The Estuary of Life where Faith, Gratitude, and Devastation Comingle

January 2023 has been brutal.

I can’t go into all the details, but multiple families I love dearly have endured…indescribable tragedies, and I confess to you, my body is feeling it. For three days my head and body have ached. I have not had an appetite, and yet, I want to eat ALL the moon pies, and not those mini moons either. I want the full moon moon pies. I have cried more days this month than I haven’t. And if I am honest with you, I am beyond having words. The loss, the pain, the tragedy, the…all of it…is bigger than my words.

Today my friend Iona Hoeppner shared some personal things on a post by another friend of ours, and she asked how she could confess she saw the miracles of a situation and still be devastated?

She wasn’t asking for advice or for some psychological explanation or even a theological one. She was expressing the dichotomy of being a human with faith. It’s a fiercely brave question in my opinion.

I responded with the following, and I share both her question and my response because it is something we need to talk about. It is a burden we need to lay down. It is…an honesty…we need to be able to rest in and know we are safe there.

So I offer this estuary life place where faith, gratitude, and devastation commingle honestly to anyone who needs a place to rest.

(My response)

Iona Hoeppner, isn’t it funny, sad funny, that we put so much pressure on ourselves to be something God never called us to be. He never once said grief negates faith. He never once said being devastated negates being grateful. He never once said our being human makes us believe less that He is God. On the contrary, He implores us to bring our anguish and devastation to Him. He longs to hold us and comfort us and take in all we are…even when we are shattered. Being shattered is not a lack of faith or hope. It is the reality of a life change so immense that we have to stop, catch our breath and get our bearings to decide how to imagine something so heartbreakingly different. Faith keeps us moving forward. Gratitude keeps us buoyant, but neither keep us from being devastated.


To those feeling the devastation among the miraculous…

Both are real, and you are doing beautiful.

My heart and prayers,

Jerri Kelley