Saturday, December 31, 2011

the relief in failure

"For many, the deepest growth in humble, joyful reliance on God will be in the context of the most bloody battles, which appear to be tragic losses, and not glorious victories.”
- Dan Allender, Bold Love

And that right there, my friend, pretty much sums up the final six weeks, or so, of my 2011.

Bloody battles in my heart and mind that are downright overwhelming.
Battles of my expectations that constantly vie to snuff out the warm glow of grace.
Expectations of life. Expectations of God.
Discontentment emerging from unmet expectations of what I think God should do for me – rather than reveling in the wonder of who He is.

Battles against the temptation to be self absorbed. Usually lost.
Battles with feelings of entitlement that leave trails of relational destruction.
The steady assault of self-centered thoughts.

In my estimation, tragic losses for sure.
And in most battles, the enemy is me.

I haven’t even been able to figure out the right strategy for combat . . . Do I need to adjust my thinking? Or simply receive God’s comfort amidst the challenges? How do I overcome my feelings with healthy perspective? And how do I walk by faith – when I feel like I can’t conjure it?

Amidst the chaos on the battleground and the noise of clanking armor on this awkward soldier, there is a still, small voice.

Bring it to Me. Bring it ALL to Me.

Your confusion.
Your chaos.
Your sorrow.
Your defeats.

Because you can’t win these battles.

But I already have.


  1. Beautifully expressed, friend. Praising God for His still, small voice. May you continue to hear and obey His voice and continue to allow Him to fight the battles for you.

  2. What a perfect description of something I, too, have faced. I am so thankful for the still, small voice of the Lord that keeps me going. It is during those times my clinging becomes greater and I ask for help to not depend on ME. Hugs to you and praying for a better 2012 for you.

  3. It is this beautifully expressed reality of human frailty and weakness that makes me so utterly thankful to god that he appoined me to live now, with a living savior, with that voice always reminding us that all of our "nows" have already been washed in his blood.
    Love what the spirit pours out of your soul, your sister in christ, amy :-)

  4. How grateful I am to have found your blog via Proverbs 31 ministries. This post explains so much of my life the past few months. I have struggled with high blood pressure and its effects.
    I spent a day in the ER in Feb. 2012 trying to find the cause. New meds are bringing the BP down but are also hard on the body (fatigue, nausea, feeling faint). As a card carrying Perfectionist, this health crisis does not fit into my plan. I have been so mad at God and so frustrated by my lack of energy and resulting depression. Thank you so much for sharing your life and your heart. You have greatly encouraged me!

    1. oh sweet soul . . . i am so very glad that you found me here, TOO! and rebecca, i am so very sorry for the pain involved in the journey of your health crisis. i know that a health crisis is far from simply being a journey of our physical state.

      there were a couple of rebeccas that commented on the wonderful prov. 31 post, so i'm not sure if you were one of the ones that commented or not. but regardless, what you've just shared here are sentiments that i can truly relate to. the ambiguity (ugh.), the high BP (which, btw, doesn't it feel like it can turn into self-fulfilling prophecy? the stress of knowing you have high BP? nuts, isn't it?), the lack of energy (ugh!), etc.

      when you said that this health crisis doesn't fit into your {card-carrying perfectionist} plan, it reminded me of a wonderful, wonderful book that i read when i was in the thickest of mine recently. it's called traveling light by max lucado.

      my aunt sent me her copy as a gift, & the Lord used so much of it like salve after salve for my aching soul that utterly throbbed within me.

      rebecca, i would be honored for you to continue to sojourn with me here -- to allow me to be a voice of encouragement to you as you walk this painful road.
      i have taken your name before the Mercy Seat, dear one.
      and He is near, my friend. it doesn't always feel like it, but He IS near. and He is collecting every tear that falls down your cheek.

      love & blessings to you, sweet soul,


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