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

suffering friends+

 

What’s the best way to discourage a suffering friend?

I can tell you what I’ve done.

I’ve told suffering friends about how other people are going through more painful trials. I’ve given examples of how brave, godly and optimistic these other people are. I’ve freely doled out advice, even mini-sermons, about how their horrible situations will turn out for the best.

I wasn’t trying to be discouraging. I was trying to help. Surprisingly, my advice didn’t help at all. My words just added to their pain.

I know, because I’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of “help” as well.

That “help” has cut deeply. It has left me feeling judged and misunderstood in the midst of my struggle. It has made my burden heavier. It has made me feel lonely and isolated, unsure of whom to trust.

So when my friend Jane is told her circumstances aren’t that bad and she needs to trust God more, I feel bad for her. She has been dealing with a difficult situation for years, and it is getting worse. When she says she’s being compared to others, I understand her pain. I’ve been there before. But when she tells me that I am the person she’s being compared to, I am mortified.

I feel like I’ve just added to her burden. That’s a horrible thing for a friend to do. Jane feels like she’s surrounded by Job’s comforters, who went on and on, speaking about things they did not know or understand.

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  • October 20, 2016 - 11:18 pm

    Jacob David - This is exactly how I feel. As you put it rightly the words of Job comes to my mind ” What miserable comforters you are! Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking?”

    Yes, very true of what you said, “But when people minimize my struggle, it magnifies my pain.”

    May God continue to bless you and be of comfort and help to others.ReplyCancel

    • October 21, 2016 - 11:24 am

      Vaneetha - I’m sorry for other’s minimization of your pain. So thankful that Jesus knows exactly what we are going through and doesn’t minimize it. Yet He redeems it. ReplyCancel

      • October 22, 2016 - 12:39 am

        Jacob David - Thanks Vaneetha, Reading your writings are a great help and comfort.ReplyCancel

  • October 21, 2016 - 9:55 am

    Laura - Thank you, thank you and thank you again for sharing this. We can’t hear it often enough. Prayers for you and your friend.ReplyCancel

  • October 21, 2016 - 1:18 pm

    Keisha - This is literally my life right now, I am more discouraged the more I talk to my friends about my struggles. I even think that if I explain my struggle in detail, that will help them understand but that hasn’t been the case. How should I respond when I am the struggling friend?
    I’ve already said “I appreciate what you’re doing but it isn’t helpful, what helps me is when you just listen,” but I get responses of how I need to be understanding and give them grace.ReplyCancel

    • October 21, 2016 - 2:55 pm

      Vaneetha - I’m so sorry, Keisha. Its hard when people are trying to help you feel better and they think perhaps their words can help do that.

      Maybe you could say,”Its so hard for me to process words right now. There may be a lot of things I’m doing wrong, and a lot of things I could do differently, but I just can’t take that in right now. I know you really care but what would be the biggest blessing to me would be just to sit and listen. It may sound like ranting to you, but your listening ear would mean more than you know.”ReplyCancel

      • October 24, 2016 - 1:23 pm

        Keisha - Thank you Vaneetha!ReplyCancel

  • October 23, 2016 - 10:51 pm

    JAD - This is all very well good and true, and it is good to read this from one who has suffered much. But what happens when listening and saying nothing is ALL that friends do in one’s suffering? Or, when all one does is shove Gospel verses in one’s face? Depending on the trial, oftentimes it is needed for friends to “man the troops” than to continue to listen. There is only so much living in Job 6 and Psalm 88 that a sufferer can take.ReplyCancel

    • October 24, 2016 - 2:51 pm

      Vaneetha - Yes, I agree. Sometimes God calls us to speak and not just listen, but I think we need to make sure we do that prayerfully, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The Lord knows what our friends need, and if He calls us to act, we need to prayerfully obey Him. He will show us what to do and/or say.ReplyCancel

  • November 10, 2016 - 3:34 am

    Casey - Thank you for this! I have been on both sides as well. To have a friend who simply LISTENS when you want to just speak what is on your heart is invaluable. We need to be so slow to speak. How quick we are to fix, advise, counsel…ReplyCancel

    • November 14, 2016 - 9:25 pm

      Vaneetha - You are welcome, Casey. Having someone listen is such a gift…I wish I could remember that more often myself!ReplyCancel

  • January 17, 2017 - 3:29 pm

    Best Blogs for Christians with Chronic Pain and Illness | Life in Slow Motion - […] of my favorite posts are How to Discourage a Suffering Friend, The Blessing of Failure, and When the Detour Becomes the New Road. Go read them! You won’t […]ReplyCancel

  • March 8, 2017 - 1:45 pm

    It’s Complicated – lindsaymader - […] stumbled upon an article that ties well into this. You can read the full article here but here’s a few things that stuck with […]ReplyCancel

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sustained-fire+

 

I have often wondered what it would have been like to watch Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they were thrown into the fiery furnace. They were engulfed in flames but not touched. Not a hair on their heads was singed and they didn’t even smell of smoke. The witnesses observed that “the fire had not any power over the bodies of those men.” (Daniel 3:27) It would have been a shocking, breathtaking, life-altering sight.

