Amy Carroll » Investing Passionately » Beauty Below the Surface

Beauty Below the Surface

Sometimes suffering obscures beauty, but because God is sovereign, there is always beauty just below the surface.

In today’s devotion, I shared about a time I experienced great beauty in the midst of terrible pain. Watching my dear friend Linda die was one of the hardest things I’ve been through. She was young, a mother of little boys and married to the love of her life, who had already experienced quite a lot of tragedy in his life. Everything in me screamed, “This is not fair!” The circumstances of her rare and aggressive cancer obscured some of the lessons I was learning at the time. I was head-down preoccupied with her illness rather than face-up aware of what God was doing.

Sometimes it takes a little time to see the beauty in our painful circumstances, but it wasn’t long before God started revealing the beauty that had been just beneath the surface the whole time. Here are just a few beautiful things about Linda’s life:

  • She lived to the end with an open heart.–After Linda’s death, her husband brought me a book that helped me tremendously as I struggled to find God in the hard circumstances. The author cited a fact that made me pause and give thanks. In most cases, people who are suffering “circle the wagons.” They close their circle of family and friends and draw them near. That’s the norm, but it’s not how Linda and her husband lived. Although I didn’t meet Linda until after her diagnosis, I was welcomed into their loving circle with open arms as were many, many others. Linda and Don were so open that they became known and loved by a huge number of people during her illness. It seemed like our whole town was praying for her by the end. I watched as they taught us how to live in community even in painful times, and we could all see the blessing of their choice through the love and support they received in return.

 

  • She lived every minute fully.–One day toward the end of her life, Linda said to me, “Amy, everyone should be told when they have six months to live. It’s a gift.” Her unique and beautiful perspective came from her determination to live every minute intentionally. Linda was famous for her parties. On her oldest son’s birthday, she went all out. The yard was filled with people, the grill sizzled and the cutest caterpillar cake ever made by a mom wiggled across the table. I watched my friend closely as her energy faded and followed her into the kitchen. “Why don’t you take a few minutes and sit down,” I suggested. “You look so tired.” She turned to me with tears in her eyes and responded, “This may be the last birthday party I get to throw. I’m not going to miss a minute.” Her love for life shone brightly and was a testimony to all around her.

 

  • She always pointed to God’s goodness.–Linda presented me with a huge problem. I could never out encourage her! I would call thinking I was going to help cheer up her day after chemo or during side effects, and inevitably I would hang up the phone feeling blessed. She was well-known for saying to her friends, “No matter what happens to me, God is still good.” On her last Christmas, she had a special gift made for her close friends. It was a beautiful angel pendant crafted from gold, silver and pearls. The gift shouted what none of us could whisper. Linda’s life was drawing to a close, but she wanted to remind us that her eternal life was just beginning. At Christmas each year, I finger my precious pendant worn proudly on my jacket, remembering I have a joyful reunion with a special friend when it’s my turn to head to my eternal home and great reward.

If you’re suffering today, I want you to know you’re not alone and there is hope. I will pray for each prayer request if you’ll just leave it as a comment.

Also, I’m a resource junkie, so I want to offer you the names of a couple of books that ministered to me deeply as I grieved the loss of my friend. Where Is God When It Hurts by Philip Yancey was the book Linda’s sweet husband shared with me. This book helped me wrestle through all the questions about God’s sovereignty and His goodness.  Another friend who had suffered the loss of her baby gave me A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser. It’s a very raw, real but hopeful look at grief written by a man who suffered a horrific loss. I highly recommend both of these if you’re suffering.

Thank you for visiting today, friends. My heart is full and my mind is overflowing with prayers as I finish this post. You are loved.

