About the Author

A three-time tongue cancer survivor and mama of children from “hard places," Michele Cushatt is a (reluctant) expert on pain, trauma and the deep human need for connection. Her most recent book, "Relentless: The Unshakeable Presence of a God Who Never Leaves", wrestles with the dogged presence and affection of...

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. This summer, the truth that keeps singing its way through my brain comes from Psalm 46:
    “The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
    Your words today remind me that God does not sit on the sidelines while we experience pain or loss, and, like you, I have a lot to learn about trusting Him in the middle of an uncomfortable story.
    Sunday blessings to you!

    • Oh Michele, that verse was the subject of the sermon at church last night! How perfect to hear it from you again today. I needed that. The pastor told us that “Lord of Hosts” (or “Lord of Armies”) speaks to God’s incomparable POWER. All things are in his hand! But “The God of Jacob” speaks to his personal nature … He is OUR God. He knows us by name, sees each one of us individually! The combination of those two aspects of God’s nature makes His presence with us even more incredible than we could dare imagine. Praying you experience His nearness with you in a beautiful way!

  2. Just what I needed .. a refreshing word for this hot mess of a season I’m in (and I can soooo relate to the heat as we are record highs here In upstate NY also)
    Thank you for your beautiful colorful words!
    Isn’t our Pappa so very good to us!❤️

  3. Michele,
    “The presence of pain does not mean the absence of God.” Trying to hold onto this as I’ve spent two days flat on my back due to chronic back pain. I’ve learned to tolerate a lot of physical pain and mental pain, but I still desperately need God. I need His nearness. I need His lap to climb into. I need His Son to hold me like the tiny helpless lamb and hold me close to His heart. I realize, that when I can’t be active and “GO” anywhere, I am forced to just BE in God’s presence and let that be enough. He loves me/you whether we’re actively about His work, or whether we are just too darned tired and hurting to move. What an awesome Abba-Daddy we have! Thanks for the much needed reminder!
    Bev xx

    • Oh, Bev, I’m so very sorry. Back pain is excruciating! It is difficult to separate ourselves and sense of value from our activity … been there, wrestled with that. Jesus, heal our friend with your touch and your Presence.

    • Dear Bev,

      You are always such an encourager and such a persevering sister in Christ. I am so sorry for your back injury that is so excruciating. I will pray for special relief for you…and especially that Christ would “rejoice over you with singing, quiet you with His Love and rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3;17) – that He will whisper to your heart “this is my beloved Bev in whom I am well pleased”. Prayers for gentle recovery and Love in abundance. HUG from Toronto

    • Bev,

      So sorry for the pain you’re enduring sweet sister. Praying for healing & a sense of nearness of God in your life. May you feel His loving arms wrapped around you.

      P.S. How did the MRIs go? What’s the diagnosis on your feet? I pray God heals you soon!

      Blessings 🙂

      • Hi Beth,
        The injury to my back was kind of like the ‘pile driver” effect pushing down on it. I have several bulging discs, lots of arthritis and bone spurs that have been “awakened” by the injury. Fortunately no cord compression or pinched nerves, but it’s going to take a long time with physical therapy to get back to feeling good again. Foot has some angry and inflamed joints so I have an NSAID gel that I rub on it to keep it from squawking. It’s all getting a bit old so your prayers for healing are GREATLY appreciated!! And patience in the meantime….
        Thanks so much for inquiring sweet friend,
        Bev xo

  4. I needed this today. I am walking through a very painful season. At times, I think I may die and sometimes I wish I could. I am learning to hold onto God and hope he is holding onto me.

    • I’ve been in that place before, Becky, and some days it feels as if I’m all alone in it. The weight of it is too much. I’m with you, friend. You are not alone. God IS holding on to you; He hasn’t left you, even when it feels otherwise. I will pray for you today that He shows himself to you in a tender way. He loves you more than you know.

    • Oh Becky, I’m praying for you now, that in a tangible way God would make you aware of His grip on you that never lets go. We’re so glad that you are here. xx

  5. Way back when…I used to watch “Hill Street Blues”, a show about a police dept. in NY. In one episode, the temps were sweltering to over 100 degrees, and the elderly mother of one of the policemen called him just as he was booking a perp. Her windows were nailed shut and the apartment was burning up with the heat. The electricity had gone off. As the officer was talking to his Mom, the perp said to tell her to fill the tub with cold water and sit in it. I thought that was such a good idea that I’ve remembered it all these years. But you’re right, there are many others who must bear high temps with no AC at all. So I thank the Father for our AC in the house and in the car! It is He Who gave the man the idea of air conditioning, praise His Name forever!

  6. Twenty eight years ago, I was pregnant with my first child, temperatures were cooling, only 112 degrees that day, in Pasadena , California. All I could be think about all day, going to get a Slurpee after my child birth class that night. At the end of class, I’m thinking okay, just pick up this mat and we can go get a Slurpee, I bend over…..and my water breaks! Needs to say, I never got my Slurpee that night or next day. But a wonderful baby boy! When I hear people complain about the heat. I just remind myself and others the best is yet to come. It may not be what we expect or want but in my case my son sure was better than a Slurpee. What a great reminder, To know God is with us!

