I Will Not Let Death Win!

I’m not brave by nature.

If I have a choice, I will run every time.  But there are just some things worth fighting for.

My family is one of them.

I will not let the enemy have them.

I will not allow despair to overtake us, fear to bind us, hopelessness to sap our strength.

I will not let death win.

Read the rest here: I Will Not Be Moved

A Lesson From the House of Mourning

Our  culture consumes death like candy bars-video games, violent television series and gory movies.  Halloween is one of the biggest “holidays” celebrated in America.

We are desensitized to news stories of destruction and devastation because we’ve “seen” it all.

Yet we are a society that shuns mourning.

Read the rest here: Lesson From the House of Mourning

If Not, He’s Still God

It’s a hard, hard lesson to learn.

It’s even harder to carry it like a precious burden in the bosom of your heart.  

Because while it is oh, so true, it does not take away the pain when circumstances just don’t change no matter how hard you pray, how long you endure or how much you wish they would.  

God’s ways are not my ways.  His thoughts are not my thoughts.  He is not required to fit into whatever box I wish to place Him. 

Read the rest here: And If Not, He’s Still God.

He Is The God Who Stays

I’ll be sharing more soon but let’s just say I’ve had more than a few moments in the past couple of weeks when I could have felt abandoned and forgotten.

And if I’m honest, some of the people I thought would be most likely to come alongside have been nowhere to be found.

But God’s Presence has been very real to me even then.

I talk a lot about Jesus as my Shepherd King because it’s one of the most precious images I have of the One who loves me, who saved me and who carries me every day of my life.

The thing about a shepherd is that he never walks away.

He never says, “Oh, well! I’ll just leave that wayward or injured sheep to her fate. I’m tired of looking for her, going after her and tending to her needs.”

Never. Ever.

He is absolutely, positively the God Who Stays.

❤ Melanie

God is the Faithful Father watching and waiting with open arms for the Prodigal to return.

He will weave even the darkest and most tangled threads of my life into a beautiful, redeemed tapestry if I let Him.

He’s the God who stays.

Read the rest here: The God Who Stays

Unashamed to Wait

Maybe what God has for me and others who suffer long is not a victorious tag line that can be slapped on a photo or shared on social media. 

Maybe it’s only in the continued press of suffering that God reveals Himself in ways the non-suffering never see.

Maybe a dash to declare victory is actually rushing past what God has for us in deep pain and ongoing struggle.

Maybe waiting in hopeful expectation for what God is doing and will do in me and through me IS the victory.

Read the rest here: Not Ashamed to Wait

Courage: Speaking One’s Mind While Telling All One’s Heart

It is scary to speak aloud what you hope will never happen to you.  It’s unbelievably frightening to admit that we really have no control over whether, or when, we or the ones we love might leave this world.

But I am not going to keep silent.

Not because I want pity or special treatment, but because I want that parent who just buried his or her child to know that you. are. not. alone.

Read the rest here: Courage is a Heart Word

There Is Hope In Every Scar

I realize I’m venturing into fuzzy theological territory here but I truly believe that somehow, some way the hard things, the traumatic trials, the heartbreaking tragedies of our lives will be represented in Heaven.

But just like Jesus’ glorified but still scarred hands, they will no longer be ugly, misshapen reminders of pain and defeat; they will be beautiful, glorious testimonies to God’s amazing grace and enduring love.

They will shout “Victory!” over every single thing the enemy thought would defeat us and destroy our faith.

❤ Melanie

Sometimes people ask, “How can you cling to Jesus when He could have saved your son, but didn’t?”

I give the same answer Peter gave, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Read the rest here: There’s Hope in Every Scar

Journaling My Doubts and Finding My Way Back Home

When I was asked a few years ago to speak to a group of hospice care workers, I titled the presentation “Lifting the Veil on Grief”.

One of the topics I covered was how experiencing the death of a loved one-especially out-of-order or untimely death- can cause even the staunchest believer to doubt.

And the first thing I said was, “Doubt in the face of overwhelming sorrow and hard circumstances is absolutely normal.  But doubt is NOT disbelief.”

So often friends, family, clergy, social workers and others want to steer hearts away from doubt because they are afraid that entertaining questions or expressing disappointment in God will always lead to someone losing faith.

That is untrue.

Read the rest here: Doubt Is Not Denial: Journaling My Way Home

Choosing Transparency

It will soon be seven years since I started writing in this space and I have to say, it’s been such a blessing to share the good, the bad, the ugly and the desperate with hearts that choose to come alongside and encourage me!

But I’m tired.

I’m just not certain I can keep pumping out (even recycled) posts every single day.

I still have a lot to say-especially to those of you who are fresh in this journey and are terrified that the way you feel right now is the way you will always feel. It doesn’t have to be and I want to hold a lantern high so you won’t grow so weary that you give up before you see the path does eventually level out a bit.

So I don’t think I’m disappearing forever.

Honestly, writing isn’t what I DO it’s who I AM.

I can’t stop but I do need a rest from creating public worthy polished pieces that neither make my family blush nor make my readers scratch their heads.

I’m taking a break.

If you want to see posts, you will have to go to my public Facebook page “Heartache and Hope” or follow my personal Facebook page where I’ll put up some posts from the archives.

My goal is to give myself August to regroup, reenergize and rest.

Please don’t give up on me. I’ll be back.

I promise.

Look With Mercy on the Broken Heart

If we can keep the vision of how much mercy has been poured out on our own hearts and in our own lives, it is so much easier to pour it out on others.  We don’t have to manufacture it-we only have to be a willing conduit of the mercy already overflowing from God’s heart to our own.

When the deputy delivered the news that Dominic was gone, my heart broke wide open, its contents spilled on the floor.

But  I knew it would not remain empty for long.

It would be filled with something.  

And I begged God to fill it so full of love, grace and mercy that bitterness, unforgiveness and anger would be squeezed out with no room to stay.

Read the rest here: Mercy

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