What would God say the morning before the $#*% hit the fan?

 

Last summer, my life was the picture of stability ‚ÄĒ we had just bought a house, and every picture frame and throw pillow was in its place. Our schedules were filled with the usual business trips and dentist appointments, and we were expecting another child.

…And then within a month, everything went from steady and stable, to a rickety, nausea-inducing carnival ride that seemed to plummet off the rails.

( The only thing leaving me more shaken than the actual turn of events, was what God had said the morning before they unfolded…)

Continue reading What would God say the morning before the $#*% hit the fan?

The most meaningful lesson about God (And arguably, one of the most painful)

God has a tendency of uprooting my life. Just when I feel like I can take a breath, make a friend or two, or even try to do something exceptionally nutty and try to have a baby or something, God decides to throw my eggs in the creek.

Let me explain…

Continue reading The most meaningful lesson about God (And arguably, one of the most painful)

When You Were Just About To Give Up On Love

R and K

Admittedly, I am not the greatest proponent of love these days. 

I’m nearly always the first to point out the romantic song by the debonaire man, was indeed written by a woman. That’s never been married.  Never fearing to ask inopportune questions like: Shouldn’t we have more humble wedding ceremonies to get married? And save the lavish celebrations for when we have fought insurmountable odds, to stay married?

Arguing that the day we look to our spouse and realize, Holy crap. We’re still married. is the ideal time to throw a party and spend exorbitant amounts of money to have people toast our union РWith alcohol nonetheless!

Yep. I am that person. Jaded and crushed, with a knack for making people uncomfortable with my (many) observations about love, and a heart Рand a marriage Рthat has been shaken to the core.

You can find me sitting in the back half of any wedding ceremony, bowing my head in heartfelt prayer for the lovely couple exchanging their vows like I did all those years ago…

A prayer they’d be blessed with the marriage I never had: An uneventful one.

But I was terribly wrong…

I realized this the night my family and I gathered in our pajamas, around a 70-year-old man telling a story so touching, he had us hanging on every word that he spoke.

They had asked him about his wife. That’s all I knew, because from that point on he trailed off in a flurry of Spanish I couldn’t comprehend.

Yet regardless of the different languages we spoke, it became obvious by the way his eyes danced and by the way he gripped furiously at his heart, that him and I knew the same kind of love:  Intoxicating. Passionate. Heartbreaking. 

Later that night my husband helped me piece the story together, and to my surprise I found it more riveting than I imagined.

My husband told me how his uncle’s first wife had suffered a stroke at a young age while singing in church. I recalled how he bellowed the verses of the hymn that night, stopping at the exact place in the song where her health – and their lives – had changed forever.

He told me how she spent the next 8 days in a coma, stiff as a table, he said. And how each time he spoke to her Рeach time he leaned in close to whisper his love for her, in no doubt the same somber tone he spoke in that night Рhow her heart would respond. Literally, on the EKG! I remembered how he had illustrated the rise and fall of her heart with his finger in the air, how he gripped his heart describing the agony of having to let her go…

How years after she passed, he got a second chance at love, with an unlikely woman nearly half his age and living in Colombia, South America. I thought back to how his voice had livened and his eyes danced, making us laugh as we watched the 70-year-old man transform into that of a dopey young boy when describing the first kiss they shared. 

But how this love wouldn’t be free of heartache either…

How for years they were separated from each other, working tirelessly to get her a visa, only able to see each other three times in those first three years of their marriage Until finally, the day came where she was given permission to come to the U.S.

But how there had been a catch. How he would have to come get her himself, rightthatsecond. Forcing him to put his humble job cleaning movie theaters on the line, and spend the great sum of money he didn’t have, to drop everything in a moment’s notice to retrieve the woman he loved.

How even still, he accepted the risks Рtraveled  great lengths and sacrificed EVERYTHING in his attempt to get his wife back!

That night it was obvious to each of us, the frail man in the corner of the room had fought tirelessly for love.

…And, that by the grin on his face, He had won!

“They‚Äôve been together ever since…”¬†my husband concluded, and my heart jumped forgetting for a moment how jaded ‚Äėwe‚Äô are these days.

And I realized, I too, was set in a tragic story of unbearable loss and tireless sacrifice…But that like him, it was a love story nonetheless! And what I learned that night captivated by the man I could barely understand was,

The love stories most harrowing, catch our attention and captivate our spirit in a way those void of all conflict ever could!

That just like the man who entranced me with the love story he had lived,¬†It was in the heartbreaking final breaths of his first love that he learned what so few ever have – that her heart had always responded to the sound of his voice! … It was in the¬†unbearable¬†miles¬†and years that separated him from his wife, that she came to know the great lengths her husband would travel and the sacrifices he would make in order to fight for her!…

That oftentimes, it’s amid the desolation the rarest treasures unearth.

Because maybe, just maybe, there is significance to be discovered in our most heart wrenching pangs. An unlikely strength awakened by our deepest sorrows, uncharted territory we may never have wandered upon and a story never written had it not been for that wrong turn or the turbulent storm that blew us off course and shook everything we believed to the core.

And that’s when I realized how terribly wrong I had been…

THE greatest gift in marriage would NOT be an uneventful one, free of all struggle and tragedy; but a marriage that has lived a love story worth telling!

The greatest gift would be a marriage that has basked in the grandeur of the uttermost heights, and who’ve crawled relentlessly on their hands and knees to get there. Whose eyes have danced in love’s intoxication, and who have gripped their heart in agony at love’s unbearable loss. A love that displays both the scars they earned in battle, and a smile on their face knowing they won!

A love story worth telling huddled around in our pajamas until the sun comes up. For generations and generations. No matter the language. 

A love story so harrowing, it catches the attention and captivates the spirit, of even those like me –Who were just about to give up on love.

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Weeping With Jesus

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Perched high on a balcony, taking in my last New York City sunset, I admitted to God what I could no longer hide: that in spite of everything I was eternally grateful for, I really was just so, so sad…

That in simply a mere year and a half of living on the East Coast – the place where God had so clearly led my family and me – I had seemingly lost everything I held most dear.

With tears streaming down my face, I watched as the setting sun painted majestic hues above the East River sky, and I questioned aloud if such beauty could ever be restored in my life…my home…my heart…or my marriage…

But it was then that I realized: God wept with me.

There’s a story told in the Gospel of John in which Mary and Martha lost something precious to them also Рtheir brother, Lazarus.

In their desperation they had sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick and they needed Him to come. Yet upon hearing the news, Jesus did something surprising…

…Nothing!

It says, ‚Äú‚ĶAlthough Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

Though admittedly He loved them, Jesus did NOT rush to their rescue when they felt they needed Him the most!

And in doing so, He single-handedly allowed what Mary and Martha held most dear to be lost!

When Jesus finally did arrive, Mary was overwhelmed with emotion and fell to His feet saying, ‚ÄúLord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died‚Ķ‚ÄĚ Oddly enough, her words echoed much of my prayer overlooking the city that night:

…Lord, if you had only been here…my marriage wouldn’t have crumbled…my health wouldn’t have deteriorated…my life wouldn’t have imploded…

…Lord, if you had been here, maybe then I wouldn’t have lost EVERYTHING…

But then it goes on to say, “When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled within him, and he was deeply troubled…

‚Ķthen Jesus wept.‚Ä̬†

Understand this: Jesus didn’t weep because he was overwhelmed at the magnitude of what Mary and Martha were faced with. In fact, He knew with certainty that the story wouldn’t end there and that the plot would change dramatically once He entered the scene. (Which He proved, when just moments later, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead!)

Nor did Jesus weep worrying that His timing was off and that He should have come sooner…He knew devastating circumstances would come, and He allowed it!

Instead, Jesus wept because He saw their pain, and because He loved what was lost just as much as they did…

And though it may not feel like it at times, God sees the extent of the pain we are faced with today.

‚ÄėDeep anger wells within him‚Ķ‚Äô¬† when He sees the broken promises you have endured, and the scars you bear from your heart being trampled on mercilessly.

‚ÄėHe is deeply troubled‚Ķ‚Äô¬† when your most sought-after plans derail, and everything you love has seemingly taken a nose-dive into a dark abyss, obliterating your every hope and dream upon impact.

…And it is then, that He weeps with us.

Not out of fear of what we are up against or because He’s worried He doesn’t have an elaborate plan in place to rescue us. Jesus weeps because He sees YOU.

He sees you falling at His feet like Mary, defeated and wailing at the thought of all that is lost. He watches as you writhe and question where He was when your heart broke, and whether His plan for your life can be trusted moving forward…

And just like in the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, ‚ÄėAlthough he loves us‚Ķ‚Äô¬† there will be times where God stays where He is – even when we feel we need Him the most!

Times when it would seem He has let our most frantic and desperate calls go straight to voicemail. And other times where He allows us to take a few wobbly steps on our own, watching as we grasp at anything in an attempt to steady ourselves, only to have us fall to our face before sweeping us up in His sovereignty.

BUT – and you can mark my words – while Jesus may not arrive IMMEDIATELY, He will come to your rescue EVENTUALLY! And when He does, what God allowed to be taken, HE WILL RESTORE!

So until we are standing in awe of God’s deliverance and basking in the intricate way He has pieced our lives back together, rest assured knowing we do not weep alone…

We are weeping with Jesus.

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I’m Afraid I Might Let Go

If you ever hesitate to watch the news because you‚Äôre afraid it’ll give you (yet another reason) to consider giving up on God‚Ķ

When you’d best¬†describe your relationship with God¬†as “you aren‚Äôt on speaking terms,‚ÄĚ and you‚Äôve avoided your Bible at all costs, almost as a public declaration to the Lord Almighty himself that:

YOU

ARE

DONE.

If you feel yourself coming apart at the seams…

And the thought of Him looking down on you, as you fall to pieces on the kitchen floor, sickens you.

When the lingering question curious minds want to know is,¬†“It couldn’t possibly¬†be as bad as you say… right?” …as if asking YOU to comfort THEM through YOUR pain is a perfectly¬†logical request.¬†

When you are left to smile through their ignorance and good intentions, all while they unknowingly affirm your greatest fear; you are painfully¬†alone…

If you cringe when¬†people flippantly use¬†words like ‘anxiety’ and ‘depressed’ to lightheartedly describe things such as the congestion on the George Washington Bridge, or what they fear will be the outcome of the latest Bachelorette episode. (insert: eye-rollage, heavy on the attitude)

If you are in desperate need of

Peace…

Victory…

or Proof that God is still sovereign, and that He’s still holding the world in his hands…

If¬†you are afraid that given the chance His deliverance ISN’T on the horizon,¬†you might just let go…

Then this SONG and these VERSES are for you, US!

Lord, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you.

For my days disappear like smoke, and my bones burn like coals. My heart is sick, withered like grass, and I have lost my appetite… I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof… my tears run because of your anger and wrath. For you have picked me up and thrown me out.

But you, O Lord, will sit on your throne forever. Your fame will endure to EVERY¬†generation. You will ARISE and HAVE MERCY… NOW is the time to pity her, NOW is the time you promised to help… for the Lord will REBUILD. He will APPEAR¬†in his glory. He will LISTEN to the prayers of the destitute. HE WILL NOT REJECT THEIR PLEAS.

Psalm 102

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When You Fear God Is Done Listening

 

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At the exact moment you fear God is done listening to your pleas late into the night…

you read verses like this:

and you pee your pants.

Luke 18:1-8

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 

“There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy! I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!”

Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly!”¬†

So may we continue driving the Lord crazy, er…¬†wearing him out, …I mean, PRAYING¬†this week!

God knows this is SURELY something I can excel at!

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It’s Not God’s Fault

white river falls

I enter stage right and take the platform. My heart is pounding, and my hands are clammy. All eyes are on me. As I fumble to adjust the microphone, my eyes lock with yours, and a deep sigh escapes me.

“….How are we doing so far?”

I look out at the audience who were all crazy enough courageous enough to join me in my 30 Day ChallengeРA challenge to quit thinking, quit talking, and quit trying to solve our problems! To instead, give it to God and ask him to show up and do a miracle in 30 days!

My eyes catch a group of you who respond to my question¬†by sporadically¬†jumping up and down and whoo-hooing like you¬†are front and center at a Katy Perry concert… If this is you, you already feel God working in your life, and can barely contain your excitement¬†for how He¬†will continue to show up for you throughout this¬†month!

I am with you!

Others of you are somewhere in the back. I can’t make out your faces because you are rocking back and forth in fetal position, and are murmuring things under your breath that I can’t quite make out. You desperately know you need¬†to quit, have courageously decided you were going to quit, but equally question whether its humanly¬†possible… If this is you, you likely know exactly how many more days, hours, and seconds are left of your 30 day challenge (I have 16 days, 11 hours, and 46 seconds!) You have also likely gone to bed before the sun set¬†a handful of times last week,¬†because¬†you realized if you couldn’t talk or think about your problems, than really…what is there left to do?

Deep Sigh. I am with you….

Then there are those of you who are breaking for the doors the second you see me hit the stage. You have already adamantly thrown up your hands and QUIT¬†‘quitting’ and have yet to decide if you are more mad at me for suggesting such ridiculousness, or at yourself, for in a moment of bad judgment,¬†following suit….¬†If this is you, then you’d likely come hunt me down if it weren’t for the fact that I live with 8.4 million other people, and the chances you will ever find me are minimal, at best!

I get it, I do. The truth is, I’m kinda ticked at me too!

So I’m with you…

ALL OF YOU!

And have danced between all 3 emotions, over and over! In the last 4 hours!

But no matter where you are at, or what you chose to let go of last week-

You should know,

It’s not Gods fault.

In the last couple months, I have been anything but shy about airing my frustrations with the Lord. In my desperation I have demanded answers, questioned why, and wondered what I could have done to deserve this. If you recall, it was only two weeks ago, that I screamed at God, punched pillows, and made no apologies….

But what I realized this week is that my current reality is not the ‘Divine torture chamber’ that I made it out to be!¬†(Torturous, yes.. Divine, no…) and¬†that the answer to every question I¬†screamed and sobbed into my pillow late all those nights (and of course, before I ‘quit’ all that!) was right there all along…

in James 1:16-17  it says,

“Don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”

My most poignant questions had asked God: …Why me? …Where were you? …Why would you do this?

The Lord’s response: You got it all wrong¬†my child… I am good. my plan is perfect. I am the creator of all beauty, and though your circumstances and emotions may change (often¬†abruptly)¬†I never will.

I believe this verse begins with a warning to¬†not be misled, because¬†He expects that some day we will be!¬†That when things go disastrously wrong that He knows we may lash out at Him in response…. That we may demand answers and throw punches…. That we won’t know where to turn or who to blame…

…And that ultimately, we will get it all wrong!

You see, the last couple of days have been¬†a disaster; a barrage of spills, and toys! …Bubbles were dumped on the rug, UNO cards were found in my bed, pennies were eaten, and it seemed like every stuffed animal got a ‘bath!’ (…and yet, now that I think about it, I don’t know if my daughter ever did!)

When I couldn’t bear to step on, yet another Lego, and was one more “uh-oh Mama!” away from losing my – already dwindling – sanity, I made the decision to shut it ALL¬†down! No more tv… no more “shnacks”… and FREAKIN. NO. MORE.¬†TOYS!!!!

To be expected my 2 year old threw herself on the ground, kicking and screaming in refusal. Once her yelling had died down, she then proceeded to sulk and roam around aimlessly, not knowing what to do with herself amidst the space and silence.

Moments later though, and too my surprise, her whimpering turned to laughter!

I looked to find that she had ascended her Father’s¬†back, and had completely transformed him into a¬†“Ca-BYYYYY-Oh!” (learning also,¬†that if you kick him under the ribs that he will indeed, go faster!)

I watched as she squealed in delight, taking turns between riding him like a horse, and plopping into his lap to glide down his legs like they were a slide.

That day my daughter learned something new (and wildly entertaining) about her father! Something she may not have fully grasped about him, had she kept pouting, or the distractions been present.

We have the same opportunity, in each moment, and through each emotion, of this 30 day Challenge!

And while I hesitate to kick my¬†Heavenly Father¬†under the ribs (…though I secretly wish He would move faster!)¬†I have found that it often takes¬†quieting my distractions, and putting my ‘mess’ in it’s place. It takes¬†adamantly deciding¬†to quit questioning, quit kicking and screaming, and – for the LOVE –¬†to quit sulking, so that I too, can learn more about my Father.

To learn something I had all wrong…

That while our circumstances are unquestionably bad, our God is forever good in spite of them.

While our emotions may change on a whim, that our God never will.

And while He often allows pain and uncertainty in this life to come, that we can be just as sure His goodness and perfect plan will follow suit.

So don’t be misled…

It’s not God’s fault.

Krista Signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From My Weary Heart To Yours

airplane sunrise

I was shaken abruptly from my slumber. Just as quickly, the ‘seatbelt sign’ dinged on and the stewardess postponed ¬†drink orders while the pilot made apologies in advanced for the bumps that lay ahead.

The woman next to me took a deep breath and tightly grasped the arm rest, I could almost hear her thoughts…

… Please Lord, I want to get married! …don’t take me now God! I want to have children!…

I smiled to myself, closed my eyes, and eased into the¬†comfort of my seat. Not because I hadn’t felt the¬†same way before, but because oh, how effective a little turbulence is at weighing the status of our lives.

And while my flight was nearly being jostled into oblivion, I realized…

I just don’t give a damn.

Take me now Lord Jesus!

You see, for the last two weeks that I have been MIA since writing ‘This Weary Heart of Mine,” I have started (and given up on) over 6 self-help books. I have also avoided exactly 11 phone calls, and avoided nearly the equivalent in panic attacks.

I have cried myself to sleep, raised my voice in a restaurant (Once again!) and have used my ‘labor breathing techniques’ to physically resist the urge to punch someone in the face.

I am¬†numb, I am heartbroken, and I deeply regret the¬†two strong margaritas that unfortunately did little more than give me a headache and give my husband a piece of my mind (further explaining the said “raised voice in a restaurant”)¬†

And the truth is, I am in a dark place.

So dark even, that in my insecurity I have wondered if I am too far out of God’s reach. If it’s even humanly possible to be as small as I feel, and if because of it, the Lord is unable to see me in my desperation. If this pain, caused by the hands of another, is the final blow that will have me ushered out of¬†the ring never to return the same again…

But then I remember you, our beloved readers. Those of you all over the world, that have shared with us your stories, your heartbreak, and expressed your deepest yearning for miraculous healing over your most secret struggles.

I know if there was a base you could run to where you would finally be “safe,” that though you are terribly exhausted and out of breath, you would get there as fast as you possibly could!

If there was a debt you could pay to make it all disappear, I know you would pay it no matter the cost!

Even if it meant you’d be given only the smallest of guarantees, I know it would be enough for you to hang in there just a little longer…

But alas!¬†It is out of your hands, and out of your control. You are up against a wall, in over you head, and with such dire circumstances looming that you aren’t sure how – or if – you will ever make it through.

I am with you…

Heartbroken,

hopeless,

and mad as hell!

… And I need Jesus more than ever.

And after two long weeks I am ready to put down the ‘Ben and Jerry’s’… and write.¬†What exactly? I am not sure.

But with vulnerability as my voice, and God as my strength I will see this storm through.

I will fight to remind myself that even when I feel so far from God, that He is NEAR to my broken heart. (Psalm 34:18)

That when it seems my greatest plans have derailed and cliff dived into a horrific nightmare, that His Рeven greater plans for me Рare PERFECT (Psalm 18:30)

That when my troubles are mounting, my life is crumbling, and there seems to be no hope in sight, that My God will not only meet me there in the shambles, but will OVERCOME the impossible! (John 16:33)

Dear weary readers,

There is no denying the very real war that is being waged over our souls! And yet, there also is no denying the strength of the God we serve!

I love how Perry Noble puts it when he says, ¬†“…He is a grave-robbing, water-walking, miracle-working, death-defying God, so NEVER give up! He’s about to blow your flippin’ mind!”

All that to say, may the Lord “Blow our flipping’ minds!” … ideally, before we lose them! ūüôā

***And in the case that you can’t get past the fact that I cursed…

Feel free to check back here the moment the turbulence doesn’t faze you…

We will get along much better then! ūüėČ

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This Weary Heart Of Mine

krista and gia

This Valentines Day, I watched while you indulged in gourmet chocolates from a tulle wrapped box, and how surprised you were when a beautiful bouquet was awaiting you on the counter… I saw the sweet valentines that are still covering your refrigerator, and the dishes you ordered from your favorite restaurant…

But that’s not what Valentines Day had in store for me this year…

My Valentines day left me blind-sighted and broken-hearted.

BUT before you decide not to read another word of my sob story, and before you come to your senses and realize your time could be better spent reading someone else’s (far more eloquent) words…¬†I wanted to share with you something God brought to light about this¬†weary heart of mine.

It started when I awoke to hear my daughter whimpering in her bed. When like any parent, I instinctively made my way to her side only to find that her sheets were sopping wet around her. Still groggy and disoriented, I can remember sweeping her up in my arms and making my way to the bathroom to get her cleaned up.

Moments later, after her cries had settled and her flailing limbs were wrapped in the warmth of a towel, I held her close and whispered the sincerest apology Рknowing full well that both of us were opposed to baths before sunrise, and before the coffee had been brewed!

It was around that time that I fully expected my usually rambunctious toddler, to break from my arms РNAKED and running towards the living room squealing in delight at the thought of her triumphant escape!

… But she didn’t.¬†Willingly she would stay, wrapped in my arms, the weight of her head resting deliberately on my chest.

Alarmed, I held my palm to her forehead checking for a temperature…¬†she never flinch.

When it became apparent what she was doing the tears instantly welled in my eyes! My precious little girl was listening attentively to the sound of my heartbeat! Likely for the first time since she was born!

I studied her as she listened and saw the familiarity the sound of my heart brought, the comfort she found in its unending rhythm, how captivated she was by it’s strength...

… STRENGTH?! How could that be? My heart was weak and shaken – a far cry¬†from the strength it¬†possessed all those years ago!

But as I watched her listen intently to each beat I realized, not only was she the only person who truly knew the sound of my heart, but that to her, it was still as recognizably strong as ever! Even after all this time, and even amidst my current brokenness!

As I held her head close to that weary heart of mine, there was no resisting the tears that swept down my cheeks…

I was overwhelmed with gratitude knowing that¬†My heart¬†…¬†MY GOD had never failed me!

Overwhelmed knowing that even when our hearts are crushed and our spirits are most feeble, that there will always be a part of us, up until our very last breath, that will remain strangely strong! That even when we feel we can’t endure any longer, that there will always be something alive and thriving deep within us, even still.

Like a soothing lullaby from our Creator, each beat makes sweet promises that if He was able to preserve our heart through the pain of the past, that He will indeed sustain it through the paralyzing uncertainty and fear of the future.

While the cruelest hand the world can deal may succeed in taking every material thing I have worked so hard for… while it may unapologetically and cold-heartedly tear the ones I love from my grasp, and crush every dream that I have fought so courageously for…

There is NO denying

the enduring power,

and undoubtable strength,

of this ever weary heart of mine!

“Come to Me with all your weaknesses: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Rest in the comfort of My Presence, remembering that nothing is impossible with Me.” Luke 1:37

“When anxiety attempts to wedge its way into your thoughts, remind yourself that I am your Shepherd. The bottom line is that I am taking care of you; therefore, you needn‚Äôt be afraid of anything. Rather than trying to maintain control over your life, abandon yourself to My will. Though this may feel frightening‚ÄĒeven dangerous, the safest place to be is in My will” Ps 32:1-4

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When God Prepares You For The Unimaginable

I can remember, closing my eyes as I listened to my husband’s heart beat the night before I was to drop him off at camp. I would keep myself up late that night in an attempt to savor every last moment with him.

Grabbing his bags out of the back of the car, I can recall how strangely hard it was for us to say goodbye that day. I remember struggling to make eye contact with him for fear that he might see my uncertainty.

The sun was to be my clock that night, and I knew very well that I needed to get through the desert valley before it got dark. I knew I should’ve headed out awhile ago, but it had been difficult to leave my husband‚Äôs side. He would stall also, finding silly excuses to tell me one more thing, and to sneak in one last hug.

It was only seconds after we had said our goodbyes, and after I had made him pinky-promise that he would be safe, that I made my way down the gravel road to head out on my 3 hour journey back home.

I will forever remember the last thing I saw as I left the campsite – over 100 counselors collectively gathered together in an open barn under the stars, arms outstretched to the heavens, singing praises to our Lord!

I took a deep breath as almost to reassure myself that God’s presence, was so obviously with them.¬†I had nothing to fear.

Even still, I cried the whole way home. My heart was terribly troubled and I couldn’t understand why.

It was only after I came upon one of the most captivating back drops along my drive, that I’d at last, be able to calm my restless thoughts.

Not more than an hour into my journey and just as I neared a mountain up ahead, the sun began to set picturesquely beside it in a way that illuminated it’s peak in the most stunning shades of blue that I had ever seen!

And as far as I could see, I was the only one driving through the expanse of the valley that night.

The setting was all for me, it seemed.

I smiled to myself, upon hearing the chorus of a song playing softly in the background…

“Savior you can move the mountains,

My God is mighty to save,

He is mighty to save.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThat‚Äôs cute, God…‚ÄĚ I thought to myself, and of the mountain-themed coincidence.

And yet, as I hummed the lyrics that I had no doubt sang hundreds of times before, the words began to come alive to me in an entirely different way that night.

Because as I looked up at the greatness of the mountain ahead of me, there was no denying how truly massive it was!

It felt as if the Lord was intentionally illuminating the entire mountain – all the way to it’s utmost peak- as if to allow me to fully grasp how incredibly enormous of a mountain it really was!

So that He then could declare, that this mountain in it’s entirety -and any other mountain for that matter- were never too large for Him to move.

He was mighty and able to save!

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He spoke this so clearly to me that night, that I took this picture to remind me of my moment alone with the Lord in the desert.

But I could never have known when I casually snapped this picture, what the Lord was ultimately preparing me for.

Only He who knew the magnitude of the mountain we’d be up against , when just a day later, we would face unimaginable tragedy in our youth group.

Only He would be able to foresee the very same counselors, that I had last seen lifting their hands and voices in worship, hours later,  falling to their knees at the foot of the cross in complete anguish.

And yet, my God did not cower in fear at the sight of the mountain ahead of us!  (-the way I so badly wanted to-)

The promise He made remained;¬†” I am mighty to save”

I am eternally grateful that God prepared my heart that night.

Because just a day later, I would get a phone call from my husband in a voice of hysteria I could barely recognize. The words he spoke, would be so awful and unbearable, that I can recall having to repeat them back to him in an attempt to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

It felt as if my mind was refusing to recognize what he was saying – refusing to believe the heartbreaking end to the days events – as truth.

…But He was mighty to save.

When Caleb’s family asked Ricky to speak at his memorial, close family friends would come to me privately, overwhelmed with a deep concern that it would be too much responsibility for someone in such a fragile, emotional state.

I would hear out their concerns, but ultimately would look back on my encounter with the mountain that night – remembering how impossibly huge it was – and how even then, the Lord never waivered.

I would choose in that moment, to believe that God was going to use this irreparable loss to move some miraculous-sized mountains. And that in the process, I wasn’t going to be the one to hold Him back.

And so I would choose to believe that my husband could. And for the record, Ricky proved he damn well could! ūüėČ

I will never forget how stunned I was to hear a message of boldness and strength from a person who was no doubt, void of either at the time!

But again, just like He promised, the Lord showed up in a room of Caleb’s closest family and friends, and He indeed, was mighty to save!

Even as I observed my husband struggling to write out his deepest and most private thoughts for last weeks post – tears streaming down his face as he read it aloud to me – I would be lying if I said I didn’t question whether it was wise for me to have asked him to write from a place of such immense pain and tragedy.

And yet, 3 days later we stood in awe at the computer screen! Eyes wide in disbelief at the realization that his post was read by over 1,000 people all across the world!

People in:

The United States

Canada

Germany

Mexico

Japan

Finland

Singapore

France

Malaysia

Russia

Turkey

Mongolia

New Zealand

Australia

Togo

Spain

South Africa

Slovenia

Switzerland

1,000 people in 3 days heard of last summer’s unimaginable loss and yet, God’s unmistakeable presence in the midst of it!

Our Lord, is without a doubt, mighty to save!

And my encouragement to you, is that no matter how massive of a mountain you have found yourself up against today Р no matter how long you have stood paralyzed in fear, staring up at it wondering if this is the one, due to it’s enormity, that He can’t move on His own РI want to assure you that the very same God that met me in a desert in Oregon, will again remain faithful and true to you!

In the chaos and confusion, I know You are sovereign still.

I will trust in You, Lord.

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