Tag Archives: pain

When Religious Cliches Don’t Help

Kari Jobe Blog

Kari Jobe’s potentially awkward moment turned into a beautiful moment for healing hearts.

When an awkward lull happened at the Designed for Life women’s conference I attended a couple of weeks ago, I immediately knew what was going on.

I’ve not been pregnant yet, but with all of my kidney issues, I can relate to those frequently visiting the bathroom as their baby(ies) press(es) on their bladder.

The host, Pastor Debbie Lindell took the platform for an unplanned speech to help transition the evening service. There was a band already set up on the stage and I knew Kari Jobe was scheduled to sing some during the conference. I also knew she was in later stages of pregnancy and I laughed as I realized that she was probably in the bathroom.

I had just slipped back into my seat from the bathroom right as a video ended and Kari was scheduled to lead worship. Debbie jokingly asked if any women remembered being pregnant and their frequent potty breaks as Kari took the stage. Debbie then explained to Kari in front of about 9,000 women that she’d just told us that she was peeing! Kari confirmed this report into the microphone much to the amusement of all those attending.

When Debbie left the stage Kari shared how she wasn’t just using the bathroom, but she’d been cleaning off her smeared make up as well. She told of how her sister who was pregnant at the same time as her just lost her baby two weeks earlier. She was 7 months along and had a still birth. There was such a sweet presence of God in the auditorium that evening as we worshiped together which was healing her heart. At one point she looked up and a woman with her little baby girl came and sat in front of her and more tears fell.

What began as laughter quickly turned into tears as we all listened to her story through her choked up words and rawness. She went on to say how through this experience she’s realized that religious clichés don’t help-they actually shut someone down. And I lost it. I could relate with her now far more than just our frequenting the bathroom.

She’s right. When you’re in the midst of pain, loss, or suffering you don’t simply need to hear, “God will turn this around for good”, “God will come through!”, or “Just have faith”.

Nothing against anyone who thinks like that or has said those statements to someone as we’ve all been there.
It can be awkward when we are confronted with the pain and suffering of another person.
It often is a strange interaction, so when we as believers don’t know what to say we often say something we think sounds spiritual.
Maybe the thought process is,”if I say a scripture then I’ll be helping”.
Or maybe we’ve never felt the pain or faced the difficult scenario they’re in so we think there’s an easy answer, “just have more faith”.

Yet none of those things help. In all I’ve faced particularly in this season of life, I know that God is good and I know that He is going to work things out in my life for the good…”because I love him and I’m called unto His purpose” (Romans 8:28). It isn’t that I don’t believe in His goodness or that I’m not focused on the truth of God’s word. It’s just that walking through some situations are difficult and they demand more depth than a surface response.
When you’re walking through the questions and suffering the heartache of your circumstances, it isn’t helpful to find yourself shut down by others’ replies or by their silence.

When you feel confused about God or you’re trying to see truth through the sometimes murky and violent water of trials, you don’t want to be simply told that God is good. When faced with that doctor’s report you weren’t prepare to hear, having someone exclusively say, “God’s got this” as you wrestle the fears and make difficult decisions isn’t helpful.
You need to experience His goodness THROUGH others.
You need to experience His love encompassing every area of your life, including your questions and perceived failures.

You need to be ALLOWED to cry and really feel what you’re walking through and invite Jesus into that place of pain.

Sometimes our words can shut down someone’s heart from allowing real healing to take place.

I realize that facts about a doctor’s report or situation are subject to change. I know that we have all power and all authority through Jesus. I’m not denying that focusing on the TRUTH of the word of God isn’t applicable. It ALWAYS is and that’s exactly what needs to be focused on, but not at the cost of invalidating what someone is walking through and not being willing to walk  WITH them through their pain. We must be willing to look to the example of Jesus and how He walks with us in this life.

Jesus came to take on our flesh so that He would relate to our flesh both in victory and in sorrow.

One of the most impactful things that has ministered to my heart happened two years ago during a really challenging time in my life. I had been really sick for almost a year with various tropical illnesses, small seizures, and I was dealing with constant pain from misaligned ribs and hips from a car accident that caused great pain even with walking. Stephen and I decided to get away for a few days and our trip happened to fall around the anniversary of my cousin’s death. My cousin was my best friend and we’d grown up together as she was four months older than me. She battled cancer for 7 & 1/2 years before dying when we were 14 years old. Due to the difficult season I was in and our constant travel schedule, I was really lonely. Some people had said awkward things to me concerning my faith while others just pulled away. Other friends simply weren’t able to encourage me face to face as we were traveling so frequently. This caused me to grieve my cousin’s loss in a new way that year. One morning on our trip, Stephen took me outside and shared how he felt like he had a word to share with me. He sat me down and said that while he was praying that morning that he felt like Jesus said, “Tell Bailey that I know what it’s like to lose my cousin and I’m crying with her”. The words hit me like a load of bricks upon my chest and as I began to cry I felt something break off of my life. I felt the nearness of Jesus more in that moment than I had in any other moment of my life. Not because this was a happy moment that He was meeting me in, but because in my pain and sorrow, He met me and was crying with me. That made me want to pour my heart out in adoration and worship like never before.

I want you to know that no matter what you’re walking through or how lonely that you’ve felt in your heartache, Jesus is with you. He has experienced pain, suffering, sorrow, and sadness. He did this all the while being filled with the Spirit, in complete surrender and obedience to God’s will and fully knowing that His Father was good. Just because He was the Son of God who died for our sins doesn’t mean that he didn’t feel the pain and weight of our sin or the sorrows of this life. He can relate to you and speak to you more than any human ever can.

As religious Christianese circulates around you and questions stir within you, I encourage you to press past those voices and listen for the voice of Jesus. Hear what He is saying and let His love draw near in your time of hurting. Don’t allow your painful circumstances to steal your praise of the One who is worthy and wants to pour out His love. He hurts for you and He hurts with you. Worship Him and let the disappointment, offense, mistakes, and fears fall off. Lean on Jesus and get back up again–you were made to live victorious!

 KJ InstagramWell said Kari–thanks for sharing your heart and bringing others to the place of healing in Jesus.

#giveup40–Your Pain & His love

Easier said than done to write this post, but here I go…

While God doesn’t make bad things happen to us, we live in a fallen world and bad things will happen in life.

The challenges that come are opportunities to invite Jesus into our struggles and our trials and meet with Him in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

When we walk through challenges and overcome them with the help of Jesus, we are then able to reach out to people in a way we never could have on our own.

There are a few thing that you need to know in the midst of a challenging situation in life; 

1. God is good…always and loves you with an everlasting love. If you have this assurance of knowing Him and making Jesus the Lord of your life, His love is always available even when things are hard.

2. Someone around you is hurting and doesn’t have the assurance of Jesus’ love and peace.

I’ve found that when I’ve walked through a particular hardship, that on the other side are people that need hope in that same struggle. While I might not LIKE what I’m walking through in a given season, I know there are always other people who will benefit from my testimony in the end.

We need hope in our difficulties. The world around us needs HOPE not just for the present circumstances, but for their eternity.

Question(s) of the day;

In what ways are you walking through challenges right now?

Have you invited Jesus into your present pain?

How do you think Jesus sees your physical, emotional, & spiritual pain?

Who around you needs hope and encouragement to hold on to His promises?

Scripture(s) of the day;

 2 Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Colossians 1:13 – He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.

Worship song of the day;

This song was written by John Mark McMillian and in the original format (below) he shares the testimony of how God met him when his friend Stephen died. “You met me in my breaking…I know that I still love You God despite the agony”…”He loves us, woah how He loves us…” This song has to this day marked me in difficult times. His love is still available in my pain.


What songs and scriptures have ministered to you or do minister to you in hardships?

The Best Way To Die

“We know what it is to lose health and wealth and reputation, but what is the loss of all things compared with the loss of the soul?”-D. L. Moody.

I realize my title is a BIT morbid, but hang with me for a minute. If you haven’t heard, Brittany Maynard, a beautiful 29 year-old woman who is battling cancer with a stage 4 brain tumor is planning to end her life on November 1st. She is newlywed who recently moved to Oregon with her husband, mother, and step-father so that she could take advantage of the state’s “Death with Dignity Act”. This would allow Brittany to end her suffering by taking medications that will allow her to die from something other than suffering in pain from her brain tumor and the complications that would result.

