I Hear the Prairies Calling


Compass Plant (silphium laciniatum)



So what do you do when your prayers are not answered in the way you hoped for?  What happens when the healing doesn’t come? When the bills continue to pile up?  Or when the heartbreak feels like it will never end?

I have been walking this path of Chronic Illness for a relatively short period of time, compared to others I’ve met who’ve dealt with it for a life time.  Nonetheless, I have had my days of growing weary in my prayers.  Days when I’ve felt that this illness just shouldn’t be continuing.  After all, I’ve done all the things I’m supposed to be doing, and worked so hard at it! I’ve changed my diet, and added in the essential oils.  I’ve taken the pills and given myself the shots.  I’ve exercised and I’ve rested.  I’ve let go and I’ve held onto.  . . .  And yet, the hard days still overwhelm me when they come.  “Not again!” I’ve heard myself crying in the midst of renewed pain, even as the Lord is whispering His Love in the same moment.

I’ve a confession to make.  I am a corner-sitter. Have been, for most of my life in fact.  Anytime sickness came, I found a spot, settled there, and pushed everyone else away.  Let me focus on my chores, and grudgingly get through these bad days, then I’ll rejoin the human race when I feel better.   Is there anyone else who would take the risk to join in and acknowledge that also? 

Or maybe you are more like my husband, who is a snuggler.  When sickness comes his way, he becomes a sweet little puppy dog, and just wants to hold my hand and let me reassure him that things will soon be better.  

Neither way is actually better than the other. What really matters is how we let the Lord come into those moments.  In my mind, the snuggler would seem better suited to opening his heart to God’s Presence, but I’m not so sure.  Where do our eyes go, when we are weak?  Do we seek to find our help in other people?  Do we seek to find our help in our own hidden reserves of strength?

If we are really honest, we could find a different source of strength, and a different place in which to focus our thoughts:

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

When I have truly listened to the comfort that Jesus brings, I have been drawn out of the corner. He is above the pain and the heartbreak, even as He understands what we are feeling.  This life is only a moment, only a fleeting, but His Eternity is all around us if we will see above the storm of this day.

Those flowers at the top of the page hold a special meaning for me. I have longed to see them for years.  When we lived in Illinois, the prairie seemed to surround me, even as I walked my daily paths in the busy of Chicago suburbs.  So I devoured books and information on the prairie plants.  This one, the 6 to 8 foot tall Compass Plant, fascinated me.  It’s leaves were supposed to face North and South, in order to avoid the glare of the hot noon-day sun.  I was never able to see it, though, in all of my Chicago-land years.

But this weekend, in the middle of a painful fibro-flare, there it was: close to my Wisconsin home, in the nature preserve with my name in it: Lake Elizabeth Nature Trail.  My husband had driven there, for a brief touch with the wild restored praire land that my soul was craving.  And it is true! Those leaves really are pointing North and South, avoiding that heavy glare.

I want to point the way to comfort also.  Focused upward where the Glory of Jesus can brighten even these hard days of unanswered prayer.   Where the wild places can call our hearts out of their dreary into the Beauty and Joy of Jesus.


I am linking again this week over at these great sites:

16 thoughts on “I Hear the Prairies Calling

  1. Thank you for sharing your feelings so honestly, Bettie. I know that “Not again!” thought. Chronic illness can be so wearing, can't it? I think I might be more of a corner-sitter, too. I try to act strong and hide how I'm feeling. I can never seem to fool my hubby though. I'm so glad Jesus is above our every heartbreak and knows what we're feeling. May we “see above the storm of this day!” I've been feeling kind of blue, so thank you for encouraging me today. Blessings and hugs to you!


  2. Bettie,
    What a beautiful flower and your words have painted a picture of resilience and strength! You might be a corner-sitter, but you also join a sisterhood of online friends when you share your journey with us! I just love the sweet gifts from God that we notice on our walks or as we go about our daily lives that feel as if they are put there just for us to see and feel that God's eyes are upon us, no matter what we're going through. xoxo


  3. Trudy, it's so good to hear from you again. I've prayed for you so much over this summer of resting. I'm sorry that you have had these blue days, but what a precious gift from God to have a hubby who sees & understands you. May the Lord continue to carry us through these storms! –Hugs & Blessings!


  4. Oh Valerie, your words about joining this sisterhood, reminded me of this passage in Hebrews 12:”You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.” What an encouragement! Thank you for pointing me to HIM again, and to HIS sweet gifts! –Hugs & Blessings!


  5. Bettie, I too am a corner gal – there is power in realizing how we are I think, so we can either accept it and then pray for if there needs to be change or rather grace on the hard days? I love the way you paint this picture, and it certainly peeked my interest about the compass flower. I am going to have to tell my kids about this one and maybe we can study it for a home school project! I love how God puts things in your path to remind you of truths, just as He did with the butterflies. God bless you, friend and thanks for linking up!


  6. Hi Meg,
    I appreciate your prayers so much, because it sure does help to know that others are praying! And, you are right, it is so good to allow myself some grace on the hard days. Thank you for your encouragement! I hope that you are able to find some compass plants close to your new home; fun ways to bring nature into the homeschooling days! –Bless you my friend!!


  7. This is so beautiful, Bettie. Tears reading it, especially this: “But this weekend, in the middle of a painful fibro-flare, there it was”. It's like He allows us to experience pain, so that we might know an even deeper experience of His Loving compassion.

    I'm so sorry for the pain you're experiencing, but I'm thankful you have God near you and a loving husband who helps you seek Him in the quiet of nature.

    BTW I'm a corner-sitter too: leave me alone and let me get on with it! Have you ever read Just Show Up (Kara Typetts and her friend wrote it)? It was so eye and heart-opening as a corner-sitter!


  8. Thank you Anna for stopping by and your kind, encouraging comments! Wow, that is so true that He gives us that deeper experience of His compassion in the midst of the pain sometimes! And, I have not read the book you mentioned, but it sounds very good! I'm going to have to check it out. –Blessings!


  9. Dear Bettie, I think this was written before we knew one another, or I missed it somehow. So I am thankful you linked to it from your current post! It’s so heartrending and heartening too, especially hearing how God wonderfully met an inner longing just when you were struggling. A holy surprise never fails to be a joy and delight. As for your physical health challenges, I feel for you, my friend. It doesn’t matter how long or short a time we have been on this chronic illness journey, there will be days of overwhelm and a huge desire to move on from fatigue and pain. Even when it becomes our new “normal”, I don’t think we ever stop wanting things to be different. Reading this shows me how far you have come in such a short time. You may not notice it yourself, but you are a lovely soul who lovingly and prayerfully ministers to others out of her brokenness. God has given you a new and beautiful passion and mission. And I am grateful to be sharing the journey with you, because we need to support our sisters in suffering, even if we have to come out of our quiet corner to do so! Blessings and love. xoxo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Oh you will never know how thankful I am that you were willing to “come out of your quiet corner” to support this sister in her chronic illness journey. Your encouragement to continue writing was such a gift to me at just the right time. I don’t know if I would have continued blogging if God had not allowed our paths to cross! Your grace filled words nudged me to keep persevering, when so often I felt too weary to continue with any of it. I pray that you will know the passion and mission that God has blessed you with is such a beautiful gift also. Blessings, hugs, and love to you Dear Friend! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

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