Healing Will Come

Have you had an experience reading scripture where you feel like through all time and space the Holy Spirit meant a word or verse just for you in a particular time? It’s almost like the Holy Spirit put an exclamation point after it just for you. I have read the following verse several times and on one particular occasion I felt the Lord pressing something upon my heart. A truth that I have realized before, but emphasized again for my heart to really know and understand.

Jesus said to her, “and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11: 26, italics mine). 

That’s a bold statement. Never die.  Isn’t that something that all of us have encountered through the loss of a loved one or feared encountering on some level? Yet here, Jesus encourages us that everyone who believes in Him, will never die!

I visualize this as going from life here to Life with Him in heaven.  Our death is merely a passage from this life to the next, our real life. I once heard it said that this life, here and now, is the preface to our Story that had begun but will be lived out through eternity.

I share this because we have all been touched with death and grieving on some level. A miscarriage, a parent who has passed or someone else near and dear, or even a fear of death when it does come near to us. The latter, can sometimes debilitate us more than the former.  The author of Hebrews encourages us, reminding us that Jesus, “himself likewise also partook of the same (flesh and blood), that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through the fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrew 2:14,15).

So, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts through these scriptures and strengthen our hearts against the fear of death, trusting that we may lose this flesh and blood someday, only to gain a new life, a continued life, the real beginning of our life,  with our Creator and all who have gone before us, for eternity.

After I lost my dad to cancer eight years ago, I have walked both sides of this fear. I have experienced a pain and brokenness I never imagined possible AND I have feared my death after seeing it so up close and personal.

But praise be to God that he rendered powerless the one had the power of death and has come to free us from this fear that can take us captive as the book of Hebrews tells us. Our faith gives us hope and our trust in God and His ultimate plan for our good gives us peace. Let these truths soak in as you walk a difficult path or let them strengthen you for what may lie ahead. 

Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians, tells us what to do next: Encourage one another.

He begins his letter praising God, who is the “Father of compassion and God of all comfort, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also flow.” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

Friends, that is powerful. Through Christ does our encouragement flow. So how do we flesh this out in everyday life?

  1. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Abide in Christ so His power and encouragement can flow through you.
  2. If you have experienced grief and pain due to loss or the fear of death, pray over those wounds, pray for healing, pray for vision of how you can use your past to encourage others.
  3. Look and listen for opportunities to encourage others who are walking a similar road that you have walked. You have so much goodness to share with them that they need. Even if this brings up emotions you thought you were past, pray through them and pray for Christ to strengthen you, because we need your story.  You are a vital part of the Body of Christ.
  4. If you are in the midst of the valley, know that you will get to the other side. As we walk through the valley, right? We don’t stay there. Pray to be girded with His strength so that you may bear fruit as a result of your suffering, that one day you will be the light of Christ that someone needs.

After losing my dad, it took a while to see the goodness, to be honest. But He is faithful. Slowly but surely my heart and soul began to heal and the wounds that were caused by this suffering were healed.  The scars remain, but they are strong.  I have been able to show these wounds to others who may have fresh ones of their own, wounds that haven’t scarred over yet. They are raw, they are fragile, but Christ has been able to encourage them, through me, as the Word promises. I can show them my scars (figuratively) and show them that they do heal and it takes time to heal, just like our own skin when we get a cut or scrape (bear with me through this medical analogy, I’m a nurse, it’s how my brain works). Healing rarely occurs overnight, it takes time, in both cases.

Healing will happen. He promises us. Sit alone with the Word, let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart and bring about a healing that only He can accomplish.  Not just for you sweet friend, but for us! We need you, wounds and all.

What you don’t have to give up

Friends, what can you say “yes” to during this season of Lent? No, I don’t mean saying yes to more chocolate, I’m talking about reflecting on what God may be asking you to give during Lent.

I feel like when I start to reflect on Lent, as we near March, I start thinking of all my bad habits and things I feel I should “quit.” Things like too much dessert, my impatience, laziness, the list could go on.  But am I really prayerfully considering what the Lord would have for me, the intentional God that He is, during this season?

Don’t get me wrong, there is holiness and merit in depravity, but let’s open our mind and heart to all the ways we can lean in to God, worship Him, and honor Him during this season.

The Lord has been nudging my heart for quite some time to get up early. For me, this is 6am. Some of you who get up at 4am to workout, go to work, or do something else great in the early morning hours, don’t laugh. 6am for me is early. And to be honest, I haven’t been completely obedient to this and feel like when we aren’t following God and doing what he calls us to do we miss out on the abundance He, our loving Father, longs to bless us with. 

My “yes” is to be obedient to what He is calling me to.  Yes to rising early and spending time with Him, in the quiet time of my sleepy home, before my kids and husband wake up. I need to sacrifice more sleep and my comfort to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Even if I don’t have a mountain top experience the first time I pour myself that early morning coffee and sit in the silence of my home, I need to continue to say yes and be obedient and wait on him. 

To be honest, I get excited when I think about what He may reveal to me, maybe something great I need to do that may lead into another “yes” opportunity.  But it may end up to be not as grand as I envision with fireworks and all. It may be the simple obedience in rising early to set aside some of my time for Him. Time He has given me to worship and pray, and that alone is a gift.

After all, abundance really boils down to Him. Being is His presence. “In your presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).

During advent we spent time reflecting on Mary’s life changing yes. Let’s continue to remember her simple obedience as we enter this time. And let’s also look at the obedience of her Son.

This occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane. As you recall, He asked three times for the cup he was about to drink would pass from Him.  He may have been thinking, Father, does it really have to happen this way. Since all power on heaven and earth were in His reach, I would think he could have eased the pain and suffering He knew was coming. But He didn’t.

