In Which God Makes Giants our Bread {or the medicinal value of water and adrenaline}

photo-8I know I need to write when I sit down before a blank screen and immediately feel the tears. They sting the backs of my eyes, indicative of words that’ve been days spinning below the surface like clay on a potter’s wheel.

Yesterday is Stan’s birthday, so I throw on a tank top I know he loves, don my dangly silver earrings (his fave), throw some gloss on my lips, and leave the kids in the care of a sitter.

I run around buying ridiculous balloons, tracking down party hats and noise makers because Isaac simply cannot wrap his almost-4-year-old mind around celebrating Daddy’s birthday without them.


I covertly get ahold of Stan’s coworkers who, equally covertly, plot to let me into the office building. I show up at his desk, plop the multi-colored balloon bouquet down beside his computer, and announce that I’m here to kidnap him for lunch.

The weather is perfect and we sit in the sun at Chipotle, enjoying burrito and tacos and one another’s open hearts, and we chat about the dramatic shifting of our perspective in these days.


The kids and I pick Daddy up from work early. Swimming has been medicine to our souls lately, so we make the trek 25 minutes south to a different pool than normal — with one heck of an awesome water slide.

The kids are of course too little to ride it, so Stan and I take turns hanging with them and letting each other climb several stories, push off at the top, fly around twists and turns and splash into the 4-ish feet of water below.

What. a. rush.

My 3rd time down, I flatten myself as much as possible. I am wildly aerodynamic (or so I imagine) and I’m flying, grinning uncontrollably, water drops hitting my face, my heart about to bust with glee.

It’s been years since I’ve been on a real water slide, and God knows speed and adrenaline are my love language. It doesn’t matter an ounce to us that we are the only adults giving the slide the time of day. We slide over and over, throw dignity to the rushing wind.

And the wind is lifting off months’ worth of heaviness.



For so long now, I’ve written around the pain of this season, processing my heart’s journey through the pressure and tension of this long waiting.

They say what’s most authentically inside you will come out when you’re squeezed, and say this season we’ve been living for sure counts as a squeezing.

And looking back at what’s come out, I’m actually {mostly} thankful.

photo-10I look behind me at round after round spiraling deeper with Him, through aching and waiting and God-given longings still unfulfilled; through choosing to find beauty and grab hold of gratitude; through allowing the pain to forge in me deeper surrender, fiercer trust, more tenacious clinging to His goodness; all while refusing to gloss over raw reality,  weeping honestly before Him on the floor of this season.

As I wrote my most recent post, I sensed that the writing in circles around acute pain and ruthless trust might be shifting. Even as I typed, I grew weary of the words that were coming out of me. Not in an insecure way, but in a something’s gotta *give* way.


Over the last decade or more, the themes of my story have revolved around loss and hope deferred. Owning those themes makes me cringe a little, because the last thing I want is to come off like I’m defined by my losses, or like I live with a woah is me mentality, which I honestly don’t feel I do.

But it’s through all my revolutions around loss and unfulfilled longings that Jesus has taken my hand and invited me repeatedly to press into His heart in the agony. To experience the fellowship of His sufferings.

By His grace, I’ve learned to journey hand-in-hand with Him through deep, dark places of heart-anguish, and I’ve seen Him in that darkness with profoundly life-altering intimacy.

And the truer theme that wraps and redeems all that loss and hope deferred? 

He. Is. Faithful.

This season has been more of the same for me, so while I’ve allowed myself to lean deep into the pain, He has so filled my vision that I’ve been deeply sustained by Him even in my sorrow.

But after I wrote my last post, it began – this Divine tugging at my heart, and Stan’s too.


The invitation this time is something along the lines of: “You don’t have to live *under* the pain of this waiting anymore. I’m calling you to yes, continue to respond to me in the midst of it, but to simultaneously rise *above* it. See it from my perspective. Begin to pray authoritatively relative to it.”

Via communication from a few different friends, along with a book Stan’s currently reading, God is drawing our hearts toward scriptures related to the authority that’s ours in Christ.

Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. —Matthew 18:18

These evenings find Stan and I tucking our kids in and rehearsing over piles of folded laundry the story of Caleb and Joshua and the giants in the promised land. How God wanted to give the giants to His people for lunchhow the giants’ protection had already been removed, if only they would see from His perspective. 

If only they’d look with eyes of faith upon all that stood between them and God’s promise.


So we’ve held hands and wrapped arms around one another and agreed in prayer over the sale of our home, and our prayers are moving away from Lord, PLEASE–, and toward Father, this is what we believe you’ve promised us, so we’re standing in this together, trusting you for breakthrough.

Have we seen a shift in the natural realm yet? Nope. And do I still have moments of feeling discouraged? Um, yes.

But my heart is lighter, my days are brighter, and I feel less like a victim of this season and more like a confident conqueror, because God wants to make all these pesky giants our bread (Num. 14:9).


