“God will never waste our pain, but I can. When I’m not honest about the reality of how hard life is, I waste God’s offer of peace. When I try to do things in my own strength, I waste God’s offer of power. When I keep the pain to myself and pretend everything is perfect, I waste opportunities to minister to others walking a similar path. When I confess my feelings of inadequacy, I get to a place of reliance – and that’s just where God wants me. For in this place of helplessness, God takes center stage. And when I let God lead, miracles start to happen. Although I’d remove the pain …if I could, I know God is working even in this. Especially in this.” — Glynnis Whitwer
I first read these words in June of 2012, during a time when I had quit writing except for myself. We had just received confirmation about our oldest son having Asperger’s Syndrome, though we had known on some level for at least a year and probably more. Those days were hard because there was so much outside noise coming in – so many opinions and voices – and the majority of them told us to keep the diagnosis a secret. From others. From our son. From everyone.
That just never sat right with me. If I am to believe Psalm 139:14, and I do, then it seemed wrong to me to be secretive about part of our son’s making. I especially couldn’t imagine not sharing information with him about how God lovingly made him, just as he is. After much prayer, we shared with Elijah and began sharing with others with his permission. I’ve written here about Asperger’s Syndrome, and truly the reason I write anything in this space is so that God can use my story, our stories, for His good purposes.
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. —AMP
As the name of the blog exclaims, His goodness and mercy follow us on all the days of our lives. Did you catch that? On ALL. The. Days. In my story, that means His goodness and mercy were right there as my dad took his last breath of this life and they are there each time I shed a tear over missing him. God’s goodness and mercy where there when my mom almost died while in septic shock just weeks before our youngest was born. Goodness and mercy were right there each time I wondered if there was something different about my Elijah and on the day we found out that there is.
His goodness and mercy is there each time we have a challenging day because of Asperger’s Syndrome and each time we have a challenging day simply because we are raising four young humans. Goodness and mercy were our traveling companions when God asked us to leave the only home our kids had known and move to Nashville. They have been with us as we have struggled with Ella to learn to read. His Goodness and mercy have been there as I’ve struggled with recent health issues and surgery and slow healing.
You see what I’m saying. God’s goodness and mercy are there every single day – good or bad or in between – and I decided I was done hiding it all. That’s why here in this space you will read truth from our story – and truth isn’t always easy or lovely. But God is always good, and sharing that Truth is always my heart as I share with you here.
I am so excited to share that I am part of a fabulous launch team for the soon to be released book Hope Heals, by Katherine and Jay Wolf. If you don’t yet know their story, head over to www.hopeheals.com and you will certainly be blessed. You can also watch this video of what Katherine had to say after choosing the launch team members. It is an honor to share their story with you, the story God is writing in their lives and hearts. It is beautiful.
I am practically waiting by my mailbox each day until I receive my advanced copy of Hope Heals – I am so ready to read it. You can trust that I’ll keep you up to date as the release date approaches and will be sharing more of Katherine and Jay’s story in future posts. (A neat little tidbit: Jay’s dad is the pastor at First Baptist Church back home in Montgomery. He performed a gorgeous wedding ceremony for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law way back before we were legal in-laws. <3 He also did a beautiful job at the funeral of my sister-in-law’s precious daddy last summer.)
The point is this, when we share our struggles with the world, and with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we take part in God’s plan of comfort – we become the hands and feet of Jesus as we minister to one another in calling hope out of each other. It’s a glorious thing, really.
Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. —2 Corinthians 1:3-5 AMP (emphasis mine)
What are you hoping in Him for today? Know that His goodness and mercy are right there with you every single day.