Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lessons from 2017

This past week I've been focusing on what lessons 2017 has taught me. I want to use these lessons as a springboard for my 2018 resolutions.

This is what I've come up with so far.

1. Everyone is on his/her own journey.

Everyone in this world is on his/her own journey. When my journey intersects with someone else's journey, it's helpful to remember that what God is working the other person through is NOT what God is working on with me. This year, I learned (painfully and not really completely yet) to take my interactions with others less personally.... to focus on what God wants ME to learn.... and to love the other person through his/her journey.

2. It's okay if it's not MY way.

This was a tough lesson for someone like me to accept. Obviously, MY way is the best way... I'm guessing it was because this lesson would be so hard for me to learn that the fire that forged it was INTENSE. For MONTHS this year, I was stuck on my rear end... forced to allow others to cook, clean, shop, and care for me... what may sound like a vacation was actually torture. I like to do things on my own so they get done MY way. Would you believe that teenage boys don't realize the sink should be wiped down every day? Can you fathom that some people don't fold the towels in thirds? And the horror of it ALL: there are people who drink unfiltered TAP water and try bringing it to me when I ask for a glass of water??? This year I learned (maybe not COMPLETELY though) to let others do for me and to relax the reigns a little when they don't do things MY way.

3. Slow and steady wins the race.

Healing from a ruptured Achilles tendon took. a. LONG. time. You wouldn't believe how long. In some ways, 7+ months after the fact,  I'm still working on parts of the healing. I don't like moving slowly. I zip from task-to-task. I don't really do slow. But I really, really wanted to get this Achilles rehab RIGHT. So I forced myself to take it slow. It taught me a lesson to apply outside of physical therapy.  This year I learned that life isn't a sprint. It's a marathon.  And slow and steady wins the race.

Hope this blog makes you pause for a second and look back at 2017.... life is a lesson... let's learn from it.

But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.
Deuteronomy 4:9

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The cattle on a thousand hills

Yesterday was a tough day.  We woke up to a hole in the bathroom ceiling (leaky toilet above) and in the middle of showering the filth of the toilet mess off me, I missed a call from Jeremiah who was trying to reach me because he had been in a car wreck.... with his baby cousin in the car. It wasn't exactly the peaceful Saturday I had planned on. But somehow, honestly, In the misdst of the turmoil, I had complete and utter peace.

As I sat on the couch yesterday listening to John pull down the water logged bathroom ceiling, I wondered how vast this repair would be, and I realized I wasn't nervous at all. My husband has leaped over every hurdle in our initiation into homeownership with grace and skill. As I sat on the couch I truly WONDERED how much this would cost. I didn't worry at. all. I did puzzle for a second, thinking, Hey God, I'm really not worried about this. I heard Him whisper, Yes... because you KNOW I own the cattle on a thousand hills.

That knowledge wobbled just a smidge when I returned Jeremiah's missed call, "Mom," he said, sounding very calm and steady, "I was driving Cori's car to try to get Declan to sleep, and we were in a little car accident. We're both fine, but I have to go because the police are here." Satan turned my peace cup upside down.  I felt my peace FALLING toward the ground,  but faith STOPPED the descent toward fear with a whisper,  "the cattle on a thousand hills..." THEY ARE BOTH FINE. nothing else matters.

Lest you think I have arrived at some Nirvana island of perfect peace, let me explain to you.  Peace isn't calm blue seas around a tropical island.  It's more like chin barely above the CHURNING seas, but KNOWING that Life Preserver is SOLIDLY under your armpits. As the adrenaline wore off, I felt this sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop... a knowing that God would see it drop and have a plan for that... but still waiting for it to drop.... When Hannah returned from seeing a movie with Oma... and Jeremiah and Elijah were back from Cori's.... and Noah FINALLY finished gaming with Seth.... I released a HUGE sigh of relief that my babies were back under my roof, and we could put this day to rest.

So I'm over here.... the seas are calmer but I still have my Life Preserver firmly under my armpits.... and I just wanted to remind you...

For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
Psalm 50:10

Thursday, November 16, 2017

It never gets any easier

It never gets any easier.  This thing called parenting.  People tell you that.  It never gets any easier.  But you plod along naively assuring yourself YOU will break the mold. You will be the one to prove them wrong.  For everyone ELSE, it never gets any easier..... but not for you.

This afternoon I stood on a flag lined stage,  facing this man who was wearing my baby's face.  He raised his hand and swore his allegiance to this great country.  I smiled and swelled with pride. I teared up when the officer waxed patriotic. I came home and posted my braggy, proud pictures on Facebook.  When he walked in the front door, I squeezed him liked I wish I could've when we were there. 

But now... in the dark... trying to chase sleep while it is being a sneaky lil punk.... I'm wondering how will I let him go? The tears are falling freely as I realize,  "they" were RIGHT. It never gets any easier. I've raised this amazing young man.  I thought the diapers and the heartbreaks and the driving by himself were the hard parts. But guess what??? The hard parts NEVER stop coming.

I have no idea how I'll make it through this letting go.  I do know it will involve a TON of coffee to counteract the sleepless nights and a whole lotta Jesus carrying me through. I just plan to hang on tight and enjoy the ride. I am going to CHERISH every single one of the 306 days until he ships out. (I even smiled while I picked up his dirty laundry on the bathroom floor tonight.) All I wanted to tell you though,  was:

I was wrong. 

They were right.

It never gets any easier.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A handful of sorrow

I have had this blog banging around in my soul the past few days. So I'm going to try to quick get it out before I start working today. It's about a handful of sorrow.

I've been in a bit of a funk lately.  Honestly, it's about money.  It's embarrassing to admit that because anyone who's followed this blog knows that we "know what it is to be in need" and we have watched as God has carried us through some VERY lean times... yet STILL as we inch closer and closer to late fees on our bills... as our savings dwindles a bit more each day... I feel discouragement settling in.

I know in the DEPTHS of me that "God's got this"... I realize that this testing of my faith develops perseverance... Yes! And AMEN! But I don't really like this venue of $0.83 cents till payday,  working OT yet still barely enough to pay those looming medical bills, just replaced the dishwasher and now the brakes are going. I don't like it!

