Different Worldviews: One Choice

Julia Roberts narrated a video for Nature is Speaking (from Conservation International) imagining what the earth, nature, mother nature would say if it could speak. The video is stunning, showcasing the beautiful landscapes that is the earth. The point, it seems, is to get humans to change actions to protect the planet, but does it accomplish its mission? Strip away the superimposed video and the voice, and what is left are the words:

“Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature

I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years

Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you

I don’t really need people but people need me

Yes, your future depends on me

When I thrive, you thrive

When I falter, you falter or worse (?)

But I’ve been here for aeons

I have fed species greater than you, and

I have starved species greater than you

My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests,

They all can take you or leave you

How you chose to live each day whether you regard or

disregard me doesn’t really matter to me

One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine

I am nature

I will go on

I am prepared to evolve

Are you?”

Nature is Speaking


Conservation International website states:

Our Mission

Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, Conservation International empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity.

Our Vision

We imagine a healthy, prosperous world in which societies are forever committed to caring for and valuing nature, for the long-term benefit of people and all life on Earth.

WE NEED NATURE

Nature is life: Every breath you take, every drop you drink, every bite you eat — it all comes from nature. Here’s how Conservation International works to protect it. Conservation International


Again, on the surface it would seem the video, mission and vision of the organization is good, because there is an element of truth to it in that humans do need water and food which comes from the earth. However, the elevation of nature to a god-like status is in the words, “Every breath you take, every drop you drink, every bite you eat – it all comes from nature.”

Stay with me… read it again with a different perspective:

“Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature

I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years

  • How exactly is it known by man how long the earth has been here? Growing up I was taught different numbers, and it seems the “age” of the earth is in a constant state of fluidity. Aside from that, the premise is that nature is god and created itself, and you are a mere afterthought, if a thought at all.

Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you

  • Again, you are inconsequential because nature existed way before you.

I don’t really need people but people need me

Yes, your future depends on me

  • Our future depends on some random coming together of nature; we are subservient to nature.  If nature doesn’t need us, then what does it matter, our actions?

When I thrive, you thrive

When I falter, you falter or worse (?)

  • While I think I understand what they are attempting to say, what they are actually saying is again, humans are subservient to nature. Of course when there are storms, tsunamis, droughts, et al, humans are affected, but does that make humans subservient to nature?

But I’ve been here for aeons

I have fed species greater than you, and

I have starved species greater than you

My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests,

They all can take you or leave you

  • You don’t matter. Your life, your existence is completely dependent on nature. This poses a problem for individuals who believe humans can destroy the earth (“nature”) through their actions or inactions. How is this? According to this script, nature has been here for aeons (indefinite period of time, or unit to describe billion), and it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s not going anywhere. Nature can take you or leave you, and well… you are inconsequential, as are your actions.

How you chose to live each day whether you regard or

disregard me doesn’t really matter to me

  • Again, how you live each day doesn’t matter to nature. What you do is irrelevant, which contradicts the notion that we have to “worship” the earth, or take any conservation measures because to nature, it doesn’t matter.

One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine

  • Again it is stated that your actions – the actions of humans – will have no impact on earth’s (nature’s) future; what then is the point? Whether we do good or do bad, it makes no difference – good or bad – because “your actions” won’t determine what happens to the earth (nature); your actions only determine what happens to you.

I am nature

  •  Notice the “I am?” Seems those words have been used before… Christ said, “I am.” Contrast the two. Nature is saying “I am,” and based on the previous verses, it cares not for you (humans), does not need you, does not consider you. Compare that to when Christ speaks to being “I am.” There are several, but John 8:12 states, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Simply written: you do matter, your life does have meaning.

I will go on

I am prepared to evolve

Are you?”

