Faith, life, relationships, Spiritual Encouragement
Comments 2

Does God Pre-Approve Our Pain?

 “I don’t know how to go back, Mom,” she says.

I tell her that in one sense, going back might be impossible anyway.

We can’t undo what has happened in us. We are changed.”

– Jennifer Lee, The Love Idol


Jennifer Lee debuted her book  Love Idol earlier this spring. I got to be part of the launch team, but more than that, I got see first hand, how Jennifer bravely shared her life with the world as she recounted the ways that God helped her see how distracted she’d become with perfectionism and accomplishment. Her courage tipped off a movement of folks willing to let God step into his proper place in their hearts and lives. Jennifer realized that she was Preapproved, that her frenetic activity toward the goal of measuring up left her unfulfilled, empty and far from his grace. Today, I have the opportunity to share my #preapproved story at Jennifer’s place. So many before me have shared their stories, too, and I feel super-blessed to be in this good company. Here’s my story of Preapproved Pain.

Angelo and I sat in the slanted, golden September sunshine facing the riotous remains of the summer garden. It was overgrown. The shaggy heads of the crimson bee-balm leaned precariously to the left, the old, pink rose was heavy with a month’s worth of blossoms, the lavender recalled a faded, dusty shade of it’s former intense purple.

We watched bees hum and dart, looking for the last of the nectar, distilled and sweet by the August heat.

It was a miracle, these moments of soaking in sunshine. It hadn’t been but a month of Sundays since the accident on the highway under the light of the full moon, the wreck that changed everything. Yet, here we sat— wholly altered and unable to return to who we were a month prior—in our backyard, chatting about our kids, back-to-school, the upcoming cross-country race.


I shifted in my seat, seeking respite from the throbbing pain and closed my eyes.

“Do you need to rest?”

A harrumph and a sigh, “I suppose.”

Angelo stood on his good leg and hopped over to my chair, careful not to hit his cast on the table leg.

“How should we do this?”

We began the cautious choreography to get me back inside the house. My husband protected my leg as I used my arms to push myself backward onto the floor of the house through the sliding door. He assisted me onto a footstool where I sat to catch my breath before the long journey with my walker down the hall and to our bed.

Several minutes later, Angelo appeared at the bedroom door with ice packs and a bottle of water. We arranged the pillows behind my back, under my left leg (that was broken in over a dozen places) and sweet relief, the ice chilled the pain and the medication began its work in my body.

Tears escaped my eyes and I whispered: How long can this last? Will I ever be normal again?

…Please click over to Jennifer’s to read the rest of my story there!


For other pre approved stories, click here.

Other posts I’ve written in response to Love Idol:

In Which I Cannot Mend Broken Things

You Don’t Have a Sin Problem


For More Information about Jennifer’s Book, the trailer, and your own pre approved cut-outs to remind you of your true status, click here!


also linked here:



  1. I love hearing your story Alyssa, and of how God worked. LOVE your tattoo! What a great quote to show your miracle.

  2. Hi Alyssa, Thanks for sharing this. I needed to be reminded of these things as my heart aches for a friend in Texas whose life and health have fallen apart, and just when she starts to get back up something else knocks her down again. I keep pleading with God to stop allowing more things to happen, but I know He is sovereign, turns all things into good, and loves her in all her brokenness. But it’s hard to understand. This was an encouragement to me to just keep on trusting Him, that He is BIGGER than all that it happening to her, and that His ways are not my ways. Bless you for sharing your light with words. Hugs! Joanna Morgan

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