So the past two days God has been ministering to me that EVERY single season of life has a handful of sorrow. This perfectionist wants a neat, tidy, bills paid early kinda life, but that is NOT reality. That is NOT an earthly existence. Reality is: on this earth there will ALWAYS be a handful of sorrow. Whether that handful is ice cold or burning hot... Whether it CONSUMES our life or quietly nags in the background... no one... no time... no thing on this earth is perfect.

When my kids were lil enough to fit in my lap.... that's a season I LONG to return to. But honestly I was SO BONE WEARY TIRED... I absolutely NEVER peed alone... I was outnumbered, out gunned, and constantly flying by the seat of my pants.  Now most of them are bigger than I am... they don't snuggle as much... they don't need me as much... but they are HELPFUL... they've been taking care of momma and pretty much running this house for 5 months while I've been laid up... and they are these AMAZING humans who I love to be around.

[Okay for those of you who are wondering when I'll ever get to my point.... I'm there!]  Every season has good... every season has a handful of sorrow... I need to STOP pining for perfection and rejoice over the good while embracing the sorrow.  The landscape of my current situation is flawed, but it is also SO BEAUTIFUL.

Accept that handful of sorrow... every season of life will have one.... and make sure to lift your eyes up off that handful and appreciate the beauty that is RIGHT NOW.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Philippians 4:12

Saturday, October 14, 2017

No good thing...

This morning in my quiet time I wrestled with this verse:

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
Psalms 84:11

Actually this portion of the verse:

The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

I struggled because I can think of MANY times when I "did what was right" and the results were anything but good....

*forgave someone... then THEY rejected ME

*told the truth,  the whole truth, and NOTHING but the truth with TERRIBLE consequences

*defend someone... they respond by ATTACKING me

So the first time I read the verse my heart said,  "Yeah right."

But then as I re-read and pondered it occurred to me...

What if the "good thing" is that icky result? What if the gift of God was removing that person from my life so I could be free? What if the good thing was that hellish walk through NIGHTMARISH experiences. What if the attack was my blessing cuz it made me stronger?

It all boils down to this... we have to BELIEVE and TRUST God and His word ALL OF THE TIME. His word says:

The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

I will choose to believe that is true even when it doesn't SEEM like I'm getting a "good thing."

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Writing soothes my soul.  When my heart is all jumbled with feeling, the way I untangle that mess is with writing. So let's work it out then.

Fear... I'm really afraid.  On the outside and even a little on the inside, I look like I trust God, but deep inside in the secret parts of my heart fear lurks and sometimes even reigns.

I'm afraid of bad things happening to my children.  I'm afraid of not being able to pay the bills.  I'm afraid of the bad things people say and think about me. I'm afraid of conflict. I'm afraid of making mistakes.

If I'm being bare-naked honest here (which is what I strive for on this blog), all of those things I'm afraid of have happened to me.  My fears are like an emotional PTSD.... I remember the pain and I'm afraid to repeat it. Bad things happening to my children... yups! some truly terrible things have been traveled on that road. Not being able to pay the bills... yups! been there... done that... People thinking horrible things about me... sure! every.  single. day. Making mistakes... yes! my failures abound.

I guess the fact that I've been down these roads and survived should ease my fears. I should stand firm in the knowledge that God has NEVER let me down in the past so logic would say He won't let me down in the future. But my fear isn't that God won't get me through.  I believe 100% that He is bigger than ANYTHING I face.  My fear stems from a deep desire to avoid those painful journeys.

Ahhhh but THERE it is... the clarity that comes from writing it all out... my aha! moment..... pain is a part of living on this sin-soaked earth. Pain is unavoidable. Not until Heaven will I get the sunshine,  rainbow and lollipop existence I so long for.... it's actually GOOD that I don't like the flaws of this existence. I SHOULD long for my heavenly home. And that is what my fears stem from... a longing for a place with no more crying, no more pain, no more death.

Maybe tomorrow I'll blog about how I'm currently slaying the daunting dragons advancing against me... for today I just needed to hash out why I can't seem to put my fears completely to rest.  Thanks for journeying with me. 

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.
Revelation 21:4

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Theology of Suffering

I read this in my devotional this morning,

"If we do not have a correct theology of suffering, we will be shocked, devastated, and angered when adversity strikes us or those we love."

It got me thinking... what is a right theology of suffering? I'm not sure yet.  But here's what I know about suffering,

*From experience I know that suffering comes to EVERYONE... the godly and the ungodly...

*From experience I also know that if I allow it to, suffering produces growth in my life...

*Finally from experience I know that suffering allows God to show Himself to me... through His word... through His people... through His miraculous works.

Each of these facets of my theology of suffering is from scripture as well,

*In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
Matthew 5:45

*Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
James 1:2‭-‬3

*He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:4

I'm planing to ponder this for awhile.  Cuz for some reason my mind KNOWS these things about suffering,  yet STILL when thrust into the midst of it my heart is still shocked,  devastated, and yes, angry.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Two roads...

In any situation, two distinct roads lie before me... joy and pain-filled. Both of these roads travel through the same forest... the backdrop does not change... both paths are lined with the same foilage.... whether it be death, divorce, illness.... or birth, wedding, and health... the forest is the same.... it is the path we CHOOSE that makes the difference.

Will we CHOOSE to focus on all our troubles? Our pain.. Our need... Our misery... Or will we CHOOSE to focus on our blessings? God's provisions... loving people to walk the path with us... small miracles....

The difference (and the POWER) lies within us.  We CHOOSE if our lot will be joyful or pain-filled. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying ANYONE can walk through the forest of adultery without pain. I'm not saying ANYONE can travel the wilderness of childhood cancer without agony.  I'm not saying the landscape of foreclosure can be experienced without hurt. What I'm saying is we ALL have ICK in our lives.  You can't control that.  You can't avoid much of it. What you can do is make the most of it. As long as you're there,  why not learn something? As long as you have you carry this load,  why not find some joy in it? As long as you're weak and hurting,  why not give God the glory?

