About the Author

Robin is the author of For All Who Wander, her relatable memoir about wrestling with doubt that reads much like a conversation with a friend. She's as Southern as sugar-shocked tea, married to her college sweetheart, and has three children. An empty nester with a full life, she's determined to...

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  1. Robin,
    My sincerest sympathy to you and your family. One of the hardest truths for me to accept, is that God is more concerned about my character than my happiness – going back to God’s big picture way of thinking. God does want good things for His children and He wants us to have life and have it abundantly, but the truest way to grow our character and deepen our faith is through trials. I sure would like to have the faith I do without all the pain and suffering, but as I look back, I know that it is in persevering through those trials that my faith has gone to a deeper, abiding level. It’s in the suffering that I have looked, without distraction, to the Lord’s wisdom and His grace. Pain, for me, has developed utter reliance and dependence upon the Lord. I love the accounting term…that we are to count it as joy (not that we are feeling joyful warm fuzzies) when we go through trials. Why? Because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, hope, and hope does not disappoint. I love your HOW? By looking at God’s perspective and big picture thinking and by calling on Him for wisdom and strength. Wonderful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev,

      Pain is a teacher in life and in faith, isn’t it? It reveals so much. As I was reading your comment, I was thinking of the Switchfoot song, “The Shadow Proves the Sunshine” from a few years ago. Thank you so much for your sweet words, friend. I’m so glad you’re part of our (in)community for our paths to have crossed!

  2. Robin,

    Sweet sister so sorry for the loss of your mom in love. Waiting & watching a loved one die can be hard. I’ve lived it with my mom. She, too, was bedridden for two years with dementia & had suffered a mini stroke years earlier. Many nights I would pray for God to take her. Don’t let her live like this. Constantly questioning why He was letting her live. God tenderly showed me that my dad was to get baptized (raised Methodist/Presbyterian). He had read through Bible & realized he had broken those 10 commandments. Talking with my preacher they worked it out. Now I know my sweet dad is in Heaven with mom. Years later my dad would be hospitalized for geriatric psych. Remember sitting in the hospital lobby crying out to God to take daddy. Asked God what is was that He wanted me to learn from this. I believe He was teaching me patience & trust. After 1 month dad was completely healed with meds. He was once again dad who could go on small trips, walk outside. Point being that through those trials my faith has grown enormously. Now I readily trust God with any trial/trouble. James was spot on talking about considering it joy when facing trials. I know that each trial has produced in me more patience, perseverance & a readiness to trust God no matter what the situation.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth,

      What a wonderful recounting of how you’ve matured through your trials, able to see so many things the Lord wanted to show you. Thank you for sharing. xo

  3. Your post is perfection. I, too, have often thought, “I know WHY I’m supposed to be joyful in trials; I just don’t know HOW!” You answered that question beautifully. Thank you!

    • Alissa,

      I second guessed myself after writing this, wondering if everyone in the world would have already seen this connection and my words would be a waste of their time. Thank you for letting me know you and I are in this together :). (And, at least, I DID write out of what I felt like was the Lord’s prompting me to, so there’s that obedience thing 🙂 ). xo

  4. I am finding such consolation in your melt-down, Robin. Waiting, peering into the unknown always topples my carefully constructed theology and all I want to ask is, “Is Anyone out there in charge here???”
    I’m no accountant, but “consider” is a word that brings such reason to the table.
    Blessings to you and your family as you work your way through this loss of a loved one.

    • Michele,

      Your comments are always so grace-filled and kind. That we’re figuring out this faith thing together is a blessing to me….thank YOU.

      xo

  5. sorry to hear about your mother in law , you are right that God let’s us walk thru things to build our character.
    I have had to step through many hard things and be faithful in him , keeping my tongue from raging and my emotions in check. God wants us to be fully mature christians I believe by the time we meet him , ones that have handled situations with grace and ones that have shown how strong we are in faith. each trial builds our endurance…whether we like it or not , been there many many times and at the end of the trials I look back and see how my character has changed into a more mature person in faith.
    thankyou for reminding us of God’s hand in lives.

  6. So sorry for the loss of your sweet mother-in-law. Thank-you for sharing your wonderful perspective about how we can truly learn and get closer to God through our pain. You are so right that God doesn’t expect us to feel emotionally happy in the midst of it, but understanding the deeper and more important growth inside of us gives us hope and true, unwavering joy.

  7. So sorry for the loss of your sweet mother-in-law. Thanks for sharing your insightful perspective on how we can learn and grow closer to God in our pain. You are so right that God doesn’t expect us to feel happy and light in the midst of it, but understanding the deeper growth that’s happening within us gives us hope and true, unwavering joy.

