I am grateful you’re here.
Years ago, I walked through a deeply painful season. I was diagnosed with a debilitating chronic illness. My infant son was recovering from spinal cord surgery. And my beloved cousin was killed tragically in a hiking accident.
In the midst of my grief, I put unhealthy pressure on myself to pretend like I was fine. For a while, I even put on a fairly good show of bravery. But I learned pretty quickly that pretending never truly heals our hearts.
During my really dark days, what I grappled with most of all was why it seemed like other people, who were also struggling with difficult things, seemed to have an unshakeable faith. They sensed God’s presence with them through it all. They never seemed to doubt God’s care or God’s peace.
For me, though, my typical spiritual disciplines and canned spiritual answers were no longer working to help me feel connected to God. The careful scaffolding of my faith was falling apart. I tried desperately to attune my soul to God’s presence. But mostly I just thrashed around, frustrated that God didn’t feel near. Mostly, I was a bull and God’s presence was a China shop.
Here’s what I have discovered in these dark night of the soul seasons: God does not expect his children to act like our pain doesn’t exist or pretend we are okay.
Whether you are facing a new diagnosis, the loss of a loved one, or some other trial, we can actually find real (not pretend) hope – and my deepest desire is for you to find God’s comforting presence in your heartache, which is part of why I write and speak.
I am the author of several books, including my latest, Known: How Believing Who God Says You Are Changes Everything, The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament (NavPress, 2019) and Overcomer: Breaking Down the Walls of Shame and Rebuilding Your Soul (Zondervan, 2015). I have a children’s book on lament coming out soon as well.
Hope in suffering is never found by striving or forcing it. Hope for the Christian is always found in the object of our hope, the embodiment and answer for all of our suffering–Jesus. By his suffering, we are saved in ours.
If you are hurting, may you find God’s withness drawing near,
P.S. If you want to connect, I’d love that. You can message me here, or on social media.
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