Let me introduce you to my friend, Holley. Holley Gerth is the best-selling author of several books, including You’re Going to Be Okay. She’s a God-sized dreamer, the wife of Mark, and a friend to YOU. Hang out with her on Twitter or Facebook.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ve invited friends from all over the blog-o-sphere to share their words in this space as we explore the mysteries of prayer during the Summer Bible Study.
by Holley Gerth
She says it and means well, “It’s going to be okay.”
And I think, “No, it’s not…but I am.”
It’s the paradox I’m learning to live with these days as my dear Grandpa Hollie faces illness and is getting ready for heaven at age 93. It doesn’t matter that I’ve written a book about being okay—it still hurts. And that’s the whole point.
Knowing we’re going to be okay isn’t insurance against the hardships of life. Instead it’s assurance that no matter what happens, we’re going to make it through.
That deep knowing comes not from our circumstances but from our Savior. And especially from knowing we’re loved.
I’m having trouble praying these days. I don’t have the energy or emotion to be long-winded. I pray the same way I breathe. A few words out. Enough love to keep me going for another moment in.
I simply say, “Help me, Jesus” or “I need you” or “I love you.”
Somehow that’s enough. Because the God who spoke the world into being can read between the lines. It’s immensely comforting to know I don’t have to explain what I’m feeling or thinking or hoping. He already knows even better than I do and he can remind me of what’s true no matter what happens.
I share this in You’re Going to Be Okay:
The labels stick to our hearts, covering our identities until we can’t see who we are anymore. We come to believe that our struggles and circumstances define us. But those are just descriptions, not determinations. Who you are doesn’t change based on the kind of day, week, or year you have. You are a daughter of God, a holy princess, a woman loved beyond all you can imagine. No matter what.
A friend going through a difficult time called me. As we talked, she kept repeating the same phrase: “I guess I’m just the girl who has this struggle.” I finally stopped her and said as gently as I could, “That’s where you’re at right now. It’s not who you are.”
You see, life’s obstacles are temporary. Who you are is eternal.
This is one way prayer heals us: it reminds us of who we are and whose we are.
It gives us security when everything else around us is falling apart. It’s not about the words you say or about getting it right. Instead prayer is about letting your heart be held by the One who loves you.
In your weakest, darkest, most broken moments…don’t be afraid to pray. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). There is no wrong way to say what’s in your heart. God is listening and he will hear not just what your lips are saying but what your soul is too. He is for you. He is with you. He will answer.
And you will be okay. Maybe not now…but someday.
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This week, we’re giving away THREE copies of You’re Going to Be Okay by Holley Gerth.
You’re Going to Be Okay is about thriving in life no matter what happens. It’s about how our hearts can deal with the dog messing up the rug and the devil messing up our lives. How we can face little irritations and life’s big tragedies and still do more than survive? How we can bounce back faster and fall down less? How we can spend more of our time living and less of our time regretting?
When the reader closes the last page of You’re Going to Be Okay, Holley hopes the reader pauses and whispers, “I really am going to be okay.” And that those are words she’s not just saying with her lips but with her heart.
To win, leave a comment on the original blog post at MargaretFeinberg.com. The three winners will be selected and announced on Friday.
Congratulations to the winners: LeeBird, Janet Pollard, Carole Mather