My heart pounded as I lay there in the dark. Two donkeys conversed outside. A rooster crowed. The call to prayer from the local mosque blared across the African desert.

And the sand didn’t soak up nearly as much of the sound as I thought it should.

“God, I know Your truth,” I whispered. “But I need Your truth to be loud right now.”

I trembled under the thin sheet, the remnants of a bad dream clinging to my skin like perspiration.

The darkness was heavy. Loud.

So loud that even the mosquito buzzing in my eardrum nearly drowned out the God of the universe for a moment.

I slapped at my ear.

I beat my chest.

Why is it that — while my God speaks with a still, small voice — the enemy is allowed to speak with such a deafening shout?

Why is it that I listen?

“Grace, you’re going to be so lonely …”

“You’re brokenhearted, and that’s never going to heal …”

“You should be ashamed of yourself …”

“You’ll never have the strength or ability to do this, that thing you feel called to do …”

Stop. Just stop.

I cover my ears. I block out the mosquitos.

“Father, please be loud,” I whisper.

I lay there on the bed, wrestling with the two-ton weight sitting on my racing heart. I try to throw it off like a hot brick, push it away like an elephant that’s parked its foot on my ribcage.

It crushes. And it won’t move.

I’m infuriated.

White-hot tears.

“Father, the enemy has no right. No right to my heart. No right to tell me lies about You. Why does this hurt so much? Why does he get to speak to me like that when I know Your love for me is stronger?”

I feel my heart grasping for the Father’s love, the love I’ve crashed into in the past, the one that pursued me and began to gently strip away the things I thought I needed more.

The love that gave me life. The love that’s better than life. And He begins to remind my heart again.

I’ve never been alone.

In the most broken moment of my past, He was solid.

In my darkest pain, He held me.

When I needed strength desperately, He gave it.

In the middle of my shame and mess, He bent down, picked me up and offered me fresh mercies.

There in Africa — like Asaph in Psalm 77, when I found myself stretched on my bed, my soul refusing to be comforted — I asked God if His steadfast love had somehow ended.

And then I remembered His deeds of old. “What god is great like our God?”

As a sliver of sun peeked out over the sand, the truth was quiet but sweet.

He loves me like no one else can.

He seeps into the corners of my heart, turns over the stones, airs out the shadows and fills the gaps with His love.

Sometimes His love is buoyant. Sometimes it’s obvious and deliberate.

Sometimes it’s a slow and steady stream I have to choose to plunge my face into when the dark, heavy air I’m inhaling attacks me from the inside out.

Sometimes His love screams a battle cry and lifts me from the pit. Most days it just whispers a reminder of who I am. Who He is.

But it’s always there, packing the punch of a lion’s roar in my heart.

It’s won. It will win.

And today it’s winning again.


“For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)


23 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Kingdom of Heaven and commented:
    This is just deep. This is what real life looks like. Just you. and God. We need that constant, steadfast, penetrating intimacy with God. So when times like this happen (and they will, if we’re truly walking with Him and for Him), we will have an anchor in the pits of despair. Please, take the time to read this. Incredible.

  2. Grace, thank you for sharing both high and low, thank you for showing the reality of walking with him, and thank you for the sweet, sweet reminder of who we have believed in.

  3. I love the realness of your blogs. This one is especially real and raw where it truly matters. Thank you sharing the war that comes with the victory–it’s a great reminder.

  4. Today, my daughter read me this blog post from I cried. A message I needed to hear for sure. And, yes it made me realize I need to pray for God to be LOUD. As the wrong things again are wrestling my thoughts and grabbing to get my attention, I fail to hear His still small voice. The best I have going for me right now in this moment is this prayer….
    LORD, I NEED YOU TO BE LOUD. Louder than every distraction, louder than the repetitive message that plays in my head, louder than anything the enemy throws at me.

  5. Thank you for baring your soul… God bless you for putting into words what we all long to say at one time or another…

  6. THANK-YOU for being true to GOD, and being real about the PAIN of the fight, sometimes..

  7. Reblogged this on south.asian.christin. and commented:
    Holy Moly! My week and emotions put into works. My words, thoughts, and hearing fail me but I serve a God who is always there, never changing, HUGE, faithful, peaceful and peace-giving, loving, and so much more! No matter what, He is worthy. In my failing, He is worthy. In my doubt, He is worthy. In my forgetfulness, He is worthy. When I can’t hear Him, He is worthy! He is always worthy!

  8. Great blog. It reminds me of Elijah. God wasn’t in the wind, wasn’t in the earthquake and wasn’t in the fire. He whispered to Elijah. The enemy shouts, but God only needs to whisper, because He’s close!

  9. Another great blog. Every Christian experiences moments of pain, doubt and fear. I served as a pastor for 11 years and I face those emotions very week. Your blogs and your heart for God are an encouragement.

    God bless!

  10. I got an email today letting me know that you posted something new on your site. I read it and was blessed. In that moment your post “Loud” was speaking to me directly in that moment. I was struggling with something just moments before and this pulled me out and I was able to focus on God and stay away from what the enemy was telling me to do. It’s hard, like you mentioned. It seems like the enemy’s voice is so loud and clear and The Lord is so soft. This has been something I’ve been challenging myself to do, which is to rest in His presence several times a day and to be quiet and to listen for Hid voice.
    Thank you for sharing with us your story.
    Sending Love and prayers your way

  11. i’ve wondered the same thing, Why does the enemy get a megaphone?! This message here is beautiful. A good reminder and i appreciate it. <3

  12. Wow, this so me for a while now. I lost my daughter 2 1/2 years ago and this is so where U have been lately. Thank you for sharing.

    Sent from my iPhone


  13. This was so moving . . . I think we all encounter those times when God’s presence and love seem to be so far away. You have reminded us that He is with us always whether we “feel” Him or not.

  14. Thank you for being this transparent in your struggle. I need His love to be loud, too…and He’s amplifying it through your words.

Leave a Reply