numb

Hope in the Middle Releases Today!

Back in 2013 I sat in our bedroom hopeless. The adoption process had started with no end in sight. Our three boys were young and demanding most of my attention. Jeremy and I were struggling through a hard, unexpected season in our marriage.

Life kept moving. I kept smiling. But inside, there were parts of me dead. My soul was numb.

The everyday tasks felt mundane. I’d curl up on our bed and cry.

Hopeless.

That’s when I started to write…and write…and write. Because writing lets me get things out that words don’t.

I allowed myself to ask hard questions. Why do I feel so hopeless? How can I call myself a Christian and not feel hope? Didn’t Christ die to offer a different life, a hopeful one?

Somehow, like it did back in 2007, a book was formed. There were chapters and headings. And God spoke clearly in places like McDonalds. And I wrote things down on napkins.

Hope became a book. Hope became a life-changing word.

God has led me on a journey to find hope. He’s taught me that He offers hope to us in the middle of everything. He Himself is life-changing hope.

I’m not sure where you are. I’m not sure where you’ll end up in your journey of life. I don’t even know where I’ll be. But I believe we could all use a reminder of real hope. I believe God intends for us to live lives full of hope.

And I’d be super humbled and honored if you read this little book I’ve put together…Hope in the Middle.

“But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.” (Psalm 71:14)

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“Hope isn’t revealed through an adoption referral. Hope isn’t found in living a smooth, safe life. Hope has already been fulfilled through Jesus’ death, life, and sweet grace. In Him alone I find hope for my yesterdays, today, and tomorrows. In Him I find hope in the middle of all uncertainty. ‘For such a time as this.’ He is hope.”

 

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He Loves Me Like Christ

I lay in bed til early morning watching shadows on our bedroom wall. No sleep came. After my last post, I’ve slowly felt myself “thawing out.” Maybe I’m not quite as numb as before. Maybe writing is my release.

Parts of this early “un-numbing” process have been fun. Laughter has been neglected around this busy house lately. How often do I go throughout the day offering the boys half-hearted smiles? When’s the last time I (you) really laughed? I’ve intentionally looked for joy.

I’ve also allowed myself to cry. Ugly, curl up in the corner of the closet cry. It’s been a long time. My emotions, laughter and tears, have been bottled up. Afraid to release. Afraid to enjoy life. Afraid to admit pain. The floodgates have opened!

It’s weird. All of it. I feel a little psycho writing this. But it’s a journey. And like all other journeys we’ve been on, I’m finding Christ’s presence sweet and His love consistent.

I’m also writing to share a little love with my hubby. Over the past few months he has lived with an emotional mess. I can’t count the number of times I’ve clammed up and chosen silence. Or the number of times he’s held me while I fell asleep. Just this week he’s put things aside to be near me; to be close when I needed it.

My natural inclination has always been to run. That’s why there’s numbness now. But Jeremy has always ran after me. He’s turned the car around and drove back home. He’s called me back on the phone. He’s never given up on me; on our marriage.

No, life hasn’t been easy. No, our marriage hasn’t been a bed of roses. But Jeremy has loved me faithfully. He’s loved me like Christ. I’ve seen the Gospel in him. He’s lived Ephesians 5:25 for our kids-“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

This quote from Ann Voskamp has spoken volumes-“The way to experience unlimited elation may be to imagine unexpected limitation.”

For Jeremy’s consistent love…for the Father’s perfect love…I am so thankful. They are gifts from above.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

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What Grace Does When Life Makes You Numb

Numb. That’s the word that sums up me in 2014. Sometimes fear can make you choose numbness rather than pain.

I felt myself go numb when we got the referral for Esther. Yes, there was joy beyond words. But there was also fear…what if her birthmom changed her mind. So I chose cautious love until things felt safe.

The numbness grew deeper when the little pink line showed up on that white stick. Jeremy held me-reminded me this was good news. Can we really handle this?

My Aunt died in July. I could barely grieve through the numbness. I questioned why I barely cried. It just hurt too much so I closed more of myself off. I let other parts go numb.

Jeremy’s job changed later in the year. It wasn’t a big change but one nonetheless and watching him wonder and wait, I grew numb.

Things went bad with the renters in our house out of town. There have been bills and court. I sat in that courtroom numb. I balanced the checkbook numb. It was all too much.

Finally, I felt myself go numb as we sold our house here in Durham. The future is bright. This is best for our family. But packing boxes and selling things…numb some more.

All of this hit me out of nowhere the other day. Sure 2014 has held bright spots. For goodness sake, there’s a beautiful little girl sleeping peacefully across the hall. We’ve laughed and made amazing memories this year. The boys are healthy and happy.

But a part of me lies dormant. It’s asleep to true joy. It’s frozen; protecting itself from pain.

I want to throw my hands in the air, worship freely, and breathe deeply of the grace that is always there. I want to really live this abundant life that Christ came to give. I want to live fully alive, fully in love, fully His.

He chips away at my numbness. Not with rules but with Love. I tell Him about my fears and He understands. I lay out all my questions and He listens. He woos me with love. And I feel myself coming alive again. A little at a time. A little every day.

Life doesn’t have to be mundane. It can be miraculous. That’s Who we serve. That’s Who loves us.

I choose to wake up to the beauty that is Christ. I choose to bask in the beauty of His love and grace. In years like 2014 and whatever may be ahead.

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)

FullSizeRender She’s tangible grace to me every day.

IMG_0170 Cutting down our Christmas tree.

IMG_0201 Let the moving of ornaments begin.=)