About the Author

Rachel loves to travel, meet new people, and will find any excuse for a coffee date. Her greatest passion is helping others grow by applying God’s Word to everyday challenges. She is the 2017 winner of DaySpring’s Voice of Inspiration Award, has an M.A. in Discipleship, and writes at livewellworryless.com.

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  1. Rachel,
    What a testimony that God can speak into even the most hopeless of circumstances. When we hurt….His heart cries as well. “Hardship, not happiness is the forerunner of joy.” Amen! I have not endured what you have, but I have endured many trials – physical, emotional, and mental on this earth and I do wholeheartedly agree that had it not been for those hardships, I would not know the heights that joy can reach. I believe that the height of joy is matched by the deepness of despair that we have endured and through which we persevere. Having been sidelined all summer recuperating from yet another surgery, to be able to walk outside in the glorious sunshine and crisp fall air makes me so thankful for the simple gift of being able to put one foot in front of the other. Oh the simple pleasures we take for granted. Thank you for a beautifully inspiring post. May YOU be richly blessed this Thanksgiving.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Thank you Bev for your beautiful and encouraging words! I’m sorry to hear about the pain and hardships you have endured. I can relate to your comment about putting one foot in front of the other – it’s amazing how the simple things of life can bring such joy! Thank you for your powerful testimony of perseverance. I will be praying for a full recovery, and that the Lord continues to give you strength, healing, and joy in the little things!

    • I have experienced God’s abundant grace in healing, preserving my life until I could get the surgery needed to give my life back to me. I was dying from a disease that required surgery of worst kind to restore my life. We had no money for the surgery. I knew that without God’s intervention, I would die. I had 3 children who desperately needed their mother. I crawled out of my bed and crawled to an ottoman which I used as my altar. I asked God to restore my health, knowing that He could do that. I went back to bed with peace. The next AM, friends called to give us the $7500.00 needed for the surgery. I got to the hospital for the surgery with no time to spare. By the next day I would have been dead. As the surgical staff began iprepping my body for the surgery, I saw a brilliant light above my head–surgery lights had not been turned on–I wentl undder anenthesia with “Yea though I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. for Thou art with me. Five hours later I awakeded in the recovery room. I had to ask where I was; surgeon confirmed the miracle to me after I awakened from the anesthesia. This occurred when I was 39 years old. Today I am 76. Praise God from whom all blessing flow!!!

  2. Thanks for this Rachel! I needed to read this today. I was diagnosed with a rare ovarian cancer on Wednesday and having been trying to wrap my head around it and the journey ahead.

    • Hey Carleen. …I pray that God gives you a peace that passes all understanding. I pray that you have loving supportive family and friends surrounding you but not overwhelming you. I pray that God provides for you everything you need in the days and weeks to come. ….love and blessings. Jen

    • Carleen,

      Praying for you sweet sister! May God send His loving arms around you to hug & hold. I pray He sends discernment, wisdom, healing-mostly peace during this journey!

      ((((((Hugs))))))

    • Oh Carleen, my heart just breaks for you. News like that can feel so overwhelming and devastating as you try to wrap your head around it and figure out a new normal. Know you are not alone in this! God sees, He cares and He is aware of your every need right now. Lean into Jesus as you walk this journey. He understands, comforts, and heals. And even if He chooses not to heal our bodies, He always heals our weary soul. I am praying for complete healing, a full recovery, peace, strength, and renewed faith for you daily! xoxo

    • Dear Carleen
      I pray that the Lord who brought me through stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2015 and made me cancer free today will do the same for you in Jesus name. Do not despair, keep trusting the Lord who wants to hold you in His hands. The song ‘Just be held’ by Casting Crowns has greatly blessed me and I’ve listened to it over and over very recently, having just lost my younger sister to metastatic breast cancer. I pray it encourages you too.

      https://youtu.be/tIZitK6_IMQ

      Blessings

      Susannah

  3. ” I discovered that hardship, not happiness, is the forerunner of joy.” <- This IS astonishing truth, and it counteracts everything our culture (and our prone-to-wander hearts) dish out.
    Thanks for this dose of truth. Going back to re-read!

    • You are so right Michele! Society tells us that we must be happy to experience joy and a good life. But praise the Lord that HE gives us the ability to be joyful and full of peace regardless of circumstances (Phil 4:11-13)!

