Great and Unsearchable Things


A coffee and my Bible. An unanswered why and uncontrollable tears.

This is how I started my day.

I trust Jesus.

I know the Word of God is Truth.

I have seen beautiful things come from ugly things this year.

But I still have mornings of whys.

I’ve wondered why I got cancer. Not in a Why me? I don’t deserve this kind of way. (I have honestly never struggled with that.) But more in a What purpose does this serve in my life? kind of way. I know God wouldn’t run me through the wringer for nothing, but I don’t have a clear answer to that why.

I’ve wondered why, in a family with no history of breast cancer, my cousin who is one year older than me and who grew up two blocks away from me was diagnosed with breast cancer just three months after me.

I’ve wondered why Corey and I were presented with a challenging personal obstacle to work through in the midst of cancer. Some days this year I felt like I had to remind God I had cancer. Like Hey Mr. Creator of the Universe, are you sure you want to lay this thing on me right now? I’m kind of busy dealing with a bilateral mastectomy at the moment.

I’ve wondered why I often can’t seem to focus long enough to organize the words floating in my head into a cohesive sentence on my laptop. This makes me seriously wonder about my choice of vocation.

There have been a lot of whys this year.

But the unexpected why that hit me this morning?

Why can’t I stop crying?

Why, after having completed my reconstructive surgery and having entered the homestretch of healing, do I want to climb in bed and cry myself to sleep? I should be jumping up and down and praising God that it’s over. I should feel immense relief. Instead, this morning I just feel heavy.

I don’t have the answer. But I do have this.

As I sipped coffee on my deck (and blew my nose on a paper towel because we’re out of kleenex), I opened up my Bible to Jeremiah and read “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it – the Lord is his name; Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

Great and unsearchable things. I will probably never fully understand this year. I suspect I will teeter-totter from a heavy heart to unspeakable joy and back several more times. But God says when I call, he will answer. And not only will he answer, but he will show me great and unsearchable things.

And that gives me comfort in the midst of the heavy.

Comfort because I know his words are as true and real as these tears on my cheeks.

By KimHarms

Kim Harms is an author, speaker, and part-time library assistant with two decades of freelance writing experience. She has a degree in English from Iowa State University. She and her husband Corey have three super-awesome sons and one crazy dog. A two-time breast cancer survivor, her first book, Life Reconstructed: Navigating the World of Mastectomies and Breast Reconstruction (Familius), is a guide for women walking the breast cancer road. She is currently working on her second book, a devotional for women going through breast cancer.


  1. Hi Kim,

    I saw your post today and I thought I should write a brief note when you said “Why am I crying?”…and in a previous post I think you said you are having trouble sleeping. I wondered if your Dr. has done a blood test for your thyroid. A month after Anna was born I started having trouble sleeping. I would be exhausted, lay in bed wide awake and was so hyper during the day. I would just start crying for no reason and had no idea why.

    I was so scared… Dr Camp thought I had postpartum depression and gave me a low dose antidepressant since that’s how they treated it then. At least this helped me start sleeping over the next 3-6 and over the next year I slowly got back to feeling normal. I had brain fog too during that time…

    But 25 years later my blood test showed I had thyroid issues. A nurse friend gave me a book on the thyroid and I read that in the 1970’s Drs did not know that most postpartum depression is really due to temporary Thyroid disorder – Hyperthryoidism. It’s and over active Thyroid.

    I just share this with you because since that time I have seen others go through the effects of a Thyroid disorder…and see similar symptoms and I am so happy when they can get a blood test to check their thyroid. It was such a nightmare for me to go through and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Yes, I had to cling to the Lord minute by minute when I went through this and it really deepened my relationship with Him, but want you to know that we often know ourselves, our body and what we are feeling and it is terrible when Drs don’t listen or friends tell us things like I needed shock treatment, etc….that was so scary. In 2001 I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism which under active thyroid and I take medication for this…it changed my life because for years I was tired all time and the meds slowly took away the fatigue when my thyroid started working right.

    This may not be your issue and maybe you’ve had a blood test for this and it was negative…but it should be checked again even if it’s been a month or more since your last blood test and they checked your thyroid. It has to be checked monthly sometimes since the thyroid changes especially with all the physical stress your body has gone through….it might just be a temporary thyroid condition as your body heals.

    There are many symptoms and they can be subtle so here is a link to the symptoms for Hypothyroidism:

    and the link for Hypothyroidism – so you can see the difference in the symptoms

    Sorry this is soooo long…I’m praying for you Kim – for answers and help from DRs and the Lord.

    Hang in there,

    1. Hi Marie, Thanks for your concern for me. I actually do have hypothyroid. I’ve been on medication for about 10 years. They keep pretty close tabs on me, so I think I’m good in that department.
      My lack of sleep over the last several months has been largely due to my chest expanders (that I just had removed). The only position I’ve had available to sleep in has been my back, and I just can’t sleep on my back all night. I trust as I continue to heal from this last surgery that I will have more sleeping options (and more stablity in my emotions).

      1. Kim,

        I’m thankful that you already are being treated for hypothyroidism. You are such a blessing to so many I will continue to pray for your healing, your family and ministry for the Lord.


  2. I have often found after going through or being in the midst of difficult things the answer to “why” comes much later. Down the road running into someone going through something similar and being able to relate to them as then unload their burden on me. I have a close friend who struggles with some of the very same things I struggle with and while I wish she didn’t “get it” she does get it and I get her too. It helps me so much to have someone who gets it. We can rely on each other and understand each other in a way no one else can. The answer to your why might be much different but I do know this truth… and I know you know it too… in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. I know you love God and have been called according to His purpose so cling to the truth of Romans 8:28. You may not get the answer to your why this side of Heaven but we can know and trust in our God!

    And, I cry for apparently no reason ALL. THE. TIME. You are not alone!

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