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81 Comments

  1. Please pray for my best friend of more than 30 yrs. Jill. Jill just lost her husband a few weeks ago after a 6 year battle with Cancer. Jill is an awesome, strong woman of God who loves the Lord with all her heart and soul. She and I have been friends since High School. I never had the privilege of meeting her husband but know he was a courageous man of God. I have had loss in my life but it just breaks my heart to see her suffering thru this tremendous loss. I pray for God to strengthen her and keep her close to his heart ! SHE is the one who encourages ME and her favorite words are: God is so good.. no matter what. I wait for the day when I can see her in person and give her a huge hug and tell her just how much she means to me. Thanks so much for praying!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Aimee, I prayed for Jill today for strength and comfort as she grieves. I’m also praying that she would trust God fully with the full power of her emotions, holding nothing back but laying each thing she feels at the foot of the cross. She’s blessed to have you as a faithful friend! ~Amy

  2. Hi Amy,

    thank you some much for the devotion my spirit is lifted by each and every word. if you can please pray for my mum her hips is paining her and she is due to start work after her holiday but she is unable to…she is our only source of provider though I could get a job but so far all I keep getting is rejection please do pray for my mum and if you can for my cousin and myself to go a job just to help out till my mum is on her feet.

    Thank you and may God continue to bless you.

    regards
    christin

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Thank you for the sweet encouragement, Christin.

      I prayed for healing for your mum and for jobs for you and your cousin. During the wait, I pray you experience God as your provided every day. Hugs, Amy

  3. Sonia M. Agosto says:

    Amy my mom Margarita has been in and out of hospitals for the past several ydars with fracturss and falls and now is suffering with ebd stage real disease, it’s been real hard for our family since we’re so close to her. but my sister abd I are weary and stressed about the whole situation. My prayer is that I can boldly talk to her about Christ would like to make sure she accepts him before she dies. Also that when she does die she does so peacefully snd not in.pain if it’s God’s will. Thanks for your blog it was encouraging to me. Sonia

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Sonia, I’m deeply sorry about your mom. I prayed for peace and comfort for her as well as for an open heart to hear about and receive Jesus. I’m praying for boldness and open doors for you to talk to her of Jesus’ great love for her and an eternal home that’s waiting. And sweet sister, I’m praying for strength and rest and peace for you and your sister during this difficult time. My heart goes out to the two of you. Much love, Amy

  4. Thank you for your blog and for all the prayers you are sending for all the people writing comments. I have lost both parents. Lost both my adopted parents and my bio parents and many others. I feel for all the loss here on your blog.
    I never had kids…and lost my last 2 dogs 5 days apart last year. They were my furbabies.
    I struggle with wanting to be here… It was interesting to read about the number of days God has for us. I started my walk back -with God in May. Please pray for me THANK YOU. BLESSINGS TO ALL.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Bonnie, first of all, WELCOME to the sisterhood! You are loved, and I’m so saddened to hear of all your loss. I’m praying that Jesus fills every space in your heart with His healing and comfort. I pray during lonely times that you are able to feel His very real presence, and I pray that you find a church where the people there can be the hands and feet of Jesus to you. Big hugs, Amy

  5. My husband has been on this journey of lung cancer since fall of 2011. We have been through some pretty rough times, but also times when we have lived life joyfully. Last summer, the entire family, our 4 kids, their spouses, and our 5 grandchildren were able to spend a week at the beach together. We had been taking beach vacations while they were growing up, so it was like going back home. Recently, he is having more difficulty with any strenuous activity, but he continues to plan trips and most days takes his circumstances pretty positively. Please pray that he is able to come to terms with God’s will for his life for whatever time remains and also for God’s grace and strength that I need as his caretaker. God is good all the time …all the time God is good! Thank you!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Mary, I prayed for strength for you and for peace as you watch your husband’s strength fade. I prayed for peace for your husband and even an anticipation of heaven. I’m so inspired by your joyful life in the midst of this hard trial. Much love, Amy

  6. This post touched my heart that it made me cry! Thanks for sharing hope. Love you Amy and your beautiful words.

  7. Glenda Campbell says:

    As I read your devotional this morning tears came easily as they usually do these days. My very dearest friend Glenda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just over a year ago. She suffered through six months of chem and surgery and had a3 month period of wellness. But the cancer began to grow again. After another 4 months of chemo the diagnosis is terminal. She suffers greatly as she cannot eat very much and her strength is spent and her body ravished. Our hope is not in this life and I am so thankful that eternity with her Savior awaits her. It is very painful to watch her waste away but not nearly as awful as what she faces… the hardest thing any of us will have to do.I am so sad that she will be gone. There will be no one to replace her or the relationship we have enjoyed. I am so thankful that the Lord has allowed us to share life together. But the pain in my heart is very great. Thank you for your devotional today. The Lord knew I needed to read just that.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Glenda, I prayed for you and your friend today. I’m praying God will be very close to you both as you treasure each day until the end. Hugs, Amy

