When I’m Afraid

So. Much. Fear.

Fear that feels like a heart pounding too fast, stomach dropping to the ground, insides turning to jelly, or a sharp pain.

Fear that looks like a furrowed brow, shaking hands, trembling knees, or dead eyes.  

I see so much fear all around me. It’s crackling in the air everywhere I go. Judging by the looks around me, you see and feel fear as well.

We feel the sensation of fear when we:

  • watch prices rise and question what changes we should make.
  • hear of bombs and war in other countries and wonder how long before the conflict reaches our soil or touches us more personally.
  • see men and women beside us in line with worry visible in their eyes and etched on their face.
  • hold children who don’t know to be afraid.
  • watch mothers and fathers, grandparents and grandchildren hugging each other a little extra tightly.
  • don’t know what the future holds, but our gut tells us that future does not look like we expected or hoped.

I can’t control the changes that scare me or events around the world. But I know and talk to the One who does.

The Old Testament tells us of a whole nation of people who were afraid and the one man who remembered God was in control. I Samuel 17 tells of the Philistines and Israelites, camped on mountains on either side of a valley. A giant of a man named Goliath, described as a champion with vast armor and a mighty spear, heckled the Israelites, asking for a man of Israel to fight him to settle the outcome of the battle. Verse 11 reads “When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” (ESV)

Along came David, the youngest of eight sons. While his older brothers were at the battle site, David went back and forth to feed his father’s sheep. When his father sent David with food to check on his brothers, David heard the shouts of Goliath the Philistine. David watched the people allow Goliath to taunt them and their God while they ran in fear. He asked who the man was who would defy the armies of the living God and what would be done for the man who killed him.

When David asked these questions, he was mocked by his brother, who angrily accused him of neglecting his duties. David’s brother thought the worst of him, telling David his motives and heart were evil. David turned from his brother and continued to show his earnest faith, still questioning and expressing disbelief that a man would think he could stand a chance against the people helped by God.

When word made it to Saul, the king of Israel, Saul sent for David. David volunteered to go fight the Philistine. When told he was too young to fight, David trusted God. He told Saul the Lord had saved him before and would continue to deliver him. David was offered the armor of Saul but rejected it and fought in only the armor of God.

When David approached Goliath, the giant “disdained him”, taunted him, and cursed him. David was not deterred. He responded: “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (I Samuel 17:45). “For the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hand.” (I Sam 17:47b).

Most of us know how the story ends. David ran toward Goliath and dropped the giant with a single stone to the forehead, then killed him with his sword, all the while giving God the glory. Was he afraid? I’m guessing yes. How could he not be? But he knew who was in control. The battle was not his, but the Lord’s.

So, when I’m afraid, what can I do? How can I defeat the giants of fear, anxiety, temptation, and difficulty in my life? I don’t have a literal battle, but there are spiritual and practical tasks that can help me overcome.

 I can whisper to myself the words stored in my heart. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” (Psalms 56:3)

I can go outside, run, walk, or play, and notice creation proceeding, remembering God’s care for His creation includes me. (Matthew 6:25-34)

I can kindly and lovingly overlook words or actions that discourage my faith or malign my motives, continuing to search for those who encourage me to make God bigger than any circumstance. (I Thessalonians 5:11)

I can put on the armor of God, while remembering who the real enemy is. (Ephesians 6:10- 18)

I can focus on helping those in need. No matter my troubles or fear, there is always someone who needs something I can provide, even if that is just encouragement, teaching or reminder of a better way, a kind word, or a simple gesture. (Galatians 6:1-2)

I can pray and give thanks. I have access to communicate with the Creator of the universe and King of Kings, the God who sees and knows all. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

I can trust God and His will, even when I don’t understand. (Isaiah 26:3-4)

Then I can rest, knowing the Lord who controls all nations and holds the universe in His mighty hands is winning the war and in control. So I don’t have to be.


The Light of Love

A whole day devoted to expressions of love.

Valentine’s Day can be filled with excitement, expectation, and joy. But for many, the day is a reminder of unfulfilled longings and unmet expectations. Love is so much bigger than the limitations we put on it.

