Thursday, June 27, 2019


Resilient: adjective
  1. springing back; rebounding.
  2. returning to the original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched.
  3. recovering readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyant.

*This is me being a little raw, so it may not stay up for very long.*

I have come to rather dislike the word, “resilient.” I have grown a little weary of people encouraging us by saying how they have so much respect for my kids and my family and how we are so resilient and what amazing coping skills and wider horizons we’ve developed when I share the grief we experience when we have to move yet again. Yeah, they can be, and we can, but only because we’ve had to be, and in our case, most definitely by God’s amazing grace have we been able to ‘recover rapidly and spring back’ when we’re stretched. 

We aren’t fundamentally made of different stuff from other people.

I think what happens sometimes is that people see how quickly we adapt and jump right in to our new situation, and they assume that we are fine, better than fine. My kids seem so well-adjusted, so we must be used to this life. There’s so much there you don’t see, though.

When I sit crying with my weeping teenagers over the real, deep, wrenching grief of having to sever friendships with people they know they probably will never see again, it cuts deeply and rips my heart along with theirs. When people hesitate to become close with us because they know we’ll be leaving in a few years and we haven’t always been in this place, it’s lonely and it hurts. When people start pulling away emotionally even before we leave, and we unintentionally do the same, again, it’s a lonely place to be. And, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t get easier with subsequent moves because we’ve gotten ‘used to it.’ No, if anything, it gets harder, because we know how long it takes for the ‘next adventure’ to finally start to feel like ‘home.’ 

That’s not to say there hasn’t been a lot of good that has come with moving often.  There has.  It’s also not to say that I resent my lot in life or don’t accept God’s sovereignty over it all, or that I’m at all ungrateful.  I am so very grateful.  All those things you hear about - that resilience word I’m resenting at the moment, for one, my kids and I have, indeed, learned it. And it’s a good thing. My husband and I and our kids have developed a close-knit love and respect for each other that runs deep and has rich roots in our mutual faith in Christ that I cherish deeply. We have made real friendships with people in lots of places we never would have met if we’d not had to move, some who we still stay in contact with. It’s true that my kids have a much wider understanding of the world and ability to talk to and befriend people who are different from them and who think differently than I did at their age. We’ve had lasting and deep and meaningful friendships with our church families everywhere we’ve gone, and how incredibly thankful I am for this! Christ’s church has been a blessing to us, and Christ is the absolute anchor for my soul, always, no matter where we go. And that matters way more than some ‘stiff upper lip, grin-and-bear-it’ sort of resilience that anyone who moves a lot has to learn. No, what I have in Christ is a real peace that passes all understanding, a knowledge that no matter how lonely, no matter how full of grief, we are not alone, and we are called to glorify and enjoy Him in all things.  There is meaning and purpose in embracing our portion and seeking to honor Christ, even in this.  

But in those moments when I’m struggling with the grief, and even harder, with the grief my kids are experiencing, please don’t comfort me by telling me how you respect our resilience.  I’m not feeling all that resilient at the moment. I’m feeling pretty broken, in fact. I’m feeling pretty empty of words. One of the most meaningful ways a friend ministered to me the other day when I broke down in tears and told her this is the hardest move we’ve ever done was to just stop, open her arms and hug me while I cried, no words necessary. 

What I need to remember again and again and again is how Jesus, my perfect and great and loving Shepherd binds up the broken hearted. Pray for us to love our children well and, while we cannot shield them from the sadness and difficulty of yet another move and all the emotionally difficult things that come with it, we can help them to also know they can cling to the One who perfectly understands all the emotions we can barely put into words. 

Psalm 34:18 

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Praying With Faith and Wisdom

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
Proverbs 9:10

This morning I reached 2 Kings 19 in my daily Bible reading.  I think King Hezekiah’s prayer in 2 Kings 19:14-19 may be one of my favorite passages. Let me quote it here and then share my thoughts today. (Read all of chapter 19 for context)

“14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekah went up to the house of the LORD and spread it before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said: ‘O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God.  17 Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone.  Therefore they were destroyed. 19 So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone.” 

King Hezekiah and Judah were facing a dire threat.  They knew what Assyria had done to other nations, and now they were threatening Jerusalem. The Assyrians wrongly assumed the God of Israel was like the gods of the other nations and mocked Him.  They did not know that while they may destroy those gods who were not gods, but mere inventions of man, this God is the Creator, the one true and living God.  Hezekiah knew his God. He knew the promises of God and he was one of those kings we rejoice when we read, in 2 Kings 18:5 - 7, “He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the LORD.  He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses. And the LORD was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered.  He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him.”  

So, what I love about this passage which records Hezekiah’s prayer, is how he takes this terrifying and impossible seeming situation and spreads it out before the Lord.  While he is concerned with deliverance from the threat, from reading the prayer, his deep concern is for God’s glory.  He has absolute trust that God can save them and that when He does so it will show all the kingdoms of the earth that the LORD is God alone.  

I want to learn to pray like this.  When I pray, may my overriding, main concern be to see God glorified. I think too often I am too focused on wanting to be delivered from the pain or the hardship or the discomfort, too focused on my own anxieties and fears and sorrows, too focused on myself and what I want, and not nearly focused enough on wanting to see God’s purposes advanced.  May I learn to pray to the end that all the kingdoms of the earth, and all my family and friends and neighbors, may know that He is God alone.  I think that would greatly change the character of most of my concerns and prayers.  

What a gracious God, to grant us the privilege to trust Him completely, no matter how impossible the situation may seem from our limited perspective.  We can rest in His sovereignty. This is wisdom. 

Monday, June 03, 2019


Before reading this post, please read this and watch the video clip at the end.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for David Platt and how he handled this. His longing to guard the integrity of the gospel in his church ought to be the longing of all of us who belong to Christ. Platt wonderfully did not allow this to become a distraction from the main message of our unity in Christ, and chose, instead, to allow his pastor's heart to shine through and to speak the gospel truth and to demonstrate beautifully how we are to pray for our leaders - no matter who that leader is. He was humble, gentle, and respectful, and he was laser-focused on Jesus. 

I have grown discouraged with what I see as a too America-centric view of Christianity in my country, especially among my tribe - those who lean conservative. Too often we tend to blend patriotism with worship of Christ and it is not right. It just isn’t. It becomes a syncretistic different gospel, all too often. If our church service is more American than it is Christian, we are doing it wrong.  If we are known more for being “America first” than we are all about JESUS first, we are doing it wrong.  

Please don’t get me wrong. I love my country, and I am patriotic. I am not saying it is wrong to have strong political opinions and beliefs and to be civically active. If you know my family, you know the whole reason we move as often as we do demonstrates our family’s service to our country. HOWEVER, that pales into nothingness compared to my worship of my Savior. HE is supreme, and He will not share His glory with anyone or any nation. Being a proud American and wanting to make her ‘great' is not what makes one a good Christian.  Christianity is not America first.  Christianity is Christ first, Christ above all, and Christianity, the good news of the Gospel, is for the whole world. 

So, watching David Platt graciously pray for our president in such a gospel-saturated way makes my heart sing.  His longing not to have the main message be obscured is admirable, and I hope more of us will have such a longing. That is the very reason I’ve chosen not to talk much about politics on my social media. We must not obscure our message. Jesus is everything. He is supreme and sovereign over all.