  • These three lines are incredibly insightful, because it contradicts two prevalent theories: (1) humans evolved; (2) we have to take action now or we (humans) will destroy the planet (earth or nature).
    1. The theory of human existence is found somewhere along the aeons of time, because humans evolved to the state we now find ourselves, but the closing words indicate this is not the case. Nature is declaring it can evolve, but can you? Can you evolve? Based on the evolution theory, of course we can because that is how we got here in the first place, so why would we not be able to evolve in the future? And if we can’t, but nature can, when did we (humans) stop having the ability to evolve… while nature retains that ability?
    2. I’ve read that we have 12 years, 25 years, 50 years to save the planet (nature). The number of years varies depending on the speaker, but the dire warnings are if we (humans) do not take drastic actions now, we will forever destroy nature. But this contradicts not only the last few sentences, but the script in its entirety. Why? How? Because leading up to the conclusion, we are told it doesn’t matter what we do, nature will go on. It is declared nature doesn’t need us, but we need it; that nature has fed and starved species greater than us. Somehow then, we are to believe that nature has been in existence for four and half billions of years, yet somehow we humans are going to destroy it within 12-50 years? Then we are told nature can evolve, so it doesn’t really matter what humans then do, nature will prevail (go on).

I’m left wondering why it matters what I do if nature cares not, and will continue regardless of my actions, and then what does that mean for me? Of what value am I in this world view?


Still with me... read it one more time but from a different world view, one that doesn’t elevate nature to a position of a god, but through the lens of God.

“Some call me Nature, others call me mother nature 

  • “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called;
    I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.” – Isaiah 48:12

I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years

  • “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” – Colossians 1:16

Twenty-two thousand five hundred times longer than you

  • “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

I don’t really need people but people need me

  • “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.” – Nehemiah 9:6

Yes, your future depends on me

When I thrive, you thrive

When I falter, you falter or worse (?)

But I’ve been here for aeons

  • “And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;” Hebrews 1:10

I have fed species greater than you, and

I have starved species greater than you

  • “The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.” – Isaiah 43:20

My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests,

  • “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” – Job 12: 7-10

They all can take you or leave you

  • “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” – Genesis 1:26

How you chose to live each day whether you regard or

disregard me doesn’t really matter to me

  • “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 
  • “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things  present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

One way or the other your actions will determine your fate not mine

  • “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” – Hebrews 11:3

I am nature

  • “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.” – Psalm 33:6

I will go on

  • “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20

I am prepared to evolve

  • “That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun. That there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other…” – Isaiah 45:6

Are you?”

  • “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

What we have here is a clash of worldviews. One that states humans evolved (but not still evolving); that we are subservient to the earth; that we have no purpose; that we have no future outside of placing earth in an elevated state; and our actions are irrelevant, therefore, we are irrelevant. The other worldview declares we were created in image of God, and He seeks a relationship with us. His love for us was so great that His son, Christ, came down amongst His creation in the form of the created – man – to offer Himself as the ultimate sacrifice, and in so doing, created a bridge to our Heavenly Father.

We do have a choice, and unlike what the video declares, our actions do matter. Our lives matter. Our souls matter. Yes, we are to care for God’s creation because He has given it to us to feed us, to clothe us, to shelter us, but we are not to worship nature because it does not exist outside God. Quite the opposite as nature itself declares God’s existence, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

Let us not create a false god in nature, but instead, worship the very one who created nature, all of it, for our purpose. Let us accept Christ’s love and salvation – by faith, through grace we are saved. Let us love one another while caring for the creation given to us by our God.

It is a choice…  of two worldviews.

Let Me Be Your Shelter…

Each will be like a refuge from the wind And a shelter from the storm, Like streams of water in a dry country, Like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land. Isaiah 32:3

“Like a bull chasing the matador is the man left to his own scheme, Everybody needs someone beside ’em. Shinin’ like a lighthouse from the sea.” Song: “Brother” by NEEDTOBREATH (Link below)

Coming out of the store a few days ago, I ran into a man I know. He asked me how I am. I made the mistake of actually telling him how I am.

“Where’s the Yvonne I know?”

“She was buried with her daughter. You asked me how I am. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know.”

