Breathe.

It’s in the aftermath of really painful and stressful events in my life when I find myself catching my breath.  It’s normally once the storm has passed I begin the process of confronting my feelings, reflecting on what I’ve been through, addressing the emotions, and listening in on what God was trying to do through all of the moments that felt so useless and heartbreaking at the time.  It’s in the moments when I’m all stitched up, the pain meds are out of my system, the middle of the night ER trips are seemingly over, the overwhelming physical battle has been fought, the war has been waged, and I’m on the downward slope that I settle down to listen, to feel, and to breathe normally again.  So, here I find myself again at 2:30 in the morning.  Just Jesus, me, and my boyfriend—a very handsome four legged, brown eyed, 100-pound beauty with long, wavy, golden fur.  I can’t sleep.  Insomnia has once again taken control of my sleep schedule, and for once, I’m okay with it.

Tonight, God has put something on my heart, and I want this message to bleed onto this page, as I try to be as honest and vulnerable with you as possible.

For the first time in a long time, I find myself really breathing again.  Wait, what?  I stopped breathing?  No—thankfully not.  God still has me here on this earth.  I want to back up a little bit, though.

When I reflect on my summer, many things come to my mind.  Part of my summer was filled with victory.  I graduated high school after many years of trying and being knocked down.  I also got accepted into Regent University online, and I’ll be starting online college this month.  Both victories were accomplished through the strength that Jesus gave me—all the glory goes to Him 100%.  However, like so many of us know, sometimes after the greatest victories, come the biggest heartbreaks.  Pain can sucker punch you in the jaw out of absolutely nowhere.  We don’t get a choice in this world if and when pain enters our lives.  For most of my summer, I struggled with a major and debilitating health setback.  I don’t really want to go through the details of what happened (I know, it drives me crazy when people are cryptic.  If you want a health update, you can go to the updates page I made on my blog).  But for right now, you don’t need to be reading about that nightmare and all the frustrating details…it’s what I learned in the aftermath that is worth reading about.

I thought a lot about how to summarize what it felt like to me to once again ride this roller coaster of emotion.  Immediately this word picture came to my mind about the process of having an IV started.

Since I’ve been sick, I’ve probably had over two to three hundred IV’s put in my arms, my hands, and my wrists.  I’ve lost count by now.  Nurses always seem to have trouble with my veins.  Due to my POTS, I have really floppy veins.  However, I do have one faithful vein that always comes through (his name is George).  He’s been so overused that he has some scar tissue—George is now retired!  So, here goes the situation.  The nurse comes in and pumps the bed up high.  Everything is laid out.  The tourniquet goes on.  Now comes the critical part—searching for just the right vein.  Which vein will be the hero to save the day?  Oh, looks like the nurse found a good one.  Time to clean it up with some alcohol.  And then that needle goes in.  It’s here I find myself holding my breath, my skin turning white, and I start focusing on the needle.  Even though it’s a pain I’ve known, what seems like a million times before, somehow I focus in on the needle and forget to focus on what’s most important for both the nurse and for me in that moment—my breathing.  I keep holding my breath, only making matters worse, hoping the nurse will get the catheter in on the first try.  I know the nurse doesn’t want to stick me again—so she keeps fishing around and moving the needle back and forth but there’s no blood return.  And I keep focusing on the pain—not my breathing.  Ugh, try one and it’s a major fail.  Time to switch arms.  You get the picture.  Finally, the nurse finds another vein that looks like just the right little sucker to come to the rescue.  “Big stick.”  There’s blood return!  And then you hear that victorious “click” noise…  Ah, all done.  It’s over.  The saline flushes and the IV works well!  Now the tegaderm, or Band-Aid, goes on.  I can breathe now.  It’s all over.

So, maybe you haven’t had an IV put in before, but maybe there’s another situation you can think of that you do this, too.  Going into to get an IV, I know the drill.  I know what it feels like.  I’ve memorized the procedure.  I know the pain like a Sunday morning.  Yet, even though I’ve memorized this pain, I hold my breath, only causing myself greater pain.  It’s after that little IV is in, I think to myself…Why?  Why did I forget to breathe again?

I don’t hold any special answers.  But I do know this–no matter how long you’ve experienced any one kind of pain, it can still feel brand new each time it dwells upon your heart.

And this.  This right here.  This process is exactly what I do when I encounter a crisis or reach a crossroad in my life.

