About the Author

Karina Allen is devoted to helping women live out their unique calling and building authentic community through the practical application of Scripture in an approachable, winsome manner.

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  1. Karina,
    I am so sorry for all the loss you have been experiencing and know that, right now, I am lifting you up in prayer and will continue to do so. Praying for peace, patience, and perseverance through all of this. May the God of all comfort surround you and uphold you.

    I have been reading your posts for quite some time. Do you know that your most powerful writing comes when you are in a “Job Season”? Your writing during these times goes to a new depth and level that really touches me. You take us to a place where all the “pretty trappings” are scraped away and we must ask ourselves…if everything and everyone was removed and it was just God and me….would i be okay? Many, unlike you, have not had to face the bare bones question, “Is Christ and His grace sufficient for me?” We have our stuff, and our people, and our self sufficiency to give us a false sense of security. Thank you, thank you for sharing the raw truth that if we have Christ, we have it ALL. All else is rubbish and if we lose it all we can count it as gain if we have God and Christ in our hearts. Through your pain and loss you are weaving a powerful testimony of God’s goodness. Take heart sweet one…
    Blessings and big ((hugs)),
    Bev

    • Bev, today it’s my turn to be blessed by your response… What you said about if it were “just God and me, would I be ok?” You helped bring clarity to a season I went through years ago that left more questions than answers…and I had used the very words “alone with God” (same thing). Maybe this makes no sense as sharing the whole story could fill a book, but suffice it to say — THANK YOU! (In)courage lives up to its name.

      • Pearl,
        I can relate…I had one very long and difficult season in which I felt God had removed everyone and everything around me until it was just the two of us. For me, I think He had to do that to get my undivided attention. In the crucible it was hard and I struggled and I questioned. I wrestled with God. Looking back now on it, I can see that I needed to know that if it boils down to being alone with God….He is good, and He is sufficient, and He is faithful to His promises. I don’t know that I could have learned these lessons any other way??? I have a confidence, now, in God that I don’t think I would have developed otherwise…
        Blessings to you this day,
        Bev

        • Thank you for sharing your loss and pain. Know you and all
          the people there are in my prayers. That is my gift to you.I
          will light a votive candle in church tomorrow for your intentions.
          It is times like this that I realize …I came into the world with
          nothing and I will leave with nothing EXCEPT my love
          for God and others…my good deeds that nothing can
          destroy. Many God be with you in your time of loss…
          giving you comfort and peace.

    • THANK YOU BEV!!!!!!! You are such an encouragement to me!!!! Your words…I will cherish them. I often hold onto the truth that God never wastes our hurts. There is purpose in our pain. I want to minister out of that purpose and comfort those who need comfort.

    • So blessed by your gracious words, Bev, from the Lord. Your words are always a truthful encouragement, a gracious blessing of the Lord’s gifts in you. I have faced that question too and there is such gift in the facing. It was such a hard place and yet it was so needed for me-such a mercy. The Lord gives so much in these valleys, the greatest gift of Himself 🙂 May His tender and gentle love hold you today, dear sister 🙂

      • An,
        Amen to what you said – “The Lord gives so much in these valleys, the greatest gift of himself.” What greater gift could we ever receive?? Thank you for always blessing me with your words…I can tell they come from a compassionate and contrite heart.
        Blessings this day,
        Bev xx

  2. This is so beautifully written. My heart aches for you and all of the people there. Our church talked about how we were increasing our disaster relief efforts there just this past Sunday. I love how you call people to simply sit with someone’s pain. I think many are afraid of pain and that maybe if they get close to someone in a lot of pain they might “catch it”. Not really……but you get the point. Many are afraid of deep emotions. They want to have an answer and if they don’t they don’t know what to do with that. It is such truth that people just need to be sometimes and to “be” with someone is what community is all about! I’m blessed to have a few of these women in my life and they show me what it is like to be the “hands and feet” of Jesus. Blessed to be a blessing! (I stole that from someone). I hope Jesus speaks peace to your soul in the days ahead. I’m so sorry you have experienced this type of loss not once but TWO times now. Ephesians 6: 10 Finally be strong in the Lord and in His might power! Hugs!