It’s common – or used to be standard fare – for me to answer the “How are you” question with “I’m okay.” But you want to know the raw truth? I’m not okay. I don’t know if I’ll ever be okay. Normal was obliterated on December 24, 2019 at approximately 2p.m. when I discovered my daughter. What I remember is kneeling beside her, praying to hear her heartbeat, holding her hand, kissing her cheek. I didn’t want to leave her. I was there in the beginning, and I didn’t want to leave her at the end. Everything ceased at that moment. I couldn’t tell you how many people came in the shed; I couldn’t tell you what was said. No birds chirping, no wind through the trees, not a sound pierced the tunnel I was in; I don’t know how much time ticked by as I knelt beside her. At that moment, it was just her and me.

Since then many thoughts have barreled through my mind… questions… Did I do enough; did I love enough; did I search enough; did she know how loved she is; did I give enough… so many questions with no answers. For those who know me, my most oft questions begin with “Why.” If I’m told something can’t be done, I respond, “Why?” If someone is angry, “Why?” stumbles out. Why has that been my go to? For me, I always believed if I knew the why, I would know the root cause and therefore, could find a solution, an answer. I ask “why” no more.

Then there came reflection… each person, no matter who they are, wants to feel love, be loved. When we fail to understand that, we lose ourselves to a world filled with ugliness and evil. We find ourselves struggling with life’s storm, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis… We search for a shelter, a lighthouse to guide us back to safety. We search for someone… anyone who knows… yet we so often fail to reach out because we feel no one knows, no one cares, everyone is too busy… Are you that person? Know someone like that? Do you assume that friend, that son or daughter or spouse, that coworker is strong enough because you’ve always seen them as such? That cashier, that person who cut you off while driving; that rival; that person who let their dog poop in your yard; that person sitting in church five rows from you; that person sitting in the theater three seats from you munching loudly on popcorn: that teenager clothed all in black: do you assume they’re not worthy because of the outward actions or appearances? Could they just be jerks and self-absorbed? Absolutely, but that probability doesn’t negate the deeper question: do you ever dive under the surface to learn more? Do you ever consider coming along beside the person to walk the journey of life?

My favorite scene from a movie – my absolute favorite – comes from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” The scene finds Sam crawling to his friend Frodo. The pair had been through fire, battles, floods, near-death experiences; the friends were hungry, bone-weary tired. They were so close to where they needed to be, yet it seemed farther away than it ever had. In this scene, after Sam crawls to his friend, Frodo; he takes him in his arms. He begins speaking to him, “Do you remember the shire Mr. Frodo?” Sam then describes how it will be spring soon; he reminds his friend of all the beauty spring produces in the shire. “Do you remember the taste of strawberries,” he asks. “Yes, Sam.” He continues and tells Sam that there is no veil between him and the ring of fire. Frodo is exhausted to the point where he doesn’t think he can make it, or that he can accomplish the task thrust upon him. Frodo is terrified. “Then let us be rid of it, once and for all,” begins Sam with firm resolve. And there it is, the best line ever to be written or spoken: “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you! Come on!” Sam then picks up Frodo, puts him over his shoulder and carries his friend, Frodo, the rest of the way up that desolate mountain to accomplish the task at hand. One step at a time, he carries his friend.

That scene is my favorite because it is so raw and filled with love… Sam knew he couldn’t do what had been assigned to Frodo, but he knew he could be his shelter at that moment and carry him.

We all need a shelter, a friend, a light to shine so we can find our way in the darkness. First and foremost, that always includes Christ, but in Him we are given a task to help each other, to love each other, to come along beside each other and say, “I can’t carry this for you, but I can carry you.”

The most treasured words my Shelby ever said to me were, “Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for always loving me.” I knew I couldn’t carry her pain, her suffering, but I could come along beside her, take her hand, and when necessary, carry her. Now she is held by the only one who loves her more: her Savior, Christ Jesus.

But have I done the same for others? Have I rejected a person before diving deeper; have I dismissed someone God put in my path; have I done enough to be a shelter for someone else? Please don’t comment on the questions I’ve asked myself, because the questions are for me to answer. Instead, ask yourself the questions.

One of the many thoughts that have blown through my mind as a hurricane wind blowing through an old oak is what now do I do? My precious Shelby always felt so alone, so isolated, as if no one understood, no one knew. Maybe if I had been more open during our journey to family, friends, anyone, she might not have felt this way. I don’t know, because as much as I want to, I can’t go back. I can’t change what was; I can only move forward and pray that I have the strength to be a shelter to all who God puts in my path, and when the opportunity arises, I pray I have the strength to say, “I can’t carry your burden, but I can carry you.”