I know what pain feels like.  Pain has been an unwelcome, yet very constant companion for the past six years of my life…both physical and emotional.  You would think I would have everything figured out by now.  If another setback comes into my life, I should be able to pull out an official guidebook and how-to for hard times.  Yet, somehow, I get more and more discouraged with each new setback.  It’s like being stuck with that IV needle—you know it’s coming but somehow you forget the most sensible thing you’re supposed to do.  Breathe.  And it’s in these life situations I forget to breathe in God’s strength for the fight.  In these new seasons of pain, I hold my breath.  I tighten my muscles.  I become anxious and worried.  I go back to my old ways of asking, doubting, hurting, and retreating.  I wish I didn’t.  But I’m human, and I’m here right now telling you that I do this every time.  I go into this place of holding my breath, strapping on my survival pack, relying on my own strength, and holding on until the “band aid” goes on, and I’m out of the woods.  Which, in hindsight, you realize only makes matters worse.

Have you ever held your breath so long and not even realized you were doing it?  Has there been something that made you constrict every muscle in your body and you just forgot to breathe normally?  Breathing is the most integral and normal thing we do for our bodies—and we do it roughly 30,000 times in a day.  However, in seasons paralyzed by fear and the unknown, I find myself nervous to breathe in the reality around me.  I don’t want to face the truth before my very eyes.  I want to hide in the denial.  I want to hold my breath for as long as it takes for my problems to go away—for my reality to change.

Reality, by definition, is “the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.”

Reality is that familiar friend who, to be honest with you, sometimes I struggle with confronting.  When you’re frustrated with your body and how you look, when your life hasn’t turned out like you thought it would, and when comparison can too quickly steal the joy you have in your circumstances, it’s hard to face your own reality.

Reality is revealing, it’s truthful, and, well, it’s just real.   And it’s not always what we want for our lives.  It can be everything you want it to be in seasons of joy.  But in seasons of pain?  It can be your worst nightmare.  The stuff you only thought happened to other people.  Sometimes reality turns out be what we dreamed when we were little—the big, white sparkly wedding dress and the handsome prince charming at the end of the church aisle.  Living in your dream home with ten dogs—wait, is that just me?  Making it to 101 with the love of your life.  Being happy, healthy, and having days spent laughing, dancing, and soaking up the sun and feeling like through it all, you made God proud with your life.  However, reality doesn’t always turn out like that.  Maybe for some but certainly not always for me.

This broken world is filled with hurting people and harsh realities.  Reality is struggling with depression, anxiety, and sadness.  Reality is feeling let down by God sometimes and also feeling like you let God down.  It’s not feeling like you can do it or take it any longer…whatever your it may be.  For me, my it is fighting sickness.  Sometimes it’s doubting God’s plan for your life.  Reality is giving up or getting thrown off the horse—and then getting back up—and doing that ten times over.  Reality for so many is filled with death, loss, grief, hospitals, life lived in a wheelchair, waiting for a transplant, losing your home, not having a home, it’s tube-feedings, it’s cancer, it’s paralysis, it’s facing surgeries, it’s walking 25+ miles for water, it’s showing up for a friend while they get Chemo, it’s getting IV therapies, it’s loving someone faithfully even if they don’t love you back, it’s days spent in the bed…it’s a spouse deployed overseas.  It goes on and on and on.  The truth we face each and every day can be our greatest dreams coming true or our worst nightmares coming to life.  And how do we deal with that?

I certainly have not been through nearly a half of a percentage of any of those realities.  But I have found in my pain, when the nightmare comes true, I forget to breathe.  Not wanting to feel the pain, I hold my breath.  Holding my breath, I stand there waiting.  Waiting on God.  Waiting for an outcome.  Waiting for change.  Waiting for something to make sense out of the ruins.

But here is where I want to share what I have learned.  This is really where my spirit is just about to burst with joy because it has taken me almost three months to realize something so small, yet so monumental.

When our worst nightmares come true, when we have lost our breath, He rushes in and restores every breath ever lost.  He is giving us each and every breath back.

Not when the trial is over, not when we are healed, not when we are all stitched up, and not when all the questions are answered will He redeem each breath that was lost.  No.  He is breathing for us right in the midst of the pain, and restoring every breath right in the middle of the crisis.  He is sweeping in like a sparrow right in those very moments that felt like everything was falling apart.