    • Thank you Tracey! Pain is so awkward and messy but that is right where Jesus lived. Nothing He did, no place He went, no words He spoke were easy and carefree. The life He lived had weight and He was willing to embrace peoples’ process. Thank you for your words and prayers!

  3. Karina, I am in awe of what God is doing in your heart. Thank you for taking time in the midst of all these hard lessons to tell us (to tell me!) that the truth of God’s Word is really TRUE — and that it is enough for you at this moment.

    • Michele, that’s so kind! I love knowing that God is enough but I don’t always love the process of coming to know it. It’s rarely ever something fun.

  4. Hi Karina. So sorry to hear of all your losses and struggles. I can relate in a way. Years ago I got a health condition that “stole” a lot of who I am and what I can do. I eventually had to give up working, driving, daily tasks like cooking and housework. I hate having to rely on others and being a “burden.” But I’ve learned that we can’t appreciate our giving until we’ve been on the receiving end. Humbling. And as you say, having to lean totally on Jesus even for my identity. My prayers and thoughts are with you. God be with you…I know he is but I pray you’ll feel him in new and amazing ways. I pray for miracles for you. May God’s will be done in you and your life as it is in heaven.
    I thank you for sharing this. It helps put my own losses in perspective and it encourages me, reminding me of God’s continuing presence and help. His sufficient grace.

    Blessings and love in Christ, Diana

    • Amen Diana! I receive every miracle and blessing that He has for me!!!! I release that over you as well!!!! He is all sufficient. He is enough. He is more than enough!

  5. Thanks for sharing your story and reminding us whose we are and what we should be about. I live in Lafayette, Louisiana. While my stuff was not touched by The Flood With No Name my heart is in a daily basis. I am in furniture sales. I listen to customers tell their stories. Sometimes we cry together. Sometimes I offer a prayer or blessing. I usually tell them I have witnessed incredible compassion and kindness by individuals who have either bought for others or decided to do some updating and are passing down their furnishings. It is very humbling to accept hospitality and assistance but there is the lesson to be learned. I was homeless by the end of 2014 however a teacher friend and her hubby offered me a home. My sister, her husband and a cousin kept me and my old cat fed. Initially, I was mortified…Miss Independent too. Quickly I learned the lesson…He will get us through and it’s not about me (Max Lucado book). Recently, I have had the opportunity to help my friend and husband who were in a desert time.
    Prayers and Blessings to you and all who will support you at this time.
    Janice

    • Janice, I love that! God has you right there sitting with people in their pain and loving them as He would and offering hope. It’s a beautiful thing. Bless you as you continue to be light and grace. You have been blessed and are now blessing others. Keep on!

  6. Love your realness. That vulnerability is a wonderful character trait. Holding you up during this time in prayer.

  7. Thank you for you powerful message. Being Undone emotionally is not a good place to be but it truly does bring us closer to God if we allow it to. I am also in a season of Undone. My mom died on June 24 this year and 5 weeks later, I lost my only sibling, my sister, in a lawnmower accident. The grief has hit me to the core of my body and I never thought I would make it. I’m still here. Some days are better than others and some are just plain HARD. The strength from God and supportive people that are praying for me has given me comfort and strength to endure. I am told it will get better as I put one foot in front of the other every day and walk with Christ in this undone season of grief.

    • Cindy, my heart hurts for you! To lose two precious, foundational persons in your life within 5 weeks… As the fabric of your heart has been ripped into shreds and the wounds are left gaping open…may you be given what you need to feel the pain, the loss, and may the tears you and your family/friends share speak depths that words can’t reach. Asking God to hug your heart, Cindy, and please know I send one too!

    • Cindy,

      I am deeply sorry for your loss(es). I am wordless but wanted you to know I pray that your pain will become less with each day.

      Penny

    • My word Cindy! I am so sorry for your loss! God is near to the brokenhearted. I am praying that you be overwhelmed by His peace and love. May He surround you with incredible community. May He shout and whisper words of comfort and hope to your soul. Just let the Father hold you. Take your time. Grieve. Lament. Know that joy will return to your heart.

