Monday, August 22, 2011

Big Enough and Soli Deo Gloria

Welcome to Soli Deo Gloria.  This is a place to share what is on your mind.  It is a place where vulnerability is accepted, where heart cries are honored, where struggles are heard.  It is a place where we are unconcerned with the quality of your words, but about the state of your heart.  We are a community of women that seek to encourage, support, love each other with our words.  There is laughter.  There are tears.  There is everything in between.  No matter where you are, who you are, where you have been, I want you to know that you are in the fold and that as you leave your link, you are prayed for.  Desire more information?  Please click here for the full scoop.  

This is a growing community (Thank you, Jesus!), so please don't feel that you have to visit every single person that links up.  We are all on a time budget.  That being said, I do invite you to pray and ask God which blogs to visit simply because there may be words for you left in that place or words that God has given you to share to those specific people.  And, while you are there, as you write in the comments of another's blog, would you offer up a prayer for them?  (If you would like to be on the email list for reminders and the occasional prayer request, please let me know in the comments.)
The  morning began with excitement, curiosity, and a dose of nervousness.  But we were doing good.  We were moving along.  It's the first day of school and Hannah was ready for kindergarten.

And then...

Putting on our backpacks, heading out the door, I hear her say softly:

I wish Grannie was here to see me go to Kindergarten.

And I wonder, did I let something slip?  Or does she just intrinsically feel my grief?  Or is she really just that bonded to the great-grandmother that held her close at every chance she had?

And we go to school and there are no tears, just a hand clasped tightly to her daddy's.  She puts on a brave face, finds her cubby, and sits down in her chair, ready to color the happy frog laid out on her desk.

I make it home, go for a run. I absorb the silence of the empty house upon my return, but I'm not as happy as I thought I would be.  There's a hole, an emptiness that I'm not yet certain how to fill.  I'm locked into this place of unknown identity and I find myself grasping at all things tangible just so I can hold it together.

As I sit outside with my bowl of cereal, my phone begins to ring and in the span of 30 minutes, my world is crashed by new waves of grief.  My friend's husband, who was a mere 49 years old, has died of a massive heart attack.  And, my other friend calls.  Her grandmother has just slipped into a coma and she knows the end is near.

It's almost so much that my heart swells with the enormity of their grief and of my own and I compile it with the state of our nation, the dryness of our land, and I cannot even cry because I'm just too
overwhelmed by it all.

Where are You?

I go to the bathroom in which I am about to start cleaning and there is the bracelet that I received only a week or so ago.  It's the bracelet that reads, "God is Big Enough."

And in that flesh, broken-down moment, I whisper,

Are You?

And I feel so guilty for questioning, but the reality of my thoughts just escaped.  And I suppose He would know them anyway, had I not said it out loud.  And it's just one of those things that in the moment, my fears and my heartache seem so big that I let them dwarf my faith.  I let them dwarf my God.

And I whisper, I'm sorry, but in the same breath, like a little child, I whisper...

Will You show me just how big You are?  I need desperately to see You, to feel You, because I am weak and You, yes You, are strong.

And my brokenness is all I have to offer today, my friends.  But it is a brokenness with hope that, yes, God is big enough.

Also linking with Shanda today...


  1. Oh Jen, these are trying times on so many levels. I hope you don't beat yourself up about asking the question your heart was thundering--it's an honest question and God loves an honest question (I learned that from David and Habakkuk and Athol Dickson)! You're in good company--God's people have been asking that question for thousands of years and God has always been there to answer with His BIGNESS intact and reaffirmed even in the midst of their questioning. Your question is actually evidence of your faith--if you didn't believe, you wouldn't have asked, you would have just decided without asking Him. Praying for you and your friends and your daughter and all your heart needs large and small. Your brokenness today is the kind that lets His light show through the cracks. Hugs to you sweet girl.

  2. Oh Jen,

    I love your honesty. I love that God is not scared by our questions, and I love that he indeed is big enough. May the Lord encourage your heart during these trying times.

    Good to be back here, sister!


  3. I posted something that I wrote last week. I hope that's okay. I had already written my post from today, and then I saw this post about Soli Deo Gloria and I had to join. It's still a heartbreak with which I struggle, this concept of being real and being able to pour my sorrows out to my blogging friends as well as to the King of Kings.

    Forgive me for using a week-old post. I just felt pulled to share. Life is oh, so hard. But our God is greater still.

  4. Sometimes life feels so heavy. I have a grandfather who passsed away a few years ago and often out of the blue something reminds me of him and the grief is overwhelming. Praying God feels even bigger in your life today.

  5. So beautiful and honest. God already knows your heart and I believe He wants you to feel so close to Him that you can ask those kinds of questions of Him. Pour out your heart to God and know that He really is big enough. I pray that you feel His Presence like never before.

  6. Oh Jen, I so pray God shows up for you in a huge way, that you see Him like never before. I pray that will be in your heart more than in any sign or wonder. It is ok to feel this way. You are still grieving and starting a new phase of life. And, I know Satan is always out to discourage us and make us doubt. Thank you for your honesty.

  7. Thanks so much for this beautiful, honest post. Some things in life are just hard. Period. God's not afraid of our doubts or questions, and like you said, He knows them whether we verbalize them or not. God bless you!

