It's OK to Not Be OK
Updated: Feb 20, 2021
I recently had the opportunity to have breakfast with Suzanne Guy. She and her husband Peter and daughter Rachel are passionate advocates for pro-life after they themselves chose life after an adverse diagnosis during their pregnancy. During breakfast we talked about the recent interview that their family conducted with Focus on the Family, sharing their powerful story. There are so many lessons and discussions that can be taken away from their story, but one item we discussed over coffee was that it’s ok to not be ok, even as Christians. We know that none of us are promised or will have a perfect and trial-free life. We also recognize that we’re human and there will be times that our troubles will cause us to not be ok. We’re distraught, discouraged, disappointed and perhaps depressed. I know this was true of our story as well. When Denis and I went through years of infertility and waiting to adopt it was not all sunshine and rainbows. I cried many tears and was frustrated frequently throughout the rollercoaster of a process. But God was faithful to uphold us and sustain us through the process, often using our friends and family to pray for us, support us and love on us through it all.
As I watched the Guy family share their story, I was struck by these words that Suzanne recalled as she and Peter spoke with their doctor who was adamant that they needed to abort their baby due to an adverse medical diagnosis. Here’s part of the transcript from their interview:
“Pete so beautifully said toward the end of our back and forth conversation [with the doctor], ‘What will you do for us? We’ve made it clear that we will not take our child’s life!’ and the doctor said, ‘Go home and wait for your baby to die and you will give birth to a stillborn child.’ So, we went home with a level of depth and despair that I cannot put human vocabulary to. But as we started sharing, asking people to pray, sharing what was going on. I will never forget the holy spirit-led words of Rachel’s Grammy, my Mom Mary. She said this simple statement that to this day is a driving force in our life. And can I say may no one ever minimize the voice of one person taking words taking straight from God’s heart and mouth to theirs, breathing hope and life into a desperate situation. She said, ‘Suzanne, is there still a heartbeat?’ and I said, ‘Well yes!’ and she said, ‘Suzanne, if there’s a heartbeat, there’s hope!’ And that simple statement was used to take us from a place of despair and darkness to putting our eyes on Jesus and not living like our daughter was dead because she was very much alive. And all of a sudden we had a bounce back in our step and we are going to fight for this baby.”
Suzanne goes on in the interview to account for how others in their community surrounded them and they were eventually led to a physician who would support their wishes in fighting for their daughter’s life. Rachel concludes the interview with her perspective on what her journey has been like – to know that several physicians didn’t fight to preserve her life inside the womb. A powerful interview that I encourage you to watch.
There’s a lot of truth and lessons to unpack from that section of their interview. There’s power in being vulnerable and sharing with others the trials that you’re experiencing in life, that it’s ok to not be ok. In our weakest and darkest moments, strength can be found when we allow ourselves to be fully known with those in our trusted circle, allowing them to pray for, encourage and speak truth over us. And there’s renewed energy when we can come along side those we love. To come along side of them and acknowledge and affirm that it’s ok that they’re not ok. To assure them that God sees them, cares for them and can be trusted, regardless of the circumstances or outcome. So how can this be true for you? Is there a painful trial that you need to let someone else in on? Do you need to give yourself grace for the season you’re in, knowing that our burdens aren’t meant to be carried alone? Or maybe you’re someone who can pray and seek God’s wisdom about what you can say or do as a loved one continues through their life’s trial; breathing hope and life into a desperate situation like Suzanne’s Mom did. Whatever it is, I encourage you to take that step. No one makes it through life perfectly intact and we need God and each other to make it through.
Link here to the Guy family full interview: