Cling to God, or run from Him?

…“Pick it up, even if you think it’s too small to make a difference right now. Open your heart and allow me to help you un-shatter your life. You are NOT alone!

I really didn’t think the latter would be an option for me, but if I’m honest I’ll admit, I contemplated it. I absolutely struggled with my faith after we lost our son, and as I desperately attempted to cope, I found myself staring at a fork in the road that would not go away. Maybe you’ve been on that road too.

We have two options here. Will we pick up our tiny mustard seed of faith and trust God with our lack thereof, or will we run in the opposite direction? I lovingly ask you this because I thought about it as I came face to face with my fork in the road.

My son was gone. I felt my faith freeze over like a Wisconsin lake in wintertime. It was just lurking there under the surface of my heart, but somehow my emotions were preventing me from chipping away at the ice to retrieve it.

My mind swarmed with raw fear. I doubted how God would be able to sustain me through this dense fog, and yet, I knew He was the only One who could help me through it.  I couldn’t prove it. I couldn’t imagine how He would do it. I just knew.

Does that even make sense? Can you relate? This is all so confusing, but ultimately this decision will change the course of our lives, not just now but when future trials come our way. We will see this familiar road many times during our lifetime.

Then it hit me…

God is there to help us pick up the pieces- if we let Him. We must have faith. God is there to feed our broken hearts with His Word-if we let Him. We must have faith. God is there to fill us with His Holy Spirit- if we would only let Him. We must have faith. He is there to love us and guide us- if only we would listen. We must have faith. 

Mark 4:30-32

“What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?  It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

Mustard seeds and weak faith. Who would’ve thunk it? Both would seem impossible to grow, but that’s the beauty of it; A tiny mustard seed will grow into a huge tree, and in the same way, God can take our tiny, weak faith, and grow it and strengthen it. Wow! I want this! I need this!

Mustard seeds can be found in the rubble left from a tornado’s path, a broken friendship, an addiction that seems to have taken us over and has no end, a diagnosis that came out of left field, a marriage that we fear cannot be restored, the death of a child, or fill in the blank.  Here’s the truth; If you have weak faith, keyword,weak;  you my friend have a mustard seed in your hand. What will you do with it?

I’ve been where you may find yourself today. I’ve been there more than once, and I know I’ll struggle with it in the future. But each time I read this scripture it’s as if God is whispering, “Pick it up, even if you think it’s too small to make a difference right now. Open your heart and let me help you un-shatter your life. You are NOT alone!  Have faith, have faith, have faith…”

Dear Friend

I pray you will shake off the excess dust of doubt, fear, anger, guilt, self-loathing, pride, selfishness or anything else that separates you from growing in your relationship with God, and remember the faith that brought you to the Lord to begin with. He hasn’t gone anywhere. He hasn’t changed.  I pray your faith will grow stronger, overflowing with God’s loving truths through His Word and Spirit which resides in all of us who trust Him as Savior.

See there? Yeah, over there… You may have forgotten you had any left, but you do!  Pick it up. Just pick it up…

God’s Promises

Matthew 17:20       Mark 4:30-32

Another Missed Birthday

“..the tears of anguish I shed today ultimately feed my soul because I know that Jesus holds each precious tear in His hand.”

(revised from a 2013 entry on October 4)

Rain washes over the trees and flowers giving them strength and nourishment to thrive in between each necessary rainfall. I believe the same is true when we allow ourselves to grieve the loss of those we love and miss. It needs to happen.

We need to give ourselves permission to feel the pain in our loss, mourn what will never be and allow the emotional floodgates to open up to express all that is bottled up inside us. It will come out one way or another. Maybe tears are replaced by anger, bitterness or wavering faith. Whatever this looks like for you, don’t ignore what your feeling.

When the gale force winds have pounded my heart, trampled my spirit and made me questions God’s goodness, I have also, simultaneously felt the gentle rains of God’s grace and overwhelming mercy as He lovingly guides me through the storm…It’s an odd duo isn’t it? We often think that God isn’t with us during those difficult times, when in fact, He is.

As odd as it may seem, the tears of anguish I shed today ultimately feed my soul because I know that Jesus holds each precious tear in His hand. So once again I cry out to God in prayer. I’m thankful for the sustaining strength and nourishment God has given to me in the past. Surely He will help me on this day too.

This is a sad day. I miss David so much. In my daily brokenness I still have to cultivate my faith. I can’t phone it in. It takes effort. What will that look like today? I will spend uninterrupted time allowing the tears to flow and will spend time in prayer, pouring out my heart to God. He’s heard it before but that’s okay. He wants me to go to Him.

If I’m smart I’ll go to God’s Word and re-visit the promises I’ve learned since losing David and claim them all over again. I may even re-read earlier journal entries to see how God has continued to sustain me since that dreadful day in June of 2010. God is still here with me. He hasn’t gone anywhere. He is with me today as I fall apart and He is with me always.

Dear friend,

I don’t know what you’re struggling with today, but I pray as you walk through it you will cling to God, knowing that this sort of cleansing must happen. Draw near to God.  Let His grace wash over you just like the rain nourishes the trees. Soak it in dear friends. Soak it in.

PROMISES: James 4:8

“Oh God”…

In the beginning my prayers were nothing more than these simple words, with the heaviest, hurting heart I’d ever felt, yet somehow it seemed that those two words were saying more than a thousand ever could.

As time passed I offered a few more short, clumsy prayers to God but nothing that would require me to dive deeper into the pit I was desperately trying to claw my way out of; Help me, Help us, I miss him God and Why God? This was all I was capable of yet God, knowing my deepest, ugliest emotions, gave me this promise. He hears me…not just my words, but my soul.

The promise came through a scripture that I had heard a thousand times at church and Bible studies, “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what to pray for, but the spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Romans 8:26)

The enormity of that scripture penetrated my heart, and it became relevant. It was exactly what was happening to me. And in the oddest way, I felt a brief moment of peace, followed by a brief moment of joy that I’d thought not possible in the midst of my pain.

My circumstances hadn’t changed. David was gone. But I began to feel an incredible connection to Jesus because based on this promise, I knew that the Holy Spirit was pleading for me when I was incapable. Suddenly I didn’t feel alone.

How do I know God placed this on my heart? It wasn’t me. I can tell you that. I was a zombie. I couldn’t think. I didn’t want to think.

Nothing seemed normal. The chirping of the birds outside our window didn’t sound right to me. I didn’t want to hear them at all. My body shook from the inside out, mostly at night.  I couldn’t focus on television. Reading was out of the question. I wanted to leave the house, yet there was nowhere I could go to escape. I could barely look at our family pictures on the bookcase. It hurt too much.

So yeah, at a time was I was paralyzed with grief; God lovingly gave me this promise. It wasn’t audible. It just came to mind.

Does that seem weird to you? It seemed weird to me, but oh how thankful I was! It was a gift, a life giving gift really. This was my first entry and God showed up? Wow! Would I experience this every time I sat in front of my computer? What if it never happened again? Then what? All I could do was wait until next time, wait and hope.

Dear friend,

May God calm your troubled heart with His real and lasting peace. Pray only what you can, knowing that He hears what you cannot say. He loves you deeply and His Promises are real. You are not alone.

PROMISES: Romans 8:26, 27   John 14:16-27


The day my world stopped

How can this be happening?!

Have you ever asked yourself this in the wake of loss? Have you actually felt as though you could feel your heart aching as you try to wrap your head around the fact that someone you deeply loved has died? I have on both counts.

It was springtime. David was finishing up his senior year in high school and I was scrambling to plan his graduation party at our home.

We had a ton of family and friends stop by. David greeted and hugged each one as they arrived. My camera captured it all. I took so many pictures. When everyone had gone he told me his mouth hurt from smiling so much. My mouth hurt too. I felt such joy for David that day. So happy for him and the bright future he had ahead of him.

I had a friend take family pictures our lawn. It was such a beautiful day and the pictures turned out great. I had no idea these would be our last family pictures with David.

On June 6, 2010, a week after his high school graduation David took his life after smoking a synthetic drug called K2. (Find more info on synthetic drugs here.)

I was the only one home at the time. I heard a pop. David must have lit one of the firecrackers he’d purchased recently. Then silence. Then my heart sank. I felt dizzy. I frantically called his name, until ultimately discovering what had happened. My son was gone in an instant and there was nothing I could do to help him. How can this be happening?

A few months after David’s death I began journaling. I had no expectations whatsoever. I just thought it would be a safe place to pour out my heart.  Maybe it would be therapeutic and would help in my healing.  What began as an outlet for my suffering became so much more; It’s become a record of God’s faithfulness.

I’m not going to promise this blog will be all wrapped up in a pretty bow. I’d venture to say if you’ve suffered loss, however recent, this may be difficult to read. It will either ignite the familiar pain you’ve felt in the past, or attest to the current pain you continue to struggle with. Either way, I pray you will find peace and comfort here as you search for healing.