Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.2 Corinthians 1:3-5
It’s often our pain and suffering that threads our hearts together. So, when Leanna Sain asked if she could write a guest post about her new novel, Hush, I couldn’t say no because both our moms fought the same devastating disease, Alzheimer’s. One of the characters in her newly released book battles the illness, and a portion of Leanna’s book sales will go to research against the disease.
Please welcome Leanna and be encouraged by her mother’s words that God makes NO mistakes. (There’s a Bite of Bread reading plan at the end.)
Listen for God’s Voice in Our Suffering, by Leanna Sain
We’d finished eating supper and Mama was chattering—mostly nonsensical stuff, a bunch of random words tossed together that didn’t make any sense. But in the midst of all that gibberish, she kept repeating something that did. As clear as day she’d say, “Our God makes NO mistakes.”
She repeated the same words fifty times or more always emphasizing “NO.” It was bizarre, and it made me mad. I thought, Yeah, right. This monster disease, Alzheimer’s, is stealing everything that makes you, YOU, and it isn’t a mistake?
“Our God makes NO mistakes.” The words rang out again.
Why Does God Allow Pain and Disease?
But this has to be a mistake. Why would God allow this in our family? Why would God put my Daddy through this? Watching the woman he’s loved for 60 years turn into a child? Aging him more than time ever could?
“Our God makes NO mistakes…”
The words echoed down the corridors of my mind, over and over. I didn’t really want to hear them.
Then suddenly, it’s as if there was a click or ding in my head, the proverbial “light bulb” or “Aha” moment.
God spoke to me through Mama’s voice. He can do that, you know. He was reminding me that even when things feel hopeless, He is my hope, and He’s walking this journey with me, right through the valley that’s shadowed with death that David wrote about in Psalms 23:4.
God Doesn’t Cause the Suffering
He didn’t do this to Mama. It was the result of sin, just like every other bad thing that happens. Yes, He allowed it. No, I don’t know why, and I may never know. My job is to trust Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things—yes, even Alzheimer’s—God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God’s word is truth. I can rely on them.
In the midst of all the bad, God was with me. Deuteronomy 31:6 promised me: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.” Then, if I didn’t get the message with that verse, it’s repeated two verses later in verse 8: “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave your or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” I felt His presence even during the worst times.
Gifts of God in the Midst of Suffering
God regularly gave me reminders in the form of “gifts,” little nuggets of gold that I treasured. This promise that He made no mistakes was one of those nuggets.
Another nugget from God became my new novel, Hush. Writing this book has been therapy for me. It provided a way to work through the anger, pain, and confusion threatening to crush my spirit.
One of the characters battles Alzheimer’s, so I used some of the actual things Mama said and did in the story. It was a way to honor her memory. This book is also a way to help find a cure for this horrible disease. A portion of its sales goes to Alzheimer’s research.
Mama is healed now. There are no more Alzheimer’s spider webs mucking up her new, glorified brain. I look forward to the day meet her in Heaven. She’ll run down those streets of gold wearing a big smile, hug me, remember me, and we’ll shout together, “OUR GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES!”
Bite of Bread Reading Plan on Suffering (Printable)
Monday: Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Prompt: When my sister battled cancer, I could not feel God’s presence, but I clung to this truth. Every night, I’d tuck her into bed, kiss her forehead, and run outside to watch the sunset. That was the only place I could see God during that time. Where do you go to remember He is here? Go there today if you can.
Tuesday: Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Prompt: I think we often feel if we are going through a difficult time, we’re being punished and God isn’t with us. BUT this verse proves differently. Copy this verse on 3 index cards and place them strategically around your home. When you see them, claim this truth reading it out loud.
Wednesday: Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
Prompt: This verse is tough when you’re in the middle of suffering and sadness. Focus on the word “good” and ask God to help you trust His goodness. He is good no matter what. This truth freed me from the chains of grief. Write a prayer to trust His goodness.
Thursday: 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Prompt: Have you experienced a time when you were able to minister to someone because you understood what they were going though? Write a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God who used your former pain for something good.
Friday: 2 Corinthians 1: 5
For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
Prompt: The word “abound” can be translated as “overflows.” Our comfort “overflows” because of Christ. How can you apply this to your life? When has your hope in Christ comforted you in suffering?
About the Author
Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina before moving back to the NC mountains. She calls Miracle Hill Farm home, but she lives mostly in her imagination. Her Southern suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method that successfully rolls elements of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon all together, making it her own. She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her visit: www.LeannaSain.com
Hush – by Leanna Sain
Lacey Campbell’s life is full, but not idyllic. As head chef for a chic restaurant and primary caregiver to a mother with Alzheimer’s, she doesn’t have time for a nightmare of a young woman strangled while her killer sings the words from the lullaby, “Hush, Little Baby.”
At first she tries to deny the dream. But the next day, she discovers it’s a disturbing reality. When she dreams the second heinous murder she knows it’s time to tell the police.
Detective Ford Jamison is called back to the little coastal town to help with the case and soon notices an alarming trend: the killer is using the lullaby as a “blueprint” to target women who resemble Lacey. This doesn’t slow the killings and now Lacey is afraid to fall asleep at night because the next face she sees in her dream might be her own.
As a hurricane churns ever closer to the little coastal town, danger and suspicion spin out of control. Time is running out. Can they stop the killer before the last verse of the lullaby?
Website and blog: http://leannasain.com
Break During the Holiday
The blog will continue, but I felt a nudge by Holy Spirit to take a break from our Wednesday Night Facebook Live Studies. Stay tuned for the next teachings and an announcement about the New Year and the next chapter of The Bite of Bread lessons. I pray you have a God-Filled, Hope Overflowing, Joy down deep week.