God has always loved all mankind, particularly cherishing the people in a covenant relationship with Him. Isaiah, who warned the Israelites to turn back to God and of the impending disastrous consequences for them if they did not, recorded God’s words of love for them: “‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isa 54:10 ESV).

In the New Testament, we are assured of God’s love, His desire to have a relationship with us, and His plan to save us through the gift of sending His Son (John 3:16-17; Eph 2:4-7; I John 3:1a; Rom 5:8; John 15:1).

Regardless of whether you feel loved in your earthly relationships, rest assured you are fully known and deeply loved by your Creator.

In turn, God should be the greatest love of our life. Despite what we say, when we get quiet and honest, is our strongest bond to those we love on this Earth? Loving our family and friends is important but can never replace keeping Him as our first love, the One whose wisdom we follow and on whom we rely for comfort and peace.

After loving Him, God places priority on loving others. Mark 12:28-31 says, “And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, ‘Which commandment is the most important of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. ’

Jesus also stated, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).

Jesus loved boldly. He didn’t worry what others thought. He ate with those considered outcasts and sinners, healed the lame, blind, sick, and lepers, invited the unwelcome to spend time with Him, counted the undesirable as His closest friends, and taught the uneducated and unimportant in society’s eyes. When the religious and political leaders of the day questioned His choices of companions, Jesus consistently chided those who looked down on and believed themselves better than the “sinners”, favoring those who were humble, repentant, and seeking Him, despite their reputation and past choices. In his final hours, he washed the feet of not only his friends, but the one He knew had already betrayed Him. Ultimately, He gave His life for all of the above, including you and me.

Loving like Christ is not loving those we think are worthy. It’s loving the unlovable and unworthy. Because we ALL are.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, whether you are in the situation you hoped to be or not, remember you are loved.

Hug tightly the ones for whom you feel affection.

Thank and honor your first love, the One who created and redeemed you.

Then look around and see who you can love boldly.

Tell the world you belong to Christ through your love. Give God the sacrifice He desires most of all, loving Him and others more than yourself. Shine the light of Jesus so others may come to know Him, remain steadfast in the uphill battles of life, and return to Him when they fall.

Let’s light the path to Heaven to help everyone find it through our love.


In my work as a speech pathologist, I sometimes work with patients on “if/then” statements. If “this” happens, what will happen next? As in, if I water my flowers, then they will bloom and thrive. If I charge my phone, it will be ready to use when I need it. Or conversely, if I don’t fill my tank with gas, then my car won’t run.

I don’t know about you, but I want life to look like an “if/then” statement. If I do these good things, then my life will look perfect. If I teach my children well, then they will always be respectful, happy, and obey, both me and God. If I choose the “right” spouse, then we will live happily ever after without difficulty. If I eat well and exercise, then I will be healthy and live a long, happy life. And if I’m honest, I can fall into the trap of believing if I love God and serve him, life in general will proceed smoothly. What I don’t expect is if I try my best to live as I believe God desires, life will be a struggle, whether that struggle is as seemingly simple as keeping life together enough to feed and clean up after the people under my roof after the baby cried all night or as devastating as the loss of ones I love or shattering of the life I expected, in whatever form that comes.

Many I know are experiencing life that doesn’t look like an if/then statement. Spouses, friends, and parents have died younger than hoped, hearts have been broken, people have come to grips with their sin and faced the consequences, loved ones have fallen ill, and many have simply wrestled with finding the good in a busy day full of silent struggle they can’t put their finger on. God doesn’t always take us around problems. But He is with us through them.

The Bible is full of examples of the Lord leading His people through hard or uncomfortable times. In Exodus, the Lord led His people out of their enslavement in Egypt. He made a way for them to escape. I imagine the people were elated to be leaving life as slaves and heading toward the land promised their ancestors. However, Exodus 13:17-18a tells us rather than leading them on a direct route to the promised land, the Lord led the people on a path that would require them to trust Him, through the wilderness to an apparently blocked passage at the Red Sea. The Israelites’ immediate reaction to their troublesome circumstance included fear, crying out to the Lord, anger at Moses, and desire to return to their previous life as slaves (Ex 14:10-12).

