Feel all the Feels


Can’t wait to have them all back together again.


In the past two weeks we have received more encouragement than I have in probably my whole lifetime. I have really tried to read every word that every person has taken the time to write. We are incredibly grateful for this immeasureable support.

One email I received had the best advice I’ve been given….A father to a Retinoblastoma survivor himself, he writes:

Embrace every bit of pain you experience. Do not try to ignore it or numb it. Engage it, so that you might get everything out of this that God would have for you. He will get you through this, but don’t just try to survive; commit to grow and keep your eyes wide open to God’s hand on your life. You will eventually look back on this time with amazingly sweet memories.

It had been probably just one or two full days after we received Willa’s diagnosis that I realized that I hadn’t been alone with the Lord and allowed myself to truly feel the weight of all of it in His presence. I was getting along well with keeping myself busy with all three children, cleaning, preparing to leave for Memphis, playing in the snow. But I knew that wasn’t God’s intention with the pain.

You see, ever since Johnnie June was born about a year and a half ago, I’ve been scared to “feel all the feels” in front of the Lord. And plead with Him. And scream at Him. Cry with Him. I’ve been consumed with trying to form the right words, spend the right amount of time praying, staying above the surface with Him to avoid the hurt, the sanctification, the hard stuff, the reason we exist. I had prayed for Him to, quite frankly, speed up the labor process with Johnnie and get her here faster, because it wasn’t fun and it hurt and I wanted Him to save me from it. And He didn’t….I felt abandoned and really and truly until the past few months I’ve remained in that spot.


So, after two days of holding it all together following Willa’s diagnosis, I felt the tugging of the Spirit to let.it.go. I sat down, probably opening my Bible(I don’t remember, because at this point I was still trying to save face) and played the song “You Make Me Brave” by Bethel Music for the first time ever. And then it happened. The tears would not stop. I sobbed. I CRIED OUT TO THE LORD! I was literally writhing in pain, pulling at my clothes, unable to contain the hurt that had welled up inside of my heart. And you know what? I’ve never felt closer to my Creator. I feared abandonment, but instead I was received, enveloped in open arms of mercy.

He wants all of you, always. In the midst of the struggle He is jealous for your broken and contrite heart.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you WILL NOT despise.     Psalm 51:17  (emphasis mine)

So, if you’re holding back, if you’re happy and comfortable staying busy while ignoring the hurt so you can just survive it. Stop. Pour it out and allow Him to bear your burden! How long do you think the alternative will keep your head above the waves? When you feel it all, yes, it hurts, it’s the worst pain imaginable….but you know you’re alive. In allowing God into the darkest parts of our hearts by ripping off the bandaid of facade and bleeding out the reality of our broken and desperate state, we’re invited into the greater story.

We’re alive and we’re living for a love and a cause that cannot be contained beneath our circumstances. We’re invited into the Gospel, into the lap of Jesus, who has already won the battle for us. So give up! You don’t have to be strong in front of your Maker. Feel all the feels. I dare you, I really do. In confidence I can say, you can never be prepared for the hurricane of grace that is waiting to saturate your tired heart.

10 thoughts on “Feel all the Feels

  1. Taylor says:

    I know exactly how you feel/felt, but for very different reasons. Being able to let yourself feel even the most painful feelings is sometimes the strongest sense of self we will ever feel, especially knowing that Christ endures those pains with us. I admire your strength and the growth you’re experiencing in your relationship with God, and I have total faith that you are strong enough to show all of your children and husband that same strength and relationship. I will continue to pray for you and your family and I truly appreciate your posts and ability to share them with us!


  2. Gail Cambron says:

    Allison, Your words have gripped my heart and reached deep in my soul, to feel with you and pray for you as you have faith walked these last days. You have ministered to me reminding me of truths I have in HIM and inspired my heart as a mother. I will be praying consistantly for all of you.


  3. Heart to Heart Journey says:

    you have no idea how your transparency in this journey is ministering to me. And isn’t it just like God to do that.
    Thank you.


  4. Mimi Simpson says:

    The depths of deep grief and pain can bring some of the sweetest moments with our savior…and it will change you forever!! We are daily praying for yall!!


  5. Mary Etta Stafford says:

    We don’t know each other .I just wanted you to know I will be praying for you and your family .May Jesus continue to surround your family .


  6. Victoria says:

    My name is Victoria and I’ve been going to redstone for a few months but I don’t think we’ve ever met. I’ve been following your story on here and wanted to let you know how much of an inspiration you are. Not because of your circumstances, but because of your heart and willingness to let God be the center of your life no matter what.
    It is incredible to me that God is using you, your life, and your writing ability to reach my heart.
    I pray for Willa that this can begin God’s amazing work in her life even being so young. I pray for your other kids to see your amazing example as parents and understand God in a whole new way because of it. And I pray for you and your husband. That God gives you more and more strength to deal with the struggles going on now, and to continue to minister to the lives of those who read your blog everyday.
    It is making a difference in my life as I’m sure it is for other people as well.
    Much love,


  7. Kim (Emma Grace's mom) says:

    I was led to your blog through a mutual friend and I just wanted to say ‘welcome to the club that no parent ever wants to join.’ My daughter is a St Jude kid too (diagnosed with leukemia at age 3 and received chemo until she was almost almost 6 years old) and she will be celebrating her 4th no-mo-chemo-anniversary next week. 🙂 I’m happy to say she’s a totally normal tween-ager and her memories of her time at St Jude are very fond. If not for her port scar, you’d never know by looking at her that she’d had cancer.

    Everything you wrote about St Jude is so true, and your words about faith, joy and sorrow are so profound. It is very hard to have to endure this as a parent and it’s so important to have your compass set in the right direction so you don’t lose your way. It really is a choice and some days you may not want to choose it (or at least that was my experience).

    I’ll be praying for your sweet family.


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