“I will breathe for you.  I am giving you this breath in your lungs back right now.  I am the God who restores that which was broken.  I will restore the breath that was lost.  I am a deeply personal and intricate God. I made you.  I have thought about you and been with you every second you were hurting…even when you didn’t feel Me.  I’ve kept number of every single hair on your head, and I have given you every single breath you’ve breathed.  My child, today it may be too painful for you to breathe in another unbelievable reality or to open your eyes to another ugly circumstance.  You may not understand the season of life you are in.  You do not have to fight this on your own anymore.  I don’t call you to fight alone.  Let me breathe for you.  Let me fight for you!  I am your most personable, precious friend…I know more about you than you.  I have bottled every tear, I know every anxiety, every emotion, every hurdle, every setback, and everything about You.  So, what reason today do you have not to trust Me?  Feel me give you every single breath.  Feel me give you every beat of your heart.  If you don’t feel like facing another day or facing another mountain of pain, trust me to hold it all in My hands.  I know what every kind of earthly pain feels like because I lived it and I felt it.  Don’t face these kinds of earthly hurts without me by your side.  I have been here this whole time—it’s you, My child, who has a choice.

You can keep going at this alone.  But, why would you?  You can leave it all in my mighty, fiercely capable, almighty, strong, personal, justly, gracious, merciful, loving, redeeming, restorative, yet soft and tender hands!

Today’s song will be this—‘I surrender all to Thee’.  Oh, how freeing it feels to surrender. When you surrender, you can breathe with new lungs, My beloved one!

The Band-Aid goes on. 

Put your hand on your chest.  Feel my presence.  I am right there inside of you.

Inhale.  Now Exhale.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Count to three.  Now four.  Breathe.  Out.  Now in again.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  I am closer than the breath in your lungs.  And the reality that you are facing?  It’s nothing compared to what I already defeated on that cross. I am not finished yet.  Keep fighting, with me right by your side.

Is this the 10th time you’ve had the wind knocked out of your lungs?

I’ll replace it for the 11th time, and the 100th time, and the 1000th time.  I don’t have a limit on the amount of times you can come running back to Me!

I am the God who makes you as surefooted as a deer–enabling you to stand on mountain heights (Psalm 18:33).  You draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you (James 4:8), my precious and loved child.  This reality—this harsh reality of your circumstance—that is testing your faith—it is giving you perseverance, and that perseverance strengthens your faith.  We can rejoice in these afflictions—and this sometimes-unbelievable reality—because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.  Hope will not disappoint us.  I, the God of all grace, will restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered (1 Peter 5:10).  You waited patiently for me, and I turned to you and heard your cry for help…I will put a new song in your mouth. (Psalm 40:1,3).

I give you every breath and every beating of your heart.  I have you.  Trust in Me always.  I will always restore your breath.  Trust.  Surrender.  Breathe.”

I don’t know about you, but I am breathing in that truth.  I am taking that in…This was revealed to me by God.  Like a song written in the night of pain and uncertainty.

Something I have learned through experience these past several years is God takes us through seasons.  Seasons of joy.  Seasons of sorrow.  Seasons of affliction.  Seasons of growth.  Seasons of celebration.  Seasons of hurt.  Seasons where you don’t quite know what you’re doing.  Seasons of confusion.  Seasons of loss.  Seasons where you feel closer and more distant to Him.  Seasons of service. Seasons of distance.  Seasons where you’ve lost your breath.  And seasons where it’s restored.

But through all of it, I have known one resounding truth, no matter what reality, no matter what circumstance or season, no matter how constricted my breath is…He is always there.  I read a quote once that said, “You can trust the man who died for you.”  Today, I am resting in the truth that I can trust the man who loved me so much he gave me His all—so I could have breath.

Psalm 34: 17—18 MSG  

“Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue.  If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there: if you’re kicked in the gut, He’ll help you catch your breath.”

Job 27:3 MSG

“But for as long as I draw breath, and for as long as God breathes life into me, I refuse to say one word that isn’t true.”

Habakkuk 3:17-19

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines,

though the olive crop fails and the field produces no food,

though the flocks disappear from the pen and there are no herds in the stalls,

YET I will celebrate in the Lord,

I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!

The Lord my Lord is my strength;

He makes my feet like those of a deer and

enables me to walk on mountain heights.”

