Muscle and Grace

It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.

It could, you know. That’s why we wake
and look out — no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.

by William Stafford



Over the last three-months, it has become abundantly clear that I am terrible at waiting. During my book tour, I discovered a lump in my right breast. Suddenly, I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster waiting for doctor appointments, scans, biopsies, more biopsies, results, healing. And I didn’t like any of it. This kind of waiting upends your spirit. You would think with age, I would have figured out how to handle that most uncomfortable and unnerving state of being. Nope. Waiting makes you vulnerable. Who wants to believe their future is insecure? Subconsciously, naively, we believe we have supreme agency over our fate. The truth is we have no idea what tomorrow holds.


My first offensive to the dark, uncertain cloud hovering over my days and nights was to plain muscle my way through it. I ran like Forest Gump. I drank Rose. I ate chocolate cake. I added more to my calendar for work. I spring-cleaned my cabinets and closets. I started a new writing project. I went head-to-head with the elephant in the room. Anything to escape my present reality and uncertain future. The anxiousness caught up with me at 3’o ‘clock in the morning.


A simple prayer, borrowed from Jesus, rescued me.  “Dear God, I commend my spirit to you.” It became my secret mantra. Every time I felt the lump in my throat, I would stop and whisper the prayer. In moments of terrific uncertainty and fear—when we painfully feel the finiteness of our existence—all we really have is our connection with God. Like Jesus, we reach a point where we have to place all our hope on God’s love for us.


This time the results came back benign. But the reality is I have waited and received terrible news in the past that crushed my spirit. And it is inevitable that I will be faced with heartbreak again in the future. There is a last day for all of us. If I believe my spirit (the part of me that is not finite) is protected by God, then ultimately, I am going to be okay. Actually, more than okay. The daily work is meeting “the waiting” (the uncertain, the unpredictable, the vulnerable) with less muscle and more grace. A surrendering is required for peace to come.


My present focus: What makes me happy to be alive?


Thankfully, so much! Right now, I am admiring my first peony showing off in a pretty crystal bud vase on my desk!




May God cover your fear with peace, so you can embrace the little joys being offered to you today!


Have a blessed week.



Another reason I am grateful to be alive. This music is transcendent!

  • Sallye Galloway

    April 29, 2024 at 7:20 am

    So glad all is OK.
    I truly need this: May God cover your fear with peace, so you can embrace the little joys being offered to you today.

  • Rosemary Weldon

    April 29, 2024 at 12:06 pm

    Dear God, I commend my spirt to you. This is a wonderful prayer. I’m so sorry you had to go thru this. I love you. Rosemary

  • Faye Snodgrass Tevebaugh

    April 29, 2024 at 12:53 pm

    Farrell, I had no idea that you were dealing with that. I’m so happy that you don’t have to deal with it more. You are right that we have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but how blessed we are that we have that faith to keep us going no matter what. The faith is there but it has to overcome the shock we sometimes receive.

  • Anonymous

    April 29, 2024 at 2:48 pm

    Such beauty….thank you for sharing your heart.

  • Sallie Walker

    April 29, 2024 at 3:36 pm

    I praise God for your good news! I am so glad the waiting is over for you.

  • Diane Tucker

    April 29, 2024 at 5:29 pm

    Saying healing prayers for you, my friend! Hugs!

  • Lidna Carrter

    April 30, 2024 at 9:17 am

    That music melody was so delightful… thank you for sharing. Like the breath of fresh air when hearing the good news.