“I don’t want to die but I am dying,” Maynard tells PEOPLE in a new interview. “My [cancer] is going to kill me, and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die. So to be able to die with my family with me, to have control over my own mind, which I would stand to lose – to go with dignity is less terrifying.”

While I have my opinions on this story, that is not the point of my blog. My heart absolutely aches for this girl and I’ve thought about her many times day and night and prayed for her this past week once I heard about her situation. I walked closely with my cousin, Tess who battled cancer for 7 years while we were kids. I remember the pain and the suffering that she faced and how hard it was for my aunt to walk through. It’s horrible and I can’t remotely comprehend having a brain tumor like Brittany so I’m not saying this to be insensitive, but I’d say that dying of a brain tumor is not the worst way that you can die.

A theme for some of our denomination’s missions work in Africa has been centered on this concept of “Lostness”. I wrote about it a little bit last year here. In short, there are many conditions in which a person can die particularly as we look at Africa. There are diseases like Ebola that are prominent in the news right now along with AIDS and other various diseases. There is extreme poverty and unsanitary and unsafe living conditions that many are faced with. However, even as horrible as any one of the above mentioned conditions are, the absolute worst condition for a person to die from is being separated from Jesus Christ.

What has deeply troubled me about Brittany’s story more than her terrifying medical diagnosis or her controversial decision to end her life, is a statement she made about her death.

“When my suffering becomes too great, I can say to all those I love, “I love you; come be by my side, and come say goodbye as I pass into whatever’s next.”-Brittany Maynard.

“Into whatever is next” indicates to me that she sees no hope for her eternal future. That she has no assurance that Jesus Christ is alive, that He died for her, and that she can spend eternity with Him. I realize that I am stepping on some toes here and some people will disagree with this blog, but that’s ok :-) While I don’t want to judge if she knows Jesus for certain, her words seem to indicate she doesn’t have an assurance. I pray that she does. I pray that if she doesn’t at this moment, that she will. I pray that before she dies from either medicine, brain tumor, or else, that she comes to a TRUE PEACE in her soul that can only come from salvation in Jesus Christ.

And I pray the same for all who are lost. All who don’t know Jesus are truly in the worst state possible. For those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and live rightly for Him, there is an assurance of where we will step “into next”. We have a HOPE that this world and these present sufferings are not our home. That we will live forever with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit in Heaven forever where there is no more tears or pain. One can die naked, one can die blind, one can die poor, or one can even die of a brain tumor, but if that person knows Him, they die in peace of spirit.

The worst way to die is not being naked, blind, poor, or even of a brain tumor or Ebola. The worst way to die is without the peace of knowing where we are going eternally.

Brittany Maynard thinks that the best way to die is as she stated above, with her loved ones nearby and peacefully in her sleep. She wants to be able to control the timing and forbid the horrors of what the tumor could do to her body. I think everyone if they thought about it would choose to die peacefully and surrounded by those we love. My cousin did this even though she was in great pain. Yet even if we were all assured that we wouldn’t be in pain when we die, that doesn’t assure us we will step into a pain-free peaceful eternity. If we are without Christ, our eternal life (which is FOREVER unlike our physical one) will be anything but pain-free and peaceful. Since we don’t know how, when, and where we will die, the best way to die is to know that you’ve made Jesus the Lord of your life.

Hebrews 9:27 says, “And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment”
For those who know Jesus, we will live eternally with Him after our physical death. There is a hope available to everyone no matter what we are faced with that we can call on Jesus and be born again in spirit.

If you are suffering right now, I pray healing over you reading this in every area; that physically your body would be healed, that your emotions would be healed, and that your mind would be at peace. I pray that no matter what you’re facing today, that you would know that there is HOPE in Jesus Christ. If you’ve never made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, I invite you to pray this simple prayer;

Jesus, I acknowledge that I have sinned against You. I believe that You died for me, that You rose again, and that You are in Heaven. I want to live for You on this earth and live with You for all eternity. Be my Lord and my Savior. Fill me now with Your love, Your grace, and with Your Holy Spirit so that I can live for You. Thank You for saving me and filling me with hope.

Congratulations!!! You’ve now found the best way to die (again that sounds morbid, but who cares–you’re saved!!)

Revelation 21:14 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.

Romans 8:24-25 – For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies,promised before the ages began

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Hebrews 9:27