Pillar Journal
- A seasonal journal produced by Pillar Church in Holland, MI to guide us through the Christian year.
Pillar Journal

Not What I Want – By Diane Konynenbelt


From a place of darkest waters and deepest pain, I heard these lyrics from the song “Scars”*. “I am grateful for the scars cause without them I would not know your heart.”* Can I really say I am thankful for the scars?

The scars from June 6, 2021, the day I turned off the ventilator and walked my beloved husband, Harry, into the arms of Jesus.

Not what I wanted.

At Harry’s funeral our granddaughter shared a conversation she recently had with Harry about her future. Harry told her to make her plans in pencil and give God the eraser. “Today was not my plan,” she said, “this is not what I wanted.”

Scars from October 22 as I left the hospital having walked my dad over to Jesus’ arms.

Not what I wanted.

Scars from November 2022 as I walked into a hospital to sit with my daughter as her beloved husband had a cancerous tumor removed.

Not what I wanted.

Scars from December 2022 when we heard from the doctor that my son Chad has stage 4 cancer that is throughout his body.

Not what I wanted.

“…in your hands and feet I find my victory.”* The night before his death on the cross, Jesus fell to his knees in the garden, pleading with his Father. This is not what I want. Is there another way? Over and over he pleaded until the moment he said, but not what I want but what you want.

Each morning God’s mercies are new. Each day I praise God; I ask him for his love and grace to cover me, to provide what I need for the day, and for eyes to see his presence. Each night I thank him for his blessings of that day and in my weariness I climb on my Father’s lap and rest.

“So forever I am thankful for the scars.”* This is not the path I wanted to walk. These are not the scars I wanted. But I am forever thankful for the scars – Jesus’ scars. In Jesus’ scars I see the depth of God’s love, the depth of Jesus’ love for me.

In Jesus’ scars is my victory.

By Diane Konynenbelt

* Scars by I Am They

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  1. First, thank you for being so honest and re-orienting us to the victory in Jesus’ scars.

    Your morning prayer is oriented to God’s control even as you have agency in what you see and think- have you always prayed this way? If so who mentored you in praying this way, if not, was there a specific time that ushered you into praying this way?