 

But this experience is not limited to Babylonian times. We can witness that same phenomenon ourselves when we see Christians who suffer in their own fiery furnaces yet are not destroyed. The fire has no power over them either. They emerge from the flames more resilient, with greater joy and a stronger faith. Without a hint of bitterness. They love God more, not less, when their health, their livelihoods, and even their very lives are taken.

 

Why does God allow those flames? We will never fully know why, but in this life we can see a small piece of what God is doing.

 

Suffering grounds our faith in experience

 

When I first became a Christian, I was passionate about God. I told everyone I knew about the Lord and his grace. But after several years, my excitement waned. I began pursuing achievement and success harder than I pursued God. Faith still had an important place in my life, but Jesus was not my first love.

 

I sometimes wondered whether the Christian life was more than duty. Often I was just going through the motions of faith, wondering if I had experienced all there was. It was smooth sailing in spiritually shallow waters.

 

Then calamity came. In wave after endless wave. After losing my son, losing my health and losing my marriage, my view of a comfortable God and a comfortable life radically changed. I realized there was much more to knowing God than I had ever understood. I went from a largely academic understanding of God to an intimate walk with him that could withstand rough storms.

 

Reading that God is a comforter is not the same as knowing the comfort of God. Understanding that God is a deliverer is vastly different from experiencing his deliverance. And knowing that Jesus can save cannot be compared with worshiping him as my Savior.

 

For me, suffering made God real. Because in suffering, pat answers were not enough. It was not enough to read Scripture and learn about God. Checking off the box for my quiet time didn’t help me. I wanted to taste God’s goodness. To experience his comfort. To sense his presence.

 

So I cried out to God. I begged him for help. I leaned on him in ways that I never had before. And when I did, I experienced a life-giving relationship that I had only read about before.

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  • October 6, 2016 - 7:23 pm

    Michelle - Thank you for sharing your walk through suffering. Your words encourage me as I walk this road of suffering.ReplyCancel

  • October 7, 2016 - 4:04 pm

    Dana - Vaneetha, Thank you for posting this today. God bless.ReplyCancel

  • October 7, 2016 - 10:27 pm

    Scott - I agree with Michelle. Thank you Vaneetha for your encouragement towards suffering saints. Thanks for sharing your life through your writing.

    Concerning biographies, I just finished a biography on George MacDonald. Although somewhat unorthodox, he had encouraging things to say concerning being in the fire, and he remained in the fire throughout his life and walk with God.ReplyCancel

    • October 8, 2016 - 3:10 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you, Scott, both for your encouragement and your biography suggestion. I love biographies of the saints who often lived in the fire their entire lives.ReplyCancel

  • October 8, 2016 - 6:26 am

    Elaine - I really enjoy reading your blogs. Your honesty always encourages and inspires. I just read the following in Streams in the Desert by a former Christian: Scale the heights of a life abandoned to God, then you will look down on the clouds beneath your feet. How true, we need to see faith lived out by others, so that all of us who know suffering can continue our walk, our journey of faith.ReplyCancel

    • October 8, 2016 - 3:11 pm

      Vaneetha - Streams in the Desert is such a great devotional, Elaine. Thank you for that great reminder!ReplyCancel

  • October 8, 2016 - 10:59 am

    Effie Darlene Barba - So Beautifully written.

