What Did You Say?

November 24, 2018 by Diana C. Derringer (Kentucky)
Diana with her husband, Talmadge

My husband’s brain tumor diagnosis in 2004 seemed bad enough. However, in 2009 he suffered a stroke, heart attack, and fall that caused a severe brain injury. Medical professionals did not expect him to survive these incidents. God knew otherwise.  

As a couple we learned to deal with the residual side effects of these episodes. We also developed individual coping mechanisms. Writing became mine. A weekly blog provides one of my favorite outlets. I choose, or someone suggests, an unusual English expression for the post’s title. The body of the post includes: an explanation of the expression, a related life lesson, and a closing devotional thought and Bible verse. 

The life lessons often come from insights received as a result of our recent challenges.  

The following shortened versions of a few of my blog posts outline our story. The links in this post lead to the full posts on my blog.                          

When it rains, it pours.  

Sometimes everything seems to go wrong. Troubles pile up, and energy goes down. Life’s storms hit hard and often. Yet, in the midst of those storms, we can praise God and count our blessings.  

My husband became one tough cookie.  

Although he has endured much difficulty, my husband refuses to give up. He rarely complains. Instead, he chooses to make the most of life. Like Paul, he has “learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11, NIV).  

I learned not to be a worry wart.  

Like many people, I could easily worry all the time about everything. Yet, I came to realize that worry not only hurts me, but it shows me where I need to strengthen my faith. A wonderful Christian friend taught me, “Why worry when we can pray?” She lived Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”   

Many of our friends put feet to their prayers.  

If given a choice between prayer and action, I want prayer. However, God directs us to take action as well as pray. Following my husband’s medical challenges, friends prayed day and night. They also visited us when appropriate; hugged us; sent cards, gifts, and food. They showed us God’s love and their love in tangible ways.    

Tough times often become blessings in disguise.  

Neither my husband nor I would have chosen this route. Yet, both of us have grown closer to God and one another as a result of our experiences.   

Good days, bad days, and everything in between – that’s life.  

We celebrate, and we suffer. Pain arises from our own decisions, the decisions of others, or circumstances beyond anyone’s control. 

Life and death
Struggles and scars 
Beauty and ugliness
All wrapped together
That’s life.  

When we let go and let God, we find peace.  

Although we cannot control everything, God can. We choose whether to trust God with nothing held back or hang onto our self-defeating desire for control. 

By letting go and letting God, every day becomes a good day.


I would love for you to subscribe and make suggestions for future posts on Words, Wit and Wisdom: Life Lessons from English Expressions at dianaderringer.com.


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