  8. Oh, Jen -- thinking similar thoughts today. He's big enough to write the fairy tale. You'll see what I mean when you visit. Today had to be hard for you. But you're right -- He's big enough.

  9. LOVE that these bracelets continue to bring hope and reassurance. God IS big enough, and I'm so proud of you!! God feels your heart's cry for Him to hold you near. Prayers for peace and comfort, sweet SIL.

  10. It is in the broken places, the hard to find God places of our life, that we often come to know just how very BIG our God is. Lifting you and each of these hurting hearts up in prayer...

  11. I know I have told you this before, Jen, but one of my favorite verses in Scripture is "I believe, help now my unbelief." It is such an honest prayer and how I often feel. I so believe God is enough AND I don't believe it, without His continued prayer. Your honest feelings . . . God is big enough for them, too.
    Thanks for sharing, Jen.


  12. I will echo many here - thanks for the honesty. We all wonder that sometimes, and I think God appreciates it when we just go ahead and say it out loud.

  13. I too have asked that question. Knowing in my mind He is bigger but my heart broken by the pain and sorrow....I ask. Later on I realize He is but in the brokenness I always ask. Praying for the brokenhearted...and you. <3

  14. Jen - I have oftenasked the same question, "Is God big enough?" Especially in times of distress or heartache (as is the case in hearing the news about our friend). But I know that God IS big enough - even when I doubt, He is there and nothing takes Him by surprise

    Thank you for your honesty in this post.


  15. In our brokenness, in our weakness...He promises to be Strength...He cannot deny Himself.

    For the new widow, for the grandaughter, for you, the friend who loves them...there is a pain so deep that only GOD can touch it...let Him.

  16. Oh dear heart ... So much pain and emptiness. This is raw and real, and even in the middle of the hurt, you point to our God, who indeed is big enough -- bigger than we know. May You feel Him near you tonight.

  17. not the monday i was thinking you would have today. not sure how to respond. i'm sad with you and want to know more.

  18. Hi Jen - I think God wants us to know we can trust Him with our doubts and fears. David did. He is much bigger than us in that He doesn't say 'how dare you not trust me?' - He just opens His arms. I pray He reveals Himself to you today and fills you with all you need.
    God bless

  19. Jen, you are being lifted up in prayer. I understand feeling smothered by the weight of life's circumstances. But you are right. God is big, and He is there even when we don't feel it. Or believe it. Hang in there, sweetie.

  20. Jen...I'm so sorry.

    Praying you'll be able to "pour out your heart to Him" (Psalm 62).
    That you'll sense Him extra close and know it's okay to wrestle through all the emotions...that He is big enough to handle all the hurting.

  21. So sorry for your emptiness and your friends' (impending) losses! I am well acquainted with that overwhelmed beyond tears place, too. Thank you for sharing where you are finding help. I needed that reminder today that God is big enough for me. Grace and peace to you!

  22. Oh Jen, This is a feeling I can so very much relate to today. First the emptiness of the first day of school and then the weight of so much on our shoulders. My heart hurts and just yesterday I asked the same thing. Can I trust you to do this? And as much as it hurts, it helps to ease the burden getting that out in the open. He knows our thoughts, I know He wants us to be honest. Even when that isn't pretty. Praying that God shows your mountains how big HE is.

  23. I'm so sorry, Jen. And I agree with Alicia: God wants the conversation, the connection, even when it's broken and ugly and distrustful and disappointed. He is BIG enough to handle it all and hand back only love in return.

  24. I think you are both thinking of her because she was so important to you and you want to share these new moments too. I'm sure she's watching. Also, He is big enough, but sometimes we're not and we need a little more time to remember and pass over the troubles to Him.

  25. So glad that He IS big enough!!! More than we could ever need.

  26. A special hug to you tonight dearest Jen - you know the answer to your own question. Only a real friend would feel the sorrow of another so deeply. I will include you and your friends in my prayers tonight.

  27. Saying a prayer for you, my friend. And trusting that God IS big enough for the both of us :)

  28. Oh how intimately I know brokenness, and the nearness of God during said brokenness. You are loved, Jen.

  29. Jen, I'm so sorry! It sounds like things are pretty heavy right now. And the transition to having a is hard.
    Oh yes, He is big enough and He is mighty and He loves more than we could ever imagine.

    Linking up after a very loooong sabbatical. So excited to see how God is using this link up to reach so many!!


  30. Oh heart is with you as you walk forward. I know the question you asked, as I have spent the past month pondering it in my own heart and life...and I know the answer you found, as I have discovered it over and over here.

    Big hug...

  31. even in your weakness and brokenness, you are an encouragement to the community around you, for your hope remains in the only One who offers any. and even though it may feel like only thread. . . it is enough.
    praying for you, for a heart to feel encouraged, strengthened, and comforted. by the peace that only He can provide in the midst of so many difficult circumstances.
    thank you for all that you offer here.

  32. I've been having far too many days like this one...but I know that as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, that on the other side I will feel His presence once again.

  33. Thank you for your honest words. Your prayer, to experience God in the midst of painful moments, reminds me of many of my own prayers. How awesome He is that He answered it through a simple bracelet!


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