On Hard Things and His Goodness

I don't use this word loosely, so when I say that last week felt hellish, it really did.

I am not going to go into too much detail, some things are better left unsaid. But in the midst of giving in to what already seemed impossible and unfair, I got word that a new friend of mine was in a horrible accident and was on life support.

My hard and heavy felt even more pressing, weighted like lead.

I prayed, and continued praying, because in a situation like this one, that is all you can do. Pray. And hope. And trust.

I won't lie to you though, faith doesn't come easy for me. After loosing three friends in the period of sixteen months, two of whom were prayed over fervently for healing and restoration, it is so easy to question the power of my prayers. To wonder if it is even worth it.

I've seen the goodness of God in so many circumstances. He has been faithful in the day-to-day. He provided a new job opportunity after Herm was laid off. He restored my body completely, when at 7 months pregnant a rib popped out of place leaving me in excruciating pain, worse than that of labor and delivery, for over a week. All it took was intercession on my behalf from a small group of Believers, who gathered around, pressing in for more than just relief but for complete healing. And it happened. In an instant the pain, which I was told could last for seven more weeks, was gone. He answered my cry for another child within months of praying for one.

So why then, when I plead for the lives of my friends to be spared, is the answer always a heart-wrenching, No?

On Friday afternoon, as I was preparing to take my Noonday display to a local IF: Gathering I received the news, Sara passed away. I didn't know her well at all, like I said earlier, she was a new friend. But in that moment grief hit me like a tidal wave, and I felt like I was rolling in it, fighting for a breath of air but taking in water. I was drowning all over again.

Normally after news like this, all I want is to be completely alone. But Friday night, nothing was going to stop me. I don't know why, but I was so desperately determined to go to IF, no matter what.

During the hour and twenty minutes drive, tears came and went. I'm sure I didn't mask the pain well as I walked into the living room of someone I never met and sat down amid the small sea of unfamiliar faces. As the first session came to a close, we were given cards with questions on to discuss as a group. Who is God to you? When did you first hear about Jesus? What do you have to lay down in order to completely be here this weekend?

As we discussed these questions one of the ladies, probably a few years older than I, began to talk. Her question was on the faithfulness of God. And through tears she said she never truly understood the faithfulness of God until her husband left her, a mom of a toddler and a newborn, for another woman, for the third time.

It was her courage and vulnerability that allowed me to share about my week as well. I hadn't planned to open up about anything going on - in typical Sarah fashion, I was going to try hard to stuff it and pretend like my life was all together. And in that moment, as words mixed with tears and my hard day, hard week, unfolded, these women whom I had never met before gathered around me, and lifted me up in prayer.

It was the power of prayer, power that I sometimes have a hard time believe in, that got me through the weekend.

Right now, I'm sitting in my quiet living room, sipping on hot tea and burning a new candle while snow gently falls to the ground outside. Carson is having a Grandma Day, allowing me to have time and space to process the week that was hellish, and to see bits of His goodness throughout the hard and heavy.

Like the lady who shared about His faithfulness being real to her only after enduring trials and betrayal, I think I, too, can say that His faithfulness has become more evident to me during the past sixteen months than it ever was in my life before.

And while I do wish I could go back in time and circumstances would change -- that I wouldn't have had to say good-bye to four friends, and our dog. That my friends, so many of them, wouldn't have had to say good-bye to their babies, but would be able to hold them in their arms and whisper secrets in their ear like I do with Carson every day -- I can still say He is faithful and He is good, because of who He is.

It's this hard and heavy life that I can't imagine facing without Him, and I'm so grateful I don't have to go at this alone.


  1. Thank you. I'm struggling to see His goodness. Needed to read this today.

  2. An encouragement I read today,"Our faith increases when we remember God's faithfulness in the past."

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.