What Does God Want to Give You in Your Losses?

imago58442581m

As I face breast cancer, I’ve become extremely aware of the battle going on in my mind. When my focus is on the “loss” or “losses” I’m facing, I begin to feel, well, like a “loser.” But God has been so patient and kind with me and has gently reminded me that …

He never takes something from me without giving me something better in return.

I could think of it this way … what if I chose not to let the doctors take from me this cancerous mass? What if I felt like, “Oh no, that would cause me pain, complicate my life and disfigure me, so I’m going to reject they’re recommendation to have it removed” …

Would I be better off?

As I’ve struggled at times to come to terms with this disease and, even harder the discouragement that nips at my heels, God has also challenged me to think about the times He’s taken from me or allowed painful circumstances in my life in the past. I did something of an internal audit and couldn’t think of a single painful time or loss in my past that God hasn’t given me something so much better, richer and deeper in its place in the long run. (And no, I’m not talking about material wealth, easier life or prosperity in worldly terms!)

So, very much like the photo above, I lift up my hands and let the “seeds” of my future fall to the groundletting Christ plant, grow and multiply wherever He desires.

What hard losses are you facing?

What is it about your marriage that seems more like of a prison that you can’t escape or an empty, hollow longing that’s never going to be fulfilled?

Maybe that’s God’s reminder to recognize that not every “empty” space in this life is a bad thing!

The ultimate empty place was the tomb where Christ defeated death and sin—so that you and I would never have to live empty lives or have abandoned and useless existences.  

So, tell me, what has God ‘given’ you in your losses?

 

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” –2 Cor. 4:16-18 (NIV)

“‘I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies; it remains a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.’” –John 12:24-25 (NIV)

****************

If you’re interested in following my spiritual and medical journey through cancer, you can find my Caringbridge page here – Messymammogram. I’d love to have your encouragement and prayer support! You cannot begin to know how valuable that is to my heart!

 

photo by Anna_KKK

Linking up with – NOBH, Momma Notes, Marriage MondaysMaking Your Home Sing Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Monday’s Musings, Playdates with God and Marriage Monday

  • I will continue to hold up your hands as you release those seeds of discouragement and fear … and hold up your heart to the Lover of your soul, dear Beth. May putting pen to paper give you continued courage, release, and peace …

    • Aww, I just love you, my friend! I do feel Him holding me. That’s a good way to put it, Linda. And yes, I do think that writing has been such a release for me and perspective shifter too. I am pouring down my written prayers like never before and God is doing serious surgery on my “heart.” Hugs to you!

      • Healing hugs back!
        ;-}

      • He does do serious surgery on us, doesn’t He? Oftentimes, he patiently waits for me to run out of steam as I am running around like crazy. Finally, though, I succumb, and the results are always more than worth the pain. Funny how that works. . . Praying for you, Beth.

  • Lisha

    Yes! We lost our third child a few years ago, and the better portion in it was the liberating truth that He is sovereign. Totally and completely, over every area – including the days of my children’s lives. Since then, I’ve been able to parent without nearly as much fear or anxiety and it transformed my relationship with my daughters, especially when the oldest needed major surgery last year.

    Thank you for sharing this, and your journey.

    Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
    whose mind is stayed on Thee,
    because he trusteth in Thee.
    Trust ye in the LORD for ever,
    for in the LORD Jehovah is everlasting strength.
    {Isaiah 26:3-4}

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Lisha! What a devastating experience. But it does seem like the issue of God’s sovereignty bubbles to the surface in such situations. And as I’ve meditated on this recently, it has strangely (although not surprisingly) been comforting. I know that God is always in control, so I can go about my day and not worry about the outcome. He’s already written it and all I need to do is just rest in Him. 🙂 I’m so glad that you can see the good that God has done in your life through your loss. And I really appreciate you stopping by to share your story and your encouragement with me, my friend!

  • Tina Greenland

    So beautiful! You are a blessed writer. Thank you for encouraging me in your time of trial. Praying that God would fill you up, overflowing with peace and confidence in Him!