  8. Sorry for your loss. I am going through similar experience with my own Mom. It’s hard and heart renching. Yet I know that God has everything in the palm of His hands along with every moment every breath preparing the way. His way. I pray for the peace that passes all understanding and the strength, courage and wisdom. I pray I will be a witness to my family during this difficult journey.

  9. Robin, that was beautiful. I went through something similar when my dad was in ICU this summer (the over-the-top inappropriate emotions; still struggling with some internal resolution). And I have recently looked at James 1:1-5 wondering how to consider my trials with joy. So I will have to re-read your post to absorb the insight the Lord gave you.
    Your sentiments toward your MIL are also beautiful. How blessed she was to be loved so well when there was nothing she could give in return (though I’m guessing that was a reflection of the love she gave when she was able).
    Peace and comfort to you and those who miss her.

  10. This is a wonderful day. I know that I am not the only mother who may not know how to ask God to help me view matters from His perspective. My daughter, Vanessa, is set to graduate with her Master’s degree on December 13, 2019.
    My prayers have been on the altar for some time. Our desire to have a great celebration without the burden of financial lack is very important. My spouse is a “tough love” sort of person. He has not offered to help so far.

    I know our God owns everything and this is no problem for Him. Please agree with me in prayer for extra money to enjoy my daughter’s graduation. We are thanking our Lord and Savior for the job promotion with financial security.

    God bless all the mothers standing in the gap for their children and families.

    Brenda M. Russell
    Your Sister in Christ

  11. You know it comes to us all. The loss of someone close. It not nice. Two years ago in January next year I lost my Mum. I don’t know if I see her in Glory again. As I couldn’t tell her about getting saved. Just live my life in front of her as follower of Jesus. I did pray for her. I am the only one in my family saved along with my Husband. I pray for them all. All I want from my Dad who is 78 and 79 next year. To know Jesus as his Saviour. If you said anything to him a row go up with my family. They say keep your thoughts on your religious beliefs to yourself. So I just live my life in front of them for Jesus. In Birthday cards and Christmas Cards I write God Bless praying for you. I don’t want my Dad to leave me anything when he dies just see him saved before he leaves earth. No better thing could he give me his eldest Daughter. You might not have your Mother in-law on this earth anymore nor may the rest of the family have her. Yes you guys will always the rest of your days miss her. Miss times spent together with her. Plus you will still cry. I still cry over my Mum and wish she was still her. I do hope when my time up on earth that I will see her in glory with Jesus. But I will have to wait until my time up on earth to find out if my prayers where answered and she asked Jesus into her heart. Now she is with Jesus. So next time you see your lovely Mother in-law she will have a bran new body. No Dementia. What a day that will be for you all her family to look forward to. Yes you will miss her on earth. But you guys have not lost all. She is safe now in the arms of Jesus in Beautiful Heaven. The pictures of you and the family with her are just beautiful. She was just on beautiful woman. She has gone to heaven to be an Angel with Jesus. You her family will see her again one day when your time up on earth you all that to rejoice in. You can say Amen to that. Dawn Ferguson-Little

  12. “I understand now how we’re enabled to “consider it all great joy.” It is by seeing our circumstances from His point of view, a perspective that is beyond (and incomprehensibly better than) our own.” Wisdom, indeed, Robin. To reorient one’s perspective with Biblical truth is an all-important life skill. Thank you for your powerful example. Praise God for Sarah’s home going, and the celebration of LIFE that gave you JOY!

  13. I am so sorry for your loss and pray that our Heavenly Father will comfort and keep you and your family, especially your father in law. Times such as these often bring out the worst in us and to those closest to us – it’s so stressful even if your loved one is saved. Thank you for your post and the helpful scriptures.

  14. I’m so sorry for your loss Robin. Thank you for sharing some of the raw, real parts of this story with us. I believe as believers, we’ve been brought to a place that Christ wants us to stop putting only the good parts of our lives out there but partner them with the difficult experiences as well. Your willingness to do just that, I know from experience, can be tough but I believe is one place we can find this joy that we read about in James. Sharing our experiences and giving others a glimpse of how God shapes and molds us through these seasons. Blessings to you today 🙂

  15. Love you, my friend. I had to smile while reading this and your reflections on those first few verses in James… just this afternoon I was listening to the newest sermon (via podcast) from Passion City Church. You’ll never guess what Scripture it’s on. xo

  16. I can’t believe the timing of this piece, friend. I’ve been deep in study of this James passage as well. I love the description that “considering it joy” is “a way to reconcile trials within the big picture of our entire lives in contrast to the immediate pain of the moment.” Thank you for that. Praying for your heart as you grieve together in this season! Love you!