One of the hardest things to do is keep going when the one who encouraged you to do so is now gone. My husband always encouraged me to write. He also told just about everybody that I write.
Just a few weeks ago, my beloved went missing for four days in the mountains. Even though his body was found, we still lost him. And even though we lost him, I see so many who are more lost than he ever was. He had a face to face with God and just never came back down the mountain on earth. He left his body here and just went straight on to the Lord. There are so many puzzle pieces that don’t make earthly sense. And there are dreams, visions, and prophecies that aren’t making sense either.
But this I know. God is still faithful. And God is still good.
I have a lot to tell you. A lot to share with you. It’s going to come in spurts. I’m sure I’ll write for several days in a row and then say nothing for a while. That’s how I work. I’m not a steady plodder, and I’ve wasted too much time trying to pretend to be one. I’ve not written too many times just because I couldn’t fit it neat and tidy into once a week slots. I have too much to say, and one thing my beloved told me (and they even surprised me in the middle of his funeral to remind me of this!)… that I need to just unleash it. Friends, I’ve been trying to put my writing to you on a leash and measure out how much I say when. I can’t do that anymore.
At the same time, I do not like writing when things are raw. I mean I write privately always always through everything. But I mean public writing. For you. For years, I’ve carried a strong conviction that there is a private healing that needs to happen before the public sharing. However, I sense that our King of Kings is coming back soon and very soon and maybe there’s just not even time for me to heal fully first. Our days are numbered. After my husband spent the last decade of our marriage fasting and praying and fighting for my life and health, we knew this to be true. We thought this was finally going to be our season of rest. After all the trials and battles we faced. We were wrong. Because, as we learned already. Our days… They are numbered.
“To you who boast tomorrow’s gain,
tell me. What is your life?
A mist that vanishes at dawn.
All glory be to Christ.”
I want to tell you about the difference between positivity and faithfulness. I want to share testimony after testimony of God’s faithfulness. I want to tell you about the songs Holy Spirit has sung over us. I want to tell you about sunflowers and mysteries; about the perfect people God sent us at the perfect time. Your jaw will drop and you will praise God for His goodness. I want to tell you about the revelation I had with Erika about all the people praying for us. I want to tell you how I’ve never been more thankful for the military and the search and rescue volunteers. And how I’ve never been more thankful for deployment in my life.
I want to tell you how I can’t bear to speak negatively right now… how I have learned in a heartbeat that we don’t have enough heartbeats left to waste our energy on that kind of talk. The last book my husband purchased was “Speak Life” by Brady Boyd. It sat on the passenger seat of his car, waiting for him at the trailhead. Waiting for me, actually. And Speak Life we will do.
I need to tell you about the shooting stars. I need to tell you about things I understand deeply and about all the things that are unexplainable.
I say “need” to tell you and “want” to tell you. But honestly, let’s be real. It’s more of a compelling. I am an open book in person but a careful woman online. I feel less safe online. (Creeps, you know.) But at some point, I have to lay my life down for my friends. This isn’t how anyone wants to do that, but it’s in the compelling. It’s that same compelling that caused Christ to take up his cross and walk down a road he didn’t want to walk.
I remember in the midst of this storm, one of the only moments where I was between praising God and crying. It was a desperate cry, “Lord, this is not how I want a platform!” He asked me to count the cost of following Christ down that road long ago, especially in relation to my calling as a writer. (I wrote about that here.) We’ve already walked through so much affliction and grief and heartache. But this one. Losing the most loving, gentle, strong leader and love of my life? No. I never ever never ever did I ever think… Oh Father. Have mercy on me and my children. I have questions for you God. But I do not question your goodness. You have done great and mighty things for us. And even in heart wrenching, exhausting, head-spinning times, somehow we still have this peace and joy that seem so out of place. (Out of place in an earthly perspective.) But the Lord who gave me this promise has been keeping it. It’s a promise for those who trust in Him. And I do. I still trust Him.
“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may be overflowing with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
I pray this verse over you tonight. (Even if you’re one of the creeps… ha! Come one. Laugh a little. But if you really are… I was seriously just told that I now have the entire DOD at my back. Oh, and I have the King of Kings too!: ) Wow. I apparently needed to get that off my chest. Sorry people who are not creeps! Back to you now…)
Dear friend, here’s the bottom line. I’m praying for your trust in God. I pray that your trust in God grows in secure and fertile soil of your heart. And trust me when I say this… as you trust in Him more and more, your joy and peace grows too. There’s no way I’d even be writing any of this to you tonight if I weren’t a living testimony that this promise is true. A few years ago, you wouldn’t recognize me… the anxiety that oppressed me then versus the peace I have now. It’s astounding. And that same freedom is available to you too. I’ll help you get there. Little by little.
I’m going to bed now. But I have much more to share. And because so many often ask me this… don’t feel like you need to ask my permission to pass this on. The reason I write is to reach as many as possible with the Good News that God is faithful, good and trustworthy. And to encourage you that Jesus can redeem anything. So yes. Pass this on. And if you’re newly joining me, make sure to subscribe and follow along below.
But mostly. Entrust your hard places to the One Who is Able.