Be still and know that I am God.

I regularly read a lot of different books that have a Christian worldview and are intended to encourage and keep me on track spiritually.  I have three devotionals:  one by my bed that I read first thing in the morning (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young) one in my living room where I do my morning prayer time (The Songs of Jesus by Tim and Kathy Keller) and one at my desk (Jesus Today by Sarah Young.)  I also engage with my husband and daughter nightly as we read a children’s devotional book.  I also have Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller handy as well as Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts.  Not to mention various copies of The Bible.  These books are strategically placed so that I have the opportunity to connect with them throughout the day.  When I’m feeling down, lost, confused, angry, frustrated, afraid or sad, I try to stick to the discipline of picking one up and seeking encouragement from God’s Word or publications derived from some seriously spiritual people who have prayerfully written powerful interpretations of God’s Word.  Because it’s either that, or grumble, fuss, complain, shut down, isolate, cry, stomp around or find the nearest chocolate bar.  It’s ok to do these things for a moment.  But using them as ongoing coping mechanisms has negative effects that just a dig a deep hole I’ll eventually have to climb out of.

Finishing chemo is so awesome, and I am so incredibly grateful for how much stronger I’m feeling.  I still have lingering issues and am far from 100% – but I’m better each day, and I marvel at my body’s ability to heal itself as the poisonous medicine slowly dissipates.  However, as the day of my next CT scan approaches, the dark clouds roll in and the possibility of hearing bad news just overwhelms me sometimes.  Every twinge in my body scares me – is it a new tumor?  Every moment of fatigue worries me – is it cancer eating away at some part of me, stealing my energy?  The thought of diving back into surgery and chemo and such is just…enough to make me want to vomit, punch something and crawl in bed and never come back out.


All of those devotionals, every single one of them have given me THE SAME message all week.

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still.  And know.  That I AM GOD.

When I linger on those words, peace rushes over me.  Many things come to mind and I am compelled to recall that God is worthy of my trust.  “Oh,” I think.  He is good.  He is good and He loves me.  He has brought me so far.  He has breathed life into me so many times.  He has delivered me.  He has rescued me.  Saved me.  Grown me.  Brought me blessings so numerous they would outnumber the stars in the sky if I tried to count them.

When you think about it, it’s kind of ridiculous to worry.  I’ve spent the past 20 years following this God.  This creator.  This King.  This Father.  This Friend.  This Prince of Peace.  Alpha, Omega.  He is everything, according to this book I spend so much time studying.   And yet…I regard Him with distrust, resentment and fear sometimes.

And this is why I have these books everywhere.  To reel me back in.  To stop me from going over that cliff of doubt.  To give me pause and put sense back into this fickle mind of mine.

Doubt is powerful.  But the answer to doubt is truth.  Fear is mighty.  But the answer to fear is gratitude.  And we can find these answers easily when we are Still.  And Know that He Is God.        

Healing, as needed

One could characterize the circumstances of the past few years of my life as unlucky, unfair or unfortunate.  And in some ways, they have been. But what stands out most to me is the outrageous levels of love and support I’ve received from my tribe of family and friends as well as the way God orchestrates things to encourage, embolden, strengthen and heal.  I just had a glorious overnight with Lisa Pratt Slayton, my mentor and lovely friend who has done so many kind things for me and taught me so much, and Jennifer Schlieper, my beautiful, creative, thoughtful friend who has been my truth speaker and healer many times.  These women didn’t know many months ago when this weekend of tattoos and rest was first conceived how bad I’d need it.  Neither did I.  But God did.  
I had a very hard couple of weeks recently, emotionally.  Coming down from the heightened senses of battling through chemo takes a toll. I had a lot of dark, foreboding, fearful thoughts that were quite difficult to shake or to share.  I felt like a dark cloud was above me.  I was always on the verge of tears.   
But the past 24 hours have been full of healing, hope, laughter, love, truth and encouragement.  Between the prayer breakfast – a room full of hope-filled leaders, all of the blue shirts on all of you beautiful people, the drive out of the city and through the country, the conversations of real things, the skillful hands of a top-notch massage therapist, a good night’s sleep in a cozy Inn…the cloud has lifted.  The skies are clearer.  Shalom is closer.  I can flourish again.  I even did my training run today.  Slow as molasses, but run, I did.  Thank you to each of you who had a hand in all of this.  I am so grateful.