Friday, January 28, 2011


Today the rain is not just is pounding! The air is cold, the sky is grey and so is the tempest within my heart. For this time of year, winter, is a mirrored reflection of our grief season. We are in the bleakest, darkest, most barren place of our grief as we remember the lasts and the firsts. We remember the last time Gracie smiled, the last time she looked at us with recognition. We remember her dedication service, her birthday and then her heaven due date. We remember the pain she was in, and the pain we were in and the pain we still are in. We remember...the brokenness.

As I was shopping today I saw brokenness all around me. I could 'see' what I think at times, I am too busy to see. I didn't want to see it, I tried to just get in and get out of the store, but I couldn't. It was like the Lord was showing me all the deep pain of those around me. As I smiled at a young man in the wheelchair I choked down the ball of grief stuck in my throat. I wondered what Gracie would have had to endure had she lived longer. As I held the door open for an elderly lady my eyes filled with tears. By the time I got to the van I was in the full-fledged 'danger zone' of weeping. I cried for the young man in a wheelchair who couldn't string two words together, I cried for the elderly lady who looked so lonely, I cried for my friends who are walking through the valley of cancer, I cried for the families who have loved and lost their beloved children, I cried for hurting youth, I cried for unsaved loved ones, I cried for Gracie, I cried for me - I cried and cried. I can only imagine how God's heart grieves for this lost and broken world.

Today my heart is overwhelmed in brokenness. Is yours? On days where all I see is hurt, and all I feel is pain, I must remember that one day Jesus will make all the hurt stop, all the pain cease, and all the bad things untrue. Oh how I long for that see my Gracie Grace healed and whole, to have my heart perfectly healed with no more patched-up holes and cracks. Until then I ask that God will continue to unveil my eyes to the brokenness all around me, to stop myself from the whirlwind of this busy life, to see past my own pain and to help others in need.

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
As I go from nothing to e
Hillsong United - Hosanna

Thursday, January 20, 2011

That is what the PROMISE is for...

A song I heard on the radio "Dancing in the Minefields" (by Andrew Peterson) while driving to Costco, had me in tears. It speaks of a couple married young and now are looking back on 15 years of marriage. He could have been singing our story as we are just a year and a bit shy of 15 years married. He sings that it was harder than they could have ever imagined, but that is what the promise is for. Isn't that true? We often start out married life wanting to be at the 'end.' We want the compatibility, the friendship, the devotion and love that we see in couples that have been married for years and years. In our naivete we do not fully understand - it didn't just happen, it was hard work.

A solid marriage is promising to 'dance in minefields' and to 'sail in the storm' together, not abandon ship at the first sight of hardship. Unfortunately, more people seem to give up on the promise that was meant to be eternal, which really is a pity for they will never experience the beauty, strength and depth that comes through hardships. We get so caught up in saying 'yes to the dress' that we don't always realize the profound commitment that marriage requires. The film Eat, Pray, Love. is in my opinion an example of selfishness when it comes to marriage. The main character marries the handsome all-around 'good guy', but she decides it just isn't the life she wanted. Even though he is committed to working it out, and loves her, she desires more and won't settle for anything less than what she thinks she deserves. WOW. Is that not our world today? In the moment, couples can get caught up in the emotion of love and get married with all the frills. Then a few years down the line things either get tough and life seems like a battle that is easier walked away from. Or life becomes boring and mundane and one (or both sides) decide there must be 'more' than this. (I must add here that I do realize that there are valid reasons for divorce - such as abuse, etc., I am not referring to this of course).

Andrew often is asked to officiate weddings, and in turn he often will provide some marriage counselling. One thing that he tries to make so clear (and this is worth the price of admission right here) is that love is so much more than just an emotion. For a marriage to thrive, not just survive, is to have the mind-set that love is more than an emotion, but rather is a commitment - a God decreed covenant. I think if we truly understand that, we would enter a marriage with much more reverence and deep understanding.

Before Gracie, Andrew and I had a wonderful relationship. Now looking back over our journey of Gracie, I can see how much deeper and sweeter our love is; yet this love would not have been so molded and strengthened by solely the joys of life, but rather it is borne from our pain. Hardships (whether we like it or not) are part of life. These trying times in life can make your love stronger if you devote yourselves to stick by one another through the good and the bad, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, IF being the operative word.

Goodness...marriage is hard, but it is also beautiful. I feel so blessed to have found my love when I was so young. I have now lived more days knowing Drew than I lived before he entered my life. He is my rock, my best friend, my one and forever love. Has life been a bowl of cherries? No. Do we always get along and never raise our voices? No. Has it been easy? No. Has it been worth it? Absolutely. So whatever stage you may be in - whether you are just choosing people to 'date', whether you are engaged, married, or even married and wondering if you made the right choice. I challenge you to change the scope of how our society views marriage and look at it through the eyes of commitment - so much commitment and devotion that you and your spouse would be found dancing in the minefields.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Portion.

I was sharing my journey of Grace with a newly found kindred spirit the other day. As we chatted, she shared with me a verse that has been on her heart. It is Lamentations 3:22. It is a beautiful verse that speaks of God's faithfulness, love and mercies. I love the end of the verse that states - "the Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

During those beautifully difficult days of caring for my sweet pea, when the unknowns were as giants and the outlook dark and grim, I learned how to ask God for my portion, taking just what I needed to get by for that moment. Looking back I can see so clearly that as I asked, God provided. Not necessarily the bigger picture I was looking for - which was of course her full healing here on earth, but rather what He knew I needed at that moment. People would often ask, "how do you do it, how do you have joy in your eyes even though your physical state screams exhaustion?" My answer was always, God provides what I need, when I need it. I take things day by day, hour by hour, and in those days of trial and storm - even minute by minute.

Today as you busily go through your day, or feel so overwhelmed and feel as though the moments of your day are being engulfed in the waves of turmoil, I encourage you to stop and wait. Even in that place of anxiety and stress when everything around you begs for attention and action to be taken. The lie is that the storm will drown us, so we flail about, exhausting ourselves by giving into the lie that we will be lost out in this sea of uncertainty. Yet the truth is that because of Christ's great love, and His finished work of the cross, we will never be consumed. So instead of wasting your efforts in so desperately trying to save yourself, I encourage you to wait and ask the Lord for your portion. Ask that He would bless you - not with the grand and sometimes selfish desires of your heart - but with what He deems best for you in this moment. We don't have to beg Him, for He freely gives. We don't have to stomp our feet in demand for more if we truly trust that His mercies are new every morning. He is our Jehovah Jirah - our provider. Trust in His faithfulness, trust in His love, trust in His mercies. Surrender your desires unto Him and as you do I pray that He will bring such beauty and insight to your heart and soul - filling you, meeting you, until He truly is all you need...until He is your portion.

Lam. 3:22 - Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”