Tuesday, July 16, 2013

True Consolation

I only want to leave a post like my last one up for so long. I mean, it wasn't exactly an easy-breezy summer post about popsicles and fireflies and the slow and lovely rhythms of summer. 

It was about suffering. And suffering does not take its cues from seasons, trends, or the whims of a writer. Suffering comes when it comes; this I know.

But there's something else I know. Hope. Hope comes when she comes and we're good to grab on as if our life depends on it. Because, it kind of does. 

Like the sureness of the morning, Hope slid up next to me last Thursday, the very day I wrote about her absence. She showed up in the form of counsel and prayer and acceptance. 

And she brought along her favorite companion. Courage. They travel together often. So Hope and Courage, they sidled up next to me on a rainy Thursday and told me that I can do this, that I was meant for this road even though I've tried to say, Um, no thank you. May I have another?

There's a quiet strength that accompanies acceptance. And there's a subtle weariness that accompanies resistance. Ironic, isn't it?

I've done a bit of study and found that the words comfort and consolation in Scripture don't simply mean sympathy. That's a good thing. While sympathy certainly makes us feel better, it leaves us in the same place. 

A Greek word for comfort {parakaleo} actually implies strengthening. God's comfort doesn't just pacify our pain; it makes us strong. Similarly, the Latin word for comfort {fortis} can actually be translated as brave

I can't tell you how much I love the layered meanings of these words.

Though consolation found its way into my heart last week through several means of grace, it ultimately pointed me to the One who is both the person and the power of comfort: Christ

The power of the bravest of the brave--it resides in me.

The perfect love of the Savior of the world and the Savior of my rotten days and crazy stories--it's mine. 

Though the world {and my own psyche} can offer sympathy, self-help, and supposed solutions, it cannot offer me true consolation. 

I don't normally do this but today, it seems fitting to simply end with a prayer. It's for all of us.

Because of Christ, may Hope be more than "the thing with feathers that perches in your soul." May it be a furious wind that blows you away with the power of its pursuit. And may this Hope bring along Comfort so sweet and so strong, that you are empowered by its sacred courage to press on with purpose, grace, and fortitude. 
If you'd rather not walk the road you're walking, may God give you the grace for acceptance and the discipline of gratitude. If you're feeling blessed by the goodness of your life, receive the gifts, give thanks, and be generous. Whatever your story tells and whatever this day holds, know that the Father loves you with an everlasting love and an everlasting purpose. He's got you and He's got this and He is good. All the time, He is good. 


  1. I love your post and especially your prayer! What a beautiful woman, inside and out! I love that you are blogging, we all need hope and courage! It takes courage to share from your heart and frees the rest of us to live more authentically! I love how God works threw our hands, thank you for being willing to share yours! XOXO Stefanie Smith Birrer

  2. Growing up in church I often heard the sound of try harder, do more, instead of the proclamation of the good news of the gospel. It is finished! Christ did! I hear the sound of the gospel when I read your blog. I need it. I am so thankful, particularly, today, when I have been struggling with the loneliness of rural Texas and wanting to speed the story along....to what I think will equal contentment and happiness. Your words and friendship are a gift.
    "...it ultimately pointed me to the One who is both the person and the power of comfort: Christ." YES.

    Much love and grace!

  3. I love your blog and your transparency! Looking forward to meeting you next week at She Speaks!

  4. I'm just catching up here and I want you to know that I love you, friend. And I'm wondering how to make two hours pass like 15 minutes so that we could be closer? Because you are a treasure. I'm praying for this week. I can't wait to hear how God swoops His big hope up under your wings and draws lines around your dream.

  5. Love the new look! Fun! Great post too. I'm sitting in bed wishing I could do nothing today, but there is no milk, errands to run and a shower to take. ER visit last night with Joshua during football practice. Thought maybe he dislocated his shoulder but he didn't and no broken bones. Just a bad sprain. Of course the hubster is out of town (as seems to always happen) in Puerto Rico (no less)!!
    I need a mommy vacation!
    Love you girl!


Share your thoughts?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin