Even when you’re going through it,

You’re not going through it;

You’re tiptoeing around,

Careful not to step on

Your own thoughts, your own feelings. 

You don’t really want to talk about it;

You don’t really want to write about it.

You only want to think about, write about 

Nothing at all.

The nothingness that stares you in the face,

The nothingness that will never be nothing again,

The life that will never be the same.


Fearless In The Midst of The Storm

Rembrandt_Christ_in_the_Storm_on_the_Lake_of_Galilee (1)

It seems like this year has been storm after another for me, and the one thing that always remains is pain. And sickness. And more pain. And more sickness. It’s enough to tire a person out.

I have talked about my struggles with chronic pain this year but then I fell silent. I’ve been quiet for quite some time for a very good reason. I was diagnosed with pneumonia in June, and still getting over it.

Coughing for three straight months will challenge anyone. Coughing to the point of vomiting and breathlessness is another thing entirely. I really thought I had whooping cough. I just couldn’t see how I could still have pneumonia after antibiotics and 2 rounds of prednisone.

I should say that I was quite surprised to learn I was so sick in the first place. I was weaning off all of my medications, something I knew God would call me to do at some point but six months into my chronic headache seemed to soon. Still, I went with it and put all of my trust in Him to get me through the pain. As my headache got worse and I started coughing non-stop, I knew something was terribly wrong. This couldn’t possibly be from weaning off of Lyrica and everything else that never helped anyway.

A month later when I was still very sick, I was told that I had bronchitis as well. Two weeks later as I struggled to take a painful deep breath, I was told I also had pleurisy. My painful ribs that had me struggling to walk were nothing more than the result of that and coughing so much. And as my breathing went from bad to worse, I had another chest x-ray done stat, only to find out the pneumonia was persistent after two months. Time for another round of antibiotics and a nebulizer for breathing treatments at home.

I finally have my appointment with a pulmonologist tomorrow, and I cannot wait. I doubt he will have special powers to make me better, but I do hope to find a regimen that will finally help me breathe easier because I’m not convinced the breathing treatments have helped me. Sometimes I think they actually make things worse.

I do the best I can dealing with all of this. I have a family to take care of, a job to hold down, and I have no more sick time left. All of my vacation time has been used up because of all of these things going on. Still, in the midst of everything that I have been through in the last 3 months, I have never felt closer to God. Never felt like He was there for me more than He is right now. It’s hard to explain but I’ve had to learn how to come to Him differently. I haven’t been able to sing in three months. I haven’t been able to work on music. There are days when I am so sick that all I can manage to do is cry out His name. He answers me every time.

Lately, in addition to helping me through this sickness, He is also giving me strength as I learn new ways to do simple things like breathing, talking, dressing myself, getting the dogs in and out of their cages, and doing a load of laundry. Did I mention that I can’t bend over? Yeah, haven’t been able to for at least a month and a half… basically after the pleurisy stopped being so bad, everything else started hurting. Coughing for so long is really bad for your back and hips so these days I use a crutch for walking and for bracing myself when trying to stand up. It has not been a fun ride but at the same time, my faith has grown stronger. I’ve surprised myself with a resilience that could only come from God as I continue to endure more and more pain. I was ready to call 911 the other night because I couldn’t get out of my bed after several hours, but instead I wound up talking to a friend of mine about God’s goodness. I went from crisis mode to a great level of peace so fast I didn’t even see it coming. Just talking about Jesus and sharing my experiences about how He has gotten me through tough times literally got me through the most excruciating pain I have endured in a very long time. Only Jesus can bring that kind of peace in the midst of pain that wasn’t going away any time soon.

Thankfully, I made it through the night and got a shot of toradol that helped some the next day. It’s amazing how thankful you are for level 8 pain after being at a 10 for so long. I’m  sure I will be just as thankful when I’m able to breathe normally again too. But regardless of how long that takes to improve, I know that God’s got His hand on my life, on my struggles, and on my perseverance to withstand these challenges. He is the difference between enduring pain and having peace in the midst of pain.

