Day 9

Affliction and Healing

from the Mourning and Dancing reading plan

Mark 2:17, Mark 1:40-42, 2 Corinthians 12:5-10, Psalm 34:19, Psalm 147:3, Matthew 14:14, 1 Peter 2:24, 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

BY Guest Writer

Lifting the hammer up with both hands, I knocked the shelf loose from its fixed position. My screams had become muffled by the sobs caught in my throat, but through shallow breaths and clenched teeth, I made my complaints known and laid into Him.

I want my babies! Where are they? Why do You give them to me if You’re only going to take them away?

After our first miscarriage, I wept as I painted our bedroom walls, covering up the sunny yellow and replacing it with a controlled, subdued neutral. The linen closet received a welcome facelift and my wardrobe was purged, streamlined to a more manageable system for daily use. After years of unexplained infertility, I was told to be happy I’d gotten pregnant in the first place. Chin up, Buttercup. Let’s soldier on.

But this second miscarriage, four months later, was different. I felt utterly unhinged, untethered to anything. Forgotten. And so I drifted violently across the kitchen floor, from cabinet to cabinet and shelf to shelf, re-organizing and reordering, wielding a hammer and railing on my Maker.

Years passed, and I grew numb. Empty. And very sick, it turns out. I found myself in a neurologist’s office with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. What’s more, my doctor discovered an anomaly in my blood work. An autoimmune disease and now an antibody—the doctor believed that together, they’d caused me to miscarry.

He may have been right. Three months into being on my MS meds, and without trying, I became pregnant with identical twin girls. I laughed out loud as my obstetrician pointed out two fluttering heartbeats on the ultrasound. I laughed, and I promise you, I heard Him laugh too.

Pain, loss, and affliction—I know them well. We all do because they’re a promised byproduct of life here in a fallen world (John 16:33). They come tangled up with joy and abundance and blessing. I’ve tried to extricate the good from the seemingly bad, but to no avail. They’re a packaged deal.

So while my dream of having children has been realized, and then some, I still have multiple sclerosis. Now, being well enough to keep up with our girls the way I’d always imagined is a struggle, a deep shame I do battle with daily.

This is my Ebenezer: my affliction, healing, and blessing bound together in a monument to Him and for His glory (Genesis 35:14; 1 Samuel 7:3–12). It’s here that I’ve wrestled with my God and have come to know Him face to face. I cannot praise Him and thank Him for our girls without praising and thanking Him for my diagnosis of MS. Learning to do so will no doubt take a lifetime.

He’s chosen to weave great joy into deep sorrow. This forces me to wonder if my affliction and physical limitations are somehow God’s kindness to me (2 Corinthians 12:5–10)—constant reminders that my body, this temporal world, and everything in it are fading away. Meanwhile, the eternal wages on, refreshed and renewed, out in the open air and light of His presence. “Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Kara Gause is a content editor for She Reads Truth, happily residing with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.

Post Comments (147)

147 thoughts on "Affliction and Healing"

  1. Madison Luber says:

    I am rereading this and sobbing. Amidst this global pandemic and so much systemic injustice being brought to life (I being a non-Black woman of color), I have been dealing with the worst anxiety and depression I’ve ever had, gone through a breakup, felt cut-off from my support system (most of whom live across the country), had a death in the family, and realized my job is oppressive to me and others. Reading this gave me hope. It made me realize that though I felt like I had been falling deeper into a hole of despair, it was God with the thorn in my side to humble me. Though I had been focusing on the tragedies, manna was falling daily from the sky. I have never been in so much pain and for so long. And yet daily His mercies are new. This read was so timely. I would love your prayers.

  2. Abby Wagner says:

    my pastor’s son just lost his first child three weeks ago today. it is a horrible time of grieving for our church family. we are all heartbroken. but because of this heartache, i am able to see God’s love so clearly. he is so faithful even in the worst of times. and now, my pastor’s son and his wife will have an even greater capacity of love for their next child. they are clinging to God’s faithfulness. it is a horrible time of mourning, but a beautiful time of rejoicing. both at the same time. i praise God for his unfailing love.

  3. Tamara Doyle says:

    Just the other day I was telling a friend that I sensed the Lord prompting a perspective shift in me to see my past afflictions as His kindness and a sign of His love. So it’s only fitting that I’d read the same in today’s devotional. As someone who has also battled chronic illness, I’m thankful for how it’s shown me to wait in expectant hope for the day when all pain will cease, and in its place will be unending joy for being in the presence of Jesus eternally.

  4. Elisabeth Glunk says:


  5. Ellen Hull says:

    My dad died three years ago January 5, and my father-in-law was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer one week before Christmas. It’s been a rough few weeks, but I think this study has really helped me.

  6. Jessica Wyble says:

    It confronted to know that I’m not the only one to feel broken hearted when your prayers aren’t being answered with infidelity I read your comments and messages and it gives me hope that one day my prayers will be answered too Thanks for such a wonderful message will needed God Bless you all.

  7. Melissa Mcronney says:

    Praise God, this reading blessed me. Thank you

  8. M says:

    Well said, Kara. I am experiencing this dichotomy as well. I have genetic Alzheimers at 38, so as I prepare for the marriage of my oldest daughter, navigate the high school experience with my two autistic teens, and treasure the remaining baby-ness of my youngest, I can feel my disease wearing me down, and I am already mourning the eventual loss of all of these memories. Yet I can also see how God has shaped my life with this in mind, and how He has used this and other hardships to help me see my need for His strength amidst my frailty.

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