    • Cindy, dear sister praying for you in these losses. My heart is grieving with you and I pray that the Lord draws so close as you draw close to Him to pour out your hurt and grief. Let Him carry you, gentle sister, in His arms of comfort for He will uphold you 🙂 Keeping you close in prayer…

  8. Karina, thank you for encouraging out of your pain and loss. That takes some major kind of strength…obviously God is working in and through you! May God help you and the Baton Rouge community… I love what you said about becoming more like Christ in the undoing. I don’t love it because of the undoing, but because when I’m going through those times it gives purpose and peace through them. I guess we become more like Christ then because we’re forced to choose if we want more of him or not. Again, thank you, and may you be given all you need to make it through this loss and life-turned-upside-down.

  9. Karina,

    I live in Zachary, Louisiana but I did not flood at my house. My daughter and other family members did so I have somewhat of an idea with what you are experiencing while helping them. I work in Baton Rouge so I also am experiencing the traffic issue. Your words are very thoughtful and inspiring. You truly have a strong faith which I admire. God is obviously blessing you amidst this devastation. As he is blessing my family, too. May he continue to do so as you keep the faith.
    Stephanie

      • I will pray for strength to persevere for us, you, and all the others involved in this ‘season’ as you wrote so appropriately.

  10. Karina – I’ve been watching your posts and just allowing little tears to form every time I think of the devastation all around you. Reading this, and hearing how your community came in to hug you even in virtual ways, brings another kind of tear. One that accompanies the smile of knowing this kind of compassion.

    Wish I could hug you in person and be there with you. Thank you for keeping us informed about how far reaching this has been.

  11. A beautiful message. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I love your statement “When loss happens, we need to let people in.” Community and fellowship is vital in our lives. There is power in prayer and power in letting others pray for us.

  12. “But God” yes, the season of loss and chaos is God’s greatest moments!

    And “we just need to sit with people in their pain”. Yes I have been there in the both seats….

    May God provide for you and may your heart overflow from His love during this season of loss and heartache.

    Blessings to you.

  13. Bless your heart, Karina. I’m sorry. ((hug)) I hate to hear of so much loss by so many. So glad you’ve been surrounded and supported by your sisters in Christ. And glad you’ve surrendered to the undone-ness and been open to receiving the blessing of being the server instead of the servee (my spell-check is not happy with me right now. 🙂 ) It can be a lot easier to serve than to be served sometimes, can’t it? ((Prayers for you))

    • Thank you Brenda! I am definitely learning a lot in this season. Praying that it stays with me and that I can serve others in their time of need with much joy and compassion!

  14. Karina,
    I am deeply sorry for what you, and the others are going through. Your abundance of courage flows with your words, and is an inspiration to others. I pray that all will be well as you walk this journey one step at a time. It reminds me of Footprints In The Sand. ‘When you see only one set of footprints it is then that God is carrying you.’ He’ll continue to carry you through this Karina.

    Blessings to you,

    Penny

  15. Thank you for reminding me to keep praying for Louisiana. You all have had to endure much. I will lift you up daily in my quiet times. It blessed me to hear your words that God has been so personal with you. I love and cherish those times and it makes so happy to hear it from others’ experiences. The hard seasons are painful but God in the midst is undeniable and so precious. Thank you for sharing. May God richly bless you.

  16. So sorry for your loss, Karina!! Thank God for the people who are coming forward to surround you with love! I completely empathize with you – I too am Ms. Independent and it is difficult to be willing to reach out to others, admit a need, and ask for help. But often when we do, we find that people are more than willing to help and even welcome it! I like to think of it that by being willing to reach out, we give others the opportunity to be Jesus to us 🙂

  17. Karina, I am so sorry for the losses, I can’t imagine losing everything in a flood. I am joyful for the way God is truly revealing Himself to you, and giving you sisters who are “Jesus with skin on” for you. That’s supposed to be the way the Body of Christ works. Karina, the sweet thing Jesus is teaching you is 2 Corinthians 3-7 (Amp) in a very hands on way, in a Jesus Who has shown up and continues to show up way, the God Who Sees You and Cares. This is a paraphrase, He comforts in our suffering, we understand someone else’s suffering, and comfort them, and truly hear them with our heart, and into their heart, and our suffering is meant to bring glory to God because of what He has done in our lives, it does have purpose.
    This sounds terrible, but I dropped the ball continuing to pray for Louisiana, and now I also will pray for you specifically. Thank you for mentioning your need. I will pray for your needs, and will pray specifically for the Lord to keep revealing Himself to you in a rich and powerful, and may you continue to be moved by His Love and Presence. Joanne