Lest you think I'm getting too preachy, let me just admit that I'm writing this blog from a rocky road. The exact struggles that line my path aren't important.  What's important is I'm hearing God LOUDLY tell me to keep my eyes fixed on the GOOD that lines my path and let Him worry about the bad.

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
Philippians 4:12

Monday, September 25, 2017

My husband... my family... my country

I love my husband.  I don't love him because he's perfect.  I don't love him only when he's doing things that make me happy. I love him. Period. All. The. Time.

Somedays it is EASY to love him... like when he's giving me handmade farmhouse benches or making me the perfect eggs.  Somedays I just stubbornly make a CHOICE to love him... you know he's not everyone's cup of sunshine.

I love my family.  I don't love them because they're perfect.  I don't love them only when they're doing things that make me happy. I love them. Period. All. The. Time.

Somedays it is EASY to love them... like when mom is taking me out to breakfast or when we are gathered around a table laughing together.  Somedays I just stubbornly make a CHOICE to love them... when you live life closely with people they can be offensive and unpleasant.

I love my country. I don't love it because it's perfect.  I don't love it only when it's full of things that make me happy. I love it. Period. All. The. Time.

Somedays it is EASY to love my country... like when I hear about everyday people helping stranded hurricane victims or I read about a couple adopting an entire family of orphans.  Somedays I just stubbornly make a CHOICE to love it... like when I am assaulted with the knowledge that we have made it LEGAL to murder babies in the womb... or when I watch people using their freedom to assemble to trash and destroy the property of others.

If you love only when the object of your affection is lovable, might I suggest that is not love. Love  isn't loving only those you like.... Love isn't being supportive when they are pleasant... it isn't just pretty pink or red heart shapes.... it isn't just red, white, and blue bunting... love can be dirty and ugly and flawed and DIFFICULT... but what makes it love is that it NEVER ends. No matter how offensive, rude, unjust, and even unlovable... love. NEVER. ends.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:7‭-‬8

Love is all you need

One of the verses I quote most frequently to my children is:

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18

I use it at least three times a day, when my children come to me to settle their sibling wars.

But here's the thing, sometimes you cannot live at peace with everyone. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree and walk away. That is a very hard thing for a peace-loving person like me to do. I get so stuck in thinking if I just try harder I can find peace. But sometimes you just can't. Even in the body of Christ sometimes peace cannot be found.

I've really been struggling with that lately. I've been trying hard to channel my inner Elsa and just "Let it go." But my type A personality keeps me up at night wondering if there's something I can do or something I can say to bring about peace.

Recently God gave me an answer: love. When you can't understand why someone is behaving a certain way, when you can't find common ground, when you can't get them to lay down their weapons and just choose peace, choose love.

It's not my job to heal relationships. It's not my job to enforce peace. My job is to love people the way Christ loves people and let God take care of all the rest.

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Ephesians 4:2

Monday, September 11, 2017


Tough times... Tough times... My heart feels completely burdened. Mostly with concern for others right now (shattered hearts, cancerous kidneys, Multiple Myeloma, hurricanes, TBIs, wayward children) these make my woes pale in comparison; however, my basket of trouble has a few things rattling around in there too:

*ya make it through the pain and trauma of a medical crisis only to find yourself BURIED in medical bills --- that's fun;

*speaking of medical crisis... you improve so much you kinda "forget" your injury and overdo setting yourself back an entire week --- again comparatively not so bad but still not really fun.

Saturday night I cried myself to sleep praying for a little girl and this morning I woke up BURDENED wth the pain of the most loyal woman I know.... my heart just SCREAMED,  "God PLEASE move! Please bring relief!"

Near the end of my morning Bible reading I found this gem:

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalms 55:22

So this morning Lord I'm giving my burdens to you... please take them Lord because I'm weary of carrying them.

*Please hold tight the broken hearted.  Lord,  remind them that you will NEVER betray and forsake them the way a human has.

*Please heal bodies infected by cancer.  Let the surgeons get EVERY bit if that cancerous kidney.  Let the chemo kill every speck of that Multiple Myeloma.

*Protect those in the path of these hurricanes and restore what's left in the wake of them.

*Take bruised brains and make them WHOLE. Heal the physical,  emotional and even spiritual effects of this damage.

*Bring children back to their parents.... and while you're at it,  bring them back to their heavenly Parent too.

*as long as I'm praying Lord, will you please help us pay these medical bills... especially to the unreasonable and inflexible Aurora, and please help me get the healing of this foot back on track.

Burdens left at His feet... phew! That feels better.  Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Heights and depths

There are days in life when I am STRUCK to the core by the realization that on THIS very day someone is experiencing the absolute HAPPIEST day of their life WHILE another is experiencing their WORST day ever. And at BOTH of those moments God still sits firmly on His throne.

Today the joy of an icky chapter coming to an end AND the agony of a terrible unjust diagnosis. Neither of these took our God by surprise.

My finite brain struggles to comprehend how TODAY oodles of my friends posted joyful proud "first day of school" pics while others posted pictures of the devastation wrought by flooding. One celebrating the birth of a new baby. While another blindsided by childhood cancer.

Its only taken me 48 long years, but I think I'm finally starting to get this. The secret isn't in the sun shining or the clouds looming. The wonder of it all is whether we come running and screaming with tears coursing down our face or jumping and bounding, joy oozing from every pore,

He. Is. There.

Always... Forever.... Good... Bad... Gut-wrencing... Soul bursting... when it's cancer.... when it's freedom... when it's flooding... when its the first day.... when we're living... when we're dying...

He is there.

Hang on my friends. If you're in the valley, I'm praying for you!  The valley sucks.  But God is with you. If you're on the mountaintop, I'm rejoicing with you! The highs are so beautiful. And God is with you.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:2

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Be encouraged

Why do I think life should be easy? What worthwhile endeavor is easy? Physical fitness? It takes sweat, pain, dedication, HARD work. Marriage? It takes sacrifice, forgiveness, compromise. Godliness? It takes seeking, changing, dying to self. Yet somehow I still get discouraged when the path I'm on gets tough.  When I face defeat.... When I wobble backwards a few steps... When I'm betrayed by those I've supported... When life doesn't look happy and pretty and neat.

