Ep. 4.23 Where's the Grace in Suffering? with Karis Meier

This week on the AU podcast, we talk with guest Karis Meier about finding the grace in suffering. Long illnesses got you down? Do you not seem to see God working in the  midst of suffering? What’s the solution to suffering. All this and more in this week’s episode.

3:21-3:37 Where does God want us to come from?

6:09-6:20 Humility

8:32-8:43 Hope is where victory lies

Find out more about Karis, her book, her blog, and more at her website https://karismeier.com

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Hello and welcome to today's episode
of the Authentic Uprising podcast.
I'm your host Jill Simons, and I'm so
excited to grow in the radical art
of standing in what God says
about you with you today.
The show is a place where we
pour into the sense of who God is,
who we are, and how we can live
more in the freedom that he
has for us every
single day.
Hello and welcome to the Authentic
Uprising podcast.
As always, I'm your
host Jill Simons.
And today, we are continuing
our conversation about grace.
And and really the way that
grace truly changes us.
That's the big message that
the Holy Spirit put on my heart
to talk about this quarter was
really the reality of the way
that God's movement shapes us and how
he really does come into our lives.
And so that's why I'm so excited about
our guest today. Her name is Karis
Meier and she is an author
and mom and a counselor.
It's going to be sharing with
us from a book that she wrote
and from her personal experience
about how God and his grace
are radically present in
the midst of suffering.
So Karis, thank you so much for being
here with me today. Thank you.
So share with us a little bit about
what led you into writing this book.
About suffering and your walk
with the Lord through that time.
So it definitely wasn't
something I had planned.
I had never thought of myself as a writer,
never thought I would publish a book.
But about five years ago. So
this was about twelve years into
having chronic illness of I
just woke up one night and felt
like the Lord was was telling
me to start writing.
And at that point, I I was thinking.
What am I gonna write about?
I I was at a very low point
physically and also spiritually
just kind of in a very desperate
place. But after a couple weeks
of kind of putting it off, I
just I started writing, keeping
kind of a journal of what God was
teaching me through the Word,
how, you know, just questions
I was having in my struggle.
So it was very much of a personal
kinda just processing, I guess,
of of of what I was
going through.
And then a little
while later,
I started up Facebook group
called Suffering Well.
And then a little bit
later, I started a blog.
And so beginning of this year, I was just
praying a lot about, you know,
kinda of what I should be
focusing on and looked back and
realized, wow! I had like,
hundred hundred pages plus of of
content that I had in over the years
and felt like God was telling
me to put it into a book, which
was quite difficult because
it was it was very a lot
of it was very raw,
very personal and yet I felt like God was
saying, that he wanted me to to...
You know, because I was thinking,
maybe, you know, after I'm healed and,
like, I have a great story to
share, then I can write a book,
and that's gonna be awesome,
but that's not always what God
wants. He wants us to come from
a place of weakness sometimes.
And so that's kinda where it came. And
so... Yeah, I published it in October.
Called suffering redeemed.
That is so beautiful.
And so you're still walking through this
period in your life of suffering then.
Yes. Wow. And so as
you... I get...
I resonate with that so much that
idea of, like, oh, you know,
kind of when we've reached this point
where it's got a nice bow on it,
and I can kind of give God
the glory at that point,
that's sort of what I'm comfortable
with is where everything
is tied up and finished. And so
what were the kind of emotional
things you had to work through
to share this from a place of
conviction about God's presence
in the midst of your suffering
while the suffering
was continuing. Yeah.
So many things, I think
a lot of it was just...
Being afraid to be
completely broken.
The vulnerability of, I think
sometimes as Christians,
we feel like we wanna have
it, you know, together.
I I think I felt like, I
didn't wanna let God down.
I wanted to have the right answers,
you know, so when people ask me,
how are you doing? You know,
a lot of times I would, you know,
share some, you know, something
real it was going on,
but then always have a but.
But, you know, But God is good.
And so always, like, feeling like I
had to... Some have a positive spin.
And so... And I think there's
certain times where I was I was
really struggling with doubt
and uncertainty and like,
believing that God really is good
and that who who he says he is and,
you know, that... So I think
a lot of it was just some
insecurities and and just and
pride really too because I think
it's it's it's very humbling to to admit
and to ask for help and into and to,
you know, show kind of what is
going on internally in a way,
because I'm I'm more of a introvert
and a more of a private person.
