Friday, August 26, 2016

When Saying Yes Means Saying No

"Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 19:19

“Come on, it will be fun!” she said. “We can drive up together!”

The invitation was tempting. I had already stepped out of my comfort zone, committing to a retreat that was still a couple of months away, all the while knowing that during this season of the year I am prone to chronic migraines. Nevertheless, I wanted to get to know a few of the women in my support group better, and it sounded like a fun way to do it.

The problem now, however, was that my new friend wanted to take it a step further. She wanted me to drive together to the retreat, almost two hours away, in one car. To many people, that – three or four women on a road trip together – would sound like a blast. But to me, it was terrifying.

How does one explain to someone what it’s like to live with the unpredictability of chronic illness? Even more so, living with multiple chronic illnesses? While some people will say “you don’t have to explain yourself,” I felt bad. I didn’t want to appear like I was rejecting my friend, or her offer. But I had been there before.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Don't Hide Your Light

“Men do not light a lamp and put it under a basket. They put it on a table so it gives light to all in the house. – Matthew 5:15 (NLT)

As I walked towards the recreation building, off to the side of the church, I noticed the sky. It had turned dark and I knew that it wouldn’t be long before it would open up and begin pouring buckets. There had been so much flooding in the area recently, and I knew that more storms might mean I wouldn’t get home. It didn’t matter, though. I needed to be there.

I entered the building, and an older lady greeted me with a smile. “Are you here to pray, or for the other meeting?” I told her I was there to pray, and she directed me to a table of women who already had their heads bowed.

I was new to the church and didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that an hour beforehand, I had dropped my daughter off at her school bus stop, waited until she was on the bus safely, and then went home and sobbed. It was her first day of middle school, a day we had planned for all summer. Despite her nervousness, it was a day we were excited about. But it was not off to a good start.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Finding Perfection in the Imperfect

How can a mere mortal presume to stand up to God?  How can an ordinary person pretend to be guiltless? Why, even the moon has its flaws, even the stars aren’t perfect in God’s eyes – Job 25:4-5

Two years ago, when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I would never have imagined myself saying the words that came out of my mouth last weekend.

“I am already living my dream, every day!”

I was standing in front of a table at a Christian writers conference, where an author and consultant was doing a prize drawing. All I had to do in order to enter was to write down my “big dream” on the paper covering the table.

I explained that I would have to think on it. As we chatted, I mentioned that I had several chronic illnesses, including RA. The consultant immediately jumped on it.

“Well, I’m sure that’s probably your big dream – to be healed!”

Even to my own surprise, I found myself replying, “Actually, no. That isn’t.”

If you’re a spoonie (someone who suffers from a chronic illness) like me, you’re probably sitting there with a look of disbelief on your face, as you read what I just wrote.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Heart of a Father, the Heart of God (Guest Post)

Today, I am happy to introduce Terri Fullerton as my guest blogger. I met Terri at a Christian writers conference recently and her ability to see spiritual truth in everyday events is remarkable. 

Terri loves stories of redemption and things that are funny, and she encourages others toward hope and freedom. She also longs to share how big and loving God has been in her own life. When Terri is not writing or researching stories, she is often outside. She enjoys hiking, backpacking, traveling and photography. Terri is contributing writer at The Glorious Table, Life Letter Cafe, and Huffington Post Blog. 

The Heart of a Father, the Heart of God

In January of 1982 I stood frozen before the television as a breaking news report interrupted whatever show I’d been watching.  Shortly after takeoff from Washington, DC a plane bound for Florida hit the 14th Street Bridge in a winter storm and plummeted into the icy Potomac River.

There were six survivors, initially, clinging to the tail of the plane, a small island of hope in the freezing water. Emergency response teams arrived quickly, but access was limited by the river’s thick ice.