Monday, November 10, 2014

In Our Pain + A Giveaway for Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts

(In connection with this post, I'm hosting a giveaway for a new copy of Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts, a memoir-style book about understanding the grace of God in our pain and brokenness. If you already own a copy but would like to give one to someone else as a gift, please still feel free to enter the giveaway... It is a wonderful book, even for hurting unbelievers. Read to the end of this post to find/enter the giveaway.)

You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, Yes They Are All Ours, Missional Call, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, So Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every SeasonA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, A Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Messy Marriage, My Teacher's Name is Mama, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Count My Blessings, Beauty Observed, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul Survival

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

- Karolina W. Sandell-Berg

It all began a few months ago. The eye-watering, the pain; waking me from my sleep at night. 

I was already getting up a few times with my newborn and sometimes with my almost-2-year-old

So I hardly noticed the interruption in my sleep. 

It was an annoyance, but I just brushed it aside and attributed it to allergies and sleeplessness. 

But then it began to worsen. 

The pain would linger, so severe at times that I would rock back and forth to deal with it.

And then, just try to go back to sleep. 

It began happening during the daytime, too, until one Sunday morning - I was trying to get everyone ready for church - it just wouldn't go away. 

I tried to make it through that day and the next, but the pain became so severe, that I couldn't function. 

My Mom and my sister had to help with my little ones -

My eye swelled grotesquely and reddened, and when the pain finally became excruciating and unbearable, I called my husband at work to take me to the walk-in emergency center. 

They immediately sent me to another part of the building to see an eye specialist-

My sinuses were also affected and I couldn't stop my nose and eyes from leaking continually with cold-like symptoms. 

I was a mess. And there was nothing that I could do about it. 

The diagnosis was a severe case of "recurrent corneal erosion," and I was relieved at finally knowing what was wrong and being given medication to treat it. 

I joked about how I could to some small degree sympathize with the Apostle Paul with his supposed eye troubles - but the pain was not a joke. 

And I sat that night in my room, my nose leaking, my eye burning and watering, my little ones there with me. My daughter, almost 2, climbed up into the desk chair with one of her books that we read before she goes to sleep. 

As I sat on the floor in severe pain with my 5-month-old, I heard my daughter suddenly begin to recite one of the poems from memory that was in her book -

I hear no voice, 
I feel no touch
I see no glory bright...

And I knew that the next words of the poem followed:

But yet I know 
That God is near 
In darkness as in light-

At that moment, I knew the Lord's nearness to me in my pain - only a light affliction in comparison to what my Savior had suffered-

For the past few days before that, it had been difficult to even think - to take care of my babies - and even my tears were painful -

But the Lord knelt down to me there, in my suffering - in the suffering that He had allowed -  to draw me to Himself - so that I could relate in some small way to the sufferings that He had borne for me

That night was the most difficult - The doctor had said that it would take from 12-24 hours for me to have some relief from the pain.

I spent a sleepless night in agony, the dripping from my sinuses making me sick and giving me a terrible headache on top of the extreme pain in my eye. 

But I knew that He was with me...

And I made it through, by His grace. 

Made it to the morning.

And the next day there was some improvement; the severity of the pain faded. 

And His grace washed over me. 

C.S. Lewis says -

"Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." 

And He knows our sorrows and gives us a measure of what we are able to bear, by His grace. 
He walks with us through them, even when we cannot see Him for the pain. 
Because He is near. 

And because, as the rest of the poem in my daughter's book reads, 

The Father for His little child
Both day and night doth care. 


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  1. Beautiful post and so important to remember. We have been struggling with some pain too, but we know God has a plan and purpose for it. By the way, I love how your daughter is reciting poetry--how wonderful!

    1. Thank you, Nathana! I love it when she quotes poetry, too--it's amazing how very small children can remember so much! The Lord bless you; have a wonderful week :-).

  2. Rebekah,

    Beautiful post! It is amazing to see how easily little ones learn poetry, the words to songs, and God's Word. As we get older our minds are full of so many distractions. We need to make room for quiet reflection, don't we?

    But even more wonderful is how our Savior is able to reach down and speak through the noise and clamor!

    I'm glad to have found you through "Mom's the Word." I hope you stop by and link up on Mondays @ Soul Survival ( sometime.


    1. Yes, Donna, it IS so remarkable how easily little children can commit these things to memory!

      I'm so glad that you visited and let me know about the link-up; I will definitely add it to my list! :-)

      Blessings to you--.

    2. So sorry to read you've been enduring health trials. Glad to read you are now finding physical relief and spiritual ministering. Our Lord truly is a help in times of trouble!

    3. He is! What a compassionate Father we have!

  3. Oh Rebekah that sounds like such a painful time. So thankful you were able to get relief and help. I love the poem and the words you shared here. Blessings.

  4. It is often at our scariest and most painful moments that we realize He is everything!

    Thank you also for offering the giveaway. I have never read the book but have heard much about it...

    1. Yes; so true, JES! Underneath are the everlasting arms. . .

  5. So beautifully written! I love the little poem from your daughters book. May we strive for a childlike faith! Thank you for sharing, sweet one!

    1. You're welcome, Kaylene; the Lord bless you! :-)

  6. The Lord is faithful thru all of my many trials in life,

    1. He is such a faithful God! Thanks for stopping by :-).

  7. Thanks for the fun giveaway! Love your daughter's memorized poem!! I'd love to read a post about some of the memory work you do with her!

    1. Oh, you're welcome, Jessica! Maybe I'll write a post about that sometime--most of the things that she's memorized right now are just from reading things with her over and over and repeating things, but I'd really like to begin some more focused Bible verse memory with her--it's so amazing how they remember so much at this age!

  8. Rebekah, loved the poem from the children's book. Another precious post!

  9. God is good! I am glad that your pain is decreasing.

    1. I am thankful, too! Thank you for stopping by! :-)