 

So today breathe in this new reality, my dear friends…

The man who died for you—His beloved, adored child—will not only help restore the breath that you’ve lost, but He will also give you renewed strength and enable you to stand on mountain heights in the midst of your pain, suffering, and broken-hearted circumstance

 

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You’re His Sprout.

As I was walking along the nature path on my walk one day, I was busy worrying about my problems and centered in my life. It had rained really heavily the previous night so there was water everywhere.  I was walking and looking down at my feet and at the path as I went along. As my feet hit the ground, I saw a tiny little sprout. This little green sprout stood amidst rocky, hard dirt and so much rain. That sprout (later I named him Moses) was not overcome by the water that had poured so heavily over him the night before. I kept walking thinking about how beautiful and courageous that little sprout was. But then some Holy Spirit intervention hit my heart, and I realized I had to go back and see “him” again to keep him for my memories.
I was with my mom, dad, and Forrest. I pointed to “Moses” and told them that I was this green little sprout. Through my life, I’ve been hit by rain, surrounded by rock, dirt, and unknown space, but God is still growing new life out of darkness.

The more I thought about it the more I realized something. Well, a few things.
Yes, I am a representation of that sprout. I am still standing amidst the hardship of my life.
But I’m only standing because the Father is holding me up. There is breath in my lungs because He has filled it with wind. There is a new song in my soul because He has written it on my heart. There is a reason for me to keep living because He whispered it in my ear.
But I also realized something else. I could have so easily stepped on that sprout in a split second…destroying it right then and there. I mean, it stood right in the middle of that path all by itself. But I did not. And just like in my own life, there have been so many times I could have been overcome by so many things. Fear. Sickness. Anxiety. Depression. Sorrow. But Divine love has protected me. I have not been crushed or “stepped” over.

No matter how much rain or drought or rocky soil, I will keep standing. And BECAUSE of it, I will keep growing. Because He is the LIGHT and the nourishment, I will become stronger and stronger.
In essence, in my ramblings…
I just want you to know that you are His sprout.
He calls forth every single child of His to grow. Oh what bravery, courage and dedication to Jesus that takes, my dear sister and brothers in Christ. But He is always, always there with us.
Stand tall. Because it is in the rain, in the drought, in the rocky soil, and in unknown space that you become the most beautiful, luscious plant.
He’ll be there making and molding you…just follow that sunlight like all plants do…and new life will be made from a tiny sprout. You will not be overcome, or “stepped over” because His divine protection is like an umbrella of grace, mercy, and strength covering you every single day that you cry out to Him.

Whatever you face today, do not be trampled down by the water or swallowed up by the rocks. For you have a mighty God on your side. He is a God who calls us to be strong, courageous, brave, and to stand tall in the midst of our hardships. Don’t be mistaken, He isn’t a God who will call us to face these trials alone. For He is the sunshine and nourishment that gives us our strength and beauty and will create our tiny sprout to become a beautiful flower! We will go into battle with Him on our side. He will be ever present. Today, let us declare that will NOT grow weary but stand on mountain heights by His strength, wisdom, and guidance.

All my love,
Grace

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Breakthrough.

Wow, it has been a while.
The past several months have been some of the worst I have endured. I have struggled personally with depression, as this is the sixth year I am battling my disease; and at times, it seems like the fight is as merciless as ever. I could lie to you and say that I have been strong every moment, that I have shown no weakness, have had no doubts, no questions, no breakdowns, but that’s not what I’m about here. I am human. I ask God questions. I tell Him why I’m not happy. There’s no point in hiding anything from Him; He already knows what you are feeling, what you are thinking before you even tell Him. These days, my questions aren’t so much the, “why” but the “how”…How am I supposed to do this anymore? How do I keep fighting? I am so tired, God. How is this the life you redeemed me for? Where is mercy? Where is grace? How do I fight when I just don’t want to another day? How am I supposed to continue fighting this fight when I feel so weary, so downtrodden, when I feel like the enemy is at every single turn of the corner?

In the hospital, a question you get bombarded with a great deal from the nurses and doctors is what your pain score is from 1 to 10. I often think about one of my favorite movies, The Fault in our Stars, when asked this question. The movie talks about the comparison of physical and emotional pain, and it hits the nail on the head. No matter what I am enduring physically, no matter how much pain I am in, or how many surgeries I have had, the physical pain never rises above a 9. I say that because I know what a 10 feels like. The waiting, the disappointment that my life has turned out so drastically and direly different than I ever imagined possible, the failure I feel from all that has come with my sickness, the staring at my unanswered questions, the looking at my life like a fragmented mirror reflecting back at me in a million different pieces. That is my 10.
And no matter what pain I feel in the physical, it can’t match that 10.