Moses responded with two of my favorite verses to remember when I am afraid. “And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.’” (Ex 14:13-14 ESV). The people did not need to be anxious, afraid, or try to control their circumstance. God told them to be still and allow Him to save them.

God also told Moses the Lord would “get glory over Pharoah” and the Egyptians would “know I am the Lord” (Exodus 14:17-18). Because the Israelites were in a position to be unable to save themselves, God was certain to get the credit and glory for their salvation. (Exodus 14:30-31)

When life’s circumstances feel insurmountable, I can also find myself afraid and angry, crying out to the Lord to answer my prayers the way I think best, worrying about the path ahead, and longing for aspects of the days behind. I must consciously remember God is working for me and in control, even when I don’t see it or understand. Additionally, regardless of my physical circumstances, He is offering me salvation through Jesus I could not obtain on my own.

Later in their history, the Lord reminded His people of times He had been faithful in the past, including the parting of the waters at the Red Sea, which allowed them to walk through on dry land and be saved from the enemy. He reminded them He was and would be with them in even the most difficult of times. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned; and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isa 43:2-3a)

The Lord did not lead the Israelites on the easy route. But he made a way THROUGH the seemingly impossible to keep them moving toward their destination with greater trust in Him. As a child of God who has made the choice to be one of His people today, I can be confident the Lord is with me and working for me and my eternal salvation. In turn, I can respond to my trials as He desires, in a way that glorifies Him.

God may not take me around hard circumstances, but He will be with me through them. I may not know what is on the other side of what I fear here on Earth, but I know the eternal destination if I follow Him.

And I can be more like Jesus by lifting up others to help them make it through.

What is your favorite verse to remind you God is with you and working for you as you walk through the difficult or seemingly impossible? Leave a comment below so others can be reminded as well!

*I journaled the foundation of this post over a year ago. I wrote the post early February, when many people I knew were going through difficult times and as part of an online Bible study in which I participate. I let the post sit, intending to edit it. In the meantime, a lectureship series in my hometown presented lectures by men from all over the country on the theme, followed by the preacher of my local congregation, John Trigg, preaching not one, but two, amazing sermons on this topic over the past two weeks. I’ve been holding on to the post because it felt like I didn’t need to summarize what others have said more eloquently than I ever could. But I finally decided, maybe everyone is studying the topic because it’s so needed. Hopefully it helps one of you, whether you’ve heard something similar or not.

A New Thing

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. ” Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV)

The blank pages of a journal headed by verses about hope seemed easy to fill when 2021 stretched out in front of me. After berating myself for not sticking to the consistent habit of writing the Word as resolved last year, followed by reluctantly giving myself grace upon grace for poor follow through (again), I turned to the next page in last year’s journal instead of opening the shiny new one waiting for me. Isaiah 43:18-19 was the verse waiting to be written when I flipped the page on January 1, as I contemplated leaving 2021 behind and looked forward to a new year ahead.

The scripture is not new to me. It was written on a chalkboard in my kitchen for months after downsizing from the house in which I raised my children to a condo nearby. Although I’ve grown to love my new space, the move represented the loss of a life I loved and the life I expected to have. It was one of many changes in the fearful preparation for an unknown future.

Most of you reading have also lived through loss and change over the past year. You know what it is to grieve the future you expected and worry about the unknown looming ahead.

The unexpected diagnosis.

The death of loved ones.

The rebellious child.

The aging and ailing parents.

Or maybe even the beautiful life going along as planned, but with children launching from the nest into a scary world waiting outside the safe haven of your home.

We all have seasons of wandering in a wilderness of disappointment. We all wonder what the future holds.

Isaiah spoke to the Jewish people, whose ancestors literally followed God through the wilderness while waiting to enter the promised land. He reminded them they had put their trust in people and things other than God (Isa 2:6-8) and told of the judgement and captivity to come because of their pride and idolatry (2: 9-21).

If I’m honest, I’m a lot like the people to whom Isaiah prophesied. I too often put my trust in people and things instead of God. I sometimes love people here on Earth more than the One who created them, or don’t love those who are precious in His eyes. I get sidetracked and make decisions or say words that don’t honor God or who I want to be. Despite what I say and truly believe. I’m guessing maybe you can relate.

