Coffee in Carmel on our first post-Covid outing 🙂

I’ve started several follow-up posts after the piano video, but this is the first I’ve finished. It’s difficult to know where to begin, since taking a blogging break was one of the hardest things I’ve done after I started writing in 2017. My message has been the same for the four years: Life isn’t about what happens to you, it’s about what you do with it. God’s given me a unique perspective on this topic, although it’s not the kind of perspective I would volunteer for. Nevertheless, He’s sustained me and my family through a difficult recovery, and given us vibrant lives after some of my limitations became permanent. 

This past March, I made the mistake of thinking Ivan and I had “arrived.” I knew that purchasing an affordable condo in an expensive city was a gift from God, but something in my heart whispered that we’d earned it. After all, how many couples spend their first five years of marriage on a medical rollercoaster? But we quickly realized that our miracle condo with the perfect indoor lighting and beautiful neighborhood park came with a psychological hazard that was far more sinister than our old complex’s fluorescent lights and busy downtown streets. And this hazard sparked a downturn that I wasn’t mentally or emotionally strong enough to write through.

For the first time since my accident, I found myself asking “Why?”

Why couldn’t something go right, just this once? Why did I always lose what mattered most – first violin, now writing? Why was TBI finally taking its toll on me and Ivan after all these years? Why was I so alone?

Hopefully you can see those questions aren’t accurate. Everything about the actual condo was still “perfect” after Ivan and Dad took care of the neighbor situation. I hadn’t “lost” writing at all, I was just taking a break from the blog. Yes, my brain injury was taking a toll on us, but we were also getting help to manage the recent trauma. And even if no one else could completely grasp the severity of what I was experiencing, I was absolutely not alone.

The writer of Hebrews says Jesus faced all the same trials we do without surrendering to self-pity or bitterness. He completely understands our pain, and empowers us to persevere – if we’re humble enough to ask.

Over the past six weeks I’ve realized that the stories I present here are usually the “overcomer” stories that end with a smile or are tied with a bow. I still believe these are some of the most important stories because they illustrate how God uses all things for good. On the other hand, God uses all things for good – even the stories when I don’t feel or act like an overcomer. Moving forward, I hope to share more of both sides of our life so that you can fully grasp the scope of what He’s doing in and through our lives. As always, thank you for being a part of the Walking with Grace family!

13 thoughts on “Not Always the Overcomer

  1. First of all, Grace you look beautiful and I see a wonderful smile on your face. I’m sure there are times when the smile is not there but for this day you look very happy. I’m wondering, since you are in Carmel, how was the traveling for you? Are you able to travel without serious complications? I missed your writing but certainly understand taking a break. So good to see you are writing again. It sounds like living in the condo is much better. The Lord knows our every need every minute of the day. He cares for the birds and we know He cares for His children, in the good times and the difficult times because He loves us so much. Continuing to pray for you and Ivan.

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    1. Great question! Traveling is more and less complex depending on the day, but it’s something I’m hoping to do more this year. Definitely something I’ll be talking about in an upcoming post! Thanks as always for your encouragement. 🙂

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  2. I am saddened as to what has happened to y’all but am hoping and praying for a good outcome. You are strong and have the strength of Christ on your side. ❤️

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  3. BEAUTIFUL, although I am now curious about Ivan and your Dad’s visit to the neighbor. I have to let it go. But reading it made me smile! GOD continue to bless us all. Hallelujah!!!

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  4. Dear Grace,

    That idea must come from the Holy Spirit! Though it’s a completely different situation, it is the same Holy Spirit who led my college roommate to put her faith in Jesus. She didn’t do this because she saw a good example in me at the time, but she saw that God‘s forgiveness was real when I was asking Him for it over and over. It is the same Spirit of Jesus who still shows up in the daily, frustrating, not-figured-out-yet moments of life and says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Thank you, Grace, for being in tune with the Spirit of Jesus for our benefit!

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    1. That’s such an encouraging story – thanks for sharing! It’s truly amazing how and when God chooses to work through our lives. I really appreciate your encouragement!

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  5. Dearest Grace,
    You continue to bless me with your attitude and your walk with Jesus. Such a testimony. I can hardly wait till you get to the point that you can write your book. I think it will be a great encouragement to so many that are going to difficult times. I praise God for your spirit humble and faithful. Continuing to pray for you and Ivan 🙏🙏🙏

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  6. It’s good to hear from you again and know that the Lord has been working mightily in you and in Ivan during the past difficulties. May God continue to use you in your writing and continued studies. I think of James 1:2 where we are to “count it all joy when we encounter various trials knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience.” May you continue to seek God’s direction in each step your take. Praying for you.

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