Suffering and God’s Strange, Sovereign Plan

We’ve all been there a time or two . . . or THREE . . . when life doesn’t let up. More specifically, trials that are agonizing and exhausting, where we long for a flicker of light or a ray of hope.

Michele Cushatt
Michele Cushatt

After surviving oral cancer twice and in the midst of launching her new book Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life, the cancer came back with an unrelenting vengeance. Astonished and terrified, Michele’s prognosis was extremely bleak. She endured a year of excruciating surgeries and an unbearable recovery. In those dark hours of suffering, questions surfaced about life and faith.

Like us all, when God allows severe suffering, life’s hardest questions abound. In this interview, Michele shares extraordinary wisdom and significant truths essential to surviving life’s greatest adversities.

Reframing Ministries: Discover Purpose, Passion, and Perspective!

Sometimes, we get stuck in life’s ruts. Ever feel stuck? If so, you don’t have to remain there!

Colleen Swindoll Thompson
Colleen Swindoll Thompson introduces Reframing Ministries.

Insight for Living Ministries can help you climb out . . . with Reframing Ministries.

If the name Reframing Ministries is unfamiliar to you, that’s okay, because it’s the brand new name for the Special Needs Department of Insight for Living Ministries.

Here’s how it will help you even more than it has.

Intentional Living: Reframing Our Mind-set

Why does it seem like some people catch all the breaks while others face one challenge after another? Or why does success come to some while others struggle and strive just to make it through one more day? In fact, what does “success” look like to you . . . where you live, what you drive, where you go, who you know?

Noah Elias
Noah Elias

The list seems endless to most of us, but according to the enormously successful artist, entrepreneur, and mentor, Noah Elias, the definition of success is thoroughly simple and life changing. If you are looking for direction, longing for fulfillment, losing hope, or lacking the joy you expected to have in life, you cannot miss this interview!

Reframing the Autism Epidemic

It’s a parent’s fear, an educational nightmare, a massive political agenda, the subject of heated church conflicts, an American epidemic, and more. Autism. Since 2000, multidisciplinary research has helped us treat vast variations of autism, but research can’t fix autism. In many ways, “fixing” autism shifts our focus away from an essential human need . . . an eternal perspective. We seek treatments and therapies with heroic motivation and blame God when nothing changes.

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Has anyone ever considered autism may be allowed by God because of the way it can revolutionize our “typical” lives? Reframing autism begins with an eternal perspective, calling us to seek Him and learn His ways as we care for those with differences. In this interview, Emily Colson speaks about caring for her adult son Max, who has autism.

She also talks about how God continues to reveal her need for Christ and how to reframe her life by embracing autism.

Hope, Healing, and Mental Health

In any given year, 1 in 5 people will struggle with a mental health issue. If we said 1 in 5 people will have a compromise in physical health, we would start a prayer chain. But mention that the compromise is a mental health issue, and most people scatter, label, judge, and disappear.

Dr. Matthew Stanford
Special Needs Interviewee, Dr. Matthew Stanford

We tend to hide or deny what we cannot control or fix because most of the Western world clings to a dissected view of humanity; we partition our existence into labeled segments. We define one human life as sections of the whole . . . physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and so on, which dismisses a whole person. Labels are terribly confining and damaging; candidly, it is a self-righteous choice to judge or label any part or the whole person altogether.

With mental health issues on the rise, Dr. Stanford offers wisdom, knowledge, guidance, and practical tools the church desperately needs in caring for one another.

The Question That Never Goes Away

We read in the Bible that God is good, loving, and faithful; yet we live in a world where horrible pain exists, and God seems anything but good, loving, and faithful. It’s one of life’s greatest conflicts. How do we live peacefully with this great tension? Author, speaker, as well as comforter to those who suffer is Philip Yancey; one who sheds incredible wisdom and insight on this conflict. If you have ever wondered “Why?” about life and suffering, you cannot miss this interview.

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Unconditional Acceptance

It’s on all our minds as we age . . . “Will that be me in 5, 10, or 20 years?” Perhaps you know or love someone who can’t ask that question any longer because he or she can’t remember what to ask. The looming fear about the unknown is connected to the dreadful disease Alzheimer’s, a subcategory of dementia and a terminal diagnosis that turns the smartest and strongest into frightened shadows of who they used to be. Carol Spencer knows the story all too well; she cares for her knight in shining armor and husband of more than 30 years, Lew, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago.

Carol Spencer
Carol Spencer

Carol candidly offers compassion and wisdom that she’s gained from learning to navigate life in the midst of its never ending unknowns.

Does Your Child Have PTSD?

In the Civil War, it was called a “soldier’s heart.” During the Industrial Revolution, it was “compensation neurosis.” During World War I, it was labeled “shell shock.” In World War II, it was defined as “battle fatigue or combat exhaustion.” During the Korean and Vietnam Wars, experts called it “stress response syndrome.”

Finally, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders got it right: POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD).

Current research reveals that PTSD is not limited to survivors of war. PTSD can affect any person who has survived a traumatizing, overwhelming, terrifying event, such as rape, physical and mental abuse, school shootings, divorce, loss of a loved one or parent, physical illness, prolonged exposure to anything that overwhelms our bodies and affects how the brain functions.

Jolene Philo is an expert in the study and treatment of PTSD. Her son was born with life-threatening problems resulting in numerous surgeries—invasive procedures performed without pain medication . . . because, after all, “children don’t remember pain.” Current research shouts against such ignorance; our minds and bodies do remember trauma. If PTSD is left unattended to, those affected exist in a compromised state. In this interview, Jolene discusses the most current research on PTSD as well as healing treatments.

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Holding On to Hope

Like fuel is for our cars and vitamins are for our bodies, hope is for the soul. Without hope, life continues to swirl around us, but we grind to a sluggish stop. Despair, disillusionment, and discontentment set in; we feel stuck.

Nancy Guthrie
Nancy Guthrie

Few understand hopelessness like Nancy Guthrie. After losing one child to a rare genetic disorder, Nancy and her husband were surprised to find she was pregnant again—only to have another child grow in her womb, be welcomed into loving arms, then pass into eternity within a few months. Where do you find hope after the loss of two children? How do you get unstuck? The answer resides in the lens we look through; perspective is everything.

If your fuel tank is low, Nancy’s words will help fill you with hope to move forward.

Six Ways to Support Mental Health: A Revolutionary Model

Mental illness is a hot topic these days. For some it raises red flags of concern; for others it raises eyebrows in judgment. In spite of the fact that the Bible presumes and addresses the brokenness of the human heart and mind (take a look at Psalm 31:12; Proverbs 17:10; Ephesians 2:3; and James 4:8 for a small sampling), mental health—mental wellness or illness—is a subject most Christians know very little about.

Kay Warren
Kay Warren

Kay Warren lost her son to suicide. Not only did she and her family suffer from the stigma of mental illness, they also found very little support in their church. But that has to change, and it can change.