Pain and suffering were never part of my five- or ten-year plan, but they somehow still managed to take root just as life seemed to be taking off.
A steadily growing career, beginning to find my place in a new city, adopting my first dog, traveling regularly, the start of a new relationship.
Life was good.
And then, the unexpected: at the age of twenty-five, I became one-in-a-million. The diagnosis of a rare disease proved that life could change in an instant—even amid the best-laid plans.
“This can’t be happening to me,” I thought. “I’m too young.”
Room for pain and suffering had no place in my life. (If only it were that simple, right?) As much as I wanted to fight against it—to push away the pain and get back to the life I once knew, I had to come to terms with my new normal.
The next few years of my life weren’t always pretty, and they certainly weren’t easy. But within the mess, I discovered:
We can experience beauty, even in sorrow.
We can find joy, even amid the pain.
We can give thanks, even when life feels unfair.
We can allow our fear to fuel a deeper faith.
We can lean into our weakness because it is there we find grace.
We can live fully in the present even as we pray and hope for a different tomorrow.
We can hold onto hope in the unexpected—knowing that God will meet us in that space.
We can walk toward healing as we engage in the lifelong work of finding wholeness in mind, body, and soul—no matter what life throws our way.
Pain and suffering will never be something we seek, but they can foster us on the path to becoming fully whole.
My story is messy, and I’m sure yours is too—but it’s in the mess that we encounter God.
As I’ve wrestled to find abundance through the unexpected turns I’ve faced in life, God’s provision has continually met me in my weakness, and with it, the grace I need to endure.
I want to help you find it too.
In John 10:10b ESV, we learn that Jesus came so that we may “have life and have it abundantly.”
Want to pursue an abundant life, together? There are a few ways to get started…
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Daily, Ongoing Encouragement
+ encouragement to hold onto hope in the unexpected
+ practical ways I am seeking God’s provision and grace
+ advice on leading a slow, simple, good life
+ ongoing notes as I heal from rare disease
Hi! I’m MaryBeth.
I walk through life’s ups and downs with these two–my husband, Caleb, and our dog, Alaska. We live in Indianapolis, IN where some of our favorite things include:
+ taking a bike ride or stroll on the Monon
+ grabbing a sweet treat from Renee’s Bakery or whipping up our own
+ hitting up our local farmers market on the weekend
+ exploring our beautiful parks and spending time in nature
+ finding new books at the library
+ tending our garden
+ sitting on our front porch swing with a glass of homemade sweet tea
Additional Ways to Connect
Shoot me an email at marybeth at marybetheiler dot com or contact me through this form.
Have a story to share? The Finding Abundance blog series grew out of the truth that the story we never expected to live may be the story that offers hope to someone else. Consider sharing your story here.