Life is TOUGH... ESPECIALLY when you're on the right track.  When you are trying to be Jesus to a fallen world, it's going to HURT.... It's going to cost you.... It is NOT gong to be easy.

So be ENCOURAGED today... If the road in front of you looks daunting.... If you see an uphill climb everywhere you look... The tough paths lead to the good destinations!

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:2‭-‬4

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Love is a CHOICE

People are irritating, self- centered, rude. We have idiosyncrasies (like the tendency to apologize too much or constantly forgetting things because we have too many irons in the fire). We get wrapped up in our own agenda (what WE want to happen.... how WE want our house to look... how WE think people should behave....) We are ALL sinners, falling short of God's glory every day.

That is why it is VITAL for us to remember that love is a CHOICE. We CHOOSE to love the spouse who left the car window open all night when it rained.  We CHOOSE to love the child who left the lunch meat out all night. We CHOOSE to love the family member who drives us nuts. We CHOOSE.

We don't manipulate that person into behaving the way we want them to. We don't DEMAND they change. We don't blame, make ultimatums, roll our eyes, shame..... If we're doing life the way God wants us to, we CHOOSE to love.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:4‭ & 7

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Be careful little mouth what you say

Remember that Sunday School song? Here's the part God's working on with me this week, "Be careful little mouth what you say." He's preaching a three-point sermon straight to my heart on this topic. I'm pressed for time this morning so I'll cut straight to the chase.

1. Shut my mouth and pray about it. I find myself in a CONFUSING, heart-breaking, unjust situation. I keep talking about it to process my way through the painful emotions. But no amount of talking will explain or fix this. It's time to hush my lips and PRAY. Honestly, I'm not sure how beneficial it EVER is to rehash situations like this. Some things are not to be understood. They are to be endured.... with our eyes on Heaven.... waiting for God to move.... because He is the only One who CAN move people's hearts. "Be careful little mouth what you say."

2. Slow down and THINK before you speak. Yesterday without thinking, I said something that in retrospect was inappropriate and unkind. If you know me at all,  you know that means I spent the rest of the day dwelling on the comment and beating myself up for saying it. This is a lesson I've been learning for a LONG time. Sometimes I'm very good at it. Other times my filter slips and something I should not have said slips out. "Be careful little mouth what you say."

3. Anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ugh.... I've become such an angry person lately. Yes, I face TOUGH situations. Often one right after the other, each following so closely on the heels of the last that I don't even get a chance to catch my breath between. But anger is never the right answer. It gives the devil a chance to stick his toe in it. And that evil adversary.... once he gets his toe in, he'll squirm his whole foot in... then his leg... and before I know it he's the unwelcome guest at my party, and I'm saying angry things that I really don't even WANT to say! "Be careful little mouth what you say."

Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
Proverbs 10:19

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Look for silver linings

I don't believe God ever causes bad things to happen. [...God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all. 1 John 1:5] It's not in His nature. But I do believe that He wants to use each and every bad thing that happens to us for our GOOD. [And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28] Sometimes the path we are walking is so dark and demented that it is TOUGH to see the good that God is bringing out of it. Other times the trials we're suffering are less intense, and we can more easily appreciate the good God is working for us.

Right now I'm walking the second kind, the less intense kind. Still a faith workout.... still not what I would have chosen for this summer... but compared to other struggles I've endured,  not that bad. So I'm having an easier time seeing the good that can come out of my suffering.

On May 15th I ruptured my Achilles tendon [leaping over a bench to save a baby]... had surgery May 22nd [my doctor said it was the worst rupture he's ever seen... he took pics with his smartphone to show his doctor buddies]. I have been in a boot, on crutches,  knee walker, sitting on my fat butt elevating this foot, unable to do much of anything for myself for 7 weeks now. It has NOT been fun.  But even though I'm in the midst of it, still I can see many good things coming from it:

1. I'm learning to let others take care of me. That is TOUGH for someone as independent as I am.

2. I'm developing better quiet time habits... more faithfulness in prayer.... delving deeper into the Word.

3. I'm seeing and APPRECIATING what INCREDIBLE servants and hard workers these children of mine are.

4. I'm learning to say "no" to commitments that will hinder my healing (haven't learned how to not feel guilty about saying "no" yet, but baby steps)

5. I'm remembering what a BEAUTIFUL thing the body of Christ is (people bringing meals, cleaning my house,  taking my kids to fireworks...)

And so much more... but the main thing... the real reason I wrote this post....

6. I'm learning [like REAL life, know it cuz you LIVED it learning] that there is ALWAYS good if you look hard enough. And I'm PRAYING that I'll retain that lesson for the next time my path seems too dark to hold any good.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

King of My Heart

All week long I've been trying to recall this song. It touched my heart, and I had a vague feeling of recall, but I couldn't even get a brief piece of the lyrics to search for it. All I knew is the song had the word good in it. Talk about your needle in a haystack!

Fast forward to Sunday morning church... last song of the worship set... and would you BELIEVE, it's the song! It was the most special whisper from God..  "Here it is, Jami. The song you've been searching for all week." It was awesome!

But better than that little whisper, was the fact that the lyrics they hit me RIGHT where I'm at this weekend. Last week God started tickling my heart with this song...  all week long it eluded me... then this morning God gave it to me... the message I needed so badly to hear... wrapped with a beautiful bow made from the knowledge that God cared enough about me to lay this song on the heart of the worship leader for this week's set. Amazing!

He IS the King of My Heart.

King of My Heart
Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run
The fountain I drink from
Oh-oh, He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide
The ransom for my life
Oh-oh, He is my song
You are good, good, oh-ohh
You are good, good, oh-ohh
You are good, good, oh-oh-ohh
You are good, good, oh-ohh
Let the King of my heart
Be the wind inside my sails
The anchor in the waves
Oh-oh, He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the fire inside my veins
The echo of my days
Ohh! He is my song
You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
You're never gonna let
Never gonna let me down
When the night is holding onto me
God is holding on
When the night is holding onto me
God is holding on

Hear my prayer, O Lord ; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.
Psalms 143:1

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A hope and a future

Declan Fisher,

I can't believe it's already been a year!  But at the same time I can't even remember a life without you in it. 