  4. Rachel,
    Thank-you for sharing your story with us, it was deeply touching.
    Blessings to you,(all)
    Penny

  5. Thank you for this heartfelt post.. it was God’s perfect timing for me to read this morning. I haven’t been suffering physically, but mentally and emotionally and have been asking why I can’t seem to find joy in spite of my circumstances. I needed your reminder that joy grows in the fertile soil of suffering and if I want to experience joy, I must endure hardship.
    My heart was sick from a loss of hope but now I see I don’t have to produce the hope.. I just have to stay close to my God of hope.
    One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
    It’s not my own power but His and I know I can trust Him to be faithful!
    Thank you again for your beautiful and timely words. I sense that there are a lot of Christ followers who also need this reminder as our days get darker… and the need for the Light of Hope gets stronger.

    God bless you and keep you and may His light shine on you and give you peace!

    Mary Ann

    • Thank you for sharing Mary Ann! Mental and emotional suffering can be so disheartening and there will always be good and bad days. But I love how you said “I just have to stay close to my God of hope” – what powerful words! I am so thankful that God is both the author AND sustainer of our faith, joy, and strength. Praying He fills you with peace and hope as you cling to Him!

  6. Rachel,
    Thank you for sharing your faith with me today. I’m so sorry for what you are going through. You are an example of strength and perseverance. I also have a disease affecting my autoimmune system and my Sympathetic nervous system,causing constant burning pain. I’m currently recovering from a spinal procedure because of it. I’ve been stuck in bed recovering. My husband is as wonderful as yours in helping me. But this has been going on for 16 years and I do get very weary. But when I’m at my lowest, God seems to put stories like yours in front if me to remind me where true joy comes from. Thank you for inspiring my day and recharging my faith. I will keep you in my prayers.

    • Hi Kathleen! I am so sorry to hear of your pain. Battling a chronic disease can be such a long and lonely journey. There are times when I feel like I have no more energy or strength to carry on. In those dark and weary times, I cling to the words of Jesus, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble
      You are not alone!

    • Hi Kathleen! I am so sorry to hear of the pain you are going through. Battling a chronic disease can be such a long and lonely journey. There are times when I feel like I have no more energy or strength to carry on. During those dark and weary days, I cling to the words of Jesus, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt 11:28-29). No matter how faint or broken we feel, God promises to always give us strength – “A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish” (Isaiah 42:3) – and Jesus knows how to sustain the weary with just a word (Isaiah 50:4). I pray these truths will encourage you and give you perseverance today. You are not alone, my dear friend! May you feel the comforting and faithful presence of Jesus as you look to Him for your strength! xoxo

  7. Thank you for sharing this Rachel. I appreciate your vulnerability. I am asking God to continue draw you even closer to Himself. Also just prayed for your complete healing.

  8. Thank you so much, Rachel – What you wrote helps answer my question about how I can be hopeful in the midst of my physical and emotional problems – I know this will help many people –

    • I’m so glad to hear this helped you in your journey! It can be so easy to lose hope when we suffer. But when we fix our eyes on God and who He is, it renews our strength and we find our hope again!

  9. Rachel, you are a precious inspiration leading others to the source of all strength. I’m so sorry for your struggle but know very well that your journey is what gives you your story. And the Author of your story loves you so deeply and so well. Thank you for sharing and encouraging in ways you may never know. May this Thanksgiving be all joy!

  10. I needed to hear this Rachael. Thank you for sharing your great hope in God. May God bless you richly!

  11. Rachel, I am so thankful for you and for the fact that you are leaning into Christ in the midst of suffering. Not only that, but you are allowing Him to take your suffering and purpose it toward the encouragement and comfort of others. Reading these responses made me cry. I hope you encouraged by how the Lord is working though you! Thank you for offering your pain to Him as a sweet sacrifice. He is so pleased with you- and I am so very proud of you. Christian, the boys, and I love you so much and continue to pray for your healing.

  12. Loved your soul filled words, Rachel. No one knows, until they KNOW the pain each of us carry whether it be physical, emotional or both. But God will lead us, teach us and surely bless us.
    Much love!
    -Kendra ❤️

  13. HI RACHEL: I UNDERSTAND ABOUT YOUR AUTO IMMUNE DISEASE. I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH A AUTO IMMUNE DISEASE ABOUT 4 YEARS AGO WHICH EFFECTS MY SKIN. SO I UNDERSTAND YOUR PAIN. I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU!

