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.
I admit that I am scared. No matter how many times I read or someone reads to me, “Fear not!” my heart screams, “Easy for YOU to say!” I know deep down that You are here. I know that nothing happens without You seeing. But I am still trembling.
Help me feel Your Presence. Help me hold onto the hem of Your garment. Help me reach out and take possession of the promises You give me-to guide, carry and strengthen me. When I am weak, You are strong. If I forget everything else, don’t let me forget that.
Lord, even if no new disaster takes shape in the months to come, I’m left holding the broken pieces of a broken life and I am oh, so tired of plodding through my days trying to put it all back together. Bring light into the dark corners. Bring hope into the desperate places. Bring tangible help to my doorstep so I can find a little rest in these weary days, weeks, months.
Whatever this year brings, You are already there.
You know the end from the beginning. Nothing takes You by surprise.
And when I want to give up and give in, speak courage to my soul. Lift my head and help my heart hold on. ❤
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.
But that first Christmas felt more like heartache and less like ho-ho-ho. So you are in good company.
You don’t have to pretend that nothing has changed but you can reach out and take hold of what remains.
You don’t have to hide your tears or your memories but you can share them with people who love you and long to help you carry the legacy of the one you miss.
Today may be long.
But it is only one day.
You can make it.
You will make it.
May you experience the Presence of the Christ of Christmas no matter how dark and lonely and sad you feel. May your heart hold onto hope regardless of how tempted it is to give in to despair. May the Holy Spirit Who overshadowed Mary, overwhelm you and fill you with grace and mercy. May you hear the Father whisper, “Courage, My child” to your soul.
And more than all this, may you know that you are seen, you are loved and you are being carried. ❤
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
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
One of the most devastating questions I had to face after Dominic ran ahead to heaven was, “What difference does prayer make?”
I had prayed-diligently prayed-for every one of my children since before they were born.
Even Dominic’s name, which means “belonging to God” was chosen carefully to reflect my heart’s desire that this child follow hard after Jesus.
Dominic had served Christ’s church with his time, talents and resources his whole life. Yet he was not quite 24 when he met Jesus face to face.
So why didn’t prayer “work”? Why did my son die in an accident when others live?
Read the rest here: Prayer After Child Loss: What’s the Point?
One of the hardest questions after child loss has been, “If God hears my prayers, and my prayers make a difference, why didn’t He protect my son?”
It’s not something a mama’s heart can just ignore.
So, because it comes up again and again, and because I hope my musings might help another heart, I’m going to dedicate a few days to do that.
When it’s not your kid you can think of all kinds of lofty, theologically correct arguments or reasons for why God answers one prayer and not another–for why one person is healed and not another–for why one person survives a devastating-should-have-killed-him accident but not another.
But when it is your child that doesn’t survive or isn’t healed or is stolen through the violent actions of someone else…well, that’s a different matter entirely.
Read the rest here: The Problem of [Un]Answered Prayer
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.
But eventually, as I kept speaking truth to my heart and waiting on God, I heard them again. I won’t lie and say that I often or even regularly get the goosebumps I used to get when I sing worship songs or read a section of Scripture.
I have something else, though, and that is rock-solid confidence in the promises of God to redeem and renew even if I, like the prophet Habakkuk, will have to live this life in a state of loss, want and under the tyranny of circumstances I’d rather avoid.
“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!”
~Habakkuk 3:19 AMPC
The times when I am lonely can help me focus on God more intimately. I can speak quite freely and honestly with the Lord. And even if there is silence from the Heavens when I pray, I know that the Lord hears me. He speaks back through His written Word. In these moments, I truly feel the presence of the One that Jesus rightly called The Comforter — The Holy Spirit. Yes, I know that conversations with God are not the same as with a tangible person in the room. But sometimes they are much deeper, going straight to the heart.
~Warren Ludwig, Jewels in the Junkyard