      1. Glenda Campbell says:

        Thank you for your care and prayers

  8. Amy, would you please pray for my friend Shelley and her mom Shirley? They recently lost their beloved sister and daughter after a 20 year battle with leukemia and the side effects of her treatments. Thank you!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Mary, I prayed for God’s comfort and grace as they grieve. I’m praying they cling to Jesus and each other during this hard time. Hugs, Amy

  9. Amy thanks for the devotion, I read it one day after, wondering in the night if God will use the pain in my body for something good. I have had pain for 2 years now, had surgery in my lower abdomen last year. I felt relief for a short time and now it’s back and more excruciating. Could you please pray that the pain goes away, for God’s peace in these times of confusion. Thank you.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      D, from an experience with a loved one, I know how devastating chronic pain can be. I prayed for relief of your pain as well as Divine spiritual and emotional strength for you. Also, prayed wisdom and insight for your doctors. Hope you’re better soon! Much love, Amy

  10. anonymous says:

    I’m sorry if this sounds insensitive to those who’ve lost loved ones, but I’m not afraid of going home. I’m just afraid of trying to and not succeeding. Will you pray I can find a way?

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Although I don’t know your name, God knows you intimately–the number of hairs on your head and the number of days He create for you. You are precious to me and deeply loved by God, your creator. I’ve been out with my family most of the day, but I just read your email. I am going to send it to our Proverbs 31 team, so we’re all praying for you. I’ve been praying for a spark of hope to flicker in your heart and for faith to believe every moment of your life means something to God.

      At the end of my friend Linda’s life, it was excruciating to watch her suffer. After visiting her at the hospital one day, I went home and cried out to God to let her die. Afterall, I knew she would be going to be with Him, so I didn’t think it was wrong to pray that prayer. God gently reminded me that HE numbered Linda’s days, and He assured me that even though all I could see was pain, every minute of her life was precious to Him and had purpose in Him. He asked me to pray that I would trust Him–even through Linda’s last days and hours.

      As you look at your life right now, you may only see pain, but I promise God has a purpose for you. Each breath you take is precious to Him, because you’re His creation and child. I’m praying now that you’ll put your life time–every minute, hour and day–into the hands of God who is faithful and trustworthy.

      You are loved. I’m heading to bed as soon as I send the email to our team, but I’m continuing to pray. I would love to hear from you in the morning. You are not alone through the night–Jesus is with you, and my heart is there too. Much love, Amy

  11. Amy please pray for my 28 year old daughter Leanne who has stage 4 breast cancer. We just found out on Thursday that it has spread to her liver. She loves Jesus and feels In her heart that God promised to heal her. She has a husband and a 2 year old son. She has a strong faith and shares it with everyone. This cancer journey began while she was pregnant with her son. Chemo while pregnant, born at 32 weeks, 3# 9 oz and perfectly healthy today. We are Trusting God each day.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Oh, Fran…I’m truly sorry. I can’t imagine your pain watching Leanne and her family go through this. I prayed for her healing for Divine peace and comfort and for the body of Christ around you to truly be the hands and feet of Jesus. My heart is with you, Amy

  12. anonymous says:

    What do people who feel suicidal want?
    Someone to listen. Someone who will take time to really listen to them. Someone who won’t judge, or give advice or opinions, but will give their undivided attention.
    Someone to trust. Someone who will respect them and won’t try to take charge. Someone who will treat everything in complete confidence.
    Someone to care. Someone who will make
    Good advice for those who are suicidal but also just for those struggling through murky waters.

