Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure

Today I pause to inhale the beauty of this spiritual journey and share a bit of the blessing flowing right where I am. Most of the images were snapped on our recent road trip where wondrous Southern skies stirred my soul.

Twilight on the beach. Sullivan's Island is both a town and an island, an affluent suburb of Charleston., South Carolina - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio – on our road trip to the Southeast, we savored time at Sullivan’s Island.

Do you ever experience a mysterious sort of inner buoyancy and consolation that you strongly sense is coming from a source beyond you, deep within you, or maybe both?

Twilight on the beach. Sullivan's Island is both a town and an island, an affluent suburb of Charleston., South Carolina - Hello Lovely Studio.
Sullivan’s Island – Hello Lovely Studio. Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.

Because it’s happening just now, and I suspect it is divine energy from prayers lifted on my behalf (or the lingering angel-love of departed friends and family.)

Southern skies in South Carolina - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio

I’m so grateful for this joy alive in my heart.

What joy to be lifted high enough to see a landscape of beauty…to be warmed by rays of hope…to feel the vibrations of a sweet note pulsing on the air.

Southern skies - a July roadtrip through South Carolina, Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Oh this music swirling in my cells, in my world right now with its echoing “all shall be well” and “all is rigged in your favor.”

Southern skies in Savannah - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

I’m naturally stubborn so I count it a small miracle that I trust every echo…do you suppose that is the essence of faith?

Southern skies in Savannah - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio – Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.

My health has been far better, yet my spirit seems not to know.

Southern skies - a July roadtrip through Savannah, Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

There is all this wisdom that can only grow in the valley, when I am unable to soak up sunshine from mountaintops.

Southern skies - a July roadtrip through South Carolina, Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

In the valley, I remember how I am wonderfully made to be loved beneath all these trappings.

Inspirational quote from Henri Nouwen and photo by Hello Lovely Studio. #quotes #henrinouwen #spirituality #holiness

Beneath roles of mother, wife, and daughter. Beneath titles, talents, shortcomings, and even personality.

Hello Lovely Studio – Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.

For when my identities are stripped away and I quietly consent to Presence, the truth of my belovedness emerges.

Southern skies - a July roadtrip through South Carolina, Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

I started a new treatment for my illness, and we hope it will help. I have experienced many bouts of illness before (one chapter lasted 18 months, and I narrowly survived…but I am a sassy girl!) so I have courage and hope.

Still. I’m only human, and there are unknowns.

Southern skies - a July roadtrip through South Carolina, Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Isn’t this just how all of life goes?

We much prefer easy answers, swift resolutions, and golden cures.

Tybee Island - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio – Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.

This I know.

In the absence of comfort, in the absence of tidy, happy everafters, in the absence of cure, HEALING CAN BECOME OUR GLORY.

Southern skies - a July roadtrip through South Carolina, Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Healing can transform brokenness as the old falls away and the new arises.

Southern skies - a July roadtrip through South Carolina, Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

But what of the cure?

I don’t know. I wish I knew.

Southern skies - a July roadtrip through South Carolina, Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio – Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.

But I wonder if healing can somehow serve one as well as any cure.

Arizona sunset and Annie Dillard quote - by Hello Lovely Studio.
Photo: Hello Lovely Studio.

I wonder if brokenness can be a fruitful sort of coming apart.

Hello Lovely Studio - Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio – Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.

I can’t help but think of a violet or an herb releasing its fragrance when it is trampled underfoot (poets through the ages have compared such fragrance to forgiveness).

Arizona pink flowers - Hello Lovely Studio. Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

Is it possible that suffering sometimes yields a fragrant offering for the whole wide world? (An important wisdom teacher bringing good news two thousand years ago comes to mind.)

Hello Lovely Studio - Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

I don’t know anything at all, but right where I am, this feels true:

In the absence of cure, God who comes disguised as healing is the same loving God who comes as cure.

Hello Lovely Studio - Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio – Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.

This joy singing in my heart is quite a gift.

Hello Lovely Studio - Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

And since I feel Grace inside and outside and all around, really, friends, how can I lose?

Hello Lovely Studio - Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

Right where I am, the veil has been pulled back a little bit.

As I lean into mercy, I am granted another opportunity to relearn my loveliness and the beauty of desert places.

Hello Lovely Studio - Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

From the valley, my hands are weak yet long to open, stretch heavenward, then rest upon my heart.