I turn on the playlist I made for the kids this morning as we wrap up breakfast and move into our day’s routine. Is it my imagination, or are they more peaceful than usual? Either way, my heart is peaceful, and there’s something creeping up around the edges of my soul that feels a lot like…


And that, my friends, is feeling pretty good right about now.

Also? Can I say again that your prayers, your companionship on this journey, and your reflecting back to me my heart as you read it here, are invaluable to me? Because they are. I am so thankful for each of you.

–Sharing with my sweet friends Lisha and Kelli and their lovely communities.–

This entry was posted in Confidence in God, Family Moments, Give Me Grace, Grief and Loss, misc. walking with Jesus, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to In Which God Makes Giants our Bread {or the medicinal value of water and adrenaline}

  1. Ginger says:

    Pray “authoritatively relative to it” – um, yes! And this is why we need each other, for the days in between- when the discouragement speaks against our courage. He always takes care of us, Dana (and Ginger) – he is faithful! Hold on!!!!
    Ginger recently posted…On Starting Today to Finish StrongMy Profile

  2. Oh friend, what a gift this JOY. I’ve been praying for you through this circling time, love. How much greater is the joy and confidence because you’ve made him your home through all the feelings. I am so looking forward to seeing what God does. What he’s doing is already beautiful.
    Ashley Larkin recently posted…Five Minute Friday: FinishMy Profile

  3. I remember switching from weak and whiny prayers to victorious requests of my father. There’s a huge difference. Nothing changed overnight, but gradually, I learned to claim my rights a daughter of the most high. I learned to partake of His grace in a way I hadn’t before. Bless you friend in this breakthrough. It’s huge!
    Lisha Epperson recently posted…Give Me Grace : A Second ChanceMy Profile

  4. Joanne Viola says:

    As I read this post, my eyes glanced over to the book sitting on my desk since before the summer started – Circle Maker. God has been pulling at me to read it again & to begin to pray over certain situations in our lives. So I thank you for writing this post, for sharing to openly. Your words are most appreciated this morning. And I pray for you Dana, may our loose the right buyer to want to purchase your home & deliver a binder! And no, the pun was not intended but as I prayed those were the words that came to me. May you have a most blessed Sunday!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…Focus Determines EverythingMy Profile

  5. This whole section:

    I look behind me at round after round spiraling deeper with Him, through aching and waiting and God-given longings still unfulfilled; through choosing to find beauty and grab hold of gratitude; through allowing the pain to forge in me deeper surrender, fiercer trust, more tenacious clinging to His goodness; all while refusing to gloss over raw reality, weeping honestly before Him on the floor of this season.

    I know this well! Yes, yes, yes, standing with you in weeping, surrender, trust, rawness, all of it. Our God is bigger! He is real and present in the pain and in the joy. His purposes are not thwarted no matter what the enemy tries to do to take our eyes off of Him.
    Jolene Underwood (@Faith_Eyes) recently posted…His hand upon my back {FMF: Finish}My Profile

  6. Sarah says:

    So beautiful, my friend. God is faithful and I’m grateful that you keep leaning in to all that He would have for you during this season.
    Sarah recently posted…The Battle Belongs to the LordMy Profile

  7. Natalie says:

    A merry heart is good medicine and the vehicles by which our hearts become merry are true gifts of grace. I love your story and the glimpse of joy in the midst which you graciously shared with us. Thank you.
    Natalie recently posted…Declarations in the Summer SkyMy Profile

  8. Lisa notes says:

    What a beautiful testimony to the power of joy. I’m glad you were able to find such release. Love this: “I feel less like a victim of this season and more like a confident conqueror.” Amen. May it be so for each of us.

  9. Why does waiting see to be so much harder than other battles we face? Thank you for always making yourself vulnerable to share how God is shaping your heart. You’ve encouraged me today. Blessings!
    Renee @Doorkeeper recently posted…That’s the DealMy Profile

  10. Hello, my Unforced Rhythms neighbor! Things got off to a slow start this week, and here it is Wednesday and I’m playing catch up. What a beautiful testimony to listening and waiting, and then experiencing joy in prayer! I enjoyed reading every word of this post — the best devotional so far in my day today. Yes, I’ve already experienced more than one, and This. Is. The. Best!
    Sherrey Meyer recently posted…Monday, MondayMy Profile

  11. Beth Hess says:

    I can really relate to this, Dana. The circling and circling around the same struggles and feeling like a “victim of this season” … but scripture tells us this, too. “You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north.” (Deuteronomy 2:3) I’m so excited to continue to read about your journey to the “north” God has waiting for you. Thank you for linking at Unforced Rhythms.
    Beth Hess recently posted…When Winter Comes in JulyMy Profile

  12. “Surprised by joy” is more than a title – it’s an experience we can get to relate to over and over. I love the resurrection that flows from this piece, from your life, my friend. Thank you. Your voice is so integral at Unforced Rhythms.
    Kelli Woodford recently posted…When Words are Like Clanging CymbalsMy Profile

  13. Pingback: How God Moves Pieces into Place {and why I’ll be quiet a while} | Dana L. Butler

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