  13. I read Proverbs 31 today and hit home for me. I decided to read your blog and I’m glad I did. Thank you for the titles of the books, I think that’s just what I need. We just lost our son to cancer a week before Christmas. He had a 2 year struggle with it, but now he’s with the Lord and not in pain. Thank you so much for your wonderful devotional site. There are blessings that come out of this. My son gave sight to 2 people with the donation of his corneas. He was loving giving son. Thank you again.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Ruth, thank you so much for sharing about your son. I prayed for God’s comfort to surround you during this time of grieving. I have two sons, so my mother heart joins instantly with yours. Much love, Amy

  14. Amy,
    Thank you for your encouraging words, sharing the story of your friend, and your promise to pray. I am asking that you pray for my son who is addicted to heroin. He recently developed an eye infection that has caused his right eye to become almost blind. He is currently being treated for this, but we do not know the outcome yet. He is 22. The addiction has taken over and left him hopeless for the future. Please pray for his healing, and most of all his relationship to God. Thank you.
    Kathy

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Kathy, I just prayed for your precious son. I prayed for freedom from addiction and an overwhelming passion for God. I also prayed for wisdom for you as you walk this difficult road. Much love, Amy

      1. Amy, thank you so very much for your prayers for my son and for me too. This means a lot to me and I believe that God has heard your prayer. God bless you and your famiy.

  15. Please pray for my son and daughter. Their father died six months ago. He was Bi -polar and would not take his medication. The children and I endured a lot of abuse(10 years) before I finally realized that I could not save the marriage by myself. When we divorced, he divorced the children as well. My daughter had prayed since she was 12 years old for her father to be healed. She is 36 years old now. She had prayed that they could have some kind of relationship again. She had not seen him in 12 years when he died this past July. He was homeless and was found dead in a motel. She is having a hard time. She said as long as he was alive she had hope that her prays would be answered. Now that hope is gone. My son says that he is doing okay but I know that he is hurting too.My daughter and I are seeing a Christian Counselor. My son attended one session but says that he does not need it. I blame myself for not getting the children out sooner. I did not want to divorce and I believed he would get better and we could still be a family. We have been affected by this mental illness for 23 years. Now that he is gone the pain still remains. Please pray that we can began to find healing and start to live the life that God has planned for us.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Pat, my heart joins with yours with prayers of healing for your family. I prayed that your story would be one of God’s redeeming power that will help others who also love people with mental illness. I prayed that the pain will diminish and that joy would increase in your family as God works. I believe God will bless the years you honored your marriage with years of redemption. Blessings, Amy

      1. Thank you for your prayers.

  16. Please pray for my son who is going through some difficult legal issues. He is taking responsibility for his actions, but needs to get by one more hurdle. So, please ask God to give him the best outcome that He possibly can and to wrap him up with His love.

  17. Please take a moment to pray for my dad, Tim, as he battles stage 4 esophageal cancer. Pray the family embraces God at this time and we enjoy the journey while he is still able. My mom needs strength, faith, and patience as well. Thanks and God bless you!

  18. Lynn Layton says:

    Please pray for my friend Cindy, lost her mom a couple of days before Christmas and her father a week ago. She is having a very hard time coming to grips with all that has happened in the past month, but trusting God. Thanks

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Oh, Lynn…I can’t imagine her pain. I prayed Cindy would feel Jesus’ closeness and that the beautiful memories of her parents would be a balm as she grieves.

  19. Today, your P31 devotion and blog post really hit home for me as I grieve the loss of my marriage, job and financial security. The only sure thing is my precious Lord and Savior Jesus. He has been teaching me to trust Him in EVERYTHING, despite my circumstances. Be encouraged everyone, as our suffering is for just a short time. I know that when it rains, it tends to pour…but do NOT lose hope or despair. For weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning! Please pray for me and my 3 children as we find our way (while God makes the crooked path straight) and stand against the wiles of the devil. I now know that there is purpose for the pain. To God be the glory forever, Amen!

    ♡Zakiya

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Zakiya, I prayed that during this time of vulnerability the body of Christ would come around you and be Jesus’ hands and feet like never before. I’m praying for others to encourage the woman (YOU!) who has such a heart to encourage and build faith in others. Hugs to you, precious sister.

