Mundane Monday: Hope in Affliction

No Grit No Pearl Blog

Galatians 4:13

“But you know it was because of a physical illness that I first proclaimed the gospel to you.”


Being sick is no fun. I ought to know. Diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases, I have had to learn that delicate balance of trying not to do too much to push myself into a flare up but also challenging myself to live a full life.

Ironically, I have a very full plate and do not even like to look at all God has me doing. But there is a difference when it is not in fact you doing it, but Christ doing it through you.

As much as these illnesses have been a source of discouragement, they have also been my greatest joy. No, that was not a typo. How could infirmity and weakness be something that leads me to joy? It is because in those moments of pain and sorrow, I cried out. I drew nearer to my God and it flowed out into the formation of this blog and encouragement of others, as well as myself.

Paul wanted his “thorn in the flesh” removed, and so do we all, but he also recognized how God would use for the benefit of others what most look at as a handicap and a burden.

God does not look at things as we do. Where we see inconvenience God sees opportunity. Where we see pain God sees character and where we feel sorrow and burden, God wants to be our joy.

Sometimes I have wondered why God could not impart deep truths without the suffering. It would be a lot easier to write songs and sing them from a place of physical strength, I reasoned with the LORD. But perhaps living a perfectly comfortable life would not enable us to have the depth of understanding needed to go deeper.  God gets our attention with afflictions so we can remember what is really important and stay on mission.

A little pain causes us to either want to escape it or to give in to the pain and let it defeat us. It was not until I was hospitalized for 9 days with pneumonia that I realized this illness could be an opportunity to impact those around me more than a moment of self pity. The suffering was great, but my God was greater. My greatest triumph was rising from my bed to write the Scripture of the day on the dry erase board. My greatest joy was giving away the flowers given to me to everyone up and down my hall who had no gifts. My sweetest moment – fellowship with the LORD in that place and a nurse who rededicated her life to God. Character earned – hubby told me I had “true grit”.  🙂

Everything in this life is not about us. Surrendered to God in whatever curve the road takes us on, we begin to see that afflictions, blessings, joys, sorrows – all come through His hand with the purpose of more people knowing the goodness of the LORD at all times. The beauty formed in each vessel that allows the grit of life to work in them for God’s glory is irreplaceable and not found anywhere else.

We are not forgotten in times of affliction, no, instead we are remembered. Jesus understands. He walked that road of affliction first. 

Blog Singature

Personal Testimony: Weak, Needful Vessel – Here Am I

Isaiah 6:8

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!””
The last time I prayed the words above to God, I was laying in a hospital bed with severe Pneumonia.  Puzzled doctors scrambled around, trying multiple different medications while I became more sick.  Kidney failure and worsening symptoms threatened to squash any hope of leaving the hospital in short order.  The illness had come upon me so quickly and the rapidity with which I was worsening astounded the physicians . . . but God.
In that dark place, I cried out to God.  I saw a vision of me praying the prayer that Isaiah had spoken thousands of years before and heard the gentle response, “even here?”  As is often the case, when the LORD speaks to me I am humbled and amazed at His wisdom.  Would I let Him use me in this place, encroached in fear and uncertainty, unable to eat, barely able to walk?
It was all I could do to muster up my strength to get up and write a Scripture on the board.  How was God going to use me when I had no voice?  “Rise, get up and walk.  I will enable you.”  Dizzy and straining for breath, I staggered out of the bed carefully, dragging all the hospital paraphernalia with me.  From my devotion time, I wrote a verse on the board then crawled back to bed.
The response was almost immediate.  Hospital staff started to ask questions and I shared as best as I could my testimony with them.  For the remainder of my stay (9 days), I would get up, write a Scripture on the board and worship Him in that place.
“Now, rise and bless those around you.”  “How, Lord?”  “Give what You have been given.”  As flowers were brought in, the LORD told me to give them away to others who needed encouragement.  So, pitiful as I was, I realized the LORD was trying to get me to walk to clear my lungs, and I walked, slow as a turtle up and down the hospital ward, delivering flowers (with companions by my side, helping me to walk).
Sometimes we do not understand why we must walk through difficult seasons or hardships, but God is always using our blessings and trials for our good, His glory, and others around us.  A nurse in that hospital recommitted her life to Christ. She will never be the same, nor will I.  I could have laid there feeling sorry for myself.  I could have given up.  Instead, the LORD, Who is rich in mercy, showed me another way.  He wanted to use an incapacitating illness to reveal His enablement and grace to a disillusioned child of God.
So now I stand as a living testimony to be used again, praying the same prayer, “Here am I. Send me!””  After my heart was broken into a million pieces and functioning was so difficult when my family was torn apart, I was content to take a back seat and did not know if I would ever write music again . . . but God.
As I prepare to record music again after a long break it is an extremely humbling adventure and my heart’s desire is to serve others and glorify God with every lyric, every note, every instrument, every track.  I long to somehow give hope to those who are in a seemingly hopeless situation, to see that God is and always has been enough.
If you are in a tough spot now and your sorrows are overwhelming you, please know that He loves you and is not through with you yet.  He delights and is glorified even in our weakness and able to transform us and those around us through what we deem to be ugly and worthless.  While we tend to try to muddle through suffering, yielding to Him and accepting all He sends our way is worshiping Him in the fire and it is beautiful.  Funny thing is, once the focus is off of us, we become freer and stronger than before.
Lord, thank You for never giving up on us and for using us to bring glory to Your Holy Name.  We stand in awe of You!