Grief is not sin.
It wasn’t until another grieving mom asked the question that I realized there are some (many?) in the community of believers that think grief is sin.
Not at first, mind you-everyone is “allowed” a certain amount of time to get over the loss of a dream, the loss of a job, the loss of health or the loss of a loved one.
But carry that sadness and wounded heart too publicly for too long and you better be ready for someone to question your faith.
Read the rest here: Grief is Not Sin
February, 1992 I came home from the hospital with our fourth baby and woke up the next morning to a house full of children ages infant to six. I thought that would be the most stressful and challenging season of my life.
I was wrong.
This season of grief has required more strength, more endurance and more faith than all the sleepless nights, harried days and craziness of homeschooling and nursing babies and changing diapers ever did.
Read the rest here: Surviving Christmas
My children grew up surrounded by life and by death.
On our small farm they got to see puppies, kittens, goats, sheep and horses take their first breath. We watched turkeys and chickens hatch-struggling in that last great effort to throw off the shell.
And we also witnessed life’s end.
Every. time. it feels wrong. Every. time. it feels like defeat.
And it is–we were not made to die.
Read the rest here: We Were Not Made to Die
In the church we like to line up the “Overcomers” to give testimony of how faith in Christ has turned their life around.
And He absolutely does that.
Some are delivered from addiction, sin and abuse. Some receive healing-none the less miraculous if it comes through the hands of skilled physicians. Some enjoy restored relationships.
But not everyone gets what they long for. Not every loss can be undone.
Read the rest here: What if My Testimony is Endurance?
We are graspers by nature, aren’t we?
I know it doesn’t take long for me to go from a sense of thankfulness at God’s bountiful blessing (being a steward) to a sense of entitlement/possession (being an owner).
As long as I think what the Lord graciously provides is mine, mine, mine, then it’s almost impossible to let it go.
When I can remember that everything-every. single. thing.-is from His hands, entrusted to mine for a season (maybe a lifetime but maybe not) then I can release it back to the One who gave it.
The more I practice the art and grace of letting go (even when it is so very hard!), the better I become at it.
It’s easy to imagine when sitting in a safe place surrounded by other believers that if tragedy should visit my home, my faith would remain rock solid and unshakeable.
After all, I stuffed my head and heart with truth, kept a prayer journal, wrote out Scriptures and jotted notes and dates in the margin of my Bible.
I put on the full Armor of God and raised my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Our family didn’t just attend church, we served the Body of Christ inside and outside the four walls of the building.
But when the knock came and the words from the deputy flew at me and pierced my heart, I unraveled.
Read the rest here: Living Between What I Know and What I Can’t Comprehend
After the sharp stab of loss, I think helplessness is the most frightening thing I have felt in this journey.
When I am overcome with the sense that I will never make it, that I can’t go on, that I am not going to be able to put one foot in front of the other for even one more hour, much less one more day-I cry out to Jesus and tell Him that.
I have never gotten an audible answer, or a miraculous phone call or a perfect note in the mail–BUT I think in the moment of absolute surrender, the moment when I know with certainty that I can not do this without His supernatural grace, mercy and strength- HE gives it to me.
Read the rest here: Grace for Right Now
I was asked a few months ago to record a short video sharing about how my son’s death impacted my faith.
It was the first time in the more than seven years since he ran ahead to Heaven I’d tried to tell the story in so few words.
And while I’ve shared much of this same material (plus even more details, thoughts and feelings!) here on the blog, I thought a few of you may want to watch this short video to gain some background you might have missed.
I DID misspeak in one instance-my eldest son was not yet in the Air Force at that time. He was out of town though when I got the news of his brother’s accident.
So here you go:
I keep asking God to fill me with His love, mercy and grace. And I am more full of those things than before.
But there is still plenty of (if not hate then) less-than-love, judgement and impatience. Trials don’t automatically lead to refinement or stronger faith.
Tribulation can drive someone away from God as easily as it can drive them to their knees.
If I’m not careful-if I’m not very careful-I can use my pain as an excuse for all kinds of bad behavior.
Read the rest here: Can’t Hide the Ugly
I didn’t grow up doing in-depth Bible studies so when I “discovered” the Bible in my early twenties, it was an exciting adventure to dig for treasure in the Word of God.
Along with Scripture itself, I devoured book after book on theology.
I could not get enough.
By my mid-thirties I had developed a fairly well-defined and defensible doctrine. I really thought I understood how God works in the world.
Then my son died.
Read the rest here: On My Worst Days, Mustard Seed Faith is Enough