    2. Stephanie S. says:

      1Peter 5:10
      And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast to him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

  20. Christy Geyer says:

    Please pray for my brother and his wife Lisa. She has late stage cancer of the appendix. They do not know the Lord enough to lean on him and are struggling.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Christy, I prayed for you to have open doors to speak of the gentleness and compassion of Jesus for the broken hearted. I prayed for your brother and Lisa to know the peace and grace of Jesus in these days of grief–that they’d draw near to Him and experience all that He is. He is the Redeemer who turns these imperfect, painful stories into something beautiful.

  21. I lost my mom just this last july to cancer, I already have lost my dad, grabdparents , aunt, uncle. I feel lost and dont know what to do anymore. I have faith and love . I just am not old enough to lose my mom. My kids need their grandma and I need my mom. I miss and love her so much. Please pray for my mom. I would give anything to have her back.

    1. God will supply your every need and provide a loving mother and grandmother. Trust that He knows your longing and heart’s desire. Jesus has been my mother, father, husband and friend. The comfort and support He provides can’t be compared or measured. Lean on Him and watch Him work it out! Thank Him in advance!!!

      1. Amy Carroll says:

        Thank you for pouring out encouragement, Zakiya!

    2. Amy Carroll says:

      Angie, tears filled my eyes as I read your comment. I’m close to my mom too, and I felt a little of your pain when I thought about losing her. I prayed for your heavenly Father to put you into His lap, draw you close and wrap His arms around you–that His presence and love would be very real. I also prayed that your Jesus-loving friends would love you tenderly during this time of grief. Much love, Amy

  22. My marriage is in big trouble, please pray. For now, we are married yet the marriage is only in name only-my husband and I have no relationship beyond fact we are in same house and have two children together-been married 8 yrs.Things aren’t good please pray hard. All I know to do is pray, ask God to search me and change me so I am right before God and then ask God to ease my loneliness and give me supernatural strength to go on each day living in this non marriage-oh my heart aches and i cry out wondering, if this will pass … If ever on this earth…sorrow abounds on earth…

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      L, I prayed that God would go beyond restoring your marriage by making it something brand new–better than it ever was. Don’t give up hope, sweet sister. I can personally attest to miracles I’ve seen done in marriages. Sometimes they take time, though, so persevere. Also, my family has used a Christian counselor in a few hard circumstances, and I highly recommend counseling. Even if your husband won’t go, I pray for you to find the perfect counselor to help you to a more peaceful place. Hugs, Amy

  23. Need prayers for my marriage. Found out Jan. 1st that my husband has been having an affair for 2 yrs. My steps are in murky water, where many times my steps are unstable. I long for the water to be crystal clear instead of the heavy mud Im treading in. If anyone is out there, please pray for me. Im so all alone.
    .

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Lynn, I’m standing with you in prayer this morning, and I’m praying that knowledge eases your loneliness. I’m praying for you to feel God’s closeness and compassion during this time of incredible heartbreak. I’m praying for wisdom for you and discernment about the right steps to take. More than anything, I’m praying you are given a deep sense of your preciousness to God. You are not unworthy. You are so loved that He’s made you His very own daughter. Much love, Amy

    2. Dearest Lynne, please know you are NEVER alone. Our Jesus has endured every burden on the cross, so He knows how you feel and what you’re going through. Talk to Him. I know the despair, disappointment, anger, frustration and hurt when betrayal and adultery occur. Beloved do know that the road isn’t easy, but it is possible to come out whole, restored and victorious!!! Pray, read and fast even when you don’t feel like it. Just press through and God will show up and honor your faithfulness and obedience. Jesus is a just God who will do what He says. He has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11)! Trust and believe (Proverbs 3:1-8)! Please read and study Psalm 37 to comfort your mind, heart and soul sister!

      Christ’s love,

      Zakiya

  24. Katie White says:

    Thank you, ever so much, for your devotion. I absolutely know that our incredible God has a plan; and no, we can’t see the whole picture. Our family of six has been fighting through six diagnosis’ of leukemia with our oldest daughter, for almost ten years; starting when she was only four. I pray that the Lord will heal her with an undeniable miracle, and that she’ll shock people by saying she used to have cancer. I would certainly love any book recommendations about healings, if you knew of any. Thank you, and God bless you and your family!

