By Sammie Gallo, Creator of Abundant Life: You Were Made for More
I was talking to a mentor last week about my marriage – specifically about something vulnerable that I have always struggled with in my relationships but has come to light more since I’ve been married. It’s like I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop… so much so, that even in the happy moments, there is this lingering fog over my heart reminding me of pain and suffering I’ve experienced before, and warning me that if I feel and accept the abundance too much, there will be much more pain when something goes wrong.
When I talked about this feeling with my friend – after the fog lifted a bit – she shared her story of infant loss. How the pain seemed insurmountable. How her worst fears came true. Then she shared the restoration and hope of the two subsequent babies she bore, who would never replace the one she lost but who healed and soothed her aching heart.
When you go through pain and loss, she said, you start to believe the blessings you receive will inevitably bring suffering too. It’s as if you can’t fully enjoy the goodness because doing so will usher in something “bad”. God is standing there, holding the other shoe, ready to drop it when we like life a little too much. He has to “even out” the abundance; make sure we don’t get too happy. But that’s not who He is, she told me. The last line of her message struck like an arrow in my heart: May His abundance never scare you.
That line instantly struck a chord with me. I wrote in on the chalkboard wall in our living room. I made it my desktop background. On days I sense those intrusive thoughts rising again – the doubts about His goodness, the lie that the beauty of God’s blessings are just a holding pattern for suffering – I repeat those words under my breath as a prayer… a six-word phrase that has become a breath prayer to ease my doubts and anxieties.
May His abundance never scare you.
The lie that suffering is more holy than Sabbath seasons is just that: a lie. Suffering teaches us much; the things I’ve learned through difficult relationships, resentment, and the process of forgiveness, and trauma have taught me things that will be with me forever. The imprint is eternally upon my heart. But I am learning that our abundant seasons, our harvest seasons, are as full of lessons and goodness as the famine was. Refusing to accept them just shortchanges our growth. Refusing to open our hands and hearts to the fullness of God’s abundance helps no one and hurts us.
As I write, I can think of countless people walking through suffering. Several people dear to my heart have cancer. Another one is wrestling for her marriage. One is navigating long-term singleness, longing for a husband. One is grieving the unsuspected death of her father. I could think: I don’t deserve my blessings. I’m not in a hard season. This isn’t fair, I can’t accept it. I could do that. But I’d be making this season about me.
Accepting God’s abundance is not a motivator to greed. It’s the engine of generosity. May his abundance never scare you, and always drive you to love.
Sammie graduated from Robert Morris University in 2017 with a background in biology and psychology and started working with Anglicans for Life (AFL) shortly after. In addition to her work with AFL, she spends time pouring into high school students in her community and is a full-time nursing student, hoping to work in the labor and delivery unit upon her graduation in December 2022.
Sammie married her best friend, Juan Gallo, in May 2019. During her free time, she cares for their sweet baby girl, Ofelia, who joined their family in August 2020.
Sammie spends her day-to-day making sure that every person hears and believes the words: “you were made for more.” You can follow Sammie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! She’d love to get to know you!