Hannah Whithall Smith’s critics have noted that the title of her most famous book, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, is ironic, given the difficulties she faced throughout her life. Why take advice from someone whose life was so fraught with disappointment? you might ask. How is Hannah Whithall Smith’s life a model for happiness? She dealt with the deaths of her children; her husband’s mental health issues, his multiple infidelities, and their increasing estrangement; her daughter Mary’s scandalous affair and subsequent divorce; her daughter Alys’s depression and suicide attempt; and a prolonged custody battle for her two grandchildren. Yet in spite of these challenges, Hannah persevered in her faith, growing more confident in God’s love as she aged.
The final words of her last book, published five years before her death are a simple but powerful testament of her faith. “God is enough!” she wrote. “God is enough for time. God is enough for eternity. God is enough!”
~Michelle DeRusha in 50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith
In the stillness,
Welcome to the Still Saturday Community where we pause after a busy week, move in quiet pilgrimage, maybe linger a while in some still place, and soak in the beauty of images and reflect on the depth of sparse words. We’d love for you to join us. Grab the button and link up below. We all love to hear if something especially speaks to your heart, but please don’t feel pressured to comment. Simply take some time to be still together, to gaze long and drink deep.
Lynn D. Morrissey says
Thanks for highlighting this from Michelle’s new book, Sandy–such a wealth of insights and inspiration. One of the very first book that I read as a new Christian was Whitall’s The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life. BUT I had no idea of all she had endured. I think I will read it again w/ that in mind. I think it will make a difference, and that I will be astounded. Thank you both for sharing, and your photos are exquisite!
Sandra Heska King says
I didn’t know any of that either, Lynn. And those photos were taken outside the hospice house where my mom passed three years ago this month.
Lynn D. Morrissey says
Oh my goodness. WHere your Mom was. She was a gentle leaf letting go. Bless her heart and yours. i”m praying good memories are “growing” again for you. So, so hard to let go.
Patricia @ Pollywog Creek says
How I pray that I am that, too – more and more confident that God is more than enough.
Have a beautiful weekend, my always beautiful friend. Much love, Patricia
Sandra Heska King says
Me, too, Patricia. Much love to you.
It is these stories, the lives full of living joy and pain together, which capture my heart and encourage me as I journey with Jesus. You have inspired me to read Hannah’s book. It has been sitting on my shelf for a long time and I confess I only opened and read the first few chapters and it was set back down w/o the chance to dive in again. Another book, like Hannah’s is Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. I think next to “In His Steps” by Charles Sheldoon, it is my favorite book ever. ( ok.. next to The Word of God but that is a given, right.?!)
Thanks for the reminder to rest with her words and for offering a still quiet place to commune on Saturdays.
Just picked up a copy of Michelle’s book for my mom for Christmas. Yes, I got it early so I’d have time to read it first, lol! I’d say Smith’s critics have something to learn about casting the first stone, and about God in general. Have a blessed Saturday, Sandy. I hope your daughter is healing well.
Martha Orlando says
Yes, God is always enough!
I loved Michelle’s book and so glad you featured it here today, Sandy.
Donna Reidland says
The real testimony to a live of total commitment to Christ is found in the midst of difficulty, not a life of ease. Thanks for your thoughts and for your link-up.
Mary T says
Yes Sandra! God is enough! Thanks for sharing!
Michelle DeRusha says
Gorgeous photos, perfect quote from Ms. Hannah. Thanks, Sandy – Happy Still Saturday!
Heather @ My Overflowing Cup says
I’m reading Michelle’s book right and thoroughly enjoying it. It is so encouraging! Thanks for the link-up.
Laurie Collett says
God is indeed enough! Thanks for hosting & God bless.
Janis@Heart-Filled Moments says
Sandra, I have always loved Hannah Whitall’s book, “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life,” but I never knew her story. It puts a whole new meaning on that book for me, on her faith, and on my own faith journey when it’s wrought with difficulties.
These photos are beautiful but how much more meaningful to know they were taken from a place that rends your heart. I understand.
Thank you for this beautiful post.
In Christ alone my hope is found. He is enough!
Joanne Viola says
I read her book, “The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life” years ago now but didn’t know her story until I read Michelle’s book. Amazing. Praying I would always have the attitude, “God is enough”. He gives us just what we need for each day. May you have a blessed Sunday!
God’s grace id holding us through the things, we wouldn’t ever expect to go through … Yet He is with us, giving His peace, lovingkindness and forgiveness carry us through, one moment at a time… I would love to read the book, you’re referring to, Sandy!
It’s not about living good enough to produce a perfect life – what a wonderful summary on “God is enough” and finding it true!