• Dana L. Butler

Day 13: Two Ways We Are Surviving Loss and Limbo

Happy Monday! A quick note to you, friends, before I share my Day 13 post with you:

To those of you who commented, “liked,” shared, and even just quietly listened to my heart poured out in the song I shared yesterday — thank you. I don’t know how to express the depth of my gratitude for your receiving of my heart, my offering. Italics don’t do my thanks justice, but I’ll use them again anyway: thank you. So very much. 

You are beautiful and amazing and your presence here is a gift to my heart.

Also: I made a mistake, I think, in that I didn’t realize the video of the song wouldn’t show up in the email many of you received last night in your inboxes. So — if you are an email subscriber and you weren’t able to see the video yesterday, you can click here to see it.

{Side note: if you don’t follow me by email and you’d like to, simply input your email address in the box in the right sidebar and follow the brief instructions you’ll receive.}

Okay, on to Day 13, in which I share two ways we are surviving this season of loss and limbo.

In this season of seemingly never-ending limbo and loss, reality is easier to bear up under in some moments than others.

Many days, Stan and I simply enjoy the right now of our life here together. We kiss and tickle our kiddos, watch Dora the Explorer, play with kinetic sand, and visit our favorite Kansas City hangouts as a family.

Our life has slowed significantly in the last few months and we are relishing our relaxed pace.

And then…

And then there are the days, or sometimes just portions of days, when the heaviness and grief of this season feel tangible. Thick. A little in the direction of suffocating.

Grief over my Grandma, over a couple of other difficult extended family situations, over support systems recently lost, the length of our wait to move to Colorado, longing to be with family and church family there — they all pile up to an overwhelming emotional magnitude at times.


Saturday morning brings sweet time with Maia’s birth family. We eat brunch together, bounce crazy on the trampoline, and get lots of hugs and kisses from the little peanut who has united our two families as one.

But when the kids wake early from their naps Saturday afternoon, Stan and I find ourselves tired, headachy, and simultaneously desperate to get away a little — to spend some time outside of the ‘hood. We toss around options — parks; inexpensive, kid-friendly restaurants; a local mall with a Barnes and Noble that sports a Thomas train table.

We decide on 5 Guys’ Burgers and Fries, followed by a walk through the attached mall and some time at the train table, since evening mosquito exposure tends not to be the greatest thing for our littlest little.

We pack the diaper bag, wrangle kids into socks and shoes. Stan loads everyone in the car while I quickly take Excedrine for my head, grab a lidded mason jar of iced coffee, and don my lightweight jacket.

As we begin our 25-or-so-minute drive to the south side of the city, the heaviness in our car is palpable. Kids are cranky. Stan is bummin’. I’m not feeling the greatest.

And then, 3 or 4 blocks down Independence Avenue from our street, my exhausted, heavy-hearted husband starts reciting scripture by memory.

Then he’s praying aloud, and I’m agreeing with him. I reach over and he meets my hand halfway, weaving his fingers between mine.

The kids’ mood quickly moves from cranky to totally chilled out in the backseat, and we continue to pray — declaring truth, asking Jesus for continued grace for this limbo season, for joy and peace for our family, for deeper insight into what He’s doing in our hearts in all this painful waiting.

We pray a few more minutes, and then we chat — my hubby and I — the rest of the drive to the mall. We talk of decisions and mistakes and fear of forward movement and how no “mistake” is really disastrous if God is in everything, working all. things. for our good.

How when we invite Him, He moves into our decisions, and into the results thereof, and weaves beauty out of our lives as they’re offered to Him. How He’s trustworthy with our hearts when we surrender to Him in the midst of seasons of uncertainty. Seasons of not fully understanding what He’s up to.

Arriving at the mall in a completely different frame of mind than when we’d left home, we meander into 5 Guys’, chow on messy burgers and ‘dogs, and enjoy our wander through the mall.

After the kids are in bed, Stan mentions repeatedly how much he enjoyed our time out together.

I loved it, too.

And in the quiet of the evening, I’m reminded how fiercely Jesus is committed to resourcing us with all we need, moment-by-moment through all this limbo, as we press into one another, and press our weak places into His heart. As we step out and access by faith the grace and peace He has already purchased for us, deposited in our depths by His Spirit.

His Spirit within us, by which He is so faithful to sustain our hearts.


This is Day 13 of a 31-day series. You can find the rest of the series here.

Also, if you’d like to follow along so you don’t miss any of my 31 Days posts, I invite you to subscribe to receive each post in your inbox.

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