On another note, my family and I stayed home for Hurricane Irma, unlike Matthew when we evacuated to Alabama. Though we had damage like many families, what astounded me the most was my attitude change between the two storms. With Hurricane Matthew, I brought the storm with me in the form of anxiety, frustration, and emotional outbursts that wreaked havoc on my family. With Irma, I had a peace going into the storm that I’ve never had before. It didn’t make any sense, even while huddled in the bathroom with my family at 4 in the morning for a tornado in the area all the while knowing that a tornado warning is what sparked me to start having panic attacks years ago just from sheer fear. Instead of being swept up in the chaos of the storm this time, I remained rooted in the knowledge that it didn’t matter what happened; we were going to be okay. I have never felt such freedom and peace in my life, and I know it has to do with how much He has challenged me this year… to be fearless in the midst of the storm.

He’s challenging me and my family with new circumstances now. Nothing that I can discuss right now but an opportunity for the devil to try and stretch our faith even further. I hope he’s starting to figure out that we don’t give up that easily, that God is on our side, and that He WILL continue to fight for us. How sweet it is!

Lord Jesus, you are my rock and my salvation. You are the very breath that runs through my body and a beacon of hope on a cloudy day. I love you with all of my heart, and thank you for all that you continue to do for me, for all the ways you have shown up in my life, and for all that is yet to come. I pray that my story and my struggles can be used to show your love for your people, and to bring hope to the hopeless. May you be glorified every step of the way. In Jesus name, Amen.


Still Hear The Whisper

It’s 11:30 in the morning, and I’ve already had my share of crying today. I’ve calmed down but I still want to crawl in my bed and just sleep the day away. Oh wait, I have problems with my muscles tightening terribly anytime I try to relax… so sleeping is usually out of pure exhaustion. I wonder how much crying I have to do to get to the point of exhaustion.

Honestly, what I really want is to just stop hurting. And to be heard. To have a doctor genuinely care and want to help me. Not just any doctor. You know, the kind that is supposed to help you. I just had another bad experience from a doctor that really has no interest in helping me, and this is coming from a rheumatologist. If he can’t help me, who can?

Even when I’m at my worst, I can hear the whisper from God. It’s easy to rely on a doctor to help me but they have an inadvertent way of reminding me that only God can.

A Refuge For The Oppressed


I wrote a song on my last album called, “Don’t Let Me Get Comfortable.” It’s one of those songs with a strong message that had to have come from up above because I was just a baby Christian at the time. Especially considering it’s something I’m still grappling with. It sounds like cake when the sun is out, but let a storm roll in and it’s hard not to run for shelter.

When I think of shelter, I normally think of the comfy couch in my living room. Even the seats in my mini-van aren’t that bad. But what if you had to endure the storm way past your limit in order to have the things you really wanted? Would you weather the storm or settle on whatever is closest just to get out of the rain? If you’re just looking to get out of the rain, you might settle for something like this…


Does it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Does it bring you a sense of peace? I feel like I would be in even more danger in that shack than I would be outside of it. And isn’t that how it feels sometimes when we are in a hurry to find peace?

When we get tired and fed up with our current situation we will look for anything to make us feel better.

We decide to seek shelter in the world from things that don’t provide the comfort we are seeking. It may be food, drugs, sex, money, gambling… even relationships with people we know aren’t good for us. For me it’s food, sweets specifically and with everything I’m going through, it’s the last thing on earth I need. On that note, I’m just going to put these jellybeans aside.

The good news is that it is okay to seek comfort in stressful times, but it should come from God.

It is okay to come in out of the rain, but we have to be mindful of what’s really going on. We need to know in every given situation if we are choosing comfort provided by the Lord, or comfort provided by the world. Are we looking for a quick bandaid or true healing? We also have to make sure that our seeking comfort is not a way for us to escape the path He has set us on (which is what my song was about).

There are many verses in the bible that talk about comfort during trying times, especially in the Book of Psalms. Psalm 9:9 tells us that “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Elsewhere in the Psalms, we learn that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (46:1). And then of course, there is Psalms 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

When we are in a rainy season, or even a season of waiting, it is easy to give in to temptation and mistake it for comfort. On the other hand, when we seek the arms of the Lord, there is never a guilt residue. There is never the thought of “I should have done this, or I shouldn’t have done that.” When we seek comfort from God, we truly receive peace, hope, comfort, and love. I pray these things find a way to your heart, whatever your season.

Heal The Divide

“For He himself is our peace who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” Ephesians 2:14
How true this is and how greatly it is needed today with the great divisions in America today. Lord Jesus, I pray that you heal the divide, that your mercy would fall upon us, and that at the end of the day, we can all come together and find love in each other and our country once again.In Jesus name, Amen. 