We all know what a miracle you are. The story's been told far and wide.... your momma was not supposed to be able to have babies... losing your sibling just a few months prior gutted her and left her battered... then came you.  Beautiful,  smart,  PERFECT you! 

You are the answer to her tearful prayers. You fill her arms and her heart. But dear Declan you are a miracle to me too.

See this last year life has been TERRIBLE, more painful than any other I've endured. Hope has been HARD to find. Miracles have not yet come. So often this past 12 months I have been at the depths of despair and there has been you.  Your baby soft sweetness... your blond newness... This past year,  I would feel hopelessness CRUSHING my soul, and then I would remember your momma sobbing, from the depths of her soul ACHING because she would never know what it felt like to be a mom. And now here. you. are. Miraculously,  amazingly,  incredibly you.  are.  here.  When you shouldn't have been.... when doctors said you couldn't have been... YOU. ARE. HERE. and at the depths of my worst pain I would think.... God did this.  God brought Declan to Cori. He can take care of my heart break too.

Declan Fisher... you are so much more than a baby.  You are so much more than my sister's full arms.  You are hope.  You are possibilities.  You are dreams come true.  You are a FUTURE. 

Thank you for keeping me afloat this past year, Declan.  I love you dearly!

Happy birthday! 
Auntie Jami

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, May 29, 2017

Know Him and make Him known

A few months ago I claimed this as my family's Mission statement:

Know Him and make Him known

I think from before we even started a family, from before we were even a couple this was my goal for life. But a few months ago, I consciously claimed it to my children and John. This is our official mission statement. These are our only goals in this life:

*know Jesus
*make Jesus known

All my life choices... all my decisions... I want them to filter back to this....

But sometimes life just doesn't LOOK like what you thought it would look like. Sometimes the pieces are scattered all over the floor and they make no discernible image. Sometimes words like cancer, and guilty, and unfaithful shatter the image we have of what our life was going to be like. I've been there. In fact for about a year and a half now, my tent's been pitched there. In this wilderness... where I keep looking around thinking THIS is MY life?!?!? How can that BE??? Even though the Bible constantly disproves this notion, somehow I keep thinking if you love God, if you follow His decrees, if you dedicate your life to serving Him and doing His will then things should go your way. But they don't always.  And in fact often in Scripture I see the opposite... for Joseph... for Job... for Jesus!

Recently in one of the particularly dark shadows of this valley we're in, I stopped... I looked around at the UGLY filth and thought how can this awful landscape be my life. Then right there, midthought the Holy Spirit spoke to me. And I looked around again at the ugly... the waste... the broken parts... and I thought, here, at the bottom of this outhouse pit do I know Him? YES! Possibly more intimately than ever before. Am I making Him known? YES! Over and over... blow after blow... sitting here on this hardly inhabited island waiting for the Lord to send a search plane to rescue us... I am SCREAMING my belief that eventually HE will have HIS way. No matter how dark and desolate this gets, I will NOT stop saying HIS WILL BE DONE. So yes... this IS my life. The ugly... the broken... the awful.... if those things are making me know Him and I'm making Him known... it's. my. life.

I realized life's ick... Satan's attacks... these potholes along the way.... they don't matter.... what matters is that my mission statement stays true:  know Him and make Him known.

The things that happen along your road to Heaven are not what's important.  Don't let them define you! It's your mission.  It's your journey. Those are the things that matter.

I want to know Christ....
Philippians 3:10

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Glad game

With Declan toddling toward the basement stairs,  I shouted,  "Is the door open?!?!" The second I heard the answer, "Yes!" I was off the couch, bounding towards him.  With him just steps away from the opening to the basement, I caught him as BLINDING PAIN shot through my body. I didn't really even see the piano bench I had leapt over, but my heel sure found it. My foot came up underneath the bench, and I kicked the edge with the back of my heel and ruptured my achilles tendon. I'm a hero! I saved a baby from falling down the stairs! But now I need surgery to repair my achilles tendon.

It's been a rollercoaster since that fateful Monday night.  Tuesday I was in so much pain I cried most of the afternoon. Yesterday, I was on an endorphin high because I kept thinking, "He could have REALLY been hurt! And I stopped him!" Today I've been teetering on the edge of depressed discouragement.  As if we don't already have enough trials we're trying to withstand over here! Won't we make a pretty picture me scooting in on a knee walker to John's upcoming kidney surgery. #gimmeabreak

It was in the midst of REALLY starting to feel sorry for myself that I remembered the Glad Game. You know from Pollyanna. She wanted a doll so bad but instead got little crutches. Her dad taught her that in every situation you can find something to be glad about.  They were glad that Pollyanna didn't need those crutches.  Thus began the Glad Game.

So tonight instead of wallowing in my sorrows I'm going to play the Glad Game.

I'm glad that:
*Declan Fisher O'Brien didn't fall down a flight of stairs.
*We have great health insurance.
*I love the doctor we found.
*Not only will my doctor repair my ruptured tendon, but he'll remove this deformity thing on  my heel that has given me two decades worth of tendonitis.
*My bosses are SO supportive.
*My job is very flexible.
*Because I work-at-home, I will be out of work less than 2 days.
*Because I am such a taskmaster my children are fully capable of running this house in my absence.
*John takes such great care of me.
*My office, my bed and a full bathroom are all on the same level.
*(and what you all kept telling me when we moved into this dream house) our house is only two blocks from the hospital!

So surgery bright and early Monday a.m. I'm not gonna lie I'm pretty terrified.... about going under anesthesia and having to give myself shots after surgery... but hey there's that Glad Game again.... I'm glad I have so much pain in my foot and a ton of horrible drama going on in my personal life to distract me from those fears. 