When you have a have a chronic illness, something you have to accept is surrendering control of your body. When your body is fighting against you, you don’t have the reins over it. Test results, surgery outcomes, how my body will respond to a medication, how my body will feel the next day, even if my body will allow me to make it to the grocery store, those things aren’t under my governance. For someone who valued control a lot, and who longs for a slice of independence, this has been so trying.
What has been even more challenging is giving God control when all I have needed to do is completely surrender all to Him.

It’s in weeks of pleading, “speak to me, Jesus”…where He has revealed Himself and spoke with a song in the night.
“You are not a victim, Grace. You are a victor. I have pulled you out of darkness and brought you into the light. You can choose to control the pain or you can give it all to Me…Every shred, insecurity, hurt, fear, doubt, failure, anxiety, sadness, grief, loss, and sorrow.
I redeemed you. I saved you. You can hold on and be a victim of all that you are suffering from. Or you can relinquish every teeny, tiny speck to me, and we can walk into victory through Jesus Christ.
You can stand still and let the waters drown you, as they have done for far too long, or you can press in to Me with every hurt you have ever felt, and we can press on to glory in Jesus name.”

I was reminded recently that our Father is the God of the breakthrough.
A breakthrough is defined as an act of moving through or beyond an obstacle.
Often the obstacles we face in this lifetime don’t go away. Jesus is in the business of the breakthrough though. He picks us up, when our hearts are ready, and helps us move beyond the affliction. Through the power of the cross, we can break through walls, we can break through pain, we can break through suffering, we can break through sadness and sorrow.
It is always in His best interest to bring new life about and show us how to have genuine joy through Jesus when the circumstances do not change. When the sickness is not healed. When the hurt is still there. He is the only One who has proven over and over again that He can redeem, restore, and love unconditionally no matter what we encounter.
He can take something old and make it new. He can take something ugly and make it beautiful. He can break chains and make us free. He can take something broken and make it whole. He can take something dirty and make it clean. He can take something confusing and make it clear as day. He can take sorrow and make joy. He can bring life from death. He can bring victory from defeat.
He has done these acts for all of time. And He WILL do it again. And again. And again.
We just have to allow Him to and have faith that He can do this as He has so beautifully done before.

I heard one of my favorite artists, Kari Jobe, say this…”We don’t have God all figured out.” This is so true. We can’t even begin to understand Him. He is too extraordinary, too big, too grand, too indescribable for our minds to conceive.
God’s ways are are not for us to fully grasp on this planet.
We may not see or understand everything that He is doing, but that doesn’t mean He won’t lead us into the promised land, into triumph.

As I was journaling last night, this was my prayer.
If you feel like you are holding on to your pain like I have done for far too long, pray this with me. Run to the God of the breakthrough.
When I am lost, show me the way. When I am broken, put me back together. When I am weary, be my strength. When I have no voice, be my song Jesus. When I can’t move forward, carry me, move my feet with Your courage. When I don’t know the way, guide me with the way of the cross. When I lose heart, show me Your faithfulness. When I ask why, remind me that You have never failed me yet. When I lose hope, bring me to Your word. When I feel alone, be my Father. When I want to quit, to give in during the dark of night, remind me that you have a purpose and a plan for my life, and you know me more intricately than anyone has ever known me and will ever know me.
When I feel unworthy, unloved, show me Your unfailing love.

With much love,
Grace
“The thoughts in His mind, always higher than mine.

He’ll reveal all to come.
Take courage my heart. Stay steadfast my soul.

He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting.

Hold on to your hope, as your triumph unfolds. He’s never failing.

And You who holds the stars, who call them each by name, will surely keep your promise to me that I will rise in Your victory.

So take courage my heart. Stay steadfast my soul.

He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting.

Hold on to your hope, as your triumph unfolds. He’s never failing.”

Chosen.

