The Need For Rest Will Just Have To Do For Now

The last time I was sick on Christmas was five years ago… before my life was drastically altered after meeting my husband and embracing the Christian faith wholeheartedly for the first time. I had traveled to Colorado via Greyhound to spend the holiday with my best friend and her kids. Taking the bus was a great way to get out of the city to venture the beaten path with my camera after the end of a six-year relationship I never should have been in, and the end of a disillusionment for an affair that would never be more than a roll in the hay. 

Yeah, I’d had better days and the opportunity to run away from home was enchanting. The road to freedom was a little more traveled than I wanted it to be though; it took three days to get to Colorado and five to get home. I remember getting stuck in the Dallas bus station for a day and a half while a snowstorm wrecked havoc just north of us. I was still trying to get to Colorado, and I was completely at the mercy of a storm I couldn’t even see. It wasn’t snowing in Dallas where I was, but all around me it was coming down so heavy that travel all the way up to Denver was at a halt. I just wanted to get where I was going, and I wanted answers. There was no way out and nowhere to feel safe. 

I think it took a good 12 hours before they finally brought a bus out for us weary-eyed travelers to sleep on. I was so thankful… all I wanted was answers and rest, but I would settle at the moment for just some rest. It’s how I’m feeling again after all these years.

Cancer has a way of eating away at your soul… if you’ll let it. Sometimes I do, I won’t lie. Sometimes, I give in and let the cancer take a bite or two out of me. Sometimes it takes a few days, weeks, or months for me to wake up out of the chokehold-slumber that cancer is and stumble again onto my faith. On Christmas Day, it was just a reminder staring back at me that reads “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Yesterday, it was a complete meltdown on the living room sofa where I begged God to help me over and over again. Today, it might look like something completely different but I’m not giving up. 

The answers may come another day but for today, I’m going to take the rest that comes with knowing Him. 



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.

Crying At His Feet

I know that You can cure me but I don’t know if you will, and that scares me to death. Lord, help me.

I’ve suffered the last three months with what every doctor and radiologist thought was pneumonia. I thought the constant pain in my back and hips were from coughing so much. I thought my difficulty breathing, talking, and singing were from the pneumonia. Sadly, we have learned that is not the case. I have lung cancer.

I won’t lie. It’s hard be positive, to be faithful when your mom died of the same disease just three and a half years ago. Just as in her case, mine has metastized to other areas so that makes it stage 4. I used to work with cancer patients at The American Cancer Society. I know the statistics. I also know we have a God that plays by His own rules. 

I have people around the world praying for a complete healing. For me, that is a hard prayer. Not because I don’t believe it can be done but because so often I have seen Him decide on a different plan. I hope He wants to keep me here so I can be a light onto His people. Only He can make that decision but I have loudly made it known to Him that I want to be healed. 

My life changed instantly the moment I found out, and so did the lives of my family. I’ll likely be discharged from the hospital tomorrow with oxygen and a walker to embark on an unknown and scary path. I will no longer be able to work, and will be filing for disability. I know that God is with me, and I know that He won’t leave me alone to deal as my family and I sort out what this means for our lives now. It’s just going to take some time. 

Your prayers give me strength and hope after I get up from my meltdowns. I need my Christian brothers and sisters to keep lifting us up. Please understand that I’m not able to respond to everyone’s messages but I will read them when I can, when I have the strength, and when I need it the most. 

I love the ministry we have created. I don’t know the end game, what God’s plan is but I will continue to share how God is working in my life, the lessons He is teaching me, and so forth as I am able to. I appreciate every one of you for joining me on this path. I may or may not ever sing again, but remember that salvation is not found in a song. It’s found in Jesus. Don’t waste time on the world when you can run to Him and bow at His feet, relinquishing everything you’ve got. That’s what I’m doing. Crying at His feet. 

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.


