About the Author

April Barcalow is an Indiana-based freelance writer, nurse, wife, and mom to three growing kids. She loves to write about God’s grace in the unexpected places and about women in the margins. In her free time, she loves all things creative, gardening, hiking, history, and warm cups of coffee with...

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  1. I’ve been reading Knowing God by J I Packer, and it’s expanding my view of the goodness of God. Good is such a bland word, and yet it’s the one God chose to communicate his attributes of kindness, caring, patience, and so much more. It takes a God sized goodness to wait with me, because when I am in the waiting room, I am a grouch!
    Thanks so much, April, for leading this conversation into praise for God’s goodness.

    • You’re so right! Our understanding of the word “good” must be far different from his, since it’s the word he chose for himself. I’ll have to check out the book you mentioned–it sounds like a wonderful read!

  2. April,
    What a raw, honest, and beautiful post! So true that God is not “good” because he only allows good things to enter our lives. If life was composed of continuous laugher and feasting, we’d probably just ignore God (we are human after all). It’s when the rubber wheels of our soul meet the hard road called life, that we see what we are made of. On our own, we are but dust. With God, however, we learn to tap into a source of strength that is far greater than that which is found in our own self-sufficiency. It is when we crawl, bruised and broken, into our Abba Daddy’s lap and feel His arms of comfort around us, that we experience the true goodness of God. It is in the waiting rooms that we experience His furious love for us. Your post really touched my heart.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad to hear it touched your heart. I think you’re absolutely right: when things go well we are far too prone to forget him. I love your reference to “furious love”–what a great description of the love he has for us!

  3. What a beautifully written truth about our suffering and God’s goodness. This has been true in my life for a long time too. It’s a difficult but holy road to walk. Thank you for sharing with an open heart.

    • Thank you so much. I’m glad your experience has been the same. It is difficult, but our relationship with him is so much richer for having walked alongside him through these places…

  4. April, so beautifully written! Maybe because I am a nurse, I’m wondering what your diagnosis was. I know it’s secondary to your story, but still… I hope you are more well now or at least have tools to help you feel better. Love and blessings to you and yours!

    • Irene, Like you, I am wanting to know if you are OK, what is happening now. I love your post, and other’s responses. This discussion would make an excellent ongoing Bible study. Maybe we should forgo the noun good and use ‘God’. I, too, have spent many seasons in ‘waiting rooms’ and was sustained with prayers and expectations that God would work all for good. God has never failed me. But, I really want to know more of April’s story.

      • Irene and Phyllis,

        I love your hearts, and your concern for me! Thank you so much for asking about me. I did finally receive some answers: I was diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy and celiac disease. I continue to undergo testing as there seem to be some additional layers, but I am in much better shape now than I was several months ago. There will be some flare-ups along the way, and there are residual symptoms that I live with daily. But all in all, I’ve come a very long way and I am so grateful. This journey has taught me many things–not least among them, not to take health for granted!

        Thank you both for writing and sharing how this story impacted you. I’m so glad we serve a God who doesn’t waste the hard places in our lives…

        • Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope you are well on your way to better health. I think they are only beginning to understand these vague illnesses. Some focus on diet and environment as I’m sure you’re aware of. I will be praying for you and your family. Phyllis

        • I, too, wondered if you now have a diagnosis, April. I’m so glad you finally have an answer. I hope and pray God will bless the treatments, and you’ll keep feeling better and better. I was trying to find if you have a website, and I came across your article – “What It’s Like to Live With ‘The Undiagnosis.'” Thank you for sharing your story. Do you have a website? Love and blessings to you!

          • Thank you! I have a blog that I write, everydayepic.blogspot.com . It’s not a polished site at this point so I didn’t share it in my bio, but you are welcome to read it! I’m thrilled you ran across my article with The Mighty. Love and blessings to you as well.