“You’re so good to me” is on my lips.

Arizona sunset in the spring - Hello Lovely Studio. Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

Surely this is how healing begins. How the journey becomes visibly sacred and rich. (Of course it was always sacred…every bit of it, but awareness tends to dull outside of the valley).

Hello Lovely Studio - Arizona desert landscape. Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

Surely this is how peace carries us through the valley, not because our faith is steadfast and strong, but because a goodness-full, holy force IS.

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio holding Bella Luna in her French Country kitchen - Hello Lovely Studio. Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

Thank you for opening your heart to these imperfect words flowing from another heart cracked open.

Hello Lovely Studio
My mom snapped this days ago of my father saying goodbye to his big sister, who is very ill. It reminded me so much of the words of Ram Dass who says we are all just walking each other home. And if you knew the souls in the photo, well, they are walking with a golden vibrancy, a twinkle in the eye. What a legacy! I’m making the journey more awkwardly, a little wobbly-like. But if we hold hands, you can hardly tell the difference!

The following litany* arrived in my inbox, and if it brings you blessing too…well, that is a fine start for the glory of my brokenness, now isn’t it?

“God, You work . . .

in the accelerating expansion of the universe
in the spiraling of galaxies
in the explosion of supernovas
in the singularity of black holes
in the regularity of the Solar System
in the equilibrium of the Earth’s ecology
in the evolving of a society
. . .
in the functioning of our organs
in the chemical processes within our bodies
in the forces within the atom
in the “weird” behavior of quantum particles

. . .

May I sit in wonder that I live entirely within Your Presence everywhere and in everything and everyone.”

From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations (August 31, 2019); Adapted from a litany by Andre Auger, “Given This Universe, What/Who Is God?” found here.

Inspirational quote about healing by Hello Lovely Studio. Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

To read more soulful reflections, see THIS and THIS.

Inspirational quote about healing on Hello Lovely Studio. Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

Wherever this finds you, dear soul, I want you to know I am joining you as your sister. You are so very very precious and worthy of goodness and mercy. Things are going to work out, friend.

Inspirational quote about healing by Hello Lovely Studio. Faith in the Valley & Healing in the Absence of Cure.
Hello Lovely Studio

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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26 Comments

  1. September 4, 2019 / 6:46 am

    michele, so sorry you are faced with another round of treatment but super good to see your precious outlook and goodness. and for that of your aunt. keeping good thoughts for your family. xo

    • Michele
      Author
      September 4, 2019 / 7:44 am

      Thank you kindly. πŸ™‚

  2. Amy Saunders
    September 4, 2019 / 7:45 am

    The valley truly is the most sacred place to be though at first it never seems so, because like you said… awareness does tend to dull outside of the valley. All the good and lasting things come by way of the valley, so it is truly God’s gift and graciousness to take us there and then to walk with us and/or carry us through it. He IS steadfast and strong. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Is 55:8-9. Praying that HE will meet your every need at every turn of this sacred journey, dear sister. You are a great encouragement to us all!

    • Michele
      Author
      September 4, 2019 / 8:55 am

      Thank you for this picture you paint of being personally escorted to a place to prosper me and for the Word, so very much alive. THANK HEAVENS my thoughts are not his thoughts because *game over* ya know? Higher ways. Yes – this is a longing from the valley. Higher thoughts. Mercy, I need to put on a new mind so often. Thank you for honoring me and seeing me with your awakened heart. xox

  3. Karen H.
    September 4, 2019 / 8:18 am

    Yes, sister, I do believe God is working behind the scenes. Sending prayers and hopefulness for your new treatment.

    • Michele
      Author
      September 4, 2019 / 8:50 am

      Thank you for encouraging me. I don’t ever want to be too proud to ask for prayer or believe my personal resources will sustain me – quite simply, they never have. Peace to you. πŸ™‚

  4. JulieWentz
    September 4, 2019 / 8:33 am

    Dear Michele
    How I enjoy reading your articles every day.
    I wish you strength and peace throughout your course of treatment.
    You are brave to reach out and express your feelings. I had a similiar illness and handled it by isolating myself. When I look back this may have been a mistake but it way my way indeed.
    My absolute best wishes to you.

