Breathing Out, Breathing In: Lament and Thanksgiving

When I first began writing in this space, “lament” had only just come into vogue.

Now, it’s everywhere.

If the past couple years have taught hearts a single thing, I hope it is there’s no use pretending life doesn’t hurt sometimes. We were not created to carry that kind of pain alone.

And thankfully, we don’t have to.

God, in Christ, invites me to speak it, to sing it, to release it as an exhale so His grace and strength can rush in to fill that empty space.

You’re invited too.

❤ Melanie

Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday.

I loved everything about it,

Read the rest here: The Power of Lament to Make Room for Thanksgiving

May I Ask for Prayers? Please and Thank You.

Can I just say how very grateful I am for every single person who joins me here and in online groups?

I have been overwhelmingly BLESSED by comments and messages time and time again. It’s definitely been a lifeline when grief, other challenges and everyday living makes this old wounded heart want to give up and give in.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I never take your presence for granted.

Today I’d like to ask a favor.

Would you pray for me and my husband?

This morning my husband and I are getting up before the sun and making our way to a local hospital for surgery. He was diagnosed a couple months ago with prostate cancer and, while caught early, it is severe enough to warrant treatment.

It’s certainly not the most fearful thing we’ve faced together and we have every expectation that it will go smoothly and will result in him being cancer-free for the rest of his life.

But it’s still kind of scary.

When the worst thing you can imagine has already happened it doesn’t take much for a mind to wander that dark and well-worn path back to potential tragedy.

So I’ve been concentrating on good things like our grandboys, recipes for Thanksgiving desserts, stitching this year’s family Christmas ornament and the amazingly hope-filled statistics for this particular type of cancer.

I’m choosing not to google complications or listen to anyone’s horror story of how “my cousin had that done and…”.

My loins are girded with coffee and optimism (and my favorite prayer for mercy and grace!).

I’ll let you know how things go.

How Do I Hold On If There’s Silence From Heaven?

It took me awhile to “feel” God again after Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.

I would journal my thoughts/prayers/questions and answer myself with Scripture.

My heart was still so very shattered that the words often slid right off.

Read the rest here: What If There’s Silence From Heaven?

Praying for Mercy and Grace

Father, I have stopped asking for miracles.

My wounded heart has lost the faith it once had for hoping You might step in and make something out of nothing.  

I still believe in YOU.  I still hope in YOU.

Read the rest here: A Prayer For Mercy and Grace

When I Don’t Know What Else to Do: Praying The Names of God

The Bible says that “The Name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are saved.”  (Proverbs 18:10)

Clearly that does NOT mean that every person who calls on the Name of the LORD will be kept physically whole.

Many, many believers have suffered and died while the name of Christ is on their lips.  

But I do believe that in a very real, very meaningful way, calling on the Name of the LORD has saved me.  

Read the rest here: When I Don’t Know What to Pray: Praying the Names of God

Can We Just Speak Honestly About Prayer?

I’m really thankful that more and more Christians are willing to shed false positivity and embrace lament.

Because the truth is lots of stories this side of eternity end in tragedy or at least unmet expectations and sorrow instead of glorious, victorious sunshine and roses.

Crops and marriages fail. Dreams come and go.

We hope for healing but don’t receive it.

Loved ones die.

Let’s just be honest about it-about ALL of it.

❤ Melanie

In the wake of burying Dominic, the most difficult spiritual discipline for me to recover has been prayer.

In part because my heart just doesn’t know what to ask for or how to talk to a God Who has allowed this pain in my life.  

In part because I don’t really have a framework for placing the prayers I want to pray inside my ongoing struggle to commit my future and the future of my family to the hands of a Father Who didn’t step in to prevent Dominic’s death.

I still struggle with this.  

Read the rest of this post here: The Problem of [Un]Answered Prayer

Prayer-Working Through the Questions

So many of us are finding it difficult to face a new year without our missing child.

Sometimes we wonder, “Where is God? ” and “Why MY child?”.

I believe that God invites us to ask our hard  questions. It’s not like we can hide them from Him anyway.  When we speak them aloud, we open our hearts to the healing power of His Spirit.

For most of my adult years I felt like I had a robust prayer life.  I regularly interceded for my family, for my church, for missionaries and for the world. I’ve kept a prayer journal for over twenty years.  

I felt connected to the God of the Universe.  

But when Dominic died I felt like I lost that connection.

Read the rest here: Prayer and Questions

My New Year’s Prayer for Hurting Hearts

Some of us enter trembling through the door of a new year. 

This last year wasn’t so good and our hearts are broken.

What if the next year is worse?  How will we manage?  Where can we hide from bad news, bad outcomes, disastrous trauma?

Truth is, we can’t.  

So here we are, bravely marching in, hanging on to hope and begging God for mercy.  

Read the rest here: New Year’s Prayer for Hurting Hearts

My Christmas Morning Prayer for Hurting Hearts


Oh, dear one who opened your eyes to the morning light carrying wounds so deep no one can see!

I am so, so sorry.

When things have gone terribly wrong it’s hard to get up and make merry.

I know.

Read the rest here: Christmas Morning Prayer for Hurting Hearts

Wordless Prayers

I find myself in another season of wordless prayers.

In part, it’s a function of all the reminders leading up to and surrounding the anniversary of Dominic’s death and funeral.

I think I’m also just tired.

That’s something that surprises me again and again-that life after loss keeps coming at me and keeps demanding energy I really don’t have.

This earthly tent is absolutely fading. I feel it every single day.

So often we think of prayer as words.

But prayer can be a heart cry too deep for words.

It can be a groaning soul, longing for release.

Read the rest here: Persistent Longing, Persistent Prayer

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