🏹The internist that saw me through the first several rounds of tests and was unwilling to accept an easy diagnosis.
🏹The surgeon who knew immediately that I had Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome before I had been tested and before anyone else had recognized it.
🏹The nurse that would eventually put me in contact with a local support group for EDS because her best friend also had the disorder.
These are just three small examples of what would appear to be coincidences in our journey toward my official diagnosis of Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. But I know better. God was ready for that journey. I know that He purposefully placed these people along our path so that we could easily get the help and care that I needed.
We shouldn’t be surprised to learn that God has been getting things ready for us. He has done this all along for His people.
Before He created man and woman, God planted the garden that would feed them. Before He sent the rains to flood the earth, God called forth the first chirp of the dove that would bring Noah a sign of peace. Before He called His people out of Egypt, God called an infant Moses out of the reeds of the Nile. Before Jesus died to promise salvation for all, God watered the tree that would become the cross.
God is preparing things for you even now. You aren't alone and today isn't a surprise to Him. You're going to be okay.
Adapted from Ready: Finding the Courage to Face the Unknown, my six-week Bible study on Joshua. Explore the study at the link in my bio.
Just do something, I whispered to myself. Anything. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do something. I should have been getting out of bed that morning, but instead I sat on the edge, paralyzed.
I felt both hopeless and helpless. Hard stories can do that to us all. I knew God was ultimately in control, but when it came to the small decisions I still had to make in each day, I was frozen. The realization that I was living with a story I could not change trickled down to the everyday choices I faced. I couldn’t decide what clothes to wear or what to eat for breakfast. Should I go the park for a walk or maybe just the neighborhood streets? Did any of it matter or was I expected to just blindly move through the numbing reality?
God whispered an answer that pulled me out of my crippled state of mind: baby steps.
We can take baby steps. We don’t have to figure out the next week, the next year, or even the next few days, but we can take baby steps.
And those baby steps give us the courage to take action on the pieces of our story we can change as we wait for God to move expectantly on the things we can’t.
from Week 3 of Renewed: Finding Hope When You Don't Like Your Story, my four-week Bible study on Ruth. Explore the study at the link in my bio.
Behind this door is the quaintest apartment courtyard in Paris (think flowers everywhere, stone walkways, and bistro tables), the entryway to a yoga studio, and a little boy playing checkers by himself. Well, that's what was behind it one magical September day in 2011 when I tooled around Paris by myself.
Now that I have medical clearance to fly again and the world is on its way to opening back up, I'm dreaming of travel.
Where would you go first?
Thomas is home- woohoo! So after a big breakfast with my boys and a little housecleaning, I'm off to spend the day with family and then a surprise treat tonight 🙊. Soul is singing.
Tell me something that makes your soul sing in the comments.
Worship. Word. Pray. Obey.
These are our habits for success. This is our sustainable template for daily, determined living. If we want to live like Jesus, we will seek to engage in these actions every day.
Which habit do you excel at? Put your tips in the comments below on how to incorporate that habit into your day. Let's encourage each other with new ideas!
From my six-week Bible study, Determined: Living Like Jesus in Every Moment. Explore the study at the link in my bio.
I am so encouraged to see the world coming back alive after a year and a half of pandemic life. I know we are not out of the woods yet, but I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Can you?
As churches and women’s ministry organizations look ahead to planning events for the fall and spring, I’d love to partner with them and offer Biblical teaching and practical tools for courageous living that point women to Jesus.
Are you planning an event for your church? Or do you know a women’s ministry leader that needs a speaker for an upcoming event? Click the link in my bio for details on my speaking ministry. Or share this post with the women’s ministry leaders in your area. I’d love to chat with them about how we might serve their community well.
I grew up visiting my grandparents often. I'm an old soul at heart and I remember well the weeks I chose to spend sitting at my grandmother's kitchen table rather than on spring break trips with friends. Her chicken and pastry was well worth the social sacrifice.
Maybe that was just my introverted nature beginning to stake it's claim, or maybe my heart recognized the treasure that I was witnessing, even though my brain couldn't articulate it just then.
The most striking memory I have of my grandfather is of him sitting in his chair reading his Bible. Every. Single. Night. I never asked him, but I don't think he missed a day of turning to God's Word. His Bible never got dusty. And his example is a large part of the reason why I love Scripture so much today.
He didn't complicate it. He didn't question himself on what to read. He just opened his Bible and read. When his aging eyesight made the words difficult to read, he bought a magnifying glass and carried on. He read the Bible right before he went to bed, and I like to think that was because he trusted the goodness of God's Word to flood his mind as he slept. My grandmother would echo his love for God's Word in all that she taught me at her kitchen table (Romans 8 was her favorite 💜).
I was eleven when their middle daughter, my mother, passed away due to the same connective tissue disorder I have. That Christmas they gave me my first Bible and I still read from that same one today. It feels like home.
Sometimes the legacy we leave is as simple as a daily habit we are determined to keep. Mine? I'd love for it to be just like Papa: no dusty Bibles.
In Renewed, a four-week study of the Book of Ruth, women glean wisdom from Naomi’s perspective, a woman who lived a story she didn’t choose or like. With insight from my journey of living with a story that is not easy, I'll teach you to flourish, even as you live hard stories, by trusting in God and trading their heartache for hope.
Explore the study at the link in my bio.
Although we may expect perfection in our faith journey, God knows better. He knows there will be seasons marked by boldness and seasons saved for strengthening. He knows when we can be entrusted as vessels of courage and He knows when we need to pause and feed our souls. Some days we are as strong as Joshua in Joshua 3, boldly leading the Israelites across the Jordan River. Some days we are weary as Elijah in 1 Kings 19, asking for relief from all that threatened to block our joy.
In all of our days, we are called to rely on God for our strength, trusting that He will give us exactly what we need at exactly the right moment. After Elijah had rested and ate as the angel of
the Lord commanded him to do, he was strong enough to take the next steps of his journey. Likewise, God will strengthen us when we need it so that we can carry on, even when our
journey seems too hard.
Lord, thank you for your patience with me as I learn to walk in your footsteps. Give me the courage to be bold and the wisdom to rest in and rely on you. I will trust in you as my true source of joy.
💍 my engagement and wedding rings beautifully designed by Tom: two imperfect diamonds on either side of one perfect one to remember that we are two imperfect humans held together by a perfect God
🟠 my mom's wedding ring to always hold her near. I have her hands so looking at them always reminds me of her.
🟡 a ring given to me from a dear friend, engraved with "worth it" to remember that Jesus looked at the cross and saw me (and you) in His mind
⚪ a tiny silver ring I bought for myself in high school to remember the little girl that still dreams big
✝️ a handheld cross made by my uncle from zebrawood (zebras are the vEDS mascot) to hold when I am anxious and remember that Jesus holds my body together
The rings I always wear. The cross stays on my nightstand for restless nights and sometimes sneaks it's way into my travel bags...especially when I have to fly 😉
What's a treasure you always keep near?