The sun peered through the blinds, gently nudging me awake. As I quietly slipped out of bed, fatigue and stiff joints greeted me for the day. Snuggling into a sweatshirt, I routinely followed the smell of percolating coffee.
The sun rose slowly over ridges and rooftops, casting a golden glow on all of creation. A warm cup of coffee in hand, I nestled into a white porch rocker at the edge of the deck. The dew sparkled like stars on the grass. Filling my lungs with the crisp air of spring, I treasured being the only one awake.
And like a hundred birds. Continue reading
My journey with chronic illness has been both painful and long. My story is being featured this week as part of a series on Brave Women.
Truth be told, I have been more afraid than I have brave.
The last five years my life has revolved around immune-suppressants, flare-ups and fear. I did everything I could to optimize my health. I went dairy-free, gluten-free, corn-free, egg-free; all at the same time for a long time. I saw a naturopath, took enzymes, a regimen of pills, and drank dirt.
But I was still sick.
For years, I wrestled with God. Why me? Where are you, God? Did you forget about me? Don’t You see? Do you even care?
If you’ve been curious about my journey with chronic illness or ever wondered where God is in the midst of chronic pain, please check out this post! God is answering my prayers, just not the way I expected.
I hope and pray my story will encourage you wherever you are at, in whatever battle you may be facing today.
Click here to read my story.
Check out more inspiring stories in Becky Beresford’s Brave Women Series.
Let’s be honest. There’s pressure to put the happy in our holiday.
And if gift-giving, family gatherings, and expectations weren’t enough, we’re told to do it all with a bit of cheer.
But what if you don’t feel merry or thankful? And your season isn’t bright?
This couldn’t be happening. Not again. Not ever.
My heart beat wildly as I pressed a firm hand to my chest. Like lapsing waves, one hardship rose after the other, sweeping me into a sea of despair.
Anxiety. Depression. Disease. Inability to conceive. Now this.
Panic threatened to overwhelm as inflammation increased and my knee swelled for the third time. After four years of ceaseless prayers, all my hope for the future was shattered.
I thought I was getting better. But I was still broken. Continue reading
My hope and strength for this life are rooted in the next. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, I can be fearless in both life and death.
The resurrection is our foundation for life and death.
The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation and pinnacle of the Christian faith. Remove it, and our entire faith collapses like a house of cards, for “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor 15:14).
There are many theories that try to debunk the truth of the resurrection but none of them are sufficient given the entirety of historical evidence (you can read more about those here). Even Lee Strobel, an atheist, skeptic and seasoned journalist for the Chicago Tribune, set out to disprove the resurrection only to discover an overwhelming amount of historical evidence that confirmed it as fact, not fiction (you can read his book, the Case for Christ or watch the movie on Netflix).
By nature, the word salvation implies that we are saved from something.
The Gospel isn’t a self-improvement program. It is a liberation movement.
And liberation is only needed if I am a slave.
The truth is that all of humanity is enslaved to sin. The word sin means to “miss the mark”; we are by nature law-breakers and fail to meet God’s perfect moral standard.
“For all have sinned…everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin…for whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved” (Rom 3:23, John 8:34, 2 Pet 2:19).
Life is unpredictable. In the span of three decades, I’ve already lost more than I care to lose: family, friends, a job, dreams and health.
When you’ve experienced recurring loss and grief, it can create a cycle of anxiety and fear over what else you could lose.
Salvation, for one.
Many times I have been gripped by the panic that I could lose my relationship with God. Or that Jesus will forget me when death darkens my door. Could I do something to jeopardize my eternity? Will my faith be enough?
I know Jesus has forgiven me. But too often I live like this forgiveness isn’t full or free. I allow my past to define me. When I fail, I fear God will be mad at me. And though I don’t admit it, I’m still trying to prove my worth so that God will accept and approve of me.
But the resurrection proves I am forgiven.
The resurrection proved that Jesus died, not for his own sins, but ours alone. “For death has rightful claim only over sinners” but death had no hold over Jesus (Acts 2:24). The resurrection proved that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins and showed that God not only accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and payment for sin, but He declared Jesus innocent by raising him from the dead.