    • Michele
      Author
      September 4, 2019 / 8:47 am

      I honor how you responded to your illness and don’t at all feel special for simply writing down what we all experience at some point. (To be honest, I never think too much about how this is a public forum…to my naive self, it’s just me and a couple friends.) Thank you for joining me and the tender support. xox

  5. Connie
    September 4, 2019 / 8:37 am

    I can relate to your time of “inner buoyancy and consolation” amidst the trials on ongoing health issues. What a blessing it is to have times like this….the “good days”!

    The lyrics of the song “Blessings” by Laura Story keep running through my head. They bring me comfort and I pass them on here as a comfort and prayer for you too, and others who may read this:

    Chorus:
    Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
    What if Your healing comes through tears
    What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
    What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

    Ending:
    What if my greatest disappointments
    Or the aching of this life
    Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
    What if trials of this life
    The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
    Are your mercies in disguise

    We can only pray that we follow God closely as He guides us through our trials & disappointments, our daily uncertainties and our human failings, because He has promised us His love endures for us…..forever and ever.

    • Michele
      Author
      September 4, 2019 / 8:44 am

      Amen. Amen. What a gift these lyrics and a greater gift the enduring love flowing in valleys and upon mountaintops. For me it is all about getting still and emptying self to receive what is freely given. Peace to you. xox

  6. Kristin Dimmich
    September 4, 2019 / 11:21 am

    Michele,

    Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying for you.

    • Michele
      Author
      September 4, 2019 / 3:46 pm

      Thanks for reading, Kristin. I appreciate the prayer.

  7. Suzi Thomason
    September 4, 2019 / 6:55 pm

    Michele,
    Thank you for sharing your journey honestly and hopefully.

    “For a seed to achieve it’s greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, it’s insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”
    Cynthia Occelli

    The Lord will fight for you, you only need to be still. Ex.14:14
    You are highly favored and deeply loved!

    • Michele
      Author
      September 4, 2019 / 11:10 pm

      Thank you for the kindness and wisdom, Suzi. Peace to you.

  8. September 5, 2019 / 8:27 am

    You are such a beautiful soul Michele! I love your photos of the beach and the sky and the cloud formations . I understand a little of what you’re going through. You can be completely healed but not cured. I pray for you…

    • Michele
      Author
      September 5, 2019 / 3:34 pm

      What a gift to have friends as you whispering my name to our Heavenly Father. I’m just so grateful. xox

  9. Donna starr
    September 5, 2019 / 10:03 pm

    Thank you for expressing so well what you are going through. It touched my heart, so many people are hurting right now and I know they bring peace to many pray you feel better soon.

    • Michele
      Author
      September 6, 2019 / 12:11 am

      I’m so grateful to have hearts like yours right here near mine. Thank you, Donna.

  10. September 9, 2019 / 1:15 pm

    Michele,
    My dear friend, I am so sorry that you are dealing with another bout of treatment. My prayers are with you as always. You have such a lovely outlook on life and I know that God is providing all that you need.Thanks for sharing at TFT.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Michele
      Author
      September 10, 2019 / 7:57 am

      Thanks for your kindness, Bev. It is challenging, and I need the prayers. My outlook is a result of Grace – I rely on it and am so grateful. I look forward to a day this all will be a memory of a valley I once knew. xox

  11. October 16, 2019 / 12:16 pm

    Share your favorite posts at Thursday Favorite Things! Let your favorites become our favorites! @marilyn_lesniak #ThursdayFavoriteThings

    • Michele
      Author
      October 16, 2019 / 12:52 pm

      Thanks for the heads up, Marilyn – you know I’ll be over! πŸ™‚

  12. October 16, 2019 / 9:55 pm

    Your perspective is so beautiful, Michele. Wishing you the best as you begin your new treatment. I loved this so much — “Surely this is how peace carries us through the valley, not because our faith is steadfast and strong, but because a goodness-full, holy force IS.” True! Your pictures are beautiful too! Thanks, as always, for sharing with us at Thursday Favorite Things. xo

    • Michele
      Author
      October 16, 2019 / 10:01 pm

      I’m humbled. Thanks so much for taking the time to read, Pam. Looking forward to visiting your blog in the morning. πŸ™‚

  13. Lyn
    October 22, 2019 / 8:47 pm

    Many of us are walking the same path as you. Gratitude for what we do have is of the utmost importance. I do love what you write, and I ADORE when you post humor. Although we have never met ‘real time,’ we know each other and I do pray for you, through your wonderful blog!

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