“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” Philippians 3:10 KJV


That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. Philippians 3:10 KJV



My life has seldom been easy. As a young child, I was diagnosed with a mild case of cerebral palsy which left me with long-term physical effects. Later in life, my husband was unfaithful and left me to raise our four children alone. Oh, the heartbreak!

Just before I wrote this poem, I was diagnosed with two chronic illnesses. I worked full time and was a single mom of four teenagers. I was scared. “Why is all this happening to me?” echoed in my heart and mind. This poem is the product of my wrestling.


That I may know Him
Was my heartfelt plea.
Little did I know then
What was in store for me.

He gently took me by the hand
And led me down a path
I did not understand
To show His plan for me.

I watched in grief
As my husband left me
With the awesome responsibility
Of raising our children alone.

In my deepest sorrow I cried,
“Why must this be, Lord?”
He put His tender arms around me
And said, “So you can know Me.”

Years have passed now.
There are still times of loneliness and despair
When I cry out, “Why Lord, don’t you care?”
Still He softly whispers, “So you can know Me.”

At times now my body aches in pain
And fatigue slows my steps.
Again I ask, “Why me, Lord?”
Gently He replies, “So you can know Me.”

“I suffered rejection from family and friends,
Loneliness which no one could understand.
My body writhed in pain and agony
In order that you may know Me.”

Lord, forgive me for complaining
For now I can see
The suffering I endure in this life
Can’t compare to Calvary.

Now I can see more clearly
The plan He had for me.
In tender love He drew me close
To answer my prayer “to know Him.”



How do you view your suffering? Do you see it as a burden to endure? Do you see it as a punishment from an angry God – which makes you angry? Whichever way you view it, take it to God in a conversation. He invites us to “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:8a KJV

I encourage you to write a poem or a letter to God. Putting your thoughts on paper may amaze you and possibly give you new insight.

Questions For Reflection

1.  Does your suffering make you angry? Can you tell God about it?  I complain and groan morning, noon, and night, and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:17 CSB

2.  When your thoughts and emotions are jumbled or chaotic, try free writing whatever comes to mind no matter how jumbled. Take it to God. He’s always ready to listen. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8 CSB

3.   Giving thanks and praise to God can often help lift our suffering spirits. Can you sing or hum a hymn of praise, or write a poem or letter of thanks to God? The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to him with my song. Psalm 28:7 CSB

Julie Smith

Julie Smith

Julie’s life began with many challenges. As a baby and toddler, she was faced with health complications which left her with permanent disabilities. Life was not always easy for her, but she was able to see God’s handiwork in everything she faced.

Julie began writing as a teenager, and now writes a blog ministering God’s love to others (butterfliesblossomsandblessings). Julie and her husband Curtis have a blended family of 7 children and 18 grandchildren. They live in Greenville, SC with their dachshund, George.

Suffering & Joy

Suffering & Joy

Suffering and joy are two strands of a single fiber. Joy thrives in the midst of suffering, for it is not rooted in circumstance, but is born of the knowledge that God is present in every moment of our lives.


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