Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blessing in the Battle

it's not very often you hear people say,

my marriage fell apart, i'm so blessed.
it's such a blessing to have my heart completely broken.
i lost my baby, what a blessing.

more often, however, we hear things like,

God has blessed me with an amazing marriage.
had a great weekend. feeling so blessed.
america is blessed with so much.

words like that probably came out of my mouth at some point, no doubt. 

this past year, while in the depths of pain from losing noah and isaac, i have become increasingly sensitive to the language so many people use around the idea of "blessed." especially christians.


[i love christine caine and have tremendous respect for her.
there are just parts of this that don't sit well with me.]

when i hear someone say, "God has blessed me with two healthy children" or "God protected me from harm and suffering" i feel incredibly isolated and hurt - like, why did God decide to bless and protect them and not me? am i not blessed?

or more to the heart of the matter - does God not favor me as much or love me as much because of my loss and far-from-ideal life circumstances?

when did we, as a culture/society/religion, decide that what it means to be 'blessed' is to have a cushy, comfortable life where everything comes easy? does blessing really equal prosperity, wealth and 'good things'?

to simplify. if i'm blessed when good things happen, then when bad things happen, i must not be blessed.

this type of, i believe, destructive 'blessed' language builds the illusion and reinforces the belief (lie) that if things are going well in our life, we must deserve it because we are one of God's favorites and maybe just a little bit better of a human being than someone who is struggling financially, spiritually or emotionally. 

can we just say we are grateful for our good circumstances, and leave at that?

it's my understanding that true blessing occurs in the midst of mourning, or when we make peace with others, or show mercy, or act humbly [matthew 5]. nowhere does it say, "you really must be doing something right if life handed you a good one."

could it be that i, mccayla butler, a bereaved mother who literally lost her heart and got ransacked by life, am, indeed, blessed? 

life has definitely not gone the way i had hoped. i have cried more than i've laughed. at times my suffering was so bleak and dark, it seemed plausible to end it all.

but somehow, i believe i am blessed. it's topsy-turvy, and doesn't make logical sense, but it's the truth.

because i believe blessing comes not in the form of good things happening to us and living out a life of plenty and happiness, but in the form of God's unrelenting presence. and no matter what we face or endure in this life, it's God's love that is stronger.

this type of blessing has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with a good God who oozes grace.

while at church this last sunday for the second time this year (but who's counting and who cares), i heard this song...

                                                                 Rejoice // Dustin Kensrue

i love this verse especially. it sums up what i'm clumsily trying to communicate...

all our sickness, all our sorrows
jesus carried up the hill
he has walked this path before us 
he is walking with us still

turning tragedy to triumph
turning agony to praise
there is blessing in the battle
so take heart and stand amazed

next week is the first birthday of my treasured son who is no longer here with us. in two weeks-ish we will welcome, with awe, another son into our world.  i feel the heavy weight of fear, anxiety, despair, anticipation, and wonder every moment of the day.

i have no idea what the future holds. it could be laced with beauty or ravaged by sorrow. most likely, both. all i know is that God is with me still and will ever be, for eternity. i am marked by him and because of his love, i know i am blessed.

you are too.


  1. i love this whole post. this idea just gave me a new outlook on life, and i plan to share it and live with it in abundance. i love reading your words, mccayla. i've been quite invested in your blog since it first started. i've cared about you so much, yet i hardly knew you when i did go to first pres. i just thought you should know how much you've impacted my life, someone you probably didn't know was so invested.
    so much love, rebecca cort

    1. rebecca! you are so kind and your words are incredibly generous. thank you for taking the time to right and send encouragement. i'm so thankful that somehow, someway, my words are making a difference. it means a lot. much love to you.

  2. What amazing insight. Thank you for challenging my views on being blessed...I appreciate you sharing your heart and encouraging me.

  3. I just want you to know that I've been thinking about this constantly since I read it. I love it. Thank you.

  4. Amazing!! Your words are amazing! I never thought about how we use blessings that way and it is so wrong. Even in our toughest or darkest of times there are blessings! Your two boys even for their short lives were blessings and even in the sadness of them being gone they are your blessings in heaven! I just stumbled across your blog but your words were a blessing to me! I send you many prayers and well wishes on your son that is soon to arrive.

  5. Your words continue to inspire and encourage. THANK YOU MCCAYLA, and Happy Birthday to your sweet boy. He and his rainbows will be in my heart today. xoxoxo