    1. Katie White says:

      Most importantly, that I want to pass on our faith in God throughout all of our struggles. I’ve been told by nurses at her hospital, that our family sets such a positive example. But I wish it could be on a larger scale, so we could bring more people to Christ!

    2. Amy Carroll says:

      Katie, I prayed for you and your daughter this morning. I have an adult friend who battled cancer as a child and was in an add for the Ronald McDonald House. She loves to tell that story, and I prayed the same for your daughter. I can tell your family is bringing great glory to God wherever you go, and in the eternal perspective, even one change life is priceless. Hugs to you as you mother your amazing daughter.

  25. Please pray for my boyfriends 4 year old daughter to be healed completely. She is having a surgery next week and may still need future surgeries. Also, I am having a hard time making a decision about my future with my boyfriend as this week I learned something he has done that is very emotionally painful and hurtful to me. I love him and his daughter very much but I’m not sure if I can move past it. Please pray that I follow God’s will for my life. Thank you.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Rubi, I prayed for your boyfriend’s daughter’s healing. I felt God wanting me to assure you that He sees her and holds her safely in His tender hands.I prayed for wisdom for you as you decide about your relationship. You are precious to God, His treasure, so make your decision in that knowledge, sweet sister. Hugs, Amy

  26. I was so blessed by your devotion. I have let fear of the unknown infiltrate every aspect of my life. BUT this year with prayer and God’s help I plan to take back my peace and joy.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I’m standing with you and prayed for God to give you strength to walk out that decision. Your comment brought me great joy! Much love,
      Amy

  27. Thank-you for your prayers…Please pary that Leona gets relief from her constant pain since Sept. and my brothers upcoming knee surgery, and the birth of a healthy baby for my niece and her husband who have pray so long for this precious baby.
    God Bless!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Fran, I prayed for Leona, your brother and your niece’s family. They are so blessed to have someone like you who loves them!

  28. Please pray for Allyson, a young mother if 3 little boys whose story reminds me of your friends. She has battled cancer for several years and was just told hospice is the next step, with 6 months or less to live. I’ve never met her ( her mom goes to my sister’s church), but have followed her blog which has blessed me in so many ways thru her unshakable faith! http://www.3littlecowboys.blogspot.com

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Traci, I just prayed for Allyson and visited her blog. Tears streamed down my face as I read her post, because she reminds me so much of Linda. It’s painful when these stories don’t end the way we hoped. It’s hard when healing is in the form of heaven instead of in the physical. And yet we cling to God our Redeemer who makes all things beautiful.

  29. We have had numerous deaths in our family in the past 6 months. My ex mother-in-law – who was like my 2nd mother and my 9 1/2 month old nephew’s death have been the hardest on my 16 year old son. I have found so many ways God produced blessings through my nephew in the few short months he was here with us, and even after his death he is leading people to do for others and follow God’s word! Please pray for my family as we teach our children that death is not a reason to lash out against religion and to help them find peace during their grief. Thank you for the book suggestions- the sound fitting for our current situation.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Shannon, I prayed for your family. Losing a child has to be one of the hardest losses. I prayed for you to feel God’s compassion and you grieve and for wisdom to shepherd your children through this. Hugs, Amy

  30. Kerri Schuerman says:

    I have a friend who married late in life, he has two young boys who I think are under 10. When I began my job 18 yr. ago I met him and we became friends and I know his wife, but not well. I haven’t seen him recently but he was diagnosed with brain cancer. It seems so unreal. Please pray for his young family and healing for him. It doesn’t sound good, but I pray it is God’s will for my friend to be healed. I don’t know if the family knows God or not, but I pray for him regardless. Thank you for your time and this post. God bless you.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Kerri, I prayed for healing for your friend and for God’s presence to be felt keenly by his family. Much love, Amy

  31. Please pray for my daughter and her husband. They are using drugs and have turned away from both of their families. Thank you.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Oh, Sherry…As a mom, I can’t imagine the pain you must feel. I prayed for your daughter and her husband to be freed from addiction to live the life they were created for. Much love, Amy

  32. Pamela =) says:

    What a beautiful, encouraging post. I love how God knows exactly what we need and when we need it!

    My niece’s husband committed suicide. They have a four month old together. Neither my niece, nor their friends, who are like their family, know the Lord. Would you please pray for all who loved my niece’s husband as well as for my niece and her daughter? Please pray that God would bring all of them to salvation-knowledge of Him. If you would please also pray that God would make something beautiful out of all of this, I would appreciate it. Thank you so much!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Pamela, I prayed for your niece and her daughter that Jesus would show Himself as Redeemer–that He would take these tragic and painful circumstances and lead her tenderly to see her need for Him. I’m also praying for you to experience open doors to speak of His love and grace. My heart is with you! ~Amy

  33. Please pray for my dear sister in Christ and her family, whose very young son took his life this past week. I am at a loss for words to comfort her. Thank you for the book suggestions. I hope to purchase and give these to her.

    1. Oh my sweet sister in Christ. Please let me encourage you. My very young son took his own life 22 years ago. What your friend needs more than anything is for you to be there, just be present. Let her talk if she feels like it, but do not feel pressure to carry a conversation. Do something practical that no one ever thinks of doing. Everything was overwhelming for me, and while friends brought food, etc., I ran out of space for it. One friend insisted on taking me to a park where we just walked a path in silence, but I felt the sun on my face and breathed fresh air. It was just what I needed.

      At one time, I recall wishing someone would scoop the litterbox, because my poor kitty was sorely neglected in that area. (She was my son’s cat and I grieved 17 years later when she finally died, too.)

      I highly recommend The Compassionate Friends, a support group for bereaved parents. I am now a facilitator in our local chapter. Also, being a resource gal myself, I recommend “Getting Out of Bed in the Morning” by Alice Wisler, who lost her 4-year-old son, Daniel after cancer treatment. It is written in a devotional format, and is easy to read.

      (((Hugs))) are always good, too. Your friend will always remember your presence during this most difficult time when many, many people shy away because they don’t know what to say or do. God bless you both!

      Diane

      1. Amy Carroll says:

        Thank you so much for sharing your hard-won wisdom, Diane!

      2. Thank you so very much for all of your suggestions at this most difficult time. I pray that I can be a support to her. I will pass on your suggestions of reading material and support groups. God Bless

    2. Amy Carroll says:

      Sally, our church family experienced the suicide of a 13-year-old boy who I babysat when he was younger, so I understand the devastation and deep grief that follows. I prayed for your friend and for her to feel God’s nearness and compassion during this time of terrible grief. I’m also praying for you as you offer the ministry of presence that’s even better than words. Hugs to you, Amy

      1. Thank you for prayers, support, suggestions and encouragement!

  34. Please pray for my mother in law Margaret. She has cancer of the oesophogus which has spread to her lymph nodes and she has a secondary tumour in her lung. She has been told that even with pallative chemotherapy she only has a year at very best. She feels that God has abandoned her. Please pray she will see God in this and spend her final months in His peace. x

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Margaret, I prayed for a perspective change for Margaret. I pray she begins to see heaven as a great reward at the end of suffering. Also, I pray she sees the beauty in each moment left and loves well the ones who love her. I also prayed for you to love well and for opportunities to gently point Margaret to Jesus. Much love, Amy

  35. I have been suffering with foot pain for quiet awhile now. I have had surgery but, still in pain. This has really got me down for I have just started a new career as a hair stylist (something I’ve always wanted to do ) and the standing for so long is just unbearable!!! Thanks & God Bless You

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Kim, I prayed for healing for your foot. I also prayed for just the right doctors and for knowing when to work and when to rest. Hugs to you as you pursue the dreams God put in your heart! ~Amy

  36. laura morris says:

    Please,pray for my sister Jeannie who is fighting infections from breast cancer surgery it has infected her intestines. Her family is by her side praying for her to fight this but she is very weak. Thank you for sending an encouraging word. God bless you for your time and prayers.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Laura, I prayed for Jeannie this morning. I prayed that God would pour healing into every cell of her body, clearing away infection and cancer. I prayed for strength for Jeannie and for peace and faith for your family as you battle in prayer. Much love to each of you, Amy