Hard Questions

I was using an unexpected burst of energy to shuffle things around in my garage, attempting to organize the means of the DIY adventures that call to me on my stronger days. I must have been deep in thought, because the abrupt swinging open of the thick wooden door to the house startled me. A tear-stained face appeared, begging companionship. “Can I please talk to you?” “Of course,” I replied, and took a seat on the striped padding of our wooden bench. I patted the seat beside me, and there was an eruption of sobs.

“I just really, really don’t want you to be sick. I don’t like it, and I would rather die so that you can live a happy life.”

I was caught off guard by the heaviness of the situation, and as the lament continued I silently prayed for the right words to comfort this tortured soul. How do you answer the questions for which there are no answers? I was reminded of my notebook full of gratitude; all the beautiful and miraculous that is found woven through the mundane ache of every day.

When the slew of bemoaning faded into hiccuping sobs, I spoke. “Oh sweetheart, I /am/ living a happy life. I love getting to be here and be a wife and a mom and a friend, and my sickness will never take that away for me.”

“But why doesn’t God heal you. He can! Why doesn’t he want that?”

Admittedly it is a question I have also asked from time to time, but I gave the answer that has been whispered to me on repeat as I have studied similar stories of suffering in the scriptures. What if my suffering is the way into a greater love for God and his people? I have found that the process of walking with him through these deep valleys is teaching me how to better love and care for others. Maybe if I was not sick I would not know how to do that.

Not that I have readily accepted the hardships in my life. Not by a long shot. I have had my own sob sessions, wrestling long and hard with God, desperately searching scripture and asking really hard questions. I have waded through grief deeper than I thought I could survive.

The truths I have come to know, and that I shared on that dusty bench in my garage is that whatever trial I am asked to walk through, God will give me the strength to take each step through it. And if a terminal illness is what presses me nearer to his heart and grows my own to love others in a way that I could not have imagined on my own, then that is what is good for me, as well as for those my life intersects with.

Who knows, God may still heal me, but only if healing pushes me further into him. Only if healing accomplishes eternally what terminal illness cannot. These days my prayers are less for the removal of my illness and more for a greater number of days to love God and love people. I continue to press forward and fight toward that end; especially for my husband and my little people.

In the cold quiet of our garage that night, I explained that my present suffering is only going to increase, not ending until my death. Every day I am pressed harder into the story of the gospel, which allows me to fully trust the God who has numbered my days (Job 14:5), and to embrace the future of hope he has planned for me (Jeremiah 29:11). As I thank him for each new day, I search with intention for ways to leave a legacy for my children that will urge them to press into their Father God in their pain; to trust him with their hurt, and believe in him for their future.

He will meet us there.

Sola Gratia~ by grace alone.

15 thoughts on “Hard Questions”

  1. Oh Hannah…my heart is aching as I read this…for you and your family…what an incredible answer you gave. BUT GOD is using even these hard and heart wrenching questions to draw us all closer to Him. He is still at work and is still writing your story…and He is using you and your illness far beyond your family. Watching you walk thru this suffering inspires anyone who is even remotely involved. Your amazing answers to the hard questions make me realize I still have so far to go in my walk with Jesus. Your trust and surrender and acceptance encourage me in my relationship with the Lord…and help me to know that whatever He allows, I will be ok and so will my family because He is with me and will never leave. Thanks for being so transparent and sharing your heart. Continuing to pray for you all. Sending hugs and much love 💕


    1. Cindy, I am so grateful that God uses these difficult things in my own life and the lives of others. That is the best thing I could possibly ask for. Thank you for being along for the journey; your love and encouragement are such a blessing to me.


  2. Tears, tears, tears, joy, faith, pain, trust, wow, courage, encouragement, fear, shame for my own complaining over any little thing I dislike. Can’t put words together rightly to respond to this post, but I feel it to the core of my being and am grateful to have a window into Hannah’s world. Every moment… Jesus.


    1. That’s just the thing…. Every moment Jesus… and you are one of the people that reminds me of this and points me to Him. Thank you for being part of my life, Lorrie.


  3. Hannah, you most definitely put things into prospective for me. I have days that truly get me down, but I have much to be grateful for, to include your sweet friendship. Your spirit lifts my soul and reminds me that we never have to go through a tough journey alone, that God is by our side……patiently waiting to be called upon. No matter what troubles us HE can carry us! Thank you for your honesty and sharing your raw emotions. I often wonder how I would handle things if I were in your situation. Your grace and faith is AMAZING. I admire you so much in so many ways! You are loved and a bright light to many!


  4. May the Lord Jesus continue to shine His light through your brokenness, Hannah. I suspect He is using you for things you cannot even imagine and I pray that the witness of your faith will be a legacy that the Lord uses to see all of your family through the gates of glory and into His arms.
    God bless you.


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