S4E31 Show Notes: Encouragement for the Sufferer with Colleen Chao

by | Aug 2, 2022 | The Love Offering Podcast Show Notes

Is it possible to face the darkest days of life with hope and joy and purpose?


The life of Colleen Chao was bright and beautiful—it was brimming with hope and possibility. She was a talented, confident, and accomplished young woman. So, Colleen never imagined that she’d swim through two decades of deep-water anxiety and depression. She didn’t guess that she’d marry late, suffer years of chronic pain and illness, and give birth to a child with health complications. And never in her life did she imagine hearing the words: “Cancer. Stage four. Terminal.”


In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God is born of the suffering that on its own could have crushed Colleen. Her pain, instead, opened her eyes to eternal realities and has wrought a soul of indestructible joy. How do we suffer long and well? What do we do when we feel cheated? How do we face pressing darkness? One thing Colleen has learned is that we cannot bear the suffering alone. We need lots of help. To that end, Colleen is on the show sharing wisdom, hope, and encouragement for those who are suffering. Join us to embrace one day at a time, to trust and love Jesus more, and put yourself In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God.



“My first unexpected chapter was singleness.”


“I clung to God’s Word because life didn’t make sense.”


“God was taking me to a new and deeper place to Himself. I thought I had already gone through enough pain and heartache. How could there be more?”


“Each story has its own unexpected chapters. God was tendering my heart to others in their unique sufferings.”


“I’m looking back and seeing how God even beautifully organized the suffering. I would not change any of the chapters—even the painful ones.”


“I was insanely self-righteous. The unexpected chapters helped me to understand grace.”


“We all face these dark days in one way or another. Cancer doesn’t have a corner on the market for suffering.”


“I don’t get to walk around the dark days, I have to walk through them.”


“It’s a string of little miracles through the years that now help me to anticipate His presence and goodness in the next dark day.”


“God’s tenderness and compassion is backed up by His ultimate power and unlimited resources. God is both fierce and tender.”


“Our suffering either hardens us and causes us to push Christ away or it pushes us toward Him.”


“There is nothing like experiencing Jesus and suffering.”


“Chronic illness gave me such a heart for the brevity of life.”


“Terminal is a word that has become such a gift to me. It feels like there haven’t been any throwaways this last year. It is all sacred and weighty.”


“The things I used to worry about don’t concern me anymore. I have definitely become more bold about sharing Jesus.”


“Terminal cancer means this is not a battle I’m fighting to win. I am not suffering so that I can get better. I’m suffering until I die.”


“If God had cut short the suffering I would’ve never experienced the things He’s allowed me to.”


“The hope of getting to experience more of Him gets better and better even though the suffering gets harder and harder.”


“I can confidently say that though I am weak, God is strong.”


“Isolation is the kiss of death. We cannot journey long and well by ourselves.”


“Shift your mind to gratitude and shift your gaze to something beautiful.”


“Try creating something. When we create we bring life into something.”


“Think outside of your own suffering to bless someone else.”


“Be present with others in their grief.”


“There are moments and days that no one will be able to go with you and it will feel like everyone is failing you because the suffering is too large for a human person to enter in with you. There are God-shaped holes in our hearts that no one else can feel but Him. We can have a tendency to look to other people to sustain us. While they can help, ultimately Jesus is the only one who can meet every need.”


“We are free to love people better when we don’t feel like we need to be God for them. We are limited as humans and sometimes get it wrong.”


“When people care for my husband and son it does something to my heart that nothing else will.”


“You can’t go wrong with compassion.”


“It’s easy to be overwhelming to someone who is in the midst of suffering. Remember to be gentle. Use a kind and gentle approach instead of a forceful one.”


“Don’t expect much in return from that person.”


“To be a love offering, open yourself to risking love by the power of God’s Spirit.”


Connect with Colleen:


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I’m Rachael Adams

I’m an author, speaker, and host of The Love Offering Podcast. My mission is to help women find significance and purpose throught Christ.

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