Who has God put in your path? Who do you know who needs shelter? Who do you know who needs to be carried?

All of us need shelter from time to time. If you can’t find that shelter, message me, I will be that shelter with God’s strength.

https://sofmissions.org/

https://laurenskids.org/

 

 

 

His name shall be…

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13-14.

Twenty years ago… on this day 20 years ago, I was introduced to the most amazing human being. When you meet a person for the first time, you may not like the person and you can choose to walk away from the person. However, when God declares, “This is your child,” the choice is far different. Let’s be honest, sometimes you don’t like your children. You may love them, but you don’t like them. Or maybe, they aren’t the child you wished for but there they are nonetheless. On March 9, 2000, God introduced me to my second child.

Thursday afternoon, after a hard labor, I met my son: 11 pounds, 4 ounces. Being from a family of all girls – five sisters, two nieces and my own girl, this boy was a first. His sister, Shelby, emphatically told me nine months earlier upon learning she would have a sibling, “God is going to give me a brother.” This sweet daughter of mine believed God would give her a brother. I told her the baby would be a girl because well, that’s just the way it was in our family. “No, God is going to give me a brother.” Such faith… so I bet her a dollar the baby would be a girl. When I called her from the hospital, my first words to her were, “I owe you a dollar.” Immediately she knew what that meant and squealed with the delight of having known all along. Such faith…

From that moment, my life was immeasurably blessed with this incredible human being. Moments of sheer joy he would bring me; the way he would make me wonder in amazement; the way he would light up my face with a laugh; the way he would make me wonder at his imagination that was always on full display; the way he would try me sometimes with his stubbornness… he was and continues to be a source of joy and pride. But most of all, I am amazed at the purity that is his heart.

The love he has for his Shelby, never saying a bad word against her, always loving her unconditionally.

The way his incredibly awesome dyslexic mind works… one day driving to an appointment – one of many – when he was a teenager, after the Parkland shooting, he said to me in the car, “This story came across my newsfeed.” First, I was just totally impressed with the fact he had a news feed, and then actually read the article. He told me the story of teenagers who were protesting guns, describing a poster one girl held that read, “Kids shouldn’t be afraid to go to school.”  With a tinge of sadness in his voice, he said, “They shouldn’t be afraid to go to school but they are and not because of guns, but because of bullies.” I was blown away. “This kid gets it,” I thought.

Sitting in his car seat in the back seat, saying, “Play country.” The cue to put on some George Strait. Watching him move his head and hands to the beat to “Blue Clear Sky” always brought me a smile.

When he stood up in the restaurant and started dancing when “Jump” by Van Halen came over the speaker… not caring who saw him, he just had to dance.

The way he would get back up whenever he fell, finding a way to get to where he wanted to be.

The way he took my hand to walk down the aisle with him to accept Christ as his Savior.

The way he would pray for Shelby and peace.

The way he would let me hold his hand, even now, he doesn’t pull his hand away.

The way he can remember stats while I’m still trying to learn positions.

The way he looks up at the night sky with wonder and amazement, even now.

The way he sends me photos of a North Carolina sunset, reminding me of God’s beauty.

The way he honors his future wife by desiring to wait for her while the world tells him differently.

The way he and Shelby would play, talk, watch movies together, creating a bond stronger than steel.

The way he seeks to do the right thing, and when he blows it, tries to make amends.

That smile that graces his face… that smile that brings such happiness in seeing it.

While life downright sucks sometimes, this human being who God blessed to give to me as my son, has brought more joy, more laughter, more silly moments, more pride than I deserve. So on this day, I am forever grateful for Shelby’s faith, for God’s goodness, and for the son he gave to me. His name is Garren Daniel Harper. Garren for his Papa who had only girls; Daniel to stand before the fire; Harper for his Dad. This young man is indeed fearfully and wonderfully made, and such a blessing as declared in God’s word.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

Happy Birthday, my son. I love you bigger than the sky.

