Monday, November 18, 2013


Remember when things were different.   
When life was filled with confusion.  Darkness.  Questions.  
And death seemed all too real.

A week ago I was remembering this.  Remembering when the darkest time of my life all started.
November 11, 2012 my journey into the darkest and most confusing time of my life began.
After struggling for breath and the strength to stand, a dear friend of mine took me from church to the hospital emergency room.   I remember I had a poppy on my jacket and seeing services commemorating the bravery of the many soldiers who fought for our freedom on the waiting room television but the rest is a fog.  A fog of tests and questions.  A fog of unknowns and discomfort.   A fog of pain and confusion.
What was happening to me?  

But that question couldn't be answered that day.  Nor can it really be answered to this day.
But one thing I do know is that the fog of that day and the dark mist of the months to follow cleared.  The light shone in.  He shone in.

He changed my life.  He brought hope, love, and comfort in the most hopeless, dark, and desperate time in my life.
He came.  He saved me.  He freed me.

It was Him.
It was always Him.

Regardless if answers are there or not.  Regardless if clarity is there or not.  Regardless of it all. 
It is Him.

Regardless of what life may hold today.  Regardless of how dark or hopeless it may be.
It is Him.
He is the answer.
He is the hope.
He is all in all.

He frees us.  He holds us.  He bravely and scandalously came and freed us from the darkest depths of all.
He came.  He is here.  And He is holding us.
In the dark.  In the confusion.  In it all.

And sometimes He is hard to see.  But I think it may be because we don't want to see. 
We don't want to see the good that is promised.  To think that good is possible.  To think that there is a plan.
Because at points I honestly did not.  I did not understand it at all.

But He did have something greater in store.  And honestly my life would look drastically different today if it weren't for this suffering.  My faith would lack depth.  I would still be so desperately trying to control life and change things on my own.  I would continue to hide my suffering... my story.
But He changed this.  He changed me.
And I will always remember that.
I will always remember what He has done in my life this past year.
And I will celebrate Him and how He never left.
And how He will never leave.

One of my first blog posts was about this day.  And I am amazed looking back and reading of the work He was doing in me then.  Amidst my suffering.  So I want to leave you with my ending words from that post about Remembrance Day and the new hope and meaning I gained from it last year.  In hopes that these words may encourage you wherever you are on your journey this day - for even amidst the intense dark, it is Him and He is there.
So on a day when we normally celebrate our country's freedom, I was feeling more and more confined, confused, and helpless.  I do not like that Remembrance Day will now always remind me of my own struggles when I know that the people who fought for freedom went through much worse than this disease.  I pray instead that when I wear a poppy again, I would not think of my struggles or even their struggles alone, rather I pray that I would think of His blood shed for me, for them, for us all.  I pray that the poppy would symbolize freedom in Christ above all other freedoms.  I pray that the poppy would cause me to remember the pain but also the peace that Christ gave me that day but that I would not stop there.  That I would remember the fight that Christ has won through conquering the grave, instead of remembering my feelings of the grave or the graves of soldiers alone.  But more than that, the cry of my heart is that we would be able to wear our struggles, pain, and grave-like times on our shirts as we wear the poppy.
(Read more from this post here)

Much love and blessings.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Forever Held

It has been months now since I have been stuck sick in bed.  And these past few months have been absolutely incredible.  Full of learning, experiencing things I love, doing amazing activities with people closest to me, and choosing to rest and sit in His love.
I am running again, painting again, cooking again, traveling again and dreaming again.
And God is good.  So good through it all.

Even today as I sit sick.  
Sick for the first time since being truly sick.  And yes it is just the flu and I know I have no need to worry of relapse because the flu is normal, but it still makes me think things.  Less things of worry of becoming as I was, sick as a was, but more things of how I was.
The fear and reality of what being hopeless felt like.
How I did not know if 'better' would ever be my reality.
If I would ever go to Guatemala again, let alone get out of bed.
If my life would be filled with love and joy again.

I am officially weaning off of my antidepressants now - Praise the Lord! - and although I don't feel hopeless or depressed now, it reminds me of where I was.  The reality that was my life.  And yes He never left me and never let me go but it was still a dark valley... the darkest valley.
During that time I drew a picture of an old key and captioned it 'Locked Inside'.
That was a scary time for me.  Realizing that was what was happening. 
And although I wish I were never on antidepressants (and not because of the stigma but because I believe there a lot of other ways to heal from that low now), I recognize that coupled with intense prayers and the constant holding of my Saviour, that I was able to come through that. 
Into light.  Into hope. 
Into life and life to the full - even while I was still in bed. 

So although this time of feeling like I am run over by a truck is real and happening now, I don't need to worry.  
I don't need to fret because I know He holds me.  
He holds my future. 
And He will never let go. 
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