  7. DEAR Michele,

    While you Michele & the other responders(commenters) encourage one another plus us, all the ‘readers’, I thought this following idea may be of help to some: Keeping the inexpensive former cowboy bandanas(or small scarves) wet with cold water around the neck helped me tremendously before we had air conditioning. They need to be sporadically ‘refreshed'(when then dry out &/or the coolness has diminished) with cold water in order to continue to be a refreshing to us.

    May God bless you’all for blessing me & so many others as you continue to encourage us “In the LORD!” & His Word…

    Gratefully & Appreciatively,


  8. “The presence of pain doesn’t mean the absence of God.” Michele, I appreciate this so much. Thank you. And may His nearness be a comfort until He sees fit (please let it be soon, Jesus) to cool the temperatures.

  9. Thank you so much Michele! This post really blessed my heart. “The presence of pain does not mean the absence of God.” Ugh! So good.

    Thank you for sharing your life with me and us. My hot mess days appreciate it. 😉

    • Thank you Michele for sharing. “The presence of pain does not mean the absence of God”

      We are blessed in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe Africa, in terms of temperatures. So far we have never had extremes of heat, or cold. We have our share of problems and lack most modern day comforts but we appreciate the goodness of God in our circumstances. Your sharing has made me aware of my complaining in other areas of my life that I should focus on knowing that God is always with us.

      • I’m so glad you’re here, Dorica. What a gift that we can be connected across the world by the internet and our shared love of Jesus! Like you, I pray I learn to focus more and more on God’s presence with us, regardless of circumstances. With you, Sister.

  10. And feels a whole lot better too. Praise be to God who causes us to triumph in, with, and through jesus

  11. Thank you for sharing and being so real. It even made me laugh! So much truth and I appreciate you. Blessings to you and a new A/C very soon!

  12. Michele! I left you a long and heartfelt comment last night and then our Internet went out and it didn’t post. Bleh. I don’t have it in me to recreate the whole thing, but just know how deeply touched I am by this post and your encouragement! “I may sweat but I will not burn.” Yes! Need this. God’s presence is the richest gift we have. May I live more like it. xx

  13. Michele,

    God never promised we would be trial/pain free. He did say “take heart for I have overcome this world.” Most in this world feel they must “have it all”. Heaven forbid they don’t have cell phone, computer, nice car, cable TV, etc. They don’t know how to function without those items. Yet in many parts of this world-people are happy just to have a little hut or the barest necessities. They are also willing to share what little they have with others. They don’t cry about not having the latest gadgets. It can feel like God isn’t around. God is near the brokenhearted. Just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we won’t get burned if thrown into the fiery furnace of trials. He is with us helping us go through those trials.

    Blessings 🙂

  14. What joy knowing that God is our shelter. No matter what. No matter where. No matter the weather, either. May his nearness be enough for you today, friend. Hugs from waaaay down south of the border.

  15. Hi Michele! I am 37 days into your devotional (I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is). It has been a blessing for my summer morning quiet times. Some mornings (the rare ones when it’s not raining!) I lay out in the hammock and read it before my son wakes up. Your words point me toward the strength and encouragement of the Lord that I need for the day. Hope your A.C. is working soon!!

  16. My friend, I live right here in Littleton, Colorado, and we did not get over 69 degrees on Sunday, July 15th, so I don’t know what “Denver” you are living in. We were blessedly cool on Sunday, with wonderful rain all afternoon and evening. So I’m praying you were able to throw open all your windows like I did and pull in the fresh cool air and wonderful breeze and enjoy!! We won’t be 100 this week! But we will be in the high 90’s on Wednesday and Thursday, so hang in there 🙂 Hugs!!

    • Hahaha. The day I wrote the post is NOT the same day it went live on (in)Courage. 🙂 If you remember, Denver tied the all-time record heat of 105 degrees on June 28, and that’s precisely when I wrote this post. And yes, I did in fact enjoy the rain and cool breeze this past Sunday. I’m glad you did, too! Nice to meet a local friend. 🙂

  17. I came across this post in my inbox over lunch today.
    I have been struggling with a dark season- the end of a 20 year marriage that took 3 years of hell to end. The overwhelming feelings of responsibility for my children’s complete care. Struggling with little things like how to put together the new weed whacker I had to buy and how to install new smoke detectors. I am lucky to have the career I have and the finanical security i have built but it’s very tough. i didn’t expect or desire to raise my children alone- this has thrown a wrench in my story and struggling to find “the glory” but this post helps today. The words..I will sweat but I won’t burn ..hit home…I am in a season of sweating, literally at the age of 50. I need God to help me and there are times I feel so lost and forgotten. I am grieving the life I wanted and thought I would have and now I start out alone…thanks for your words.