Did I do that??

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Today it hit me.... maybe all the prosperity people are right... see I've long had a problem with those who preach the message that "God wants you to prosper!" Because that's not what I read in my Bible... that's not what I've seen working it's way out in my life or the life of my friends... but today I thought maybe those people are RIGHT.  Not about the prospering part but at least about the positivity behind it. 

Let me back it up a bit in case I lost you.... the very first time I had a mammogram I had to go back for additional tests to rule out something nefarious. I remember the fear in the pit of my belly... I remember trying to convince myself, "God's got this." But I remember STRUGGLING too because see I know that sometimes children get cancer, sometimes daddy's don't come home,  sometimes it doesn't all work out like a fairy tale,  and those times God is STILL in control.

So now fast forward back to where I was before.... today I was driving down the road and it HIT me... like a Mack Truck crashing into a VW bug... what if they're RIGHT.... What if believing God is gonna heal you,  rescue you,  provide for you is what it is really about... then it doesn't matter if the rescue EVER COMES.... What matters is you NEVER gave up hope... cuz the ONLY thing we can do in the face of a hurricane ripping through our lives is TRUST in the only One who controls the outcome.

See the outcome isn't ours to do.... what got us here can't be undone.... how we'll deal with a... b... or c... not the question.  What's ours... the ONLY thing God calls us to... often the only thing we CAN do.... is BELIEVE.

So maybe these prosperity people who tout this God WANTS you to live in health and wealth mantra... maybe they have actually got it RIGHT.  Because they refuse to entertain any other possible outcome but one where God REIGNS in the end.

Just a lil food for thought....

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
Lamentations 3:25

Saturday, May 6, 2017


Last night John and I watched the movie Lone Survivor. I'm not sure I can in good conscience reccomend the movie.  It's quite brutal.... the gore of war... the LANGUAGE of soldiers... most of all the TERROR that one day that could be MY military-loving boy doing that.  It was pretty intense!  I feel like my ears need to be washed out with soap after all those cuss words, and I stopped the movie at one point to BEG my child NOT to choose that path.  However, that SECULAR, brutal movie had a message for my soul.

I'm pretty sure these aren't going to be spoilers. Heck,  the title of the movie pretty much tells the end,  right?...even if you never heard the story of this group of Navy SEALs...  But just in case,  I'm warning you... this blog will give away parts of the movie.

The mission of this group of SEALs is compromised, and they have a choice before them.  Basically they can choose to do the morally right thing which will be HARD, or they can save their own butts and save their mission by doing the wrong thing.  Their leader chooses the moral high ground with DISASTROUS results. And here's where my sermon began. Sometimes doing the right thing has UNPLEASANT results. Sometimes the moral high ground is rocky and FULL of Taliban soldiers with RPGs. BUT just because you suffer HORRIBLY doesn't make the moral high ground a wrong choice. Right is ALWAYS right, even when it's hard. Sometimes doing the right thing just makes the enemy RAGE against you even harder. But it is ALWAYS good to choose what is RIGHT and even if you lose for choosing it, if you honor God by choosing right you will win in the end.

At one point in the movie all four of these SEALs are wounded.  They have tumbled down not one,  but TWO rocky mountain sides. They've been shot.  One guy was shot in the BACK OF THE HEAD. Another guy had all the fingers on one hand shot off. BUT. THEY. STILL. KEEP. GOING. They NEVER quit. They're trying to reach flat ground so they can more easily fight the enemy. They get separated from one guy, and the Taliban catches him. These men...  battered, bruised, shot, exhausted.... do you know what they do?  They don't turn tail and run. They don't write their guy off and save themselves.  They TURN AROUND and start pushing back UP THE HILL to save their guy.  AMAZING! INCREDIBLE! This goes WAY beyond being a hero.  But yet isn't this what Christ is calling us to EVERY day. Lay down our lives to show Jesus to a dying world in the hopes that we might save just ONE man.

The movie was superbly meaningful to me.  I wept. I learned. I was inspired.  And I just want to say,  "Lord, I will keep choosing right.  No matter how wrong this world thinks I am. I will NEVER stop doing what You are calling me to. No matter how hard Satan rages against me. I will persevere!"

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
James 1:12

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Hannah Beth...

I still remember the moment just BEFORE I heard the doctor say, "It's a girl!" In that moment BEFORE,  I heard you cry and tears sprung to my eyes as I thought,  "My baby is here! My baby is healthy enough to cry!" It. Was. The. BEST! Now don't get me wrong,  the moments that have followed have been pretty great too... a girl... oh a GIRL! with all the pink and bows and pom poms I can handle.

On this day as we celebrate you turning 11 years old,  I can hardly figure out where the years have gone! Oh how I long for the days of kissing your curly head while you nursed and picking you up to carry you wherever you needed to go. You are such a big girl now... almost as tall as I am! It makes me sad how fast time is flying. Yet at the same time,  I am IMMENSELY proud of the young woman you are becoming.  Kind and Christlike indeed!

I see my tender heart in the things you do.... when you cry because someone else got hurt... when you give of yourself to help someone else.... and I'm proud and terrified at the same time. Hannah Beth, loving this deeply will hurt you so much.  Caring for others when they snub you and judge you will break your heart.  But Baby Girl, don't you change yourself because of that! Don't stop loving even when you're wrongly accused.  Don't stop being kind when people lie about you.  You keep being like Jesus no matter what life throws at you!

Hannah this may sound harsh,  but I don't really want a life of happiness and ease for you, because I've realized a life of happiness and ease it not what will make you more like Jesus. I want you to have a life that leads you closer and closer to Him each day.  My prayer is that you'll love Him more than you did yesterday, every. single. day.

Thank you for making so many of my dreams come true.  I'm so grateful for all the sparkle you bring to my life. 

Happy 11th Birthday,  Princess! Enjoy your day!

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

Monday, May 1, 2017

Choosing peace...

The question on my heart this morning: Is God is okay with "blocking" or "de-friending" people?

