There is no shame in being hopeless and broken.
God loves the broken. Christ came for the broken. It’s the broken and breathless who long for the Spirit to blow life across their wounded hearts.
It’s the hopeless and fearful that run faster to the safety of their Shepherd.
It’s the worried and weary who are thankful for a Burden-bearer.
Christmas is the story of Hope entering the world, of Light shining forth in darkness, of Love overcoming death.
A heart has to be looking to find it.
A heart has to be desperate to believe it.
A heart has to be hungry to come to the table of everlasting bread.
Read the rest here: Qualified by Hopelessness: An Empty Heart Can Be Filled
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
A couple of years ago, I had a grace-filled, heartwarming visit with another bereaved mama who came all the way from Maine just to hang out with me. And that was so, so good.
As she and I shared over coffee and tea, shopping and meals, lounging and walking we found so many ways in which our journeys have been similar even though the details are really very different.
One is this: There was a distinct moment along the way when each of us began to see light and color again in the midst of our darkness and pain and it was a turning point.
Read the rest here: There’s A Moment When The Light Makes It Through Again
I know sometimes folks get tired of me telling the story.
For them, it is a reminder of some awful event that is tucked neatly in the past.
A date on a calendar somewhere that might occasionally tickle the back of their brain and evoke a, “that’s so sad” response but not something they live with every. single. day.
But for me, Dominic’s death is an ongoing experience.
Every day I have to fit his absence into my world. I have to find a way to live around the giant void where he SHOULD be but ISN’T.
Read the rest here: I Need To Tell The Story (Even If You’ve Heard It Before)
I don’t know about you, but sometimes cute little memes intended to help me “look on the bright side” fly all over me.
Sure, if life gives you lemons (bad hair day, late to work, long line at the grocery store) make lemonade.
But sometimes it’s not lemons life gives you, it’s an avalanche of pain, heartache and world-shattering awful.
Read the rest here: Distant Music
When your scale of awful is off the charts, there’s a tendency to dismiss anything less as merely inconvenient or inconsequential.
But that’s just not how our hearts work.
You can be shattered by child loss and still feel the slings and arrows of everyday losses, disappointments, discomfort and sadness.
It’s OK to mourn the things that don’t measure up to the pain and despair of burying a child.
Read the rest here: You Are Absolutely Allowed To Mourn *Smaller* Losses
We say it often.
Usually after someone we know or someone we love or someone famous is suddenly and unexpectedly taken from this life to the next.
And for a few minutes or a few days or a few weeks we think more carefully about what we say, what we do and what we worry about.
Read the rest here: Tomorrow’s Not Guaranteed. Live Like It.
I have been asked how I can believe in what I cannot see or touch. How I can trust a God Who allowed such pain in my life.
It is true that I can’t see God, I can’t prove His existence.
But the fact that I’m still holding onto hope gives testimony to the life of Christ in me.
Read the rest here: Then and Now: How Can Death and Life Inhabit the Same Frame?
I despise the platitude plastered across social media memes: “Hard times either make you bitter or better”.
It makes it sound so simple.
As if all I have to do is make a single choice between two equally available paths.
Enduring deep pain and unchangeable circumstances requires continued commitment to face the fork in the road over and over, and to choose well each time.
Read the rest here: A Daily Struggle
Fairy tales and favorite movies aside, what does love really look like?
How can I see this feeling that has driven some to distraction, some to destruction and even more to dedication to another in spite of whatever obstacles life has placed in the path?
It’s not often writ large.
In fact, it’s usually tiny stitches in the tapestry of life.
Read the rest here: How Can I See Love?