fear

Our Adoption Story: Finding Faith When God Seems Silent

Our Adoption Story: Finding Faith When God Seems Silent

"Those children are yours." I stood, somewhat frozen, with terrified assurance that it was God speaking to me. I had hiked nearly an hour up a steep jungle hill to reach the clearing where two little children stood outside their dilapidated mud hut. They weren't exactly waiting for me; they had no other place to go. I was there for their intake interview for a sponsorship program, but now the word adoption was looming over me, pressing down heavy with persistence and discomfort.

You see, we had already adopted - twice before - and we were done. Complete, happy, and satisfied being a family of five. Yet here I was, wrecked by both compassion and injustice at how desperate their lives seemed. I saw their yellow eyes, white scalps, and bony arms. I saw his feet, peeling and red from the rats that chewed on them at night. How they divided up the energy bar I gave them and ran away like little squirrels, to gobble it down privately. They had not eaten at all in more than a day. And they were beautiful. So beautiful.

My Unwanted Pregnancy: Finding God Between the Lines

My Unwanted Pregnancy: Finding God Between the Lines

I have been pregnant for 200 days—give or take a little.

Those 200 days have been hard. Harder than I expected. Challenging in ways I didn’t know I could (or needed to) be challenged. There have been good days, days that left me feeling light and expectant. Many more days have had me down deeper than I thought possible. On Day One all I felt was shock. We had taken precautions. We had used protection. But still, those two lines appeared. I couldn’t believe this was happening.

On Day Seven, I still didn’t believe I was actually pregnant so I took another test. To my dismay, they appeared again, like lines marking a road forward - a road I had no desire to travel. This was not my timing. This was not my plan. I think I took a total of five pregnancy tests within those first ten days, each one returning a pair of lines brighter than the last.

The days from ten until now have been filled with a lot of just that: Dismay. Unbelief. Apprehension. Fear. I thought over time the idea of becoming a mother would sink in and the pregnancy bliss I hear so many talk about would engulf me into baby oblivion. Yeah, I’m still waiting for that to happen.

Cancer and _____: Two Words That Just Don't Go Together

Cancer and _____: Two Words That Just Don't Go Together

A little over two weeks ago my friend Amy shared a rare post on Facebook asking for prayers from her friends. “Today we heard two words that no parent ever wants to hear in the same sentence: your child’s name followed by the word, ‘cancer.'” Since that moment, Amy and her husband, Brad, have been through an absolute whirlwind of doctors visits and emotions. All their grand plans are now measured in moments, their home made up in hospital beds. 

As cancer goes, Hunter's diagnosis is about as optimistic as they come. Accute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is very treatable when caught early and has a remarkable cure rate among children. But you and I know that there is no such thing as "good cancer." Those are two words that just don't go together.

Yet despite the obvious oxymoron, when I walked into Hunter’s hospital room last week, it did not feel like a bad place to be. In fact, it felt like a very, very good place to be. The tubes and monitors and an endless stream of interruptions from hospital staff and doctors were juxtaposed against the calm smiles and honest laughter that filled the air and settled onto the shoulders of all present. If you stood still enough and watched long enough, you could even find the most unexpected of emotions: joy. 

Real Dreams and Invisible Fears

Real Dreams and Invisible Fears

One summer afternoon during my young preschool years, I spent a few hours playing at my friend’s house. Adam Holzworth was the same age as me, and we were probably best friends, as those things go when you are four. Though not in a direct sight line, the Holzworth’s front door was little more than a stone’s throw from my back yard, and on this particular occasion my mother allowed me to walk unaccompanied through the open lot behind our house and across the quiet cul-de-sac to play with Adam. Adam took me right down to his basement to play with his father’s old wheelchair. We took turns rolling around on the unfinished concrete floor, imagining how wonderful it would be to be able to ride on wheels everywhere we went. Soon, we grew tired of our medical plaything and went back upstairs clamoring for lunch. Adam’s mother made us bologna and cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise on white bread - a delicacy unheard of in my house - and we sat down to watch Dr. Rick Marshall fend off the other-dimensional, prehistoric terrors in Land of the Lost

How Do We Explain Senseless Violence?

How Do We Explain Senseless Violence?

The sunrise this morning brought with it news of another tragedy: this time, a senseless act of violence at a concert in Las Vegas. At last count, 50 people are dead and more than 200 are injured. All at the hands of a lone gunman who perched himself high above a crowd and allowed sadness and anger to rain down in bullets. Though this is the most deadly mass shooting in our country's history, it was not certainly not the first, nor will it be the last. Whenever something like this happens, regardless of scale, we are left with questions that have no easy answers.

The Antidote to Fear

The Antidote to Fear

Recently my family took a vacation to Flagstaff, Arizona, where we spent some time taking in the majesty of the Grand Canyon, as well as other sights in the area. We found ourselves one morning in Sedona at Slide Rock State Park, where water flow and rock formations create a natural water slide set against the most scenic backdrop imaginable. At one section of the river, children and adults alike lined up on the edge of the rocky overlook above the river, some 10-12 feet in the air, and jumped off into the water below. To my surprise, my 10-year-old daughter, who I assumed would approach such a stunt with great trepidation, lined right up and jumped in without hesitation. I had seen her attempt other feats much more cautiously, so what was it that allowed her to jump without pause? Was she more fearless than I realized?