It’s Not Just Pain

Lord, I need you every day as I fight each and every aspect that comes with being in pain all the time. I need you, and many more need you, many more that are enduring the same tortures that I am. Lord, be with us in the worst moments, and when we are in such pain that we cannot speak, please let our tears be our cry to you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. 

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. 

It’s Not About Me


I’m not the best singer. I have to work really hard to get my notes clean and to not tremble. I have to work really hard to make sure I don’t run out of breath and to not forget the words. Singing can look so effortless but it’s really not. There is so much technical stuff going on.

As a singer, I want to get it right. I strive for perfection. And when I get it right, I rejoice. Sometimes, maybe I rejoice in myself a little too much. Humble little me can sometimes be not so humble. When you don’t think you’re good enough, it’s easy to hide in the shadows and run from the limelight. But when everything is lining up the way you want it to, it’s easy to think of the next few lyrics and “hey, look at me” simultaneously. But guess what? It’s not about me.

Being on stage can be a dangerous catch 22. It’s a vulnerable place to be because you have all of these people looking at you, judging you… and yet you know your place is to serve God. You are not there for yourself or for their attention. You are there solely to lead and encourage them to forget you are even standing there so they can have a moment with Jesus.

My microphone is not a gateway to seek approval but to humbly worship and lead others to do the same. It’s to let them know it’s ok to forget about all of the troubles in the world and to just focus on Him. It’s an opportunity for the church to collectively thank Jesus together for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon us. And honestly, it’s not even about singing. Not really. The best worship experiences I have ever had were in those moments when I actually stopped singing and just started praising God with prayer in the middle of a song. We can get so caught up just singing words sometimes that we completely miss the point of allowing the thankfulness in our hearts to come to the surface and give it to God. 

When I’m worshiping, I really only have one goal and that is to meet Jesus myself. I want to spend time with Him, and I want others to have a safe place to do that as well. I know that the enemy will continue to try to interfere and prevent me from truly connecting because he doesn’t want people to know Jesus, but I can’t let him. There will always be technical stuff going on and yes, I want to be prepared as best as possible before hitting the stage but in the end, the outcome is really up to God. I lay it all at His feet… every word, every note, and every prayer to bring Him alone the glory.


Be Ye Steadfast


This past weekend, my husband and I took some of the youth from our church to love on other kids at a church five hours away. They sacrificed sleep and an entire Saturday so that we could make the drive down south and come back the same night to be back at our church on Sunday. For our youth, I would say that it was more than just a sacrifice of time and energy though; they just lost their own youth pastor a few weeks ago and kept the commitment to do the event regardless. At a time in their lives when they have watched their friends leave the church in large numbers, they kept their hearts on fire for Him. At a time when they are questioning God’s plan, they went out of their way to minister to another group of youth that is in desperate need of answers and healing.

When we arrived at the other church, we learned that they have been trying to break ground and reach the youth in that community for the last two years, that the event we put on was the first in a series of events they plan on doing to help the kids. We learned that the church has suffered major losses in the last month, and that the devil continued to attack the staff personally up until the day of the event. As a matter of fact, the pastor that helped us coordinate the event had a family emergency and had to leave five minutes before the event was about to start. I am thankful that it was a false alarm, but we will still be praying for her mother.

When you try to do something for God, the enemy will attack. Everything that could go wrong that night did. We had everything from bad weather and low attendance to sound system issues and forgotten lyrics. Did this distract us from praying for revival? No. Did we give up and go home when it looked like we would fail? No. As a matter of fact, it allowed everyone to go after God even harder.

It may be sometime before we fully understand what was accomplished last night. It may be sometime before our youth fully understands the rewards for keeping the faith in such trying times. Still, I know hearts were moved last night. I know hearts were encouraged, including mine, to watch a generation put God first when everything around them is falling apart. I get chills just thinking about it, and revel in the knowledge that His love endures, that His goodness covers everything at all times, regardless of the rain that comes our way and the temptation to run when things get hard and confusing. Lord Jesus, thank you for your faithfulness and reminding us to be steadfast when doing the work of the Lord.

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:5

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58