You Can Find Hope With Him

It’s a sad day for me as I reflect on a friend that has passed away, a friend I didn’t always get along with but one in which I sacrificed a lot to be there for her during difficult times. We taught each other a lot about love, sacrifice, and surrender. 

I’ll never forget a conversation we had recently. She was feeling worthless, like her life had no meaning or purpose, and she struggled with whether or not I truly loved her. She wasn’t sure anyone really loved her. On this particular day, she needed to be rushed to the hospital for a life-threatening health issue but refused on the grounds that no one cared about her anyway. Several people had tried to reason with her all day, and we finally decided to do an intervention. 

I had discussed God with her many times during our friendship and she mostly hadn’t cared. But in this moment, when she was willing to give up on life because of how she felt she measured up to others, I couldn’t let that stop me from pressing in and telling her the hard truth. I spoke to her about salvation. 

I loved this girl with all of my heart but I had to tell her that her salvation does not depend on my loving her, and that it doesn’t depend on any of the people in her life loving her. I told her that it also didn’t come from her loving me. She had to know that salvation comes from giving her heart to Jesus, and allowing herself to be loved by Him. She had to surrender to Him, and depend on Him to fill the brokenness inside because no one else was going to be able to fix that for her. Through choked tears, I spoke passionately in a way I never have before, with words that could have only come from God himself. 

It was a defining moment in our friendship but more importantly, in her journey to know God. This was a person that had told me just two months prior that she would rather go to hell than know Jesus. It’s what she thought she deserved, and I’m happy knowing that she did finally choose Jesus. She started reading the bible and came to understand her  purpose in life. She even led another to Christ before she died, and is now in the arms of our Savior. 

We all need a Savior. Some, like my friend, are stubborn in their belief that they don’t need Him and don’t want Him. I’ve been there myself so I understand, but so I am thankful that she surrendered everything she had to Him, even her life. Heaven is the reward after a life filled with struggle and pain. Do you know where you’re going when you die? I hope it’s into the arms of Jesus. 

Rest in peace my dear friend. 

Amazing Grace

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me the strength for my work because he knew he could trust me. I used to say terrible and insulting things about him, and I was cruel. But Christ had mercy on me because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I had not yet put my faith in him. Christ Jesus our Lord treated me with undeserved grace and has greatly blessed my life with faith and love just like his own.”
1 Timothy 12:14
This is EXACTLY how I feel. I did used to say very bad things about God. I couldn’t stand Him or the name Jesus. Literally used to make me cringe. But I have been freed from my prejudice and now live my life with full understanding, full knowledge and truth. Thank you Jesus for saving a wretch like me.

Life After Death

You left the light on for me. I remember thinking maybe you had died when I didn’t see you in the morning, and there you appeared, alive and well in my dream. You were even wearing my bedtime shirt. I kissed you on your forehead and you made a comment about my bracelet. It was such a simple and comforting moment before I woke up. 
I’m not sad this morning. If anything, I am reminded and encouraged that there is life after death. Mom, I love you dearly and I miss you everyday, but I also know that you are happy in the arms of your Savior. Thank you for leaving the light on. I can’t wait to see you again! 

Could You Say It?

Who feels like that? It’s an amazing and scary thought at the same time. Believe it or not, this has come from the mouth of a 20-year-old and I know that she is telling the truth. She says it with such joy and such peace. Lots of us say that we can’t wait to meet Jesus but can we really? Are we really ready to leave the world behind?
It certainly makes me think about where I am with my faith. As much as I would like to say that’s how I feel, I still have a long way to go, a long way of letting go of this world. I go through life thinking that my faith is pretty good, that there are lots of things in this world that don’t matter to me. Yet, a simple phrase like this (ok, maybe not so simple) makes me look at everything differently. 
I used to find it kind of morbid when Christians would be happy when a friend would pass by, believing that they were in a better place. I’m closer to feeling that way now but I definitely don’t believe in parties. Maybe I hold on to my tears just a little too much because funerals still make me cry.
There is much to be learned living in this world, and I am far from a seasoned Christian. I still have a lot of living I want to do, things I want to experience but I do hope one day I can confidently be ready for Jesus to take me home, to leave my loving husband and kids behind. How about you?