 

Grace…

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Grace… five letters combined to form a word that is so small yet so profound and filled with meaning and love. It seems that in today’s world, we have so little grace toward each other. It seems that way even within the Christian community as well.

I always thought I understood grace. Grace: the ability to show love and kindness to someone wholly undeserving, as Christ exemplified grace when He willingly sacrificed himself for the whole of humanity, even though we are the most undeserving lot. And this is grace on the biggest scale of all, but what does grace look like in the smallest of acts. Again, I thought I understood grace, but it wasn’t until December 24, 2019 that grace smacked me upside the head, knocked me out and helped me back up again, even if at this point I’m only on my knees and not fully standing yet.

God’s grace was there in so many ways… His grace allowed me and my husband to find our daughter. I know it seems all wrong on the surface because wouldn’t God’s grace have kept her hand from pulling the trigger? The short answer is yes, but even if He doesn’t… this is a conversation for another day. That day, we found our daughter, not a stranger… the two people who love her more than any other humans, except maybe her brother. She could have left; she could have been in another state, she could have been anywhere else other than home. God’s grace allowed us to be there in the beginning when she entered this world, and to be there in the end, when she left this world. There’s more grace there than I deserve.

God’s grace was there when a sergeant with the sheriff’s office heard the call go out and even though it wasn’t his call, he came. Not because he could do anything for her, but because he knew us. He knew me, my husband, and our daughter. It’s hard to explain, but when I saw him, there was comfort there because he cared enough to come comfort us even though he knew he couldn’t help her, his presence helped me.

God’s grace was the law enforcement personnel and the… I can’t remember the title, but the woman who came to sit with us, to explain the process to us… her and the law enforcement personnel who came to work the scene. Their compassion, the way they spoke to me and my husband. They weren’t judgemental. They didn’t grill us about what we could’ve, should’ve done. There were questions that had to be asked of course, but in the asking, the grace was there in the way they dealt with us.

God’s grace showed up later that night when my oldest sister rang the doorbell and just hugged us. When she learned of her niece’s death, she got in her car and drove six hours just to hug us, cry with us, pray with us. Although we welcomed her to stay, she didn’t.

God’s grace showed up when two men from our church came that night. One is the music director with whom our daughter loved, and whose family embraced Shelby and took her in as one of their own. He was the one who married Shelby and her husband almost two years earlier. The other young man did not know Shelby, but he knew her brother. Their tears flowed with ours, and their prayers saw us through the night.

God’s grace was exemplified when I had called my closest friend earlier that afternoon and asked if she could go to our son who had remained at school for the holiday break. I didn’t want him to be alone when I told him of his sister’s death. Without a moment’s hesitation, she drove the six hours north. Telling my son of Shelby’s death… I knew his life would never be the same. I dreaded that moment… we had been through so much as a family and he loves his sister with a love that can only be described as unconditional. The sound that emanated from his soul when the words hit his ears… As his mom, it utterly broke what was left of my heart to know that there wasn’t anything I could do to take away his pain, but my friend was there. She was there to comfort, to hold, to take him to her home so we could get him the next day. God’s grace showed up in her love for my son and our family.

God’s grace showed up when my family surrounded me with their love, their hugs, their tears… at different times, my sisters came, my mom came, my dad and second mom came… our son’s cousins came. Each in their own way helped carry the emptiness and the excruciating pain that filled our hearts.

God’s grace was there in the form of another dear friend who drove an hour to come take me to church the Sunday after Shelby died. Sitting next to me, she held my hand… she too loved our Shelby.

God’s grace showed up in the details of planning Shelby’s funeral, from a dear family friend who helped with the writing of the obituary to the admiral who approved the burial to the fly over at her funeral. The funeral home staff… the grace they showed in their handling of every detail.

God’s grace was on full display in each person who attended her funeral, from those who knew Shelby to those who did not, but wanted our family to know they cared, they were praying… it seems a small thing to attend a funeral, but for me, it meant everything that without being asked to attend, they came.