    After a lifetime that included my own failures as I worked at pleasing God (never resting in the truth of Grace), searching for love (many times like Jeremiah wrote of in 2:33-all the wrong places), abuse, widowhood, cancer, ulcerative colitis, surgery after surgery, and financial disaster–I have found that God’s love, Grace, and sustaining steadfast joy in the midst of raging storms was all I had ever searched for. He never left my side, He loved me through it all, and He taught me that He is my love, my joy and my greatest treasure. I wrote this poem once many years ago. I hope you enjoy it.
    TO GOD-MY LOVE, MY HOPE, MY JOY

    My life-so filled with hopes and dreams
    Lay shattered at Your feet
    So many tears, so many pains
    I laid before Your seat

    Can I look upon Your face of love
    And question what You’ve done?
    For You have been my only hope
    My only morning sun

    You’ve seen my heart when crushed with pain
    Your hands have held it tight
    When I have been so weak, so frail
    You’ve shown Your strength, Your might

    You’ve held me close within Your arms
    When darkness filled my night
    And when I could not see my way
    Your eyes, they gave me sight

    I lay my life within Your hands
    That You may heal my soul
    And keep my eyes upon You Lord
    That I may reach Your goal

    Shine forth Your grace, Your mercy Lord
    And let me be Your light
    That all may see Your eyes of love
    The blind, they might have sight

    Let not the sorrows, nor the pains
    Bring bitterness within
    And give me strength to walk this path
    Protect my heart from sin

    I lay my heart, my soul, my dreams
    Before Your throne of love
    I lift my eyes to You, My God
    And seek Your will above

    You are the only one I need
    To fill my heart with glee
    It is Your face, my one true love
    Tis all I need to see

    So lift me up and hold me close
    Reveal Your love divine
    That through the holes within my heart
    A world might see You shine

    And if the sorrows of my past
    Can touch a wayward one
    I thank you Lord for each dark path
    That lead them to Your son

    I praise You now from mountains high
    For each dark path I’ve trod
    Twas there I found Your heart, Your love
    Twas there I found You God

    What great and wondrous joy I know
    Because You are my king
    And though the path I cannot see
    My heart will trust and sing

    A song of praise unto You Lord
    Who knows what’s best for me
    You’ll hold my hand and lead me on
    In darkness, I can see

    Your love, Your help, Your guiding hand
    Is all I’ll ever need
    So hold me close unto Your path
    For this is all I plead

    I’ll skip with joy along this path
    Though darkness may surround
    Because I know You hold my hand
    My feet will e’er touch ground

    I cannot fall outside Your love
    I cannot lose my way
    I’ll hold my broken dreams once more
    And see them real, one day

    A song of praise unto You Lord
    Who knows what’s best for me
    You’ll hold my hand and lead me on
    In darkness, I can see

    Your love, Your help, Your guiding hand
    Is all I’ll ever need
    So hold me close unto Your path
    For this is all I pleadReplyCancel

  • October 10, 2016 - 4:14 pm

    Eileen - I really liked this post. You’re a good writer who I can tell writes from her heart. Awesome post.ReplyCancel

  • October 19, 2016 - 5:07 am

    Usha - Such an encouraging post. Could relate to it. Really God is with those during the period of trial’s n difficulties.ReplyCancel

    • October 19, 2016 - 11:18 am

      Vaneetha - So thankful it was encouraging, Usha. God’s presence in trials really is remarkable.ReplyCancel

  • November 7, 2016 - 11:57 am

    Chavvah - Thanks for this. I am going through a time of ongoing suffering. I’m single, 35, and my 4th surgery is next week. I’ve been wondering how to walk through this with the peace, acceptance and without the anxiety of my previous surgeries. Any resources you would recommend?ReplyCancel

    • November 7, 2016 - 9:57 pm

      Vaneetha - I’m praying as i write this that God would fill you with peace as you go through this. I’m not sure what kind of resources you are interested in- Joni Eareckson Tada’s books are great. She has a new devotional and her book Beside Bethesda is awesome. You can look on my blog for all the suffering posts and of course the Bible can be your primary source of comfort.ReplyCancel

  • November 8, 2016 - 7:43 pm

    Lance - Vaneetha,
    I agree about Christian biographies. They encourage my soul more than theology and practice books. Like you wrote, to see faith lived out, to see the humanization of it, the successes and failures….it’s healing. It’s the Lord revealing to me that I am not alone in my circumstances. I share with the community of saints in the hope and peace found in Christ. To read and see that lived out is one of the countless mercies our savior douses upon us. Thank you for your writings, thoughts, and insights.ReplyCancel

    • November 14, 2016 - 9:24 pm

      Vaneetha - thanks for writing, Lance. Biographies are so encouraging!ReplyCancel

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in acceptance lies peace+

 

Turning the page of an old scrapbook, I am immediately flooded with emotion. At the top of Katie’s handmade card from preschool is the question: “What is your mother’s favorite hobby?” The answer: “Making meals for people with new babies.”

