As I jotted the last word in my fifteenth journal to God, I grabbed a new one from the bookshelf this week. New journals always inspire and delight my soul.

Pages lay empty.

Line after line waiting to be filled.

Love Himself meets me here and our relationship is deepened. Free to pour from the deepest wells of my heart, here, I am safe. Here, I am held accountable. I am examined. Corrected. Strengthened.

This beautiful blue journal was given to me by my precious husband. When I opened the front cover I saw this:

Did you notice something?

The whole book is printed upside down and backwards. To even use it, I have to go to the back cover and flip the entire book around. Then, it becomes right side up.

At first I was really tempted to take it back.

How can I use it like this?

It will eat at my obsessive tendencies every single day. For months.

Nah, I can’t use this.

It’s upside down and backwards!

The more I thought about that phrase, the more I realized that’s exactly how my life feels right now.

My nice Christian girl tendency is to say, “I pray that’s not where your life is right now,” but the truth is, sometimes we have to be turned upside down and backwards in order to get right side up.

And maybe more than once.

Though I never gave thought or voice to it, I subconsciously expected that I wouldn’t have to go through this again. I’ve already experienced the pain of helplessly watching two of my children suffer.

Not again.

But just imagine for a minute if that were the case.

What if the disciples had said, “Persecution – check,” after their first encounter.

Thank God it isn’t or we wouldn’t have a new testament.

Dare I say, thank God it isn’t or we wouldn’t have a testimony?

The upside down and backward places of life are painful, I know. I do and yet, I think I am beginning to understand why James could say,

“Count all joy when you face various trials. Know, that the trying of your faith produces patience. But, let patience have her perfect work.”

My PATIENTS need their perfect work all right! And my patience too. In either case, it comes only through the trying of our faith.

My heart doesn’t always understand that and it’s especially hard to express to my young son who is still hurting.

Just this morning he lay in the car moaning as we ran an errand. We were listening to a song that stated God can set us free. As the song ended I heard him ask,

“Why won’t God set me free?”

His faith is being tried at a very young age but I am confident that God watches over his word to perform it.

My deepest prayer for my son is that his faith would fail not. That is my prayer for you if you find your faith also being tested.

Know, beloved, and find rest in the truth that God is able to keep you from falling.

I know it because he’s holding me too.


Scripture References:

James 1:2-4 and Jude 24






  1. I love this. Upside down and backwards, isn’t that the state we perpetuatally live in?! Some are harder than others, but I’m so grateful that God has a perfect plan for these Tetris-like pieces of our walk. Thank you so much for sharing. Walking through a challenging season, myself, I needed to hear this. Thank you for being open! Praying for you guys daily! God is good.

  2. This is brilliant! Such powerful words of truth. I too pray as Jesus prayed for Peter as he was being sifted like wheat that Elijah’s faith will not fail and when he returns that he will strengthen his brothers Luke 22:32. Love you!

  3. I join in your confidence of the Word at work, Callie. I’m also confident that sweet Elijah will one day have a powerful, undeniable, and persuasive testimony that God will use in the lives of many for He is the only One who can take such pain — physically and emotional — and mold it into a beautiful offering of glory for all eternity.