So for me, I didn't I didn't
always. I usually kept in
what was going on a lot. I didn't openly
share that with a lot of people.
So even when I wrote...
Went on the book came out,
even people in my family were like, I
had no idea you were going through this.
You know? And so it's just for
me, it was very exposing.
So just working
through the... Yeah.
I guess, humility really is is
is is, you know, saying, you know,
I I don't have it together,
and this is where I'm at.
But then also just that that place
of surrender of saying, You know,
God, I don't I don't have all the answers.
I still don't have other answers.
I don't understand why
you heal some people,
why you deliver some people why
you know, and why you don't.
And that's okay. You know,
it's it's not for us to know
everything and it says clearly
in the Word that we we don't
know because God's ways are so much
higher. So, you know, there's just...
There's so many
questions still.
And and I think that that sense
of not having control of what's
gonna to happen next
for me is hard.
But it's also freeing
because, you know, it it...
I think when we start to share with
other people it kind of opens up
an avenue too for God to to expose
more of what's going on in
us and also to reach those places, you
know, that maybe we try to keep hidden.
So Yeah. Absolutely. I I work
a lot with healing ministry.
And that comes up again
and again, Like,
why is there healing for some
people and not for other people
and is there a way
to predict?
And, of course, there's not,
you know, it's just really...
It's something that is so intimate
in the person's walk with
the Lord kind of where they're at
and what he's working on in them.
But I was praying
about this once.
I was really wanting to have more
courage in going after praying
for especially physical
healing for people.
And so I was praying about what
it was that was kind of holding
me back from praying with more
courage for physical healing.
And it was interesting because
this specific lie that I felt,
like, the Holy Spirit highlighted
for me was this lie that
it's like naive or
even kind of cruel,
to foster hope when you don't
know if the person is going to
be healed or not because we
don't know. We know that they
absolutely can be a hundred percent
healed in the moment on the spot,
but we don't know if that's
what's gonna happen.
And so It was so beautiful because
the truth that I felt like
the Holy Spirit shared with me
kind of in response to that
lie to overwrite that lie if you will,
was that hope itself is victorious,
just moving in hope. And the fact
and knowing that he can is
where the victory lies
for so many people,
which is a hard hard thing
to walk through, you know,
multi year illnesses without
letting that flavor
the way that we approach God or
the... Or the way that we hope.
And so I'd love to I'd love to
hear about how hope specifically
has figured into your story and your walk
through this illness with the Lord.
Yeah. I I love what
you share just now.
I think that's a beautiful example of how
the the Lord speaks to us and gives...
And continues to let us have
hope because I think hope is is
so important and I
think of the...
The Proverb says, hope deferred
makes the heart sick,
but allowing to field
as a tree of life.
And I think I've been in that
place you know where there's
been times where I've had such
faith. Like, I really...
Like, I could almost imagine, you
know, like, I'm gonna be healed,
you know? I'm just and feeling
very expectant, you know,
there's been times
where it's been Yeah.
It's just been so tangible and
and then I kind of feel let
down after that and then have periods
of of kind of like settling,
like... I don't know... It's
it's too hard to keep hoping.
It's too, you know,
the disappointment,
that that follows is is
hard, it's hard to live with.
But at the same time, I think
this tension and I actually have
a chapter I book where I talk
about this tension of of living
in in the hope and
the expectancy,
but also being fully surrendered to
God's will and and to his timing.
And I think it's a really
hard place to live,
because I think our tendency is
humans is to, like, go all in,
you know, like, okay, whatever.
I'm just gonna throw up my hands.
This is how it's gonna be
and I'm just gonna settle for it,
expect the worst and maybe something
good happens, I'll be happy or,
you know, like, I'm gonna go all for it
and, you know, I'm gonna push...
Put everything I can to make
this happen faster and quicker
and which doesn't work, you know, with
with God because he he's never in a rush.
He's all about the process. But
I think it's it's such a...
It's a good place to be because it
takes everything out of our hands.
If we can be, you know, sitting
back and in peaceful surrender,
but also not losing the expectancy
and hope that God, at any moment,
at any time, he can move and oftentimes
you we see in the Scripture,
You know, what's at the last?
So the last moment, you know,
it's like when all hope is
gone, then God comes through.
And so yeah, we
just don't know.
