Sunday, December 23, 2012

He wins.

9 days ago something awful happened.

If there were words to sum up my grief surrounding Newtown... I'm not even sure I'd try.

Since then, I've thought about the weight of my son in my arms.

I've thought about the wonderful life I see ahead of him.

And I've thought about the 26 stories. The ones who loved them. How 26 worlds have dramatically shifted because of a man's choice to do the unthinkable. The unspeakable.

My heart grieves these stories.

I haven't read or informed myself very deeply into all the facts of this story. Because I don't need any sort of report to tell me what I already feel. That hearts are broken. I don't need anyone to describe the scenario that I'm already aching from imagining. When I heard the news the pit in my stomach was heavy. And I couldn't shut out the repetitive "Why?". Why God? Why now? Why at all?

Here I am with my community on a journey towards Hope. The last few months we have come together in my world and strived to rekindle the hope that God makes clear in the Bible is alive today. We have promised to not let the world steal our Hope. And we have recognized that if we don't have Hope, then the world may never be healed. But then last Friday. It felt like all that forward movement we made was ripped away in an instant.

And a few days ago I realized what I was up against. Like, fully realized.

It's a war for Hope. It's a brave road that I've decided to go down. And the devil hates it. There really wasn't ever a chance for us to proclaim Hope without a fight. Because where there's light there is no darkness. No darkness means no evil. But he's not going without a fight.

But the beauty of that is my God is stronger.
He is life in death.
He is emmanuel.

I read some really wise words from Ann Voskamp surrounding Newtown. And I think her reminder is a really powerful one. In times like these, the devil loves to see us recant. It's what he aims for, I think. But if I don't have Hope now. In the dark days. Then the devil wins those days. And I refuse for that to happen. Evil just can't win. Love wins. God wins. Hope is alive.

Did you hear me??

I ache for these families. But I won't give up Hope. Ann says this, " There is no darkness so deep, that God's arms are not deeper still, that we cannot raise our arms in highest praise." 

So I'm raising my arms in highest praise this season. Thanking God that He sent that little baby to save us. That He lives today and He's coming again. He will redeem us. He wins.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

He is good.

I don't usually know where the Lord is leading me, but I feel Him pulling me along. And that feels good. Not all the sorrow in life is gone. Not even most of it. But I feel the tow of faithfulness – His strength pulling me through all the murkiness. Waves of grace and gratitude surge in my heart because I know the He is good.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God to Thee.
How great Thou art, How great Thou art. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Usually, I write at the end. Usually I like to sit down at the keyboard with a nice, neat package of thoughts that will knowingly end with a conclusion. Usually.

But sometimes, that's not how life goes. Sometimes life comes at me in such a way that the neat package I aim for isn't in the foreseeable future. And so sometimes, I write pre-emptively.

This is such a time.

I wouldn't call myself a pessimist. I really wouldn't. I don't only see the lousy things in life. And I really don't try to spin everything in a harsh light. But it happens. So I would just like to say that this is not my sometimes seemingly pessimistic nature talking.

Lately, I've been so engulfed by despair. There are days... weeks... months even that feel like the only things to know about are the awful things. Not even the weather has anything pleasant to offer. This is where I find myself. In a pit. A deep, dark, sad pit. I have been overcome with grief for the world and for groups of people that I don't know at all. So many stories keep coming to my knowledge - via Facebook, my news page, friends, etc. - that were full of circumstances that I just can't even begin to wrap my mind around. Those stories where you just can't even utter words because they are insanely inadequate for the amount of pain that exists. Being a mother has amplified some of these stories a million-fold because all of a sudden it's occurring to me that these stories are of people's children. Each story happens to a person with a mother. And somewhere that mother is aching for the pain of her child. And somewhere another mother is crying with her. That mother is me. Just cryin'. Cryin' all the time.

So there I was with this pit and the grief and the crying and as hard as I tried to pull myself together, I couldn't. The despair in the world right now is overtaking my emotions. It's filling up all the unoccupied spaces in my mind. And it's getting so, so hard to see the light. And then, shortly after I confided in some friends I hear resounding echoes of the same feelings. It's not just me. We're here in this life as Christ followers. Meant to be walking in a life that is full of light. We are the light on a stand! We are Hands and Feet! But the pit is overtaking us. The hope. The light. It seems, well, dim. Far away. For the first time in my life, I'm struggling to reconcile the brokenness of the world and the goodness of God. I don't even like typing those words.