On one hand, He has called us to love the unlovable and shutting ourselves off from people who are difficult kinda defeats the purpose of spreading God's love. But on the other hand, I have had a relationship or two where God has CLEARLY told me, "You are done.  Wash your hands and walk away."

I guess the best answer I have for this is:

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18

I think that almost all of the time God wants us to embrace the difficult people in our lives.... to reach out in love to those who rub us the wrong way... to live at peace with everyone.  I think once in awhile God may give us permission to let go... to shake the dust off our sandals... to let someone else be Jesus to that person who's hurt us again and again. But I don't think that happens very often. 

I think it's similar to being angry. The Bible says over and over and over again: control your anger. Yet most of us just love to use that ONE time Jesus got angry as our example instead. Because it's easy. It's easy to let our anger fly... its easy to avoid people who hurt us or make us uncomfortable.

I guess if the list of people you are cutting out of your life is longer than a couple you might want to rethink the validity of that choice. I don't think God wants "blocking" people to be our norm.  For me, I think that I'm just gonna keep on trying peace no matter how much it hurts.  Because I don't really care to be pain free, but I desperately WANT to be like Jesus.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Speaking truth to myself...

Lately God has been convicting me about my words. More specifically,  He has been convicting me about the words I say to myself, inside my heart and my head. I am so rough on myself! When things aren't perfect, I am vicious in my blame of myself. And in Jamiland everything that happens in this world can somehow be traced back to my fault. The Lord doesn't want me stewing in condemnation. "Godly conviction leads to repentance..." anything more than this is the devil trying to slow me down!

So for some weeks now God has been convicting me about the way that I talk to my own SELF. I have realized I would NEVER be that harsh with someone I love. I would never even treat a coworker or acquaintance that roughly.  Yet everyday, I beat myself up with accusations, negative judgements,  and harassing thoughts. I have been doing this so long that the thoughts just naturally rage against my heart, almost of their own accord.

The first step God gave me for battling this problem was TRUTH. Most, if not ALL, of the ammunition I throw at myself isn't even TRUE. "I'm worthless." "I'm a terrible mom." "I'm a horrible employee." "I hate my life." "I can't DO this!" God has convicted me to start fighting off those lies with the truth.  When my head throws, "I'm worthless." at my heart, I will my spirit to shout back, "I am worth enough that Christ DIED for me!" When I think,  "I'm a terrible mom." My spirit counters, "There are three young men and one little princess who would beg to differ." I'm NOT a horrible employee just because I made a mistake.  I don't HATE my life; I just don't want to be walking down this current path of suffering.  And I CAN do this because I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me.

The other day I saw a pin. (yes Pinterest is my new addiction... it's currently filing the void left when I quit Facebook last year.) It said basically... tell the negative committee that meets in your head to sit down and HUSH UP! #exactly

I'm sure the things you tell yourself aren't the same as the things I tell myself.  You might not be so mean to yourself, or heck maybe you're even meaner.  But regardless, maybe you to should hold the thoughts you think about yourself up to the mirror of truth too.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Choose the bright side

The devil screams his lies so loudly. Critics spew their hate so easily. The negative,  the errors, the fails, the mistakes, they all stand out so blatantly.

We have to WORK to be positive, to speak and believe the truth. We have to bite back the negative retorts. We have to use love to cover the shortfalls.

I remember a teaching conference I went to decades ago.  The speaker said, "It takes ten positive comments to make up for just one negative comment." Just because of the numbers, we should choose positivity! The sheer volume of work required to makeup for being negative should deter us from choosing that option.

But Jami... sometimes people or things are WRONG! Sometimes a job is not done correctly.  Sometimes someone says or does something that I need to critique.  Take it from this perfectionist with OCD tendencies,  "I get you!" I truly do! But still I think there are better options.

1. Find something good instead of something bad. Did your child spill a glass of milk on the ground? Well at least the glass didn't break. Did the glass break too? At least no one got hurt. No matter WHAT you can find one thing to be grateful for. Even if it's,  "Well I'm not dead."  There is ALWAYS a silver lining if you look hard enough.

2. Say nothing at all. I'm sure your momma taught you, "If you don't have something nice to say,  say nothing at all." Just bite your tongue.  Let it go. Refuse to contribute negativity.

I realize these things are way easier said than done. But like anything, with practice,  choosing to be positive will come easier and easier to you.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I will trust in You

Lauren Daigle.... SO young but SO wise.  The words that pour out of her MAKE A DIFFERENCE in my life.  There have been MANY days when her song Trust in You has been my lifeline... my angry retort to Satan's jabs... my SCREAMING pledge to my God. I.Love.This.Song. I woke up singing it... so I figured I'd blog about it. 

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet

Have you ever had to lay your dreams at His feet? Your dreams of healing... your dreams of rescue... your dreams of restoration... it is GUT-WRENCHINGLY hard.  When I hear this lyric I think of Abraham lying Isaac on the altar.  Having traveled all the way up the mountain I'm sure all the way thinking and praying "SURELY God you will rescue me from this,  right???" Still having to place him on the altar... even grabbing his knife... before God said "STOP!" I know... I know... I know.... my dreams are safer at God's feet than they are in my hands.... but letting go of them is so hard. Lying them on the altar... picking up my knife... Oh Lord! rescue me instead!

Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face You're by my side

But see He is the King of every fight I am in. He holds my future.  He controls the outcome.  Even in loss... huge soul-shaking defeat... even in death... He has this fight in His hands. And NO MATTER what I face... the terrible... the joyful... the unimaginable... HE.IS.BY.MY.SIDE!

When You don't move the mountains
I'm needing You to move
When You don't part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don't give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You

Ahhhhh... but here's the crux of it all... here's the meat of this song... see sometimes He doesn't move the mountain in front of us... sometimes He doesn't part the waters... sometimes the answers He gives are as bitter as gall.. confusing... hard to fathom... (His ways are not like our ways)... that is when we come to the choice... that is when we show our true colors... will we trust? can we POSSIBLY trust? Can we trust Him when we don't get our way?

