing to your blog, as I am sure I will continue to benefit from what you write here. Thank you for sharing what you learn through your suffering. I know this is one of the biggest things God wants to do with mine… to allow it to help others who suffer… something I could not have done as well or at all before I knew sorrow and suffering. Thank you for letting God use you that way.ReplyCancel

    • April 5, 2014 - 10:03 am

      Vaneetha - Your blog is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your journey and the story of your precious daughter. Loved reading about Ebenezers in your post. So thankful we worship a God who uses all our suffering for our good and His glory.ReplyCancel

  • July 21, 2014 - 4:03 pm

    Patricia Miller - Thank you so much, Vaneetha. Just really needing to hear some encouraging words today. Dealing with depression, feeling guilty for it. When the sun comes out, and I read more Psalms, and just pour my heart out to Jesus, will also help immensely.ReplyCancel

    • July 22, 2014 - 7:07 am

      Vaneetha - I know how difficult depression can be, Patricia. Praying that God will pour out His extravagant love and grace on you today.Thanks for writing.ReplyCancel

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