In the days that followed, God’s grace was there in the cards, phone calls, messages, flowers we received. God’s grace was there when I was told of a person – who not too long ago had been so unkind for reasons unknown – reached out to let me know he too understood because he had buried his son. God’s grace allowed me to see past the surface and to see this man’s heart, and in so doing, I have come to appreciate this person for his willingness to share his story and the memory of his son with me.

The shed that held Shelby’s final moments – one we had been planning to take down but hadn’t done yet… God’s grace was there when I asked a friend for his help… without hesitation, he reached out to another who allowed him to borrow the equipment to help with its removal. He spent three days helping us remove the shed. The first day, three other friends were there to help as well. The second day, when he came, I was sitting in the partial shed, looking at the piece of wood that still bore the blood stains of Shelby. I asked him if he could help me remove that section before proceeding any further. I can’t explain it, but I didn’t want anything to fall on that section. I didn’t know what I was going to do with that section yet, but I knew at that moment I had to get it out. He smiled and said, “okay.” He didn’t judge; he didn’t tell me not to. With grace, he said okay.

God’s grace was there when the young man who helps with our yard – if you could call it that at this point – offered the use of his trailer to haul away the shed. He not only allowed us the use of the trailer, but took the debris away – three loads. This young man also helped with our dogs when we had to go to California later to go through Shelby’s belonging and bring back her car.

God’s grace was there when another friend also helped us with our dogs. More than that, she listened, prayed, cried with… she went with me to get Shelby’s belongings that had been collected the night of her death.

Through the compassion of another sargeant who helped me through the process of collecting Shelby’s belongings and retrieving the incident report, God’s grace was there.

Through another friend, God’s grace opened doors to help I need to move forward. This man has allowed God to work through him to create an organization to help veterans (sofmissions.org)

God’s grace is abundantly evident in my husband… this man who I am wholly undeserving of has held me, prayed with me, wiped my tears and snot, has read the Bible with me, has taken my hand, has set aside his own grieve to give to me… God’s grace comes through everyday through my husband.

There were a million other ways God’s grace has appeared since December 24, 2019.  So while it may seem  that God turned His back on us that day, He did not… He turned His face upon us and provided grace and a peace that surpasses all understanding, but of all the acts of grace we were the recipients of, the most precious one of all is the grace Christ gave at the cross, because that grace – through His love and mercy – means I will see my Shelby again, and she is finally at peace in His arms and then enemy can no longer touch her.

Rise Up…

For those who prefer non-political posts, this one will serve as the intermission between Freedom: A Messy Thing Pt 1 and Pt 2.

“When you see the road ahead
That you’ve been down before
When you’re halfway to nowhere
And you can’t pay the toll

You’re hanging onto mercy
Withered on the vine
With your feet on the ground, your head in the clouds
And your heart on the line

Open up your eyes…

You’ve got to rise up, rise up
When this life has got you down
You’ve got to look up, look up
When you search and nothing’s found
My eyes have seen the glory of the love that’s here and now
It’s coming down
So rise up now.”

Matt Maher,  Rise Up

There was a time, not so long ago, that our family experienced a trial that was bathed in fire, seemingly without end.

There were more nights than I could count that saw me in my closet, with the door closed, on my knees, head down, tears streaming and all that I could muster was a feeble cry out to my Lord.

In a room not far from mine was my daughter, struggling with the weight of the evil that had visited her so many nights before. My child, whom I would freely give up my life for, was fighting for her life. Her nights were not filled with peaceful sleep, but nightmares I could not erase. The feeling of complete and utter helplessness engulfed everyday of our lives.

In those moments, on my knees, my God, my Savior held her and this family together. He never promised a life free from pain, but He promised to never leave us, and never leave us He did. When I was at the bottom and had nothing left to give, His strength was there and through His grace and love, I was able to face each day.

I was able to hold my daughter in those moments she had flashbacks and only she could see the images. I was able to wipe away the tears and love her, hug her. Because our Savior lives, we were able to come through the fire with a faith tested and stronger than before.

So for those who are struggling at this moment, know the One who created you, knows yours pain and will walk this life with you, and in those moments when you can’t take another step, He will carry you through.

And if you need someone to listen, to pray with, message me…

“Surely God is my salvation;
    I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

So rise up, rise up.