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Ep. 126 Vaneetha Risner on Questions We Ask in Suffering, Loss, and Longing



We have one of our favorite guests back on the show for the second time! Author and speaker Vaneetha Risner recently released a fantastic Bible study about the questions we ask in suffering, loss, and longing. We previously had her on the show to talk about her memoir, Walking Through Fire, in Episode 55 of the podcast. If you’re not familiar with Vaneetha’s story, she faced polio as a young child, she lost her infant son due to a doctor’s mistake, she walked through the unfaithfulness of her husband, and she now walks through a diagnosis of post-polio syndrome, meaning her physical condition will most likely regress until she is a quadriplegic. Suffice it to say that Vaneetha knows what it is to suffer, but she also knows what it means to find a good God amidst her suffering.

I have had to pleasure of getting to know Vaneetha personally since our last interview, and she is every bit as authentic and wonderful in her personal relationships as she is anointed and profound in her writings. Join us on the podcast today as I talk to her about why it’s good to ask questions in suffering, what her past and present experiences with profound suffering have taught her, and how the peace God has given her in the storm takes away her fear of the worst happening in the future. Get your notes ready - this is a quotable one that I think you’ll want to process for many days after you listen.


Listen to learn more about:

·  Why it’s good to ask questions in suffering

·  More about Vaneetha’s experiences with profound suffering

·  How God helps Vaneetha face her worst fears for the future


Listen now:

Click here to listen on iTunes.


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Favorite Quote from the episode:

“I chose questions (as the layout of the Bible study) because I think that’s how we enter suffering. As you know, we’re kind of in a fog, and how do we even make it through suffering? We just have a ton of questions, and I think a lot of well-meaning believers tell us not to ask questions, just to trust God, and I think that squelches everything in us. We feel like it’s an either-or: we either get to ask the questions or maybe we walk away from the questions and we get afraid of asking, and so we don’t ask. Then I think our hearts drift so far from God. That’s what happened (to me) after Paul died; I felt like, ‘I teach women’s Bible study; I can’t ask these questions. I need to still be answering these questions.’ And that really drove me away from God when I couldn’t be honest. So a lot of the underpinnings of this Bible study is be honest with God. Get gut-level honest with God. Don’t put on a happy face and think that is what is going to get you through, because it’s not.”


Links from our conversation: 



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For freedom,


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