The verse above gives me hope. It is one of many in Isaiah that remind me no matter the cause of my season of wilderness, the Lord is with me. Although the verses in Isaiah were written to the Jewish people, because I’m in a covenant relationship with the Lord, they also tell of His nature toward me.

Despite Isaiah beginning with chapters listing the ways in which the Lord would punish and humble His people who were not following Him, they are followed by verse after verse telling of the love of God and plan to save those who turn to Him (Isa 1:16-20). You. Me. And everyone else He created. (John 3:16).

The wilderness and unknown are scary. Remember these truths from the same chapter when you feel afraid or alone:

He calls you by name (Isa 43:1)

He claims you as one of His own (Isa 43:1)

He is with you even in the hardest of times (Isa 43:2)

You are precious in His eyes (Isa 43:4)

You are loved (Isa 43:4)

You have no need to fear (43:5)

You are created and made by Him for His glory (43:7

You are called by His name (43:7)

Your sins are blotted out and no longer remembered (43:25)

Wherever you are in your season of wilderness, whatever the cause, God has the power to make all things new. He is making a way where you see no path and providing living water when you have none. Trust the One who knows your name to be with you and help you through whatever you are facing. And most of all, remember no matter what the world around you says or does, you are who God says you are. Deeply loved.

Turn to Him.

Let go of and forget the things in the past that can’t be changed.

Forgive others and yourself.

Put your faith and reliance in Him over everyone and everything else.

Do not fear.

Watch and be thankful for the new thing God is making and the way He is providing.

Trust and follow Him all the way to the promised land.

When you lay your head on the pillow tonight, rest easy in the knowledge God is making a way.

Hold My Hand

How did a good God allow THIS to happen? I am guessing you have thought or asked that question at some point in your life. Possibly you are asking it right now.

The loss of the one you love that took your breath away.

The betrayal that split your heart in two.

The storm that took your belongings, or loved one, or possibly, even your hope.

Why does God allow these things and so much more?

Friend, I have wrestled with THE question. How does a God who loves me, has heard my prayers, and works all things together for good allow THIS to happen?

In the aftermath of unfathomable destruction and devastation in Kentucky from the recent tornado, alongside other daily news reports of loss and heartache, I have heard of many who are grappling with the tension of a perfect and loving God who allows bad things to happen to good people.

As I read or heard heartbreaking stories this week, I was reminded of Jesus weeping for his friend, Lazarus.

I never noticed until today that just before Jesus wept, His friend was wrestling with these questions too: why doesn’t the Lord prevent all heartache and where is He when we can’t feel His presence? “Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to Him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:32)

If you had been here. Ouch. The tone I hear in my head is one of despair, agony, anger, and accusation.

I’ve thought almost those same words. “Where were you Lord, when I prayed for my sister to recover and live another day?” or “Where were you when I prayed and asked you to help and bless my family?” Maybe you have asked something similar. Where was the Lord when you prayed for your loved one to return home, turn back to the Lord, recover from illness, be spared pain, or make it through one more night?

The Lord knows when we are wrestling. He is big enough and strong enough to handle our questions and be a safe place to bring our fears and sorrow. We can’t keep them hidden from Him even if we try. He can take it and will still be standing after all the questions are asked. He can help us through our uncertainty as long as we don’t choose to stay and live there. We have to keep moving toward trust and hope, looking to Him, as He has always expected of His people.

Jesus was told “he whom you love is ill” (John 11: 3 ESV). Verse 5 tells us “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” Jesus experienced love in this life. He also knew the present, past, and future.

Jesus knew his friend was ill. He knew Lazarus would die. Jesus knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead and that Lazarus would live again. Not only would Lazarus live, but he would be right there with Jesus.

Yet, Jesus wept. (John 11:35).

John 11:33-34 tells us, “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. “

The Lord experienced sadness, pain, rejection, loss, and grief.

He knows the hurt and emotions you are experiencing.

He can empathize like no one on this earth can.

Take your troubles to Him. (Matthew 11:28).

