When you come to the end of your rope

when you've come to the end of your rope

Eleven years ago, I was there – at the end of my rope. Holding on by threads, I knew if I let go I would plunge into a bottomless pit of despair. When cancer strikes, and death comes, and your life is changed forever, you are numb from the pain of loss. Any strength you’ve had is gone, drained from your body and your emotions by the exhaustion of grief.

I would find myself smiling one minute, like everything was normal, and slipping into unbelief the next minute – all while trying to maintain my sanity in a world that didn’t seem to skip a beat to its own rhythm. I grappled with God. ”Why?” I pleaded. “Let me wake up from this nightmare.”

Perhaps you have also experienced death and grief, along with pain and suffering. Your death could have been the end of a marriage or a relationship. Your loss could have been a job or a home. Your pain and suffering could have been a crippling disease or a debilitating illness. Maybe you are even going through something now. You find yourself at the end of your rope – holding on each day with all your strength, grappling with God, and pleading to wake up from your nightmare.

Over time, I began to release my anguish and began to rest in God.

I prayed for God to breathe life in me so I could at least try to function on a somewhat fractured level of normalcy. I trusted Him to get me through each day . . . one day at a time.

And, He did, and He can for you too.

Day by day, He immersed me in His mercy and grace, showering me with His great love and kindness. His comfort and compassion soothed my aching heart as I began to cling to His word hour by hour. Sometimes that’s all I did in a day: hold my Bible and read out loud to myself. I felt God’s faithfulness as I’d never felt before. I discovered an intimacy with Him that can only come through unbearable grief or unimaginable loss.

Each day His strength became my strength, and slowly, sorrow and joy became one. I have known great sorrow, but I have also known great joy because of Jesus.

I still miss Bill like crazy and think of him every day. With each passing year, I have, and will continue to get through this life-changing loss as I move forward with my focus on Christ.

Today, eleven years later, I find myself holding on to the end of that rope again. My mind seems consumed daily with the stress of a COVID spike, the national situation, and the Arizona fires – all of which seems to press in around us and then slowly becomes a part of us. Fear of the unknown, anxious about when it will all end, concern for family and friends . . . it can seep through our daily lives like water seeps through a sponge when it can hold no more.

But our ropes my friends, are not just ordinary ropes.

They are a visual reminder that the strands of our life are woven tightly with God’s faithfulness, His word, His promises, His hope, His strength – and our prayers, our trust, and our perseverance. Even when we feel like we are at the end of our rope, it is strong enough to hold us. You see, God will never let us go, our part is to never let go of Him.

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. I Peter 5:10

From My Heart to Yours,

Susan Miller
Susan Miller
Susan Miller Founder of Just Moved Ministry Author of After the Boxes Are Unpacked

The Emotional Pandemic You Face

take your anxiety to God

Most of us have never had to go through a worldwide pandemic that has caused such a magnitude of change to our country and to our daily lives. Millions of people have had their lives uprooted and changed by the physical effects of illness, death, or loss of a job or business. They may be unable to put food on the table, put gas in the car, or make mortgage or rent payments.

In addition to the direct impact of the virus, you may be going through an emotional crisis of a broken marriage, a severed relationship, the loss of a child to disease, or a teen addicted to drugs.

The residual effect of any of these things can become an emotional pandemic of grief, loneliness, anger, depression, despair, and even hopelessness.

It’s easy to lose perspective and a sense of self when you’ve been blindsided by a major life change or crisis, isn’t it? It’s unplanned and unwanted. You are unprepared to handle the unknown that seems to consume your thoughts and your daily life.

I know. When Bill, my husband of 45 years died of cancer, I was left feeling numb, shocked, and devastated. My life, and everything in it, changed from being complete to being crushed. I felt an overwhelming sense of loss and grief that I could not have anticipated. Then, when my daughter went through a divorce, I grieved over the loss of an intact family life for my four grandchildren.

If you’ve experienced a life-altering change or loss in your life, you know how hard it is to pick up the pieces of your shattered world and try to put life back together again. Those pieces will not fit together in the same way. Life as you know it may never be the same again.

With a severed and uprooted life comes change, with change comes loss, and with loss comes a myriad of emotions.

Right now, as you live through the ripple effects of this pandemic on you and your family, you may be experiencing some of those same feelings and emotions I had when my life was uprooted by death and divorce. Like me, I sense that many of you may be grieving over the life-altering changes and losses this virus has brought to your lives. You may even feel angry with circumstances beyond your control, alone without family or friends to come alongside you, depressed that there seems to be no end in sight, or feeling hopeless about getting back on your feet again financially.

How well you cope with these unfathomable changes – where you find the strength and the faith to start over and the perseverance to move forward with your life – has a tremendous effect on how well you recover.

Going through the emotional roller coaster of this pandemic may leave you feeling like you’ve hit rock bottom. You can make the choice to either stay there or see God as the rock and foundation on which to rebuild your life. It may seem impossible now to put the pieces of your life back together again, but it can be done with God’s help. It might look different than you imagined, but you can experience wholeness again. Life can, and will, regain a normal rhythm. Don’t let the impact of this unwanted change cause permanent damage to your life, your marriage, your family, or any relationships. Use this experience to grow stronger and more resilient, yet tender and more compassionate. Use this time to become more grateful for what you do have and less preoccupied with what you don’t have. Seek to discover a deep need in your soul to cling to God and trust Him for each day.

Yes, I hear you. You think you can’t. You can.

You think you are alone. You aren’t.

You wonder if your faith will stand this test. It will.

You want answers and explanations. God gives you His promises to rely on.

You want the assurance of knowing what tomorrow will bring. God assures you of His faithfulness in all things.

You want to reason with God about everything. God wants you to rest in Him.

God’s grace is sufficient, my friends. May you live each day with a peace that is beyond understanding and a hope that is anchored in Christ. Here are some of my favorite scriptures that bring me comfort during this emotional pandemic. May they meet you at your point of need…

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage…Psalm 27:14

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Susan Miller
Susan Miller Author of After the Boxes are Unpacked and the accompanying study Founder of Just Moved Ministry