One Thing To Know in the Struggle

{Image: chatcameraman / 123RF Stock Photo}

{Image: chatcameraman / 123RF Stock Photo}

Forrest Gump said it best: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” Turns out chocolates may not be my first choice anymore.

It’s three days since I got home from the Allume conference and I haven’t really *been* home yet. Awoke late Monday night with an extreme allergic reaction to nobody-can-figure-out what. One doc says it’s peanuts, another thinks it’s dairy. Another thought it was a medication. Nobody really has a clue. The only thing they agree on is I don’t get to eat.

(I guess that’s one way to lose pounds I gained eating goat cheese grits, sweet tea and all the rest of the southern deliciousness at Allume!)

Now I’m sitting in a hospital bed, wishing I’d not unpacked my toiletries from the trip so uncharacteristically early, getting cute pics from my family about how they’re still missing their mom, and listening to a precious struggling gal next to me as she sleeps.

As a person who’s writing her next book on surrender (oh yes, I really did accept that recommendation from my agent. No, I wasn’t thinking how God and life would put me in surrender-ful places so I can be an eye witness…) I’m sitting here with God, wondering what the lesson is.

Because there’s always a lesson, right?

(Ten minutes later…) Yeah. I’m still stumped on that one.

Unless the lesson is to *not* find a lesson.

What if it’s to keep standing still and seeing the salvation of the Lord?

It’s not as fun as a conference, “standing” with an IV, an unknown assailant messing with my body, and a growling stomach. But maybe it could be a place where I see God in ways I couldn’t see otherwise.

Maybe this inconvenience is a fresh place from which to practice the art of being present. {Tweet This}

Maybe it’s a moment like one that Mary had with Jesus:

There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her. –Luke 10:42, NLT

Maybe that’s the point today. To know and do just one thing… the one thing that matters in this moment. To simply be here, listen, feel, breathe. To notice but be unconsumed by each uncomfortable sensation, each worry over what caused this, how we’ll cover the hospital bills, what behaviors my prolonged absence may elicit from our adopted girls.

And, if I’m totally honest, to acknowledge my fear that this stress will discourage my husband from taking charge of his limitations and engaging the family in situations that frequently trigger retreat.

Lord, it’s beyond hard to chase after that one thing. I have no idea how Mary did it. I don’t want to let go. I don’t want to be the needy one. I don’t know how to do this. Please show me what it is to surrender in this moment—to surrender to …better. To the abundant life you promise us, your people. To your very best for me and my family in this situation. Show me what Mary knew in that moment with you, and help me focus on that one thing.

What is life asking you to surrender to today? If there was one thing you could know and trust in right now, what might that be?


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  1. says

    Saying yes to teaching on some truth is always an invitation to learning the truth firsthand. Sometimes (okay almost always) that proves miserably hard. Eager to hear you are safe again at home

  2. Jennifer Hallmark says

    What’s God asking for? Nothing short of everything. Hope you continue to mend…

  3. Sheri says

    Laurie, thank you for your honesty in sharing your struggles. Although it is sad you have to go through this struggle, I have to say am glad the Lord directed me a couple of weeks ago to sign up to receive your blog as I needed what you shared today. I have been trying to learn what it means to be present. Please know that your post and your struggles have touched me in a positive way. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you!

    • says

      So glad you are here, Sheri. And to know that God is at work in all the ups and downs shared here. Praying He would breathe into you the strength to be present today. <3

  4. mammabear says

    I’m sorry you had to end your lovely Allume experience with this not so lovely one. I haven’t read all of the comments so someone much more eloquent than I may have said it: Isn’t this the meaning of faith? Not knowing what an experience means or has to teach us or even has a good side at all? Surrendering to a sovereign God whose ways are not like ours. Whose thoughts are unfathomable but we hitch our wagon to him anyway because we trust where he takes us. Get well quickly!
    Laurie M

    • says

      I definitely see faith playing into this. And God’s using it to show me how dedicated hubby is now. So incredibly blessed and thankful for how he’s jumped in and taken care of the kids. God’s moving in all this!

  5. Sylvia says

    First let me say that I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’ll be praying. With that said, I feel like I’ve spent most of my life surrendering to the circumstances surrounding me! If my lesson was to learn how to let go then I’m sure I’ve learned it by now! Is there always a lesson to learn in every negative situation thrown at us? I’m not so sure about that!

    • says

      Oh, how I hear you, Sylvia. I’ve surrendered most of my life, to the point that I felt like God’s love wasn’t ever fun. It was like eating my vegetables… I didn’t like or enjoy it, but I knew it was good for me. That whole “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” idea has been God’s way of getting me to stop surrendering as I’ve defined it—to stop resigning myself to getting leftovers in life and start holding still and surrendering to His goodness and joy for me. Sounds like maybe God has something better for you in this too. <3

  6. says

    Always trying to find the lesson. Oh how I relate to that, friend. And yet, it seems, in not finding it–you did. While I don’t specifically have an answer to your closing questions, I have ideas. I’ll continue to ponder it.

    In the words of Rich Mullins “Surender don’t come natural to me. I’d rather fight you for something I don’t really want than take what you give that I need.” I’m guilty. Yet the only way I seem to find peace is in release. It seems more like a tug-of-war most days until something monumental breaks my grip. When will I learn?

    Anyway, I’m praying for you. I’ve had Stevens Johnson Syndrome twice. Its the mother of all allergic reactions. While they never discovered the culprit NSAIDS were suspected. Those days of waiting for my blistered corneas to heal put many things into perspective.

    Sounds like being fully present is your assignment in this moment. He is God. May His power and provision manifest in your life and family in big ways as you stand still.

    Hugs and prayers!

    • says

      This: “I’ve begun to search for hidden blessings. Maybe not invisible just overlooked during tough times. It almost seems that it is more spiritually productive…” Totally agree. And it does reveal more of God’s daddy heart for us than the lesson vantage point. Looking for the gems…