Remember Jesus’ words, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

In Psalms 56:8 David writes, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.” Oh, how many nights I have tossed and turned in my bed and cried what felt like rivers of tears. I imagine you have too.

David reminds me the Lord sees and knows. He loves me and you and them. He can not only count our tears but can capture them.

Volumes have been written about why God allows good people to suffer. I don’t count myself as one with enough wisdom or space to give an adequate answer to that question in a blog post.

But I trust the God who knows.

I look forward to the day He will wipe away every tear, when there will be no more death, mourning, pain, or crying. (Revelation 21:4)

I’m seen and loved by the same God who created me and was willing to give his Son for me. The one who said, “For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'” (Isaiah 41:13)

Starting today, hold His hand and don’t let go. If you need to, pray for the Lord to hold fast to your hand when you don’t think you can hold on any longer yourself. That’s what I did on hard days.

Let the storm roar. At times, you may feel like the storm has taken everything. In some cases, it may have. We can’t control the storm no matter how much we worry or try.

But we can know how the story ends (spoiler alert: God wins!).

And we can still cry at the sad parts.

Weep for what you’ve lost. Wrestle through hard questions if you need to. But hold tight to Him and you will come out standing on the other side. (Matthew 7:24-27; James 4:8). Draw near to Him in obedient faith and the Lord has promised to one day raise you and me to be with Him too.

We can do it together. I’ll hold your other hand.

After writing what was on my heart, I realized my timing is not very festive. After thinking about it, I’m still posting for those of you struggling with loss. I’m learning heartbreak and heartache are magnified at the holidays. Difficulties feel harder to manage when viewed through the twinkle of Christmas lights. Memories are more vivid and wounds feel more raw while listening to music that transports to the past. The ache of missing loved ones is more acute when scrolling past pictures of happy families.

If you are experiencing the perfect Christmas, I’m so happy for you! Enjoy and make lots of memories. If you can, take a moment to look around and grab someone who might be hurting’s hand.

If this year is tough for you, you are seen by the One who loves you and are not alone.

The Trail Ahead

The trail looked beautiful. A sign clearly marked the beginning of the path. Well-worn gravel and trampled leaves distinguished the area designed for a hike from the rest of the woods. I started off excitedly at a brisk pace, looking ahead to the beauty in front of me.

After a few minutes, the path turned and led into the woods. The trail in the distance was barely distinguishable from the rest of the forest floor. I couldn’t see what was ahead. Was this even the official groomed trail? I was heading into the unknown, on a cold day, with no knowledge of where the path led or what dangers came with it.

Although I kept walking, I had serious hesitations. As I heard a dog bark ahead, watched for snakes in the leaves, and saw nothing but trees ahead I was a little afraid when I thought of all I might be heading toward.

I like to know where I’m going and what to expect along the way.

Unfortunately, neither trails nor life are predictable.

Hebrews 11 talks about the faith of Abraham when he, like us, did not know where the path lead.

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8, ESV)

Genesis 12 reveals the Lord told Abram to leave his country, his family, and his father’s house to go to a land the Lord would show him. “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…” (Genesis 12:4). Not only did Abram pick up and go on an unknown route to an unknown land promised by the Lord, but he also brought his family with him.

I’ve thought of Abraham often.

He followed the Lord when called.

He trusted God to lead the way, even when the route was completely unknown.

He knew the Lord would be with him.

Often, I think I know the path along which my life will travel. The trail map I dreamed about included school, a job, a family, and a long, happy life with my husband and children living the “American dream.” Like most of you, the path of my life has included many unexpected twists and turns, and the unknown beyond the curve ahead is terrifying if I let my fears run away from me. When I get still, I remember the Lord is trustworthy. No matter how bumpy or uphill my path, if I am following Him the eternal destination is promised.

On my recent hike, I noticed a few things I want to remember when I’m afraid of the scary unknown (which happens pretty much every day by the way!) Maybe these ideas will be helpful to you when your path is hard, and the future seems uncertain. I’m writing these for myself, but also for those of you worried about the world your children are growing up in, where the next mortgage payment will come from, if the illness can be cured, whether your loved one will turn around and come back home, or what the holidays (or even tomorrow) will look like.

