"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


I think there are moments, simple moments, that happen during grief that bring you to something vastly deeper. Moments that seem insignificant in their timing, or perhaps so significant that we almost try to ignore them.

To scar is to heal, to heal is to scar. Medically I have this thing that happens internally and occasionally externally when my body experiences trauma. My scar tissue basically multiplies a great deal (keloids). Physically, internally, it makes me a mess. Every surgery I have had (two giving birth and two preserving and healing organs damaged from disease), caused these scars to expand even more as more and more tissue forms over them.

My scars literally have scars.

What is so interesting about them is that every single part was necessary. Every procedure after the first happened knowing that there was this same risk and outcome. It was a known negative result of a necessary action to produce something better. Necessary