This article originally appeared on Gospel-Centered Discipleship.
I once heard a speaker call a fellow Christian an “EGR,” i.e. “Extra Grace Required.” In my immaturity, I followed suit in using the acronym when confronted with my own “EGR’s” in daily life. How unloving; How hurtful.
Surely, in the Christian life, we’ll face those who frustrate us whether it be by action on their part or due to the wickedness in our own heart. We aren’t going to naturally love everyone. But in the Bible, that’s exactly what we’re called to do.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:12-14 ESV)
Commands to love others aren’t hard to find in scripture but this passage stuck out to me like an accent wall.…
I wanted to share an update but felt unsure of how. The typical “Baby Allen coming soon!” announcement just isn’t within our reach. We hope the above statement is true, but only God knows. So, this is the best way I found to say…we’re pregnant again.
I was hesitant to share this. I feared what people would think of my decision to announce our fourth pregnancy to the world so early, given our struggles with miscarriages. “They’ll think I’m presumptuous or just plain stupid. What if I miscarry the day after I share the news? Then I’ll be so embarrassed!” Most people would advise me to keep quiet, reminding me the world doesn’t need to know. But I feel this urgency to push past the discomfort.
If I’ve learned anything in this season, it’s that pregnancy isn’t really about me anyway. It’s not about 9 months of pampering and getting everything I want, it’s not about receiving my ticket to the mom club, or the attention you get from virtually everyone—strangers included.…
I was restless. Many thoughts bouncing from one side of my head to the other, colliding and creating more thoughts. Silently, I watched the Black-Capped Chickadees dash across the yard into the white spruce right outside the window, their quickness mimicking the questions and fears racing through my mind.
How do you keep bringing your broken heart before the God who allowed it to be shattered?
That’s what I found myself wondering. It just seems easier to keep our distance and bury our longings in the tomb with all that’s been lost.
The Idol of Self-Protection
Praying for things we desire comes naturally for many people but for me, it’s a struggle. I fear my heart’s quick reaction to such prayers—how it turns my requests into idols. I don’t want to desire the created thing more than the Creator, so I don’t ask. But in not taking my supplications to him, I keep back a part of my heart from him, and therefore, provide fresh soil for the roots of another idol to deepen.…
This article originally appeared on Whole Magazine.
“God is the Healer of all our sickness. You just need more faith.”
They mean well, they really do. But those whose ears have been tickled by false gospels like the prosperity gospel and the word-faith movement, don’t see the repercussions of their own words. They use God’s Word out of context and make claims to prosperity that aren’t there, leaving out the many passages which prove the Christian life is not a cake-walk.
Many Christians are infertile, have cancer, have miscarried or delivered lifeless babies, are tortured for their alliance to Jesus. And on top of these heart-wrenching trials, there are some whose theology would deem the suffering of these believers a result of their faithlessness. This terribly unbiblical theology places the blame on the Christian for any painful thing that enters their life. Furthermore, it hardens the lost to God, the gospel, and the Church.…
I’m writing today with an honesty that many may judge as unwise. A person who has never experienced deep grief may write it off as unbiblical. Modern-day stoics might question where my faith lies. However, a quick look at the Psalms would shed light on what it looks like to lament before God. Before you are words I long to say to the girl who is facing a similar road as me—the girl whose heart feels shattered under the weight of longing for motherhood. I write it for her, not me. And I write with tears for all of us: those who can’t conceive and those whose babies are in heaven.
Dear friend, who feels crushed by the negative pregnancy test in her hand, I weep with you. To those who haven’t experienced this grief, it may seem like one test—better luck next month. But to us who are walking through the thorn-filled path of sorrow called infertility, it acts as a dagger which pricks our heart, exposing the deep grief that lies within.…
My throat tightened, but tears failed to follow. You know that old feeling…when sadness wedges itself in your throat, making it hard to breathe. It’s like a century passes before you’re able to swallow down the sorrow. Behold the sign of familiar pain—the kind that almost always lingers in the background like a pilot light.
It’s a symptom of a heart that longs, a heart that’s sick, a heart where waiting feels endless.
Forfeiting God’s Best
Ever since I can remember, I’ve run away from pain. I try to avoid it at all costs, seeking ways to maneuver about unscathed by it.
My mind flashes back to another time—a time where a little girl carried on because she couldn’t swallow the pill her mom gave her. Her legs kicking, eyes swollen with monstrous tears. She—I—didn’t want to take the pill. I knew my body needed it. I knew my mom was only trying to provide what would heal my sickness.…