And and I think that's
that's the fun thing,
I guess I would say about about
God is like, he's he doesn't...
you know, he just... He's
surprising. Like, he he just...
He'll show up when and how he
wants to. Yeah. That is so true.
And I think that that's part of
where the grace really is in
suffering is that sacrifice
of the illusion of control.
Because I think that that is something
that's so ingrained in our modern world,
especially where
we're not, like,
wondering if we're gonna
survive the day on a regular basis.
You think about, like, historical
cultures where you had men
constantly fighting,
even just, you know,
amongst neighbors and
things like that.
I mean, survival was not
a given on a daily basis.
And so there was kind of this lack of
illusion in how they lived their lives.
Whereas now, when we have such,
like comfortable modern lives,
all this technology, there's
just a lot of illusion that we
are in control and we can hold
everything in and in times of
illness is really when I have seen in
my own life that it's most acute,
where you're, like, gosh.
I control none of this.
Like, I have no what you're like
say in what's going down here.
Different situation, but
we've just finished,
like six weeks of illness in my
children and everyone in my house,
and it was just like, gosh. I mean,
just the question of, like,
whether we're gonna
get to sleep,
whether we're gonna get through
the next day which just felt very raw.
And that was what I felt like
the Lord was sharing with me
during that time was, like, this
is very much the grace of, like,
you remembering sort of
how things actually work.
And it's easy to lose track of
that when we're just kinda going
through our motions of our
lives? Mh. Mh. Yeah. It is.
How has this because you have been
walking with this illness for how long?
Going on eighteen years. Wow.
So prior to becoming a mother?
Mh. So how has this struggle
kind of informed...
Your motherhood and the way that
you want to share your faith
and faith in God with
your children. Yeah.
You know, I think I think
been the hardest part.
They actually when when I first
got sick and I was diagnosed
with a few different
things. They told us,
we we wouldn't be able to have any
children. And so it really...
The... All the four children we
have are all all miracles and
by the grace of God, because I mean,
I've been in and out of the hospital.
On feeding tubes and barely
able to sustain myself.
So to be able to bear four children is
is a miracle. And so I know that...
I know each one of them
is a gift from God.
And I think, you know, yeah. The
hardest thing for me has been
just not wanting what I'm going through
to effect my children negatively.
And for them to see the struggle
and the suffering and and
also just a lot of anxiety, especially
my older two, very sensitive.
Always know, like, even as much
as I try to hide when things
are not going well
or, you know,
they're they're so perceptive and they
they have very compassionate hearts.
So they they feel
a lot. And so, yeah.
As a mom who wants to take care of
the kids and then to to have my kids,
feel anxious for me is
just is very difficult.
So I've struggled a lot with with
having to give that to the Lord
and trusting that he
will hold their hearts.
And I think the beauty that I
have seen is that they are so
in tune to people
who are suffering.
You know, they really have
a heart for praying for people,
like when they when they hear someone's
sick like, oh, let's pray for them or...
So they haven't they haven't lost their
faith. You know, I'm afraid sometimes.
I'm like, they pray
for me every day.
Like, God, please you
mommy, You know, and I'm like,
are they gonna stop trusting God because
God's not answering the prayers,
but I... You know, I
haven't seen that.
It's still a fear
I have, but I...
I've I've almost seen the opposite
in some ways about how God
is just growing them through this. And
so yeah, I guess I just have to keep...
It's something that I have to
keep giving over to the Lord.
And trusting that he will sustain
me to to take care of them
and provide other people to help
when I can't. Yeah. Absolutely.
And what a beautiful
like you're saying,
the fact that they are
really having parts formed.
Truly after, like,
the Father's own heart
is really what, you know, like,
the heart for people in suffering,
and we see that so many times and
what Christ says about himself
and his mission during this time
here on Earth is this heart
for the suffering people and how
these signs and wonders always
accompanied him when he went
administered to people and and
really shared the Gospel and that
being the fullness of the Gospel.
And that's that's just really
beautiful that that's how the Lord
is speaking into their story
through your own story.
And it's one of those, you know,
reminders that, like, ultimately,
our children are ours like,
our children, mh. Our.
And, you know, we do everything
we can with what we have,
while we have them here, but ultimately,
there's so much we don't control.
So specifically, this idea of grace
as we've talked about grace,
you know, you just shared
a little bit about kind of where
the grace has been for your
family as you've walked through
this season together. Where would
you say you've seen the most fruit,
of the grace of God, as you have
walked through this time of
suffering yourself and what
kind of fruit has that born in
your relationship with God. So as as
you mentioned before, the podcast...