  14. Rachael,

    Praying for relief of pain most days. May you sense God’s peace & love as you travel this journey.
    Hardship, not happiness, is the forerunner of joy–Such profound thoughts. I have seen people go through some tremendous hardships & yet they are the happiest people on earth. It isn’t the ones with easy lives-family, fame fortune. We understand that this isn’t our home. We await a better place. God said that in this world we would face trials & hardships, but take Hope “For I have overcome this world”!! Hallelujah! I have been through some trials with my aging parents. Truth be told-they were hard at the time, but now have made me a stronger better Christian. I have seen His healing hand & tasted of His goodness!!

    Blessings 🙂

    • What beautiful words Beth! You are so right. This world is not our home and can never fully satisfy. Your words remind me of 1 Peter 1:3-5, “God…has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus…” This hope we have is alive, powerful, an expectation of good and not evil. One day we will be fully restored and Jesus will wipe every tear from our eye – there will be no more pain, disease, death, or sin (Rev 21:4). Praise the Lord!!

  15. Thank you sincerely for this post, so timely, just like God’s faithfulness. Our focus is the key to counting it all joy when circumstances that are seemingly beyond our control are never out of our Savior’s. Hallowed be His name, may we exalt Him over all and in all things give thanks.

    • Amen! I am so thankful the Lord is in control and nothing escapes His notice. Knowing He is faithful and that I can trust Him makes all the difference. Blessings!

  16. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, I’ve run across that so much lately. I thought reading this though that if Jesus in in there and He is that He is the hope we have to be well.

  17. Dear Rachel
    You are an inspiration. Thanks for this lovely post. I pray the Lord will do only that which He alone can do in your life in Jesus name.
    The song ‘Just be held’ by Casting Crowns has greatly blessed me and I’ve listened to it over and over very recently, having just lost my younger sister to metastatic breast cancer and being an ovarian cancer survivor myself. I pray it encourages you too.

    https://youtu.be/tIZitK6_IMQ

    Blessings

    Susannah

  18. Praying for you and your family. Despite all that you are struggling with, know that God is always there right beside every step of the way. He loves you and had not forsaken you! Have faith my friend!

  19. Rachel, First of all, I wished we lived closer, I too live with any excuse to have a coffee date along with meeting new people.
    I am sorry to hear of your health challenges, however, there is always joy in God’s gifts. We live in such a noisy fast-paced negative society that when there is pain, loss and more we look at the “bad” in it and not the joy. Funerals, in my opinion, should be a celebration of life, not a sadness of loss, even though we do lose (so to speak) that person.
    Being sick is always a spark of God’s words telling us something.
    Sending you prayers and love and a cyber coffee!

    • I would have loved a coffee date! 🙂 Experiencing loss and hardship can be very challenging and heartbreaking; consequences of living in a sinful, fallen world are never easy. But when we have trouble, we can find our peace in Jesus because He has overcome this world (John 16:33)! Renewing our minds with the truth of God’s Word always gives us the right perspective! Thanks for sharing

  20. Hi Rachel, I will keep you in my prayers. I too know what it is like to have a incurable chronic illness. I was born with Sickle Cell and at times I feel it would be easier on my family if I wasn’t alive. Your post gives me hope. Thank you for sharing, I pray God will heal your body! Take care.

    • Hi Shanice! I am sorry to hear you are battling a chronic illness. Sometimes it can be such a fight to press on. But God still has a good purpose and plan for your life!! Every new day He gives you is for a reason! I pray God reveals His special purpose for your life. May He show you how much of a blessing you are to others and how much you are dearly loved!

  21. Rachel,
    Thank you for this encouragement. I had such a similar year last year with multiple autoimmune diseases and lost all hope. After multiple hospitalizations I reached the end of my rope and after getting out, read the “Wahl’s Protocol”, “The AutoImmune Cure”, and “The Gaps Diet”. I would highly recommend these diets and can honestly say I feel like a new person following many of the suggestions in these books and following a clean diet. I pray that perhaps you find relief as well.
    Blessings,
    Debbie

  22. Rachel

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your life living with a chronic disease. I relate to so much of it, only have no loving husband here on earth, but I have the best loving husband in heaven, the Lord God Almighty is my husband. He is my covering, watching over me, caring for me. Without God in my life, I am positive I would not be here.
    I have appreciated the many words of inspiration and encouragement from all. I’m glad to hear people who know the Lord share the concerns of their heart and are beginning to learn we are all human and all experience struggles, whether health issues, financial issues, marital issues, family issues, emotional/ mental issues, even abuse. Hiding these things will keep us in bondage, keeping the Lord from bringing about changes in us He wants to do and keeps us from what God has for us to do.
    Kuddos to you, Rachel for being real and kudos from all who were transparent, giving prayer, hugs and support.

    God’s Blessings to all,
    Dawn