As Is

“What is, is,” a friend of mine told me after I had just shared with her the turmoil in my heart and house.

To say I was angry with her response is an understatement. The fact is I was feeling quite ragey about such a succinct response. “Didn’t you hear me?” I wanted to shout at her. “Don’t you see the sadness, anger, and devastation?”

The truth is, she did. She heard and saw all of it. And her simple but powerful words were the result of her many experiences in life that weren’t going like she wanted them to-they were hard, people she loved were hurting, she was sad, angry, and devastated at her current state of affairs.

Her words come to me often these days. When I begin to trip and fall into the “everything’s awful, when is it going to better” rabbit hole I hear her voice.

I think I should be far removed from past hurts. I think things that happened a couple of years ago shouldn’t still pop up and bother me. I think that things should be fixed once and for all. But that’s not how life goes. It’s never a once for all kind of kind thing. What is, is.

The truth is, I am currently being really challenged to relearn lessons that I thought I had in the bag. Situations that require patience, endurance, and steadfastness come up daily. For awhile, I raged against them; telling God that absolutely, under no circumstance was I going to practice patience, endurance, or steadfastness again in the near future. Hadn’t He seen me do those things already? Wasn’t it time for someone else to learn those lessons? My behavior and my words to those around me reflected the anger I had at having these lessons once again at the forefront of my life.

And then, just 4 days ago, I read this:

The more I give thanks for my life as it is, the more I can accept the healing that allows me to change and grow.
                                                            ~Courage to Change, page 319

There it was again: “my life AS IT IS.” The reminder to give thanks for where I’m at today, and for the situations that arise today was good on its own, but it was the second part of that sentence that really allowed the, “What is, is,” lesson to sink in.

When I give thanks for what my life looks like today, and how I feel today, and how other people’s attitudes and actions impact me today- I can see how much growth and change through healing I have already experienced. I am not the same as I once was. I am no longer devastated at the current state of affairs, no longer consistently angry or sad about how my life is being played out.

Patience, endurance, and steadfastness are what is being asked of me in this season of my life-not all that different from what was being asked of me in the last season of my life. But today what is, is I have gratitude for the healing that happened through the last season to bring me to a place of acceptance and growth in this season.

In my daily devotional reading these words rang true for acceptance, healing, growth, and change I am experiencing today:

Pain and heartbreak are hard. But I’m learning we must not resist the blessing of brokenness that tills the ground of our heart. Breaking up the unplowed ground of our heart makes it ready for new life, new growth and new maturity that can’t be found any other way.
                                                                                    ~Lysa TerKeurst

I love that, “we must not resist the blessing of brokenness” for only in breaking things up can I prepare my heart for growth, change, acceptance, and healing. My heart has been tilled by the past to be made ready to truly see the blessing in life as is.


  1. Hi JL, Early-on in recovery I had some difficulty learning the serenity prayer. I kept saying, “God, grant me the serenity to EXPECT the things I cannot change.” As the fog cleared, I learned to focus on acceptance of what is and vocalize it. These days, however, I find that indeed I need to expect that I will see many of the same “growth opportunities” again and again. For me, some things (mostly the behavior of others) are just too much to bare… YET. I even have to be grateful for another *#!!-ing growth opportunity! It’s nice to know I’m still worth it!


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