My name Karis means "grace"
from the Greek word.
And so I think it's something
grace is always...
Something I've
struggled with,
personally just the idea of of
having unmeritted favor from God
and not having to work to receive that
is something that is is difficult.
And so I I think especially
as I started you know,
being in a place where I I was
kind of forced in a way to
receive to learn to receive from God,
receive his love, receive his grace,
receive mercy and I think it opened
my eyes to more of the goodness
of God and his unconditional love,
you know, that oftentimes,
even though we know that God
does have unconditional love,
I think we oftentimes live as
though we need to earn his love.
And so I think that that's
that's part of it,
the intimacy that I learned as
I kind of got past the kind of
the more the formal feeling like,
oh, I need to say the right things.
And it was really through the Psalms
actually that that helped
me speak the words that I didn't know
you know, or even really there.
Some of the some of the desperate
desperate times and the the
emotions even that we're
going on inside me,
the the Psalms put words to that
and it really did cultivate
this this intimacy with God in a new
way that I hadn't had before you know,
being completely broken in
every sort in every, you know,
in every sense of the word.
And so I think it's...
It was a new experience of
God's grace and a you know,
just at a deeper level than I had
before. Absolutely. I love...
I always go back to Psalm twenty-six in times of suffering because,
of course, that's the Psalm that
Christ quotes on the cross.
And I think that that's always
so nice to remember that, like,
there's... There's
words for this.
Like, there's things that
the people that have gone before me
have prayed that have walked them
through this time and the way
that that Psalm even in
the midst of the...
Of the writer and the others that
have prayed it throughout time,
there's that turn towards praise
and turn towards hoping
in what the Lord is going to do even
within that Psalm itself. And I...
It's just such a valuable
framework for framing our
interaction with God in those
times where like you said,
we just don't have the words.
Mh. I love that. Yeah.
Well, if you had to give one piece
of advice to another Christian
sister walking through, maybe beginning
a journey of a really heavy suffering.
Is there some some way that
you have prayed something that
you have done that has helped you ground
really in the Lord as you have walked
through this time that you
would recommend to them?
I you know, I think it always
goes back to to speaking and
thinking the truth about who God is
and who who we are as his children.
You know there's
so many lies.
I think especially when you're
in a place of suffering.
Whether it comes from, you know,
the evil one or yourself or the world,
you know, people will say things
that can just trigger, you know,
out of goodwill probably, but
a lot of times in the place
you're just in not
a vulnerable place.
So there's a lot of lies I
think that it can come.
And so whether it be speaking
speaking the promises of God
that that we know are true, even
though we aren't experiencing them,
speaking about who we are, because
for me personally with with illness.
It's... It it can become
part of your identity.
You can start to think
like this is who I am.
This is this is part of of of the core
of my being, which is not the truth.
You know, I am I have
illness, but I'm am not...
You know, that's not
that's not my identity.
And so it can become
the giant, you know,
that kinda takes over
every part of your life,
if you're not careful because
we're so I think it becomes so
desperate to get out of that
suffering that that becomes
magnified instead of God and
the truth. And the word.
And so, yeah, I think it just
comes back to being in God's
Word and speaking and memorizing
and that's that's how I have
to fight every day.
Mh Yeah. No.
I so so deeply agree that has
been my experience in my life
as well really being intentional
about putting the truth first
and having what the Lord says,
be the soundtrack. Absolutely.
Well, Karis, I have so enjoyed
getting to talk with you today.
Thank you for sharing about
your experience with us.
I'd love for you to share just
as we end here the title of
your book where
people can get it,
we're gonna put the link in
the show notes as well if people
are interested in
checking it out. Sure.
Thank you so much for
having me first of all.
And yeah, the book is
called Suffering Redeemed:
Finding strength to endure, purpose
and pain and hope for tomorrow.
And right now, it is on Amazon.
Both kindle and paperback.
And you can also go to my website,
which is just my name KarisMeier.com,
and you can find my blog and the book
on there and some other things.
So... Fantastic. Well,
thank you so much, Karis.
I hope have a wonderful rest of
your day. Thank you. You too.
Thank you so much for joining
me on today's episode of the
Authentic Uprising podcast. It
is always a joy to be with you.
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