    • Thank you so much, Tina! I love it when my “real-life” friends visit me here. 🙂 So, in that small act, you’ve “blessed me,” my friend! And thank you so much for your prayers. I’m so grateful for everyone who has lifted me up in this time.

  • Oh no!!! Missed your post last week about your cancer. I’m so sorry, Beth. 🙁 Just signed up to get notifications from your Caring Bridge page. Count me among your prayer warriors for your healing.

    • I saw that you’ve signed up, Lisa. I really appreciate that and am always encouraged when you visit me here too. Thanks for the prayers as well. I never take that gift from others for granted.

  • Mia

    Dear Beth
    I am totally honest when I say that I don’t know where I would have been without my Fm/CFS. Most probably I would still have been trying to earn our Pappa’s love and everyone else’s acceptance and approval. That was such a heavy burden to carry. You say it so well; God will never take us where his grace cannot keep us! Praying for you and love you so much.
    Blessings XX
    Mia

    • Oh yes, it’s amazing what God does with the health issues we face, Mia–He brings healing to us in so many unseen and non-physical ways. And I’m so glad that your illness brought you to the great Healer, as well. What a beautiful exchange! Thanks so much sweet friend. You’re an encouragement to me!

  • I love love this Beth “not every “empty” space in this life is a bad thing!” We try so hard to fill up all the empty spaces, dont’ we. at least i try so hard! thank you for this reminder and encouragement to focus on the right thing…Christ – today. praying for you.

    • Thanks so much, Ngnia! Leave it to a diagnosis of cancer to bring new insights into “emptiness.” But really this is more about the “exchange” God wants to do in my life and yours. When He has something better to give us, then how can we resist?! Thanks for your kind words and prayers, my friend! Hugs to you!

  • Beth have you visited Amy’s site over at http://www.amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.com ? She has gone through some of the same stuff you are. She just recently went through another surgery.

    • No, I don’t think I have, Cassie. Thanks for letting me know about her site and story. I’ll have to check it out soon! Appreciate you stopping by to tell me. 🙂

  • Megan@DoNotDisturb

    Saying a prayer for you right now.

    I am currently in a season of loss, though very different from your own. As I watch my mother succumb to a disease with no cure and my sisters turn completely away from God’s will I am learning that while I “think” I have the ability to control things, I really have no way of controlling circumstances. I’ve been praying through the Psalms and am amazed that in the midst of the complete crazy that surrounds my life right now, the good God is bringing to my mind and heart is a peace. When I recognize I can’t control life, I realize I never had to try to control it in the first place. I will pray for you peace and healing as you walk this road whenever the Lord brings you to my mind.

    Blessings,
    Megan

    • You are sharing like a woman who has gained much wisdom and peace on this difficult journey with your mother, Megan. I will pray for you and your mom as you travel this scary and dark road with her. I’m grateful for your words of encouragement to me and pray that, in turn, you will feel refreshed and encouraged as well, my friend!

  • Beth, what a beautiful point you’ve made here. It certainly causes me to look at my losses differently. They are indeed gains in the long run, aren’t they? The hard part is when we can’t see the gain this side of heaven. I want to trust God when that happens. Thank you for being inspiring even through the difficult journey. Hugs to you, my friend!

    • Yes, I so want to trust God when it seems things are being stripped away too, Becky. It’s so hard, but so easy once we let go. Why in the world we keep hanging on, I’ll never know! But I’m so grateful for your sweet words of encouragement here, my friend. Hugs right back at ya!

  • I think of you often during the day {and in the wee hours of night when sleep evades like it is this evening} and keep lifting you before the Father…for healing in every way needed. And those empty, hollow longings…those empty spaces in our lives…I think He allows them so that He can fill them with more of Himself as we press in harder to Him. Blessings of peace and healing with lots of love, my friend…

    • Yes, I agree, Sheila. I do think those are the times God wants us to press ever closer to His side. I’m trying desperately to do that, Sheila. And your continued prayers and constant words of encouragement are what is helping to make that easier, my friend!