“Give me the courage to stand the pain to get the grace, Oh Lord. Help me with this life that seems so treacherous, so disappointing.”
~ Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal
Here – at age twenty-one – Flannery O’Connor is praying for grace so that she might become something more than a mediocre writer. Four years later she is diagnosed with Lupus, the disease that would kill her at age 39 – 14 years later.
It was during those 14 years of extreme illness when Flannery did her best work and become more than a mediocre writer. She withstood the pain to get the grace.
God is often doing His best work in us in the midst of our deepest sorrows, greatest losses, and severest pain. Do not lose heart.