Monday, July 22, 2013


Everywhere I look I see cancer.  I see cancer in the sky, in the air, in the sun.  Every moment fills my mind with all the hurt and pain of what I see my father in law going through right now.  I try to look ahead.  I try to think of something to say other than subjects with death and dying and cancer, and life, and deep subjects and I can’t.  I try to write about peaceful things, ordinary moments and all my words seem hollow. 

I go to Walmart and people are laughing and skipping and talking and loving the life they are in and I wonder how they could.  I wonder how anyone could go on with life in that way.  I wonder why the world hasn’t stopped.  Because mine has.  I wonder why everyone is walking faster than I am.  I wonder why life is going on without me. 

Cancer is vile and ugly and mean.   There is nothing about it that is remotely ok. 

And then I read Ps. 46:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though it’s waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress...
He says, “Be still and know that I am God...”

  And I realize that Jesus is enough.

  He is enough to get me through my day.

  He is enough to get me through my moment. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's Not Too Late

My life is literally like a roller coaster these days.  It’s amazing how many emotions one can feel in a day,  in an hour, in a moment.  Writing is what I do when my soul is disturbed; when my heart is hurting.   It soothes me.  It takes all the jumbled mixed up pieces of my mind; my heart; all the worries, all the cares and concerns,  all the pain and packages it up in one big piece of writing.  So that I can be free - for a little while longer. 

This morning,  I was crying out  to God  as I often do these days, and I just sobbed,  “You’re too late.  He is so sick.  He is so very sick and weak.  If you had only touched him .”  Suddenly my mind was brought to a little town called Bethany, to the tomb of Lazarus and to Mary and Martha’s very soul.   They told Jesus to come.  They were personal friends with Him.  They loved him.   They told Him to come and he didn’t.  How disheartened they must have been.  But not only disheartened,  betrayed, alone,  abandoned by the one friend they knew could help.    Their ache must have reached to the sky.  He had just wasted 4 days getting there to help.  He did - you can read it in your Bible.  Yeah,  he healed the sick and preached and all that he did in a day - but this was his friend.  They were his friends and he let them down. 

Imagine Mary and Martha’s disappointment and anger when they saw him walking down the road a few days too late.   I don’t think they were excited to see him.  I think that they were just filled with grief and torment and yes,  a little bit of anger. Jesus could have made a difference.  Jesus could have touched him.  Jesus could have spoken the word and he would have been walking and talking and eating and laughing.  But he chose not to. 

But there was something that Jesus knew that they didn’t.  Lazarus was in the grave,  but it was NOT too late.  You see for Jesus to heal him before he was buried wasn’t any harder than for Jesus to heal him afterwards.  Really made no difference at all. 

Suddenly I was struck with the words,  “It’s not too late.”  And it’s not.   It’s not over til it’s over and EVEN THEN it’s not over.    I know that my husband and my son and I were talking (and I believe that the rest of the family would agree) that if Dad dies,  we will pray that God raises him from the dead,  that day and three days after.  Because Dad has never been very predictable and neither is God, so that’s a good combination for something crazy and unexpected.   

If I am to be honest,  I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I so desperately want Dad to live and have a quality of life and have more years and write more books.   I am selfish,   I want him for 20 more years.   But I am constantly balancing that with what I have seen and the reality is that I have seen many die before their time so you will often hear me say,  “Lord,  I believe.  Help my unbelief.”  Because that’s real,  friends.  That’s real.  With all my heart,  I believe,  but for every smattering of faith I have,  I have a million little smatterings of unbelief.  Not ever unbelief that he is ABLE,  but unbelief that he WILL.    And that’s ok,  because there was a beautiful man in the Bible that said those words and Jesus stretched out his Hand anyways,  through unbelief and belief alike,  through pain and tears and through disappointment and hope deferred and he healed. 

But in all the unbelief and the belief, in all the questions unanswered;  all the confusion that sometimes, crowds my mind, with shaking knees and quivering hands I once again reach for that sword because  there is one thing I do know,  I KNOW...


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dare to Beleive

Lately I have been walking around in a bubble.  We all know what that feels like.  Disbelief, anger, and grief.  So much grief.

When the doctor comes to you with a bad report, a really nasty one,  it’s like someone has cut off your arms and legs and left you to die.  Not only do you feel so helpless, you are literally OVERCOME with hopelessness; like an elephant is sitting on your chest.

Last night as I was laying in bed,  I was remembering lives that have gone on before.  Lives cut way too short from cancer, meningitis, strokes.  My best friend, my good friend, my friends parents, and the list goes on.   I began to feel overtaken with grief and weariness.  Weary to the bone. 

 Suddenly out of nowhere I remembered something.

Many years ago, before we had Sean we wanted one last child.  I had 4 miscarriages.  When I had the last miscarriage,  the doctor sat us down and told us that my body could handle as many miscarriages as we had.  That it wasn’t hard on my body.  But he said that we needed to make a decision as to how many our heart could handle.  We understood that and we decided that our heart couldn’t handle another loss.  It was just too hard.

Two years later found us in England ministering to Churches.  I began to suspect that I was pregnant.  To say that I was terrified can’t even begin to describe what my heart and emotions were going through.  All I could think of is what it would be like to miscarry in another country I wasn’t familiar with. Away from my friends.  Away from my family and my doctor.  I began to wonder if I was going to miscarry while I was speaking in a church or in the middle of the night.  Was this one going to be worse and complicated and could it be life threatening?  Was I even safe?    I couldn’t do anything; be anywhere without that gnawing fear in the back of my mind.  When was it going to happen??  How was it going to happen?  Why here,  Lord?  Why now? I had given up by dream.  I had let it go.  Wasn’t that enough?  It seemed cruel to me; the timing, the situation, everything.  

Then one day I was laying in bed and the Lord spoke to me.  Clearly.  Not in an audible voice but in my spirit.  He said,  “Dare to believe.  Dare to believe that your dreams of having another child will be fulfilled.  Dare to believe that THIS time will be different. Dare to Believe that you will carry this one to full term. ”   I couldn’t shake the words.  It shocked me.  I am sorry to say that I hadn’t even thought of that as an option.  

Immediately I grabbed ahold of those words and I clung to them.  They were in fact life to me.  Dare to Believe. 

And in the end I held a beautiful boy in my arms.  But I had to take it one second, one minute, one day at a time. I gathered around  me encouragers and supporters so that they could spur me on if I got stuck. 

So today I choose to DARE to believe that this time cancer will be different.  Today I choose to believe that God will raise my father in law up from his bed of sickness. 

To dare is risky.  To dare is scary; it’s like laying your heart down on a bed of rocks - bare and vulnerable.  But today I raise the sword and I DARE to believe. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Everything is not ok

There are seasons in the journey of life where everything is not ok.  I am not talking about the bad days where everything seems to be going wrong.  Your car doesn't start, your dog runs away or you get into a fight with your best friend.  I am talking about those stretches in your life where your heart hurts - where the hurt reaches to your toes.

You go through life because you have to.  You put one foot in front of the other simply because you are not dead - at least your physical body isn't.  You smile with your lips but your heart is crying.  You act ( to strangers) like everything is ok.  But everything is just not ok.

Things move and swirl and dance around you - but you're in a bubble.  You're not in that world anymore.  Things look different, dull and lifeless.  Forever different.  And you are not ok.

And then out of nowhere, for seemingly no reason, comes a moment - a tiny moment - where things are ok.   Not wonderful or beautiful or even happy - but ok.  And somewhere deep in your soul is that glimmer of hope that there will indeed be other tiny moments where you are ok.

This was that moment for me.