• Dana L. Butler

When Life Is Not Okay and Also Deeply Okay {and the story of the contract on our house}


With the end of August in sight, this Friday morning finds me catching a mom-breather at my favorite Panera Bread location, opening my WordPress “Add New Post” screen for the first time in nearly a month.

My original plan for August was a month-long break from blogging and Facebook, and while I definitely cut back my sharing on Facebook, I’ll certainly admit I’ve spent more time present there than I’d first intended.

Sometimes life is turned on its head and you’ve just gotta roll with it, be a little extra gentle with yourself.

Please accept my apologies for my need to yet again communicate about this particular circumstance sans details, and let it suffice for now to say that this last month or so has been all at once profoundly freeing, and excruciatingly painful at a heart level. Grief breeds physical exhaustion that many days is nothing short of overwhelming.


Healing and hope are to be found in Jesus though, along with an ever deepening freedom, and I’m hanging onto the truth that those are His plan and His heart for me.

In the coming months, as I’m able, I’ll write less “in code” and share a few more details. In the meantime, those of you who walk beside me here, would you pray for us? We’d be so grateful.

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As a family unit, Stan and I and the kids are doing well, despite the tensions and losses that pull and pierce our hearts. We are leaning into Jesus and one another, and enjoying an abundance of down time together. The cocooning continues and it’s exactly what our worn-thin souls need in this season.


Watching the calendar slip slowly toward September [which in and of itself is balm to my hurting places], I’ve contemplated how to give you an accurate picture of my heart’s journey over the last month.

I’ve considered what, if anything, to say about Ferguson, about Iraq and ISIS, about Israel and Gaza, Robin Williams and mental illness, and the unexpected death last week of a friend’s son who was a month younger than my own little guy.

Not only has my personal world been flipped on its head this month, but the out there world is all upside down too. So many things are straight up not okay, and actually, it all feels much less “out there” these days, and much nearer to my own heart than ever before.

So I find myself pressing into Jesus for strength, for grace to allow myself to be genuinely touched by tragedies toward which I have no practical course of action, no ability to bring healing.

No course of action, that is, outside of many quiet cries from the secret place, where He invites me to share in some small portion of the agony of His heart over the suffering of so many precious fellow human beings who He adores.

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Through all the upside-down-ness though, our hearts sit simultaneously in this place of rest, and gratitude to an extravagant God who has intricately orchestrated every detail of our coming move to Colorado.

And finally, here’s something on which I no longer have to withhold practical details:

WE ARE UNDER CONTRACT. For real this time, I believe.

After our previous contract fell through, despite the grief over having prepared to move to Colorado and then suddenly having our wait stretched out indefinitely before us yet again, the quiet question that echoed in our hearts was, Okay God, who are you really saving this house for?

You guys.  When I say Jesus is sweet to us, this right here is what I mean:

He takes our exact prayers, holds them in His heart, and brings perfect answers at just the right time.

Beyond what we could ask, think, or imagine.


When we first knew we needed to move out of our home, we asked Him for buyers who would love Him and love people in this place.

Enter: our new friends.

So THIS is who You were saving it for.

Some sweet friends who’re neighbors of ours literally sent our buyers to our door just over a month ago. We gave them an unofficial tour of our house, along with our realtor’s information, and they contacted her the same day.

This couple is amazing. They authentically love Jesus, adore our house, are connected with a church just down the block from our home, and want to be in this exact location for ministry purposes.

Also, we genuinely enjoy them. Couldn’t be a more fun, natural connection.



Here’s another crazy piece of the story: a couple weeks ago, by the time all was said and done, we ended up with multiple offers on our home all in one weekend. After 6 months of waiting, we literally had to choose which of three families we wanted to have our home.

After taking a day or two to pray, we knew for certain we wanted our friends who love Jesus to have the house [it had been our gut feeling all along], and we signed a contract contingent upon the sale of their house, which was still on the market.

Then, within literally 5 hours, they accepted an offer and their house officially went under contract.

If you can track with me another minute here — their buyers are getting a government loan that will likely take quite a while to process, so by the time all is said and done, we likely won’t move till at least November. Possibly not even until after Thanksgiving.

Discovering how long their contract would likely take to go through was honestly a disappointment to us, as we were so hoping to spend the majority of the Fall season in Denver. We’re praying though, that things will move supernaturally quickly, so if you’d like to add your prayers to ours, we would appreciate it so much.

At a deeper level though, we’re resting, trusting God’s timing for our move. He has proven so trustworthy in all of this, has sustained our hearts so faithfully through the long waiting — we trust He’ll continue to sustain us through this last leg of our time here in Kansas City.

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Oh yeah. And then there was the day we became pet owners. We’d been promising Isaac for months that we’d get hermit crabs for his 4th birthday. So. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Hermie and Weavy. He adores them. (Also, it is entirely possible that I’m crazy.)




Through the mixture of gratitude and grief that has marked our August, one theme has been my heart’s cry. I’ve awakened many a recent morning with this song running through my head — a tangible, holy drawing of my heart again and again back to the purpose of the blink-of-an-eye life we’re given on this planet.

If everything around us and far away from us is flipped on its head, if it all crashes down — but if somewhere in the midst of the suffering we who know Him get to intimately encounter Him, to absorb His heart into our own, to find ourselves hidden in His heart, to learn to love a little more like He does — who’s to say all of this won’t be infinitely more than worth it, after all?


Much love to you, dear friends. So thankful to be able to invite you into my story here again. Your companionship is so treasured.

**So thrilled to be sharing again with my friends in Lisha and Kelli’s communities.**

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