  18. May the Lord Bless and Keep You Karina, yes, we all need to be undone at some point to understand the love and grace of our Lord. I had my undone moments. Lord, I lift up all those in Louisiana struggling for provision, hope, healing, comfort, strength. Your grace is sufficient and we will praise YOUR NAME. May your grace and comfort be immediate and sufficient in their struggles an d may you bring miracle upon miracle in their time of need. AMEN

  19. Karina, My heart aches for you & your many losses. But, I rejoice in how God has given you the grace to look at your situation as something God has allowed to help you grow closer to Him. Isn’t it amazing how God can help us look to Him during a difficult time, & find peace in the midst of the pain? My prayers are with you, dear.

    Personally, I am going through a difficult time too. It’s nothing as disastrous as what you’re experiencing, but painful just the same. My x-husband, who I have lived with platonically for around 20 years, is developed dementia. Apparently, it’s only in the beginning stages, but it’s very difficult for both of us. I’m feeling burned out, having, so often, to calm him down from a panic attack or help him find something he has, once again, lost. In my case, I have bipolar disorder. I’ve been doing well for about 10 years, thank God, but I’ve put him & our son through an awful lot, in the past.

    Our son & daughter in law seem to be avoiding us, which is so painful. We have 2 granddaughters & 1 grandson any day now. We miss them so much. And, they’re only a mile away.

    Please pray that God will mend our family relationships.
    Thanks you,
    Debi G

    • Debi! He does amaze me! Thank you for sharing!

      Father, you are the mender of ALL things broken. Come in and do a work as only You can do. I release miracles, healing and restoration in Debi’s family. You are good and faithful. Be their peace and comfort. Speak your truth to each of their hearts. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

  20. Karina,
    I stand in the gap as your sister in Christ. I beseech God on your behalf and for those of you fighting through this trial. Strength emerges in the bleakest moments. I see that in your post. I see that in your resolve. I see that in your hope.

    I have a friend, a dear friend, who is going through the same thing in BTR and I ache because I cannot be there to help her clean and toil through those same moments. I have pooled my prayers warriors on her behalf. They’ve never met her, but they love her and pray for her. I will add your name to the list.

    This post encourages me (pun intended) because I am the friend answers the phone. I am the friend that sends the texts. I didn’t think it was enough. Your post let me know it helps. Thank you. Thank you for speaking God’s truth and sharing your struggles in a time where you have every right to sit down and have an epic tantrum.

    I’ll tell you as I told my friend, it is okay to allow others to minister to you. Moses took the advice of his father-in-law when he saw that the burden he was carrying was too much. He basically told him to lean on others. This is your time to lean. God is with you. Be eternally blessed.

  21. At work they just sent out a reminder about Louisiana donations and matching funds they give! Hooray God! Karina He is moving in big and small ways! Bless you for your obedience to share!0

  22. Thank you for sharing (so eloquently) from within your struggles. I am so very sorry that you are going through this. God is surrounding you with so many blessings. It is an example of what happens when we sit back – literally – and watch what our mighty God is doing. It is sooooo hard, but God! You spoke to my heart and my journey and have let me know that I am NOT alone in this. God continues to amaze!

  23. “It’s there where we grow a heart of compassion for those who are hurting. That’s what we need more of these days. We need hearts that acknowledge pain and seek to love and serve. We don’t need all of the answers or all of the solutions. We simply just need to sit with people in their pain.” YES, YES, YES! Thank you for sharing your story, Karina. In a world filled with losses it is such an encouragement to hear all the BUT GODs.

  24. My friend Wanita was in the West Virginia floods, some of her friends had grandaughters who had to be rescued. It does take a while to get it back together again. God is faithful and He will restore you. You can contact Samaritan’s Purse or some of the major ministries for assistance. I will keep you in my prayers.