Truth is you know what tomorrow brings
There's not a day ahead you have not seen

See He knew this day was coming.  He knew this answer would be handed down.  There is not one second ahead of you that He doesn't already know.  He HASN'T lost control! He HASN'T deserted you! He isn't sitting up in Heaven throwing up His holy hands and saying,  "Wow! I didn't see that one coming!" He saw this!  He knew this!  And He is still working!

I want what you want Lord and nothing less

I do want what you want, Lord. I may not always appear to want it.  Sometimes I might sing this part with tears and snot coursing down my face.  Sometimes it might come out sounding like a petulant 3-year old who still wants her way. Sometimes I do not LIKE what you want.  But I will always WANT what you want.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Psalm 20:7 NIV

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Love letters from God

I woke up this morning and opened my Bible app. The verse of the day:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

It's my life verse. But more than that, it's the promise I was speaking aloud all day yesterday. It's the verse I was using to fight off the attacks of the enemy.  Every time I felt afraid yesterday... every time I felt despair... every time I wavered a lil bit.... I said to the enemy of my soul,  "He has plans! Plans for hope! Plans for a future!" Then this morning,  before I even wiped the sleep crud out of my eyes,  God spoke that promise back to me.

He's SUCH a good, GOOD God. He loves us SO much.  He not only loves us enough to have plans, hope,  and a future for us,  He loves us enough to whisper little ily's to remind us.

Friday, April 21, 2017

When life hurts

Sometimes life hurts. BAD. Sometimes you are left in a crumpled puddle of tears and snot wondering where the heck THAT came from and HOW the heck you will ever get back up. I never want to suffer through those times in vain.  If I'm going to have to cry, scream, and scratch my way through a painful situation then by golly it better mean something in the end! That's kinda the whole point of this entire blog.  If I can teach even one person the lesson I learned through something, then my suffering wasn't in vain.

Yet in the past I've been too quick to forward to the lesson part.  I think one lesson I've learned from those this-hurts-so-much-I-can't-even-MOVE situations is that you can't always fast forward to the lesson. Some hurts cut so deep they demand to be felt. I've been learning a lot about this buzz word "self- care," and I think it is JUST what you need when pain leaves you dazed and confused. Here are a few of my self-care ideas for when your heart has been rubbed raw by life.

1. Protection... everybody has those well meaning people in their lives who instead of pouring well-needed balm on our wound accidentally grab the salt shaker and give a few shakes right in there.  Pull yourself back from those people.  They don't have to be a part of your healing team. It's okay not to share EVERYTHING you're going through with everyone you love.  It's also okay to tell your details and then firmly ask someone NOT to comment.

2. Company.... but don't keep everyone outside that barrier.  You need some company to walk you through this. You need someone you can lean on. You don't need advice.  You don't need judgement.  You just need someone to be present in your suffering. Find them!

3. Permission... you need to give yourself permission to feel,  to grieve, to hurt.  Cry if you need to. Scream until your throat hurts. Admit to every.single.thing. you are feeling and allow yourself to FEEL it. (Just be careful not to pitch a tent and start living there.)

4. Tenderness... you must be gentle with yourself. Point yourself towards the sweatpants section of your closet.  Find your fuzzy slippers. Invest in some essential oils. Pull out the noodles and cheese. (Again be careful about not living in this place, but...) Handle yourself with kid-gloves. Now is not the time for berating yourself. Now is not the time for analyzing.  It's not yet time glean wisdom. Don't push yourself. Don't judge yourself. Cut yourself some slack.

5. Faith... this one might he the most important one.  No matter how bad it gets.  No matter how dark your valley.  You must have FAITH. Believe that God is right there with you. Believe that His grace is sufficient. Believe that He will carry you through this. BELIEVE.

As long as we are here on this planet,  life is going to hurt.  Sometimes so badly it shakes you to the core. But you WILL get through it. I saw this pin the other day... "You've survived 100% of everything in your life so far, so there's a pretty good chance you'll survive whatever is next."

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
Isaiah 43:2

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Myth debunking

In the pit of deep, dark suffering there are so many misunderstandings of God, His will,  His ways. I've been in pits... deep, dark, stinky, TERRIFYING pits... more times than one. I've felt that pain and agony that is so deep you literally aren't sure you will survive.  And I've learned that a lot of the things we Christians tell ourselves when we're in the pit of suffering are wrong... dead wrong.

God will never give you more than you can handle. Negatory! Completely FALSE! In fact, the pits of suffering we reside in are almost always more than we can handle.  If we could handle everything on our own,  what need would we have for God? And for that matter.. what about growth? If we never got more than we could handle, how would we ever grow? So I scream FALSE to that myth.  Sometimes, often times,  our suffering IS more then we can handle.

One day you'll look back on this and understand why. Not necessarily.  God NEVER promises us a why this side of Heaven. Some things years, heck decades, later will still be puzzling. Some things will never, ever make sense. The Bible says "now we see dimly" and it promises that in Heaven we'll see clearly.... but God never promises any clarity while we're here on this earth.

Just don't stop believing. God will bring victory in the end. Sometimes.  But not always.  Sometimes God says, "No." Somtimes we lose.  Sometimes we are not healed.  Sometimes we are not rescued.

If you do God's will, you will be blessed. Where is that example in the Bible? I don't see it.  I see Job losing everything.  I see disciples being martyred. I see Joseph in a pit. I actually find the opposite to be true. In my experience,  the more I do for God, the harder Satan rails against me. And I find that God cares very little about my comfort and a whole lot about my character. He wants to make me like Himself. And that most definitely is NOT going to be comfortable.

So what is true? When we're down there, in that pit of despair.  What can we believe? When the pain is so great we're quite sure we won't survive? His Grace is sufficient.  That's the one I'm not able to debunk.  In the midst of suffering.... His Grace is sufficient. When we've got "more than we can handle"... His Grace is sufficient. When we just don't get WHY all this is happening... His Grace is sufficient. When He does not rescue us from our situation... His Grace is sufficient. The one thing that rings true... the one thing we can cling to... His Grace is sufficient.

I don't know what you're going through today.  I don't know the details of your pit. But I do know this, His Grace is sufficient.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

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