For the past 12 years, pain has been a violent intruder in our family. It began with a torn piece of cartilage in my daughter’s left shoulder, but like a virus, it now infects every aspect of our lives. It exhausts us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Our prayers for healing and relief from the pain have ebbed and flowed through seven shoulder surgeries, each one more horrible than the previous. Hundreds of friends have joined us in prayer, encouraging us with their care and compassion. But the weight of prayers unanswered in meaningful ways compounds our pain. I read Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians and admit that I feel crushed, despairing, abandoned, and destroyed.
And in this moment, I feel precisely what millions of others feel throughout their lives: hopelessness.
For most of my life, pain and hopelessness have been theoretical, abstract problems faced by others. Even…
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