 

As I read those words, I feel my throat tighten. I’m not that person anymore. Years ago, I loved to cook and to take meals to people in need. But now I don’t take meals to anyone and even struggle to cook for our family. We order take-out often and my home-cooked meals are exceedingly simple.

 

But why am I crying? I have been dealing with this escalating weakness for years. But as I process what is happening, I realize that I still miss what I used to do. And since I can do less and less each year, I am constantly being forced to redefine myself. And I must find new things to bring me joy.

 

I hold this broken dream before the Lord and silently ask: “Lord, show me what to do with this. I don’t want to let this loss overwhelm me. I want peace.” Immediately, the words ‘in acceptance lies peace’ come to mind. They are strangely familiar.

 

The next day I remember a poem by Amy Carmichael entitled “In Acceptance Lieth Peace” which she wrote after a broken leg left her bedridden for the rest of her life.   I read it carefully, anxious to see what the Lord might be showing me.  In the poem, Carmichael details several ways, most of them futile, to deal with loss.

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  • September 22, 2016 - 7:02 pm

    Beth Paul - Vaneetha, thank you for sharing these thoughts. I was praying through these very struggles today. Trying to find purpose and value in what seems like empty or useless days since I have become chronically ill. Each of the authors you quoted in this blog are on my top 10 list of favorites! Good to be reminded of these truths by others who are walking through struggles. Blessings ~ BethReplyCancel

    • September 22, 2016 - 8:39 pm

      Vaneetha - So thankful that the Lord used this blog to minister to you today, Beth. Chronic illness is so hard to deal with. The quotes in the blog were such a blessing to me and I’m glad they were to you as well. There is such peace in acceptance, but it often takes me a while to get there…ReplyCancel

  • September 22, 2016 - 8:24 pm

    Shireen Jeyachandran - Dear Vaneetha,
    I am a niece of your Periappa Major Sam Victor. More than that I was your mother’s student in WCC. She was an excellent English teacher. Her love of the English language inspired me to take up teaching the subject though I did not “study” the same. Back home in India I coached students for their IELTS, GMAT and SAT and enjoyed the same. I am now in Auckland NZ with my son’s family. You seem to be able to use the language as well if not better than your mum does, to put down your feelings so forcibly on paper. You may never know how much your sharing impacts the lives of those around you. I am glad you have moved into another season in your life. I am sure the Lord will do mighty things through you and you will be Blessed.

    Love and regards,

    ShireenReplyCancel

    • September 22, 2016 - 8:36 pm

      Vaneetha - How wonderful that you are related to my uncle and you were my mother’s former student! My mom is a terrific teacher and I have learned so much from her. She definitely gave me a love of the language – but I think her ability to express herself is far superior to mine! I am so thankful that this blog has been a blessing to you. Thank you so much for writing!ReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2016 - 6:19 am

    Elaine - This is such a timely written blog for me and others. There is a song by Michael Card with the following lyric: those who know sorrow are closest to His heart. I know that has brought such comfort to me, hope for you as well. Thank you so much for sharing and being honest and open. Blessings to you.ReplyCancel

    • September 27, 2016 - 10:45 am

      Vaneetha - I love those Michael Card lyrics! Thanks for sharing them, Elaine.ReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2016 - 7:30 am

    Linda Swanekamp - This morning, as I was sitting here in pain, unable to sleep, your words are great comfort. I suffer from chronic migraine and muscle pain. Every treatment seems to make things worse. Sometimes it seems as my face is pressed against a brick wall, I do not know what to do next. I keep praying for a clear mind and the ability to do everything in God’s strength. It is hard to hold on sometimes and not despair.ReplyCancel

    • September 27, 2016 - 10:47 am

      Vaneetha - Oh Linda, I’m so sorry for your pain. I am praying as I write this that you will find peace and strength In Jesus even in the midst of debilitating pain.ReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2016 - 12:51 pm

    Trudy - I’m sorry for your pain, Vaneetha. I know by experience the losses we go through with chronic illness. It’s hard to accept that we can’t do what we would like to do. But God. He gives us grace to pour out our troubles to Him and to rest in His plan. And as you say, the Lord is in our suffering and one day we will rejoice. Thank you for this encouragement. Have a hope-filled weekend! Hugs!ReplyCancel

  • September 24, 2016 - 2:33 pm

    Arlene - Good afternoon, dear Vaneetha:
    I spoke this morning at a ladies’ prayer breakfast at my church.
    I titled the message “In the Midst” based on Psalm 46:5, “God is in the midst of His people; she shall not be moved…..” As you had written, God is in your suffering and in your present life. He is indeed “in the midst” of His people. We talked about God being in the midst of our storms, deserts, and darkness. I shared a quote by Joni E. Tada that I would like to share with you in your present situation. Joni says: “In the midst of your own darkness there are treasures, riches, and rubies of wisdom that could never be discovered in the light of ease and peace. Needing God desperately will always make you wealthy.” Thank you for sharing, dear Vaneetha. This is not something you signed up for anymore than I signed up for being a widow. But we know that God is “in the midst” of our suffering, and will redeem it for His glory and our good. Thank you very much for sharing. I know God will continue to pour out His grace and peace to you during this challenging time.

