**Update: Links to Amy’s Etsy shop are now working. Thank you for letting me know!
“The day I got your letter I had decided to leave my husband,” she writes.
“Three years of his depression and rage. You remember he lost a lung awhile back and almost his life? Well he’s been bedridden. Needs me for everything and hates me for anything. I just couldn’t take it anymore.”
My friend holds the bitter cup to her lips and drinks it straight down day after day. Until finally, one day she asks the age-old question: “Who in this whole wide world is adequate for this? I’m sure not.” So she decides to quit it all.
I read her email and feel the ache.
“But then I got your letter and decided to stay with him. To try to make it work. For the past three months we’ve been struggling…working at our marriage. Then yesterday…”
And even though it’s only email, I can sense the pause in her tone. The dread. The raw fear.
“Yesterday I found out I have cancer.”
My heart sinks like lead. It settles as a sickening knot in the stomach.
Who is adequate for these things?
Who is adequate for cancer and depression and death and financial ruin and broken promises, hearts, lives?
Who is adequate for mothering the wounded child and going into the dark places and who is adequate for preparing a cup of cold water for another when your hands are sin-stained?
Who is adequate? And aren’t we each called to that which we are precisely inadequate for?
I can’t email her back right away. I need to read it again for myself first. I need to know everything really is going to be okay, that we don’t have to run from inadequate. That there really is an overwhelming, overcoming solution to all this groaning, hurting mess.
“We have such trust through Christ toward God: not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. He has made us competent.”
~ II Corinthians 3:4-6
We can trust this: God makes us adequate.
When we step out into our day, whatever stares down at you, like a Goliath threatening your very life, you don’t have to be adequate for it. Your adequacy is from God and He makes you competent.
I believe this for my friend. I believe this for me. I believe it for you.
The next day I hear from her again. “When I worked I wore my hair super short. Just didn’t have time to do anything with it. But for the last three years, as I’ve stayed home with William, my hair has grown long. I haven’t been able to get out of the house much and now my hair is down to my waist.
“Well, I went to get it cut in preparation for the chemo treatment. They told me they can make a wig for me, from my own hair! I am ecstatic!”
And sitting at the computer with the kids playing around my feet, I praise the One who made women to love their hair. The One who knew this woman’s hair meant so much to her that He made a provision for her to keep it.
In the midst of all those trying, bitter days of her past, the Lord was growing something unexpected. As she stumbled and grumbled through her days, He was doing something beyond her imagination. As she struggled and wept, He was weaving a provision. Inch by inch, bit by bit, bitter drink by drink, He wasn’t absent; He was perfecting a gift.
And as she made plans to leave her husband, God planned a way to crown her with grace.
Through the dark days ahead, she will be encircled with the love of God; crowned with a reminder that He who numbers our hair literally numbered hers, and surely if He went to those lengths to tenderly care for hair, He will bend over backwards to walk by her side every step of the way.
And when she looks in the mirror each day, she can know that she is adequate for these things. God has made her competent.
We can face today.
He has promised to never, ever leave us or forsake us. No matter what. He who numbers our hairs also crowns us with loving-kindness and compassion. And He has made us adequate.
Over email and across the miles that seperate us, my friend and I worship the God of all grace … hearts knit around the beauty of an adequacy that comes from God.
And Amy? Has made a beautiful bracelet to wrap us in grace and remind us that we CAN face today, that we are adequate and competent in God. I am so pleased to share it with you! Will you wear words? When ordering, enter discount code LOVE316 for 15% off!
Visit Amy’s Etsy shop here!