faith that says it’s ok

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Yesterday, two coworkers (friends, really) and I ditched the office for a long sushi lunch. Because my friends are lovely and loving people, they asked for details about Brad’s current treatment. I shared the details and they were both stricken and upset.

I found myself saying over and over again, “It’s OK. It’s not OK, but really, it’s OK.” And now I’m second guessing my response. Is that fake? It’s true in that it neatly summarizes the big picture—we have faith that all this is for something and means something and that even if Brad isn’t cured tomorrow, something valuable is happening in our lives and this world because of this experience, so it’s OK. But we also struggle with how to navigate our day-to-day life, we sometimes feel resentment or jealousy, often we wonder why this pain has to saturate every single part of our life and our marriage and our friendships, we wonder if we’ll get to have kids or if Brad will ever work full time again. We wonder if I can ever get the bandwidth to write the way I want or energy to do anything but exactly what we’re doing now—so that’s not OK. But the first one overrides the second most of the time, so it’s OK.

But that feels so unsatisfying as an answer. I want people to understand that having faith doesn’t mean you paint everything over with happy paint. It means there is suffering and hurt and sorrow, but there’s hope. I’m just not sure how to say that while praying my California roll makes it gracefully from the chopsticks to my  mouth.

photo: a marina on a trail near our apartment. 




  1. shanna mallon

    Yes. I get this. I know this. I see this in you. You are ever encouraging me and pushing me to the light. I am so wildly thankful I know you.

  2. Madison

    Oh I love this so much. I remember when we went out for lunch in Des Moines and Joe was struggling with anxiety and our lives were just overtaken with it in the day to day. There was no other response than to say that what we were going through was “OK” even if there were so many times when it wasn’t okay. And now, as we face uncertainty with our family and growing it and this pregnancy, I think about what would happen if we miscarried for a third time, and the only response I really have is “It’s going to be OK.” Even if I’m not sure what that really means. Much love to you from Minnesota.

  3. joannalinberg

    @Madison Yes! I remember that lunch, too, and how we both wished there was a more eloquent way to describe the complicated faith that lands on “OK.” Your walk right now is reminding me how able our God is. Thank you for that.

  4. Andrea

    Been thinking of you and Brad lately and wondering how you were. We will keep praying! Miss you and wish we could have a reading lunch date in the garden. Those were the days!


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