We can all be consumed by fear of the future if we let ourselves.

Put one foot in front of the other. Keep moving toward the end of the trail, even when you are afraid.

-After praying for wisdom and studying the scriptures, follow the path God sets out for you. Remember Abraham. The God who is in control of the universe knows what is ahead for you and can be trusted to keep His promises.

Stay near the water. When speaking to the Samaritan woman, Jesus references the concept of living water that quenches the need in us deeper than physical thirst. “The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14b) We can draw daily strength from this living water by studying the Bible, praying, and stepping out in obedience, while striving to become more like Him every day.

Walk with friends who will help you along the way. Be that kind of friend to others. I would never have been brave enough to follow a trail into the woods without a friend by my side. But somehow, when walking and talking with another, I was brave enough to tackle the unknown. My friend pointed out rocks so I wouldn’t trip, and places where it was clear someone before us had slid in the mud. She helped me navigate the trail and avoid pitfalls. Occasionally she called out, “You okay back there?” More importantly, if I had fallen, she was ready with a helping hand to lift me up. I was ready to do the same for her.

At the end of the day, despite the mud, rocks, twists, and turns, the journey was beautiful.

Photo credit: Aimee Pickup

My path has taken a very unexpected turn over the past few years. Y’all, it’s scary to think about the unknown future. And it’s even more terrifying to share my journey with all of you. But I needed help at the beginning of my journey, and I still need help today. So, when I was asked to be vulnerable and share one unexpected part of my story on the Nikki and Julie podcast, I took a deep breath, mustered up every ounce of my courage, and said YES.

If the podcast can help even one of you going through something difficult or prepare one of you to help someone in your life, the risk and vulnerability will have been worth it.

Please take a listen when you have a moment. The podcast is available on Apple and Spotify, along with other podcast platforms.


If what you are reading is helpful to you, please subscribe to my blog. Feel free to share the blog or podcast with others you think would benefit.

Thank you all for your encouragement and kindness! Let me know how I can help you on your journey! Love to you all.

The Starting Line

Hi there!

I’m so glad you found my blog!  I’m trying a new thing. I’m a follower of Jesus, wife, and mother of 2 young men. I’ve been through some hard things, as I imagine you have too. I’ve leaned on God and good people who’ve carried the chorus when I couldn’t keep singing and held my hand when I couldn’t stop crying.

I am learning how to navigate the obstacles of life while finding peace and joy in the struggle (a work in progress!) The most rewarding part of the journey is when I can help someone who’s limping or falling, put my arm around them, and help them keep moving toward the prize of Heaven. I’m blessed to have people in my life who slowed their sprint long enough to shoulder my weight when I didn’t believe I could keep going on my own.

If I’ve learned anything over the past three years, it’s that everyone you meet is struggling with something. When you get to know people well enough to be vulnerable with them, you find shattered hearts and dreams everywhere. People are losing their loved ones to illness, addiction, or dementia, leaving their hearts in college dormitories, hospitals, or nursing facilities, upending their routine with moves to unfamiliar places and communities, and grieving the dreams of what they thought their lives would look like due to fractured relationships and prayers not answered the way they hoped.

But with faith and trust in God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE when viewed through the lens of an eternal perspective. God has the power to redeem and make all things new.

I’m writing this to the woman who cried herself to sleep over the problem she can’t fix and the life that’s slipping through her fingers. I’ve been there. Some days reading an encouraging post gave me the strength to get through another day. And if that’s not you right now, maybe you could wrap someone’s arm around your shoulders and lift them up by sharing words that will help them feel seen and find hope. Nobody’s perfect here. We’re celebrating progress over perfection and spurring on rather than shaming.

Love means leaving no one behind, which reminds me of a three-legged race. Strapping ourselves to others to love and help them on their journey toward Heaven, even when…especially when…it’s hard and bumpy. Trusting God when the road feels all uphill.

Here is where I propose we start, with a paraphrase of Jesus’ description of the two greatest commandments:

Love God. Love People.

Leave no one behind.

The Three-Legged Race.

Let’s help each other run our race to victory.

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