February 25, 2012

When Life Squeezes Us

The chair creaked as my friend shifted her weight. I never liked that scrawny chair in my office in the counseling center. Its arms, too close for comfort, seemed to intentionally squeeze the pain right out of my clients. Seemed to be having the same affect on my friend visiting me. This chair was too lightweight to carry the load of hurting people and heavy hearts. I sat across from her, hoping her tears shed were lightening her load.

For a week she’d carried the hopeful joy of what she thought was an unexpected pregnancy. But this was a hope to be deferred. It wasn’t time; not yet.

Not for quite a while. And then one day she joined us for dinner; we feasted on good news as we stood in the kitchen. Arms and elation entangled, we cried again. This time, it was time.

I remember the day she was born; a day when life was squeezing the pain right out of me. I shared my hurt with a friend on the way to the hospital. “You must believe He’s faithful. Don’t let the days slip by in doubt, no matter how long this hope is deferred.” I held that truth and I held that sweet baby, Sophie Brooke.

Her name means Wisdom and Peaceful waters. And aren’t those the things we need when the load is painful and hope is put on hold? Wisdom reminds us of His faithfulness to ease our load. And peace calls us to a place where pain doesn’t squeeze us so hard. For every season and stage of life. For when wombs are barren – to when cribs are full – to when the nest clears out … and every moment in between. Because the days are fleeting and I need Him every hour. I need to say yes to seeking His wisdom and resting where He guides me. Even when — especially when — life closes in and hope seems distant.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Psalm 23

{Sophie’s Sweet Feet}



  1. This is really beautiful and the song so meaningful to the story.

  2. …….when hope seems distant
    What a dark whole that brings to mind. I am so thankful that God shortens the distance for us.

    • Samantha says:

      Amen, me too Vickey. Those dark chasms can go further than we often expect. Grateful for His manifest love that captures us always.


  3. You were on my mind Sam, so I decided to swing by πŸ™‚ What a beautiful post, and what sweet feet! I stopped by your blog last week after a very long absence, and I wanted you to know that you have inspired me to sponsor two children from Compassion. I have not done it yet, as I want to wait for my stepdaughter to come over next week and help me select the children so she can be involved in every step. She wants to “help make money to send to the kids,” and I cannot wait to start. I know that it will mean as much to me and her as it will to the sweet babies that we sponsor. Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how your post is leading to blessing…for four lives πŸ™‚ xoxo

    • Samantha says:

      Oh, Emilea…. a thousand million gajillion thanks!! From me, from the children, from Compassion International… and might I be so bold as to give thanks from the Father?

      Your and your step-daughter’s lives will be forever changed by these dear souls you’re about to adopt.

      One of my sweet friends, Hayley Grace (10 y,.o), hosts lemonade stands and decorates rocks to sell along with her drinks in the summer. She’s raised hundreds of dollars! Praying as you and your SD dream outside the box, that you’ll feel and know God’s good voice speaking fresh innovative ideas.

      Please, will you check back in and let me know their names and ages and countries? I’m thrilled to pieces and utterly honored to have played a stitch in the quilt of love y’all are sewing.


      • She picked two sweet girls… Samyres from Brazil and Sarah from Ghanda. I don’t know that I have ever told you but my stepdaughter’s name is Symantha, so we thought it was fitting to select a Samantha, for her but also for your sake since you inspired us with the idea in the first place. There were no “Samanthas” available, but upon searching “Sam” we came across Samyres. We clicked on her because Symantha’s middle name is Reese and we often called her Sym (Sam) Reese. When we started reading more about her, we noticed that they have the same birthday, only that Samyres is 4 years older (10). !!!!!!!! She was tickled to pieces!!! After that, she wanted to search for a girl her age, “one that is in kindergarten, and one that has been waitin’ a long time. ” We came across Sarah, and without hesitation she was selected. Both of them are beautiful….and we cannot wait to receive our packets. Sym immediately ran into her bedroom to fetch paper and crayons to make signs to “sell lemonade, and cookies, and cakes…” πŸ™‚ We are in a rural area so we are going to go more for the private donation type (Nana, Grandad, etc. haha), but I am so glad that she wants to help raise money. I am so proud of her. After we selected the girls, she begged to pick more. πŸ™ I told her we would see how it goes and we may sponsor another one if she works hard. She cannot wait to write them letters and draw pictures for them. I will keep you posted! xoxo

        • Samantha says:

          Hi Emilea, that is so so so sweet!! What beautiful names for girls I’m sure as lovely!! Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I am deeply honored and blessed.

          On a recent post, I am giving away a bracelet to one reader who sponsored a child… and You’re the Winner!!! Yay!!

          Please send me a mailing address to and i’ll send that to you.

          Thanks again friend!!!


          • Just had to drop you a note to give you a cute update…. my Sym received her first letter from one of her girls. Out of every precious piece of information on that sweet introduction letter, her eyes lit up at one thing in particular… “Hey, her favorite food is fried chicken, she loves Popeye’s just like me!!!” πŸ˜‰ I guess even worlds apart these two little girls are going to have a lot in common!

  4. Jennifer says:

    This is beautiful and oh-so-timely for me. I’m standing in a mess of hope deferred. I’m holding on to the advise your friend shared with you. I never want a day to pass in only doubts. He is faithful.

    Psalm 23 has been on my mind lately. I love when God does that.

    Thank you, Samantha, for writing this post.

  5. Veronica H says:

    WOW thanks for sharing this. In the last 24 hours WISDOM has shown up no less than 50 times hmmmm….

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