Right foot, left foot. Right foot, left foot. Right foot, left foot. Don’t close your eyes. Focus on the steps. Focus on getting home. Right foot, left foot. Ten more steps down. Almost there. The past several weeks the walks have been a halfway failed attempt at getting my exercise. With summer coming, the heat is in full swing and my body is not having it. About ten minutes into the walks, mom is on one side holding on to me and dad is on the other. Forrest, my dog, is the troop leader in front of us. He makes sure the path is clear from any impending danger that may arise from mailmen and viscous squirrels. Every 30-45 seconds he peeps his head back to make sure I am still moving, and I think it’s those moments that really motivate me to push forward to home. It feels like what used to be the most enjoyable part of my day is now the most excruciating. My body these days has been aching in pain, and I feel like I am dragging two 50 pound blocks on my back at all times with someone constantly draining all my energy out with a giant fire hose. Pair that with the visual auras and headaches, and suffice to say that I have just felt miserable–and rather frustrated. The cause of these increased symptoms are unknown at this point, but it’s not uncommon for a flare up like this to happen with POTS syndrome, especially with this Georgia heat.

Every time I start thinking my life is finally reaching a place of “normalcy,” I come across some sort of stumbling block. Every atom of my being yearns for some independence. For a life lived without chronic illness. For a chance to be free from the grip of this suffering and to know it wouldn’t come back and drag me down. I am just, I am so over it. I am exhausted–mentally, physically, and emotionally. I feel like I have been fighting this fight so long, even though it has only been five years. Have you ever just felt so overwhelmed with every aspect of your life?
Crying out to God, I find myself asking Him, when will this end? How can I go on Jesus? I can’t do this anymore. I am too tired. I am too weak. I don’t want to live on this earth if my days are filled with exhaustion, pain, and heartbreak.
Broken, spirit bruised, emotionally beaten, weeping, and at my lowest, Jesus gave me one word. As He gave me this word, I instantly knew He wanted me to share it with those of you who feel the way I do.

Chosen.

“To burn brightly our lives must first experience the flame. In other words, we cease to bless others when we cease to bleed.”
“Combat comes before victory. If God has chosen special trials for you to endure, be assured He has kept a very special place in His heart just for you. A badly bruised soul is one who is chosen.”

The darkest of nights. The pain. The meds. The surgeries. The tube feedings. The sticks. The scans. The humiliation. The “I don’t know what to do anymore.” The “I’m not enough.” The “this isn’t worth it.” The hours and days spent on the couch–and feelings of my life being wasted. The tears. The anger. All of it.
I have to believe that one day, He will use it to bless this broken world, to proclaim how good, pure, and Holy Jesus is through any situation, and to make His name known as a Savior and Healer. I want to be Chosen for that. I want to “bleed” for that. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself–especially if it means that Jesus gets glory. I have seen first hand how the Prince of Peace can come into a situation that is as dark as the night and bring joy as bright as the sun. He’s done it in my life. And He can do it in your’s. Through these dark days, I am going to cling to the fact that I’ve been chosen by Jesus to walk through this. I’m not sure what the purpose is, yet. But I’m excited, and expectant, to find out. That expectancy and excitement to see God’s plan revealed in the future (if it’s His will for me to see it unveiled) makes me want to hold on.

More importantly, I want you to hear me out on something. Whatever hurt or pain you are facing, the Lord has chosen you. He has entrusted you. He believed you were strong enough to face this certain battle so that you could be light to a broken, dark, and hurting world. He chose you specifically because He knew that, with Christ right by your side at all times, you could bless someone. You may not know the impact you are making on those around you just by getting up in the morning. I do believe the Lord knew you would walk through this hurt and pain. And He fully believed and trusted that You, my friend, were strong enough to endure the battle. So keep fighting. Do not give up now. Just remember when the pain is so, so deep, that you were chosen to fight this battle for a God ordained reason. The heartbreak, frustration, anger, tears, and hurt is not in vain. He will use it. Maybe you already know the reason He will use it for, or maybe you don’t. We don’t have to figure that out today. Just know that you are chosen. There is a purpose for your life. The suffering has a reason. And one day, it will all be revealed to you. Oh, how sweet that will be!

Hold on, Chosen friend.

Love,

—Grace

“Grain must be ground to make bread.”
–Isaiah 28:28

“Many of us cannot be used as food for the world’s hunger, because we have yet to be broken in Christ’s hands. ‘Grain must be ground to make bread,’ and being a blessing of His often requires sorrow on our part. Yet even sorrow is not too high a price to pay for the privilege of touching other lives with Christ’s blessings. The things that are most precious to us today have come to us through tears and pain.”
–J. R. Miller