  25. Karina, thank you for these words from the Lord that speak my heart and to places in my life from your hurt and joyful places. It is such a blessing to see you vulnerability in speaking to all that Jesus is doing in you and your life, making good from these things and the comfort that you give from the comfort given. It is such a joyful testimony to see the work the Lord is blessing into your life-praying hard for you and Baton Rogue in these valleys of loss.

    I have had seasons where I lost almost everything and it was me and the Lord. He broke my self-sufficiency in these places, my dependencies on things other than Him and His people, to bring a greater glory to Him, to bring me home to His house. While the process is far from over and I would love to say that I surrendered gracefully at each step (I didn’t), I praise Him for the undoing, “counting it joy” as you said, anticipating each good that He brings from it. How glorious it is to see your openness to Him in this difficult time-so blessed for you and His work, dear sister. You are right that our undoing comes to grace us with Him as our greatest treasure and hope, to bring us to vulnerability with Him and His people, to be humbled by His generosity and compassion from Him and His people.

    Sending big hugs and prayer, dear sister 🙂 May we all see each good and hard place as gift, accepting the beautiful gifts from the Lord in these places as you show us is possible so that we comfort in turn, mourning with those who mourn and rejoicing with those who rejoice 🙂

  26. Karina, thank you for sharing how it looks to experience loss and trust God through allowing the community to be His hands. I am sorry for your loss. I pray our Father continues to reveal Himself to you in such a way that you never do life the same.

  27. Continuing to pray for you, sweet friend. I hope one of these days, in heaven, I’ll be like “See that girl over there? The one with the good and faithful servant pin attached to her gown? I KNEW her IRL!” <3

  28. Dear Katrina, I’m on the other side of the world in Australia but am really touched and encouraged by what you shared. May God continue to use you to bless many.

  29. Thank you for sharing! Life is tough, but through the tough I am learning to love the Lord deeply and become more obedient to Him.

  30. I often say, “I would rather be a woman who holds on to Jesus, than a woman who never had to.” So many Job moments…” But God. Thank you for sharing your life with us and encouraging us so!

  31. Karina,

    Prayers for you and others in Louisiana. I don’t understand how God allows all this tragedy and loss in our lives. I do know God is Good ALL the Time!!! I know trials make us stronger and bring us closer to Him!! Our community held a “supplies” drive for Louisiana. I got some necessary items for people down there and dropped them off. They were to start driving down there 9/2 ( from upper E. TN). I believe God is trying to tell America that He is enough. We don’t need all this earthly stuff-just Him!!

    I have had many “moments” in my life where I literally had to cling to Jesus. In the past few years my aging dad has gone through numerous medical trials that brought tears to my eyes-but God. He worked a miracle and healed him & I know He will heal all of Louisiana and America!

    Blessings Sister 🙂

    • Thank you Beth for your encouragement!!! Thank you and your community for all of the supplies! Every little bit helps! It means more than you could ever know.

      I do know God is good all the time. That is what I stand on! I love how He is showing Himself good to you and your family. May He continue to reign down miracles and healing!

  32. My sweet friend thank you for sharing this. I am thinking about our time together a week ago. Let me tell you what I observed. You are an example of Christ’s love.

    It is not in the catastrophes that we can measure his love but in the unwavering peace and joy that sustains us through. When I saw you in Mobile Al. you were beaming- laughing and loving on everyone you knew, and reaching out to meet new people with smiles and hugs. The Lord is so in love with you. And a woman who is loved and who is in love, beams.

    I love you too!

  33. Thank you for sharing your pain and your joy. I also have been affected by the flood. I live in St. Amant. I lost my house, my classroom (I teach at St. Amant Primary), and my church. But, not my faith. We will come through this stronger and look back on it and see the many hidden blessings. Someone told me that when you are going through something difficult and wonder where God is just remember the teacher is always quiet during a test. My prayers are with you and all of Louisiana.

  34. Karina- thank you for sharing that. I am praying for you and for our city. The flood has caused such unbelievable loss and devastation for so many. Thank you fir reminding me that God has this. But God! Love you!

  35. I understand what you are saying about God not wanting us to overly concern ourselves about our wordly possessions, but I also think it is only human to grieve when we lose things, especially items we may have a sentimental attachment too. I pray that God restores many things to the people of Louisana who lost so much in Katrina and now in these floods.