Sacred scripture tells us that Jesus, “began to be very distressed and troubled,” and told his disciples, “my soul is grieved to the point of death (Mark 14: 33,34).

For me, it is encouraging to know that Jesus, when faced with a choice, chose obedience to His Father, who loved Him with only good intentions, as He does us.  He, like his Mother, said yes to God.   The road may not be easy, in fact we are promised to face trials of our own, but our yes is always worth the discomfort, hardship or suffering we may have to endure.

Do you think Mary taught her son about her yes, as we long to teach our children from our experiences?  Did she encourage His heart to always do the right thing, as parents do?  I am sure the Holy Family talked about these things. Jesus was a child, and a teenager, and even though he was without sin, he still had conversations with his parents, that encouraged and strengthened Him in His humanity.

I encourage you, friend, to pray about what our loving Father may have for your this season.  Don’t just look for something to give up, open your mind and heart to something new.  Do you need to say yes to new volunteer opportunity, to more sleep and self care, to reading a certain book of the bible, or following through on anything He placed on your heart during advent?  I am as I write this.  I felt a nudging on my heart to start writing again. Now, with the getting up early, that’s a larger giant to conquer. Let’s continue to pray for each other, that we would discern his leading and calling, and continue to build each other up as sisters in Christ, ya with me?


Fear not, trust Me. Don’t be afraid. Trust. trust. trust. We are told to do this over and over in scripture. Why is it so hard to do sometimes?  Probably because we like to control things. Our emotions, others reactions, outcomes.  But Jesus encourages us to not be troubled. In fact, he says, “do not let your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1.

He knows, in the here and now, that we will be troubled. But I believe He is encouraging us to stop in our tracks and return to him when we feel troubled.  Sure the emotion will come, we all have good days and bad, but it’s what we do with it that matters.  He says do not LET your heart….Do not let your heart go down the rabbit hole of fear and worry. What does he ask us to do instead? Believe.

Recently, I have been studying the Garden of Gethsemane. It’s amazing to me that Jesus was troubled and grieved.  God in flesh was troubled. He CAN control outcomes and situations, yet was still troubled.  He was, “grieved, to the point of death (Matthew 26:38).”  And yet was fully God, with all power on heaven and earth. Blows my mind and comforts me at the same time. He knows how we feel.  He himself was troubled. How did he respond? He trusted. “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You; take this cup from Me, but not what I will but what you will (Mark 14:36).”

Basically, this hurts and I want it to go away, but Your will be done.  He chose to trust and do what God asked Him to do, even when it was hard.

Luke’s gospel differs from the other three in that it reports at the time Jesus was praying for the cup to pass that, “an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him (Luke 22:43).”

Yes, please! God send whoever you can to strengthen us! Makes me think about the spiritual realm around us.  God’s army, fighting for us! Our friends, our community, all God’s hand and feet on earth, all here to strengthen us!

I pray for that response to suffering. Of any kind. Big or small. I pray for the faith to believe and trust in my loving Father in Heaven, who is love and all goodness,  to work all things for good.  Trust that love. Believe that HE WILL STRENGTHEN US and give us the grace we need to endure, to grow, to become more like Christ.

I also pray for our community. To be bold and strong and lift each other up, even when it is hard, requiring extra effort or not convenient.

God conquered death but the enemy tries to steal our life through fear and worry.  Paralyzing us, making us unproductive, self focused, and not useful for His kingdom, or to those troubled around us who need us. 

Not today, friends. Not today!



Welcome 2019

A new year. For me, this always brings so many emotions as I reflect on the “resolutions” I did or did not accomplish. Instead of beating ourselves up about goals and how we need to do better, lets start this year off with contentment. Yes, there is always room for improvement, but let’s be encouraged that we already ARE doing so many wonderful things. We ARE loving those God has entrusted to our care, we ARE trying to follow a path we believe He has put us on, we ARE loved.  What if our hearts were free from striving for just a moment and we could be content with where we are, what we have, and what we are already doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I get excited when I dream about new things, a new year, new visions, new goals and I am learning what it takes to turn these into reality. But, let us first sit back, take a deep sigh of relief and pray for God to show us what it means to be content.

Would today be different?

So, I woke up this morning with a rather somber thought. What if today was my last day? Would I do anything different from what I usually do? Would I scroll social media? Would I worry about if I’m doing “enough” or seek the approval of others? Or, would I soak up every moment with my husband and kids and not take for granted that kiss and hug out the door. Would I pray more? Would I pray differently?

If you know me, you know since my dad passed I unfortunately visit this topic with inconvenient frequency. Less these days, but more than I’d like. It’s not the most pleasant topic to process, but when you have seen death, sometimes it haunts you.

Thanks be to God that we don’t have to fear death. He created us for an eternal purpose.  The family and loved ones we are blessed to walk with on this earth will surround us forever, through faith.

Not the most fun thing to have on your mind first thing. But I guess it inspired me to live more intentional today. To worry less, to love more, to be present, to enjoy the tasks on my list and take off any unessential that waste precious time (like social media). Tip, the new iPhone update has a “screen time” setting. If nothing else, open it so learn how much time you really spend a day on that little jem!

Turn it off, s l o w down, enJOY the day and the HOPE that is the anchor for our souls when they enter stormy waters.  There IS purpose. Just don’t miss it.

And so it begins…

My mornings begin with coffee and my writing begins here! Actually, after eight years and three children, I am returning.   I figure there is no time like the present to do what I love and I love to write. Words are powerful and when combined in just the right way can open eyes, stir hearts, and refresh weary souls. I believe we have all been given unique skills and abilities that God can use shine light in the darkness we often find in this world, but we must first say yes!  I try to say yes to these stirrings and promptings, writing being the most recent. This will not be polished or perfect, but it will be fun!

So lets go.