I’ve encountered so many hurting hearts recently struggling to square their experience of devastating loss with their faith in a loving and all-powerful God.
I write about my own struggle over and over in this space but this series of posts is an orderly exploration of doubt, pain, faith and the hope I’ve found in Christ Jesus.
I pray it helps another heart hold on. ❤ Melanie
Child loss is Unnatural-no way around it.
Out of order death is devastating.
When my perfectly healthy, strong and gifted son was killed instantly in a motorcycle accident on April 12. 2014 my world fell apart. My heart shattered into a million pieces. And after almost eight years, I’ve yet to even FIND all of those pieces much less put them back together.
So what does a heart do when that happens? Because, try as I might, I cannot stop time.
Even THAT awful day only lasted 24 hours.
When the sun rose again, the pain was still there. And behind that pain and mixed with it was something else-disappointment, disaffection, distrust.
Read the rest here: Trust After Loss: Admit the Pain
I first shared this post a few years ago when I’d not yet been able to deep dive into my Bible again after Dom left us.
I kept reading a bit here and there but I wasn’t studying like I used to and like I knew I needed to if I was going to persevere in this life I didn’t choose.
Hope fades fast when I neglect to feed my heart with truth.
So if you are struggling to hold on to hope, struggling to get in a daily dose of Scripture and struggling to know where or how to start-this post’s for you. ❤ Melanie
I confess that I have not had a wholehearted desire to study Scripture since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
Oh, I nibble on verses every day, but I’ve shied away from the feast that used to fill my heart and soul.
This year, though, I’m committing to a more diligent approach-choosing to focus on one word per month and writing out corresponding verses. I am studying them, looking up cross-references, considering context and making personal application in my journal.
So the first word I chose was “Hope” because I think of all the things I’ve struggled most to hold onto in this life I didn’t choose, hope is the hardest.
In my flesh, I want to give up and give in.
Read the rest here: Holding On To Hope With Both Hands
Have you ever wondered why there are lists of names in the Bible? Do you, like me, sometimes rush through them or pass over them to get to the “main part” of a story?
But look again, the names ARE the story.
The God of the Bible isn’t the God of the masses. He is the God of the individual.
Read the rest here: He Knows My Name
Some people insist on reading the end of a book first.
They want to know if the characters they may grow to love end up well and happy.
Me? I start at the front and work my way through letting things unfold as the author intended.
I will admit though there are times when I’d kinda sorta like to have a heads up in real life.
Read the rest here: Battling Anxiety/Seeking Peace: The End From The Beginning
So here we are a year later and the headlines still proclaim, “Just wait! It’s going to get better!”
In some ways things ARE better-there are vaccines, treatments and protocols that can chip away at the virus. Toilet paper is back on the shelves. Working from home is working out for a number of folks who love the flexibility.
In many ways we are still in a holding pattern. Waiting for life as we once knew it to once more be available.
Young people have lost important opportunities and are anxious to not lose more. Old people have lost precious time with children and grandchildren and are oh, so aware that every passing day is one less to spend with them and build memories.
So we’re still practicing this whole waiting thing. And it’s hard. ❤
It’s hard to wait.
It’s harder to rest patiently for something you desperately want .
That’s why children shake the presents under the Christmas tree and grown-ups dip into their savings.
It’s also why we so often doubt that God has things under control.
When circumstances require sacrifice I want the Lord to step in and fix them. I want my omnipotent God to use a little of that power to make my life more bearable. And when He doesn’t, I’m more likely to call His character into question than to doubt my own motives.
Psalm 27 helps turn my heart back to truth.
Read the rest here: Battling Anxiety/Seeking Peace: A Stout Heart
When suffering is time-limited it is often more easily endured.
If I know six weeks of intensive though painful physical therapy will help me regain strength and use of a limb or joint, I can power through.
If restricting calories for a month helps me fit into that dress for a special event, I’m more likely to sacrifice for a short time so the pictures look good.
But if you tell me I’ll hobble around for the rest of my life because there’s nothing to be done about my bad back or crooked joints or you want me to change how I eat for good-well, that’s gonna take more strength than I have on my own.
When I realized-probably sometime near the end of the first year-that the sorrow and missing and pain of burying my son was going to be a burden I carried to my own grave, it was absolutely, utterly soul-crushing.
Read the rest here: Battling Anxiety/Seeking Peace: Strength To Endure
A few lines of this post are dated-locked into that time before we really suspected what we were in for. But I won’t edit them out.
Because the truths are timeless and it’s more than good to remind my heart that God’s grace has been and will be sufficient.
So come with me if you still find you have sleepless nights or restless days. Fear is absolutely a liar. I know Who can shout him down.❤
I don’t know about you but “sure and fearless” doesn’t necessarily describe me these days.
I’m not sleeping particularly well.
I try to avoid all but the most needful news and instead fill my days with useful work and outdoor activity.
But I wouldn’t be honest if I said it was working.
Read the rest here: Battling Anxiety/Seeking Peace: Sure And Fearless
It’s a commonly repeated untruth that there are 365 “fear nots” in the Bible.
But there ARE a lot of them.
While many folks like to interpret these commands as admonitions to the trembling hearts standing, kneeling or falling on their face before the Angel of the Lord or begging to be delivered from a perilous situation, I think they are an invitation.
Read the rest here: Battling Anxiety/Seeking Peace: “Fear Not!”-An Invitation Not An Admonition
I am not a worrier by nature.
I tend to look at a problem and immediately marshal available resources to find a solution.
But sometimes, there is really. truly not one single thing I CAN do and it’s then I fall prey to those niggling “what if” thoughts.
You know the ones.
The kind of things that keep you from drifting off to sleep at night or visit you in your dreams when you do.
Read the rest here: Battling Anxiety/Seeking Peace: Shape Worry Into Prayer
It’s no secret I have a particular fondness for biblical passages on shepherding.
For over twenty years I’ve kept goats and sheep in varying numbers and every day discover one more way I am a sheep in need of a Shepherd.
I wander, I’m afraid when I don’t have to be, I do foolish and self-harmful things, I push and shove to get that certain bit of food or space or whatever when all the while there is an abundance, and I often make it hard for the One who loves me best to guide me to the safety and rest of His fold.
That’s one reason the Twenty-third Psalm is especially beautiful to me.
But there’s another reason-hidden inside the original Hebrew-that makes it a favorite Bible passage and a very appropriate one for these frightening times: within the verses are references to seven names of God.
Read the rest here: Battling Anxiety/Seeking Peace: Thankful For My Shepherd