  5. April I know what waiting is like. But it is behind me now thank goodness. This year three years ago in October I had to have hysterectomy. I didn’t mind because I knew I didn’t want kids. Don’t get me wrong I love them
    just not brave enough to give birth. I was a Registered Childminder for 19 years. Love my Niece’s and Nephews. Had one not because of cancer. It was the only way I was going to stop my seizures. Which were caused due my periods as women. That made my homones go up the left throw me into seizures. God was good. I was not well years before my operation. I lost weight because of the amount blood I loose each month as well. On the day before my operation. I had so many people praying for me. Plus I read this saying the day before my operation. I don’t know we’re In got it but it was so true. It was. “I am not afraid of tomorrow because God is already there”. That is so true in it all God was all ready there. He the day of my operation took me through it. I was not scared. I went through it no problem. I glad as I only took one small seizure since my hysterectomy. It was the right thing I did. As with my seizures I got no woring I could have when I take them be talking to you the next take one. Next go into a seizures especially if my period was due. Or had it. The first time it happened I gave my Husband a fight. He never saw a seizure in in life. God has brought me to be were I am today. I am thankful to him for the people who God used to do my operation. Plus the Nurses that looked after me in Hospital as I was in Hospital 6 days. I don’t have any more seizures. Since that one small one months after my operation. I thank God for taking me through it. Giving me the strength to go through it. I can look back and see God’s goodness in it all. Yes I had to wait to get the operation done. But God taught me patients in the waiting. That everything works out perfectly in his timing. Yes the waiting was hard. As my family especially my late Mum and Husband didn’t like to see me in the waiting taking the seizures. As it broke there hearts. As you never knew if I was going to injury myself either in the seizures. As one time I did and I knocked my front teeth. That now I have implants. I said to them my family. It could be alot worse. I could have cancer and only months left to live. So that to God I am greatful for that. Plus everyday he have give me to be alive in his beautiful world. Like Psalm 118 verse 24 say. “This day the Lord has made let us Rejoice And Be Glad” so true that is so let us do that. As you say God is God in easy times and the God in the waiting times. I had to wait at least 3 years for my operation. I love today’s reading April. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little. Than you for it. XXX

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can’t imagine how hard this journey was for you. It’s beautiful to hear you talk about how God’s presence and goodness were woven throughout all of the unknowns and challenges–sometimes through his Word, and sometimes through others. I’m so glad to hear you are in a much better place now health-wise. We are marked by these experiences, aren’t we? Like Jacob, after he wrestled with God. And yet, I think we walk away from them more whole and fully alive than we ever were before.

      Thank you for your beautiful words.

  6. April.
    Thank-you for sharing your touching story, and the truth of the beauty of God’s goodness. I am deeply touched by it, and sorry for what you.’ve been through.
    Blessings to all,
    Penny

    • I’m so glad my story resonated with you! I never cease to be amazed when God uses our experience to touch someone else’s life. What an amazing gift! I hope you are able to see His goodness in your circumstances, as well, even if it doesn’t look like you might have expected.

      Blessings to you as well.

  7. Waiting is something I am all too familiar with, but I have seen His goodness even in the midst of it. I love how you said that “His goodness isn’t absent just because I am hurting. Actually, it’s more present than ever.” Everyday I am finding that to be more true, even though I might not like it all of the time. When I am questioning why He allows so much pain, I often think of all of the times that I have been encouraged by hearing or reading the stories of someone else who has gone through similar situations and struggles. They wouldn’t have those stories to share if they hadn’t gone through painful things, but their pain allows them to share hope and encouragement with others. Thank you for doing that with your story! I truly believe that even though it can hurt so badly at times, our pain isn’t wasted if through our suffering He allows us to be an encouragement to others.

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
    2 Corinthians 1:3-4

    Blessings,
    M @ In Beautiful Chaos

    • Beautifully said! It’s often because of our pain–not in spite of it–that we have anything to share with one another at all. I’m so glad God uses everything in our lives, even the things we’d rather not go through. Thank you for commenting, and keep looking for his goodness!

  8. April,

    Thank you for writing such a raw emotional post. I was curious about your diagnosis. Read some of the replies & found out your answer. Will continue to keep you in my prayers for healing & more good days. God is good ALL the time. He is not to be used like a genie in a bottle to get what we want. Our God is there on our behalf all the time, especially in the waiting rooms, ER, & during all our trials. Jesus is our strength to see us through the tough waiting times. It is in those waiting times that we really get to know Jesus well. We pray more fervently & seek His guidance for a cure or end to the trial. We feel His strength & power come into our lives to build us up & heal our broken bodies. Each trial is another opportunity to run to His arms & feel His love flowing down to us. He shows us His fervent love by being there for us always.

    Blessings 🙂

  9. “His goodness is so much more than just good things.”

    These are the very lessons I’ve learned myself since my diagnosis almost 9 years ago of Vascular EDS. I write about it, too, and it never ceases to amaze me how God reminds me again and again that His goodness is found best in those waiting rooms. Thank you for sharing!

    • EDS can be such a challenging diagnosis to live with! I’m sure your road to diagnosis was very long too, and that waiting rooms have continued to be a part of your regular experience. I’m so glad you’ve found God faithful in those spaces! Thank you for sharing, and for continuing to point others to God’s goodness in your own writing.

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