There is this, however. Since saying it out loud it has been made clear that this is a cry of many hearts. Maybe a cry of an entire generation. Maybe a cry of much, much more than that. A cry for Hope. The devil would have us believe that there is no hope left to be found. He would have us thinking that Good News is a thing of the past. I know in my heart that is profoundly false. I know that I have experienced the goodness of God over and over again and I KNOW that He wins. But now, in this particular season, where bad news and hard stories just keep coming in waves it's hard to remember.

So here is my plea. I believe that this stirring in me and the stirring I've heard in others is a stirring of Hope. I believe that Jesus wants to make things new and I believe it starts with me. With you. And because I have no solo ability whatsoever to accomplish anything even remotely close to bringing Hope to a hopeless generation I'm praying. That's it. That's the place I've arrived. I'm putting it out there on the world wide web (well, the 5 of you reading, at least. hi mom!) and asking you to join me. Even if it's just ten of us. Maybe we could pray into the Hope of Jesus being restored to a broken, sad world. Together. I think that's the idea of this life anyway. Restoration. Togetherness. You know, those things. And in doing so maybe we will stir the hearts of others. And maybe that stirring will be the thing that starts it all. Do you think that's possible? For just a few of us to start something huge? I do. I think we may never even know it, but it might start with us. Because isn't the truth that even the smallest moves we make in the name of Jesus have everlasting effects in the Kingdom?

I told you. No neat packages on this one. But I do feel like God is leading me along. My confidence is in His faithfulness. And I know this isn't a typical post, but I wanted to encourage you and ask you to lean into Hope. Pray into it. And we'll see what great things are in store.

Monday, June 11, 2012

for me.

It's been so long since I've written that they changed the interface of blogspot. Oops? That happens to me a lot. I buy products and take forever to use them, then go back to the store to buy it again months (or years) later and they've changed the packaging. I don't feel that bad about it. All in good time.

Lately, I've been thinking about God's voice and what it sounds like. And also what it doesn't sound like. One of the ways I feel God speak to me is through the wind. Often times I'll pray outside and many times the wind feels like it moves with me. Like as I speak to Jesus, He answers with a breeze. I like it. Have you ever felt that whisper that comes from Jesus? I don't think there's anything in this world like it. It takes my breath away. He always speaks in a whisper. Just for me.

And then there's the thing that's not God's voice. Ryan and I have had to identify this in our lives and recently found ourselves needing to do so more than once. The devil is tricky. It would be nice, I think, if his voice sounded like metal grinding together. Or even if it sounded real raspy and fire-breathing. That way we would know right away that we were being fooled! But alas, it does not. No. Instead it sounds a lot like me.

As I was trying to figure out ways we could save money if I worked less I kept coming back to how our quality of life just wouldn't be as good. And how realistically it just wouldn't work. Not without being miserable. And that if I'm honest with myself about the logistics of working part-time it just equals a lot of unhappiness. And do I really want to be unhappy? There was a point when that was just healthy counter-thinking. But then it turned to a really convincing place. And all at once I realized that all of that "logical" thinking was all just a bit of silliness, really. Because money doesn't make us happy. And the true reality of our circumstance is that Jesus has provided for our needs more times than I can count so why wouldn't He do that for us now? I felt so con-ed. I truly had this epiphany that said, "That sneaky devil just tried to convince me that I couldn't work part time to be with my son because of a reason that I came up with. He used me!" (I wish we could see our faces when we have these realizations. They're probably funny.)

I'm so glad that Jesus never lets us take credit for His voice. When I hear a word from the Lord, I never think it's my idea. When I hear Jesus say, "You'll be taken care of." That never feels like something of my own accord. It feels Holy and quiet and just for me.

So this is me telling the Devil that I found him out. I see his tricky game and I say back that My Jesus is greater. His love is stronger. And he will take of us.