    In Him,
    ArleneReplyCancel

    • September 27, 2016 - 10:50 am

      Vaneetha - LOVE THAT QUOTE, Arlene. Needing God desperately makes us all rich beyond compare! Thanks for writing, Arlene.ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2016 - 9:44 am

    Kimi Gay - Thank you! This is the first time I’ve read your blog. I’m 51 going through menopause. It’s been hard. Just got married for the first time 8 months ago and my last cycle was on our honeymoon. God is good. Moved away from my community to be with husband who is a widower and living in their old home. Lots of challenges. This is Gods best for me. I’ve been failing in my attitude but now repenting and trying to find my way. Looking forward to reading more. If you have any resources, they would be much appreciated. I’m in Wilson NC.ReplyCancel

    • September 27, 2016 - 11:08 am

      Vaneetha - Not sure if I have any resources to point you to- I’ve read numerous things but honestly the Bible and the Holy Spirit can give you all the direction you need to make it through this new joyous but challenging season. God will walk you through this, Kimi, as you lean on Him. I’m praying for you as I write that God will make all grace abound to you.ReplyCancel

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trust unfinished+

 

I walk into the house and I’m immediately confronted by the mess in the kitchen. Cups on the counter, dishes piled in the sink, papers and mail scattered in disarray on the table. Though I don’t complain aloud, it’s clear from my exasperated expression that I’m unhappy.

 

My daughter sighs. She’s spent several hours that morning doing something for me. Yet here, in the moment, I still want more. And she voices what I’m sure she often feels, “Sometimes it seems I can never do it all right. There’s always something you’re unhappy with. There’s always more I could have done.”

 

I carry her words with me for days, saddened by my behavior. She is completely right. I often overlook the things she does well and focus on what isn’t right. And it seems there’s always something that I’m unhappy with.

 

A friend shared a similar struggle as she listened to her grandchild read. While she was overjoyed to see her granddaughter overcoming some of her prior reading difficulties, she privately pointed out to her daughter the areas that were still not right. And gave some suggestions to make things even better. Rather than rejoicing at her granddaughter’s progress and her daughter’s diligent efforts, she focused on what needed improvement.

 

Later, her daughter mentioned how painful that interchange felt. All of her efforts in teaching her daughter to read were simply disregarded because the end result didn’t seem quite right.

 

As I listened, I was sharply reminded of my own shortcomings. My desire to fix everything. My focus on what was not done. And then my friend said the words I needed to hear-  “I realize that I need to keep my ultimate focus on God in the midst of the unfinished.”

 

Yes. That was it. I need to have my eyes on Jesus rather than on the problem. To trust Him rather than fixate on what is wrong, I need to look at the whole situation. Notice what is right. Celebrate small victories. Dwell on the positive.

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  • September 8, 2016 - 1:47 pm

    nebonita john - Thanks for sharing this small experience of ur life….I got encouragement by reading this….god bless you.ReplyCancel

  • September 9, 2016 - 7:33 am

    Allyson - When I saw your name in my email inbox this morning, I felt like a dear friend had written me! I hope you rested well this summer. My daughter just started kindergarten and is having trouble following the class rules. I have been wrestling back and forth with letting God be my daughter’s God and trusting Him to continue the great progress in her that we’ve already seen. Your words today are a reinforcing reminder of how to move forward. Thank you Vaneetha!ReplyCancel

    • September 9, 2016 - 1:08 pm

      Vaneetha - So thankful the Lord used this to remind you that He is ever working, even when things don’t look quite what we’d like to see. I need to remind myself of that daily!ReplyCancel

  • September 9, 2016 - 7:39 am

    Tamlyn - Thank you. I so appreciate your honesty, and can’t tell you how much of an encouraging and timely reminder this was for me.ReplyCancel

    • September 9, 2016 - 1:06 pm

      Vaneetha - Thanking God that He used this in your life- because He is definitely teaching me this in mine!ReplyCancel

  • September 9, 2016 - 8:47 am

    Keith Magnuson - As I finished my devotions this morning and turned to my mail, I was honestly heartened to see you name jump out. Your message touches an important issue in my life — learning patience and contentment.
    Your insights bring Christ to the forefront for me and I deeply appreciate the wisdom you share.
    Thank you, Vaneetha! I’m glad you’re back.ReplyCancel

  • September 9, 2016 - 10:02 am

    Arlene G. - Hello dear Vaneetha!

    I can’t remember how I first stumbled across your website. Perhaps there was a link on the True Woman site. At any rate, I
    remember reading some of your articles and being so blessed. I have found a new online friend and sister in Christ in you! I signed up to receive your blog posts through my email, and received this one today! By God’s grace, I, too, am learning to
    “dance in the rain.” In 2014 my precious husband of 31 years went home to be with the Lord after a 3 1/2 year battle with terminal cancer. I have also been struggling with chronic physical pain these past five years, and it has worsened this past summer. By His grace, I am trusting God “in the midst of the unfinished.” My story has already been written out from before the foundation of the world. God has called His children
    to trust Him as the “Divine Playwright” of our lives. What a merciful, loving and FAITHFUL God is He!

    Blessings,
    Arlene G.
    Ps. 73:25-26

    P.S. I so look forward to reading more of your articles as God brings you through your “story.”ReplyCancel

    • September 9, 2016 - 1:02 pm

      Vaneetha - So glad the articles have been a blessing. I’m sorry for all you’ve gone through and are dealing with now but trusting that God is doing something beautiful in you and through you. He is the Divine Playwright!ReplyCancel

  • September 10, 2016 - 9:37 am

    Effie Darlene Barba - As always, beautifully written. Your willingness to always share your life with such clarity and vulnerability makes you such a gifted writer.ReplyCancel

  • September 10, 2016 - 9:06 pm

    Carlene - Vaneetha – I’ve had a heavy spirit all week, struggling to pinpoint what was wrong. The Holy Spirit revealed my sin to me today and it’s exactly what you have shared. How timely and what a gracious God to open my eyes to the truth and then lead me to these healing words! Thank you for sharing your struggles with fellow sinners.ReplyCancel

    • September 12, 2016 - 4:57 pm

      Vaneetha - So thankful that the Lord used this, Carlene! God is so good.ReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2016 - 10:46 am

    Pat - My daught forwarded your message from 9/8. Right on! Thank your for ministering into my life. Blessings to you & your’s.ReplyCancel

    • September 17, 2016 - 4:46 pm

      Vaneetha - You’re welcome, Pat. Thanks for writing!ReplyCancel

  • September 25, 2016 - 12:42 am

    Matthew Arntzen - Thanks for the beautiful reminder! Life’s been challenging as I’d lived with so much trauma from childhood that perfectionism became a standard I’ve always ended up running from all my life long with the booze and drugs…God’s opened the door to where I’ve been able to finally hear it’s okay to be imperfect and that He who is perfect can work marvelous things in my latter years. Thank you so much! And I can only credit Him for finding your page that had this message for me today. God bless!ReplyCancel

    • September 27, 2016 - 10:54 am

      Vaneetha - God does work wonderful things through our brokenness. That is the glorious truth of the gospel. He makes masterpieces out of messes so we can rejoice!!ReplyCancel

  • November 4, 2016 - 10:06 am

    Leah LaRosa - I’ve just now read this post and I’m so glad I did. This is me. I’m often torn between seeing the gift or the progress, instead of the mess that is so obvious in front of me. My son who struggles with demons from his past, has come so far in his recovery. Choosing to stop drinking and moving to a new town to be closer to family. But, I want more and now! (Can’t you just hear my foot stomp and my hand on my hip?) It’s painful to watch the slow progress. To see the mistakes he’s still making. To feel so useless and helpless. All this good advice in my head left rattling around and leading me to complaining and worry. God reminded me again today through your post, that He began the “good work” in my son and what I see may look like the “mess” of that process. I need to see past the mess and keep my eyes on Christ and trust Him with the result. Thank you for your faithfulness to write the words he speaks through you. Thank you for your reminder and encouragement to keep looking up. To see the beauty.ReplyCancel

    • November 4, 2016 - 3:34 pm

      Vaneetha - Thanks so much for writing, Leah. That is such a struggle for me – and always has been. I write to remind myself of the truth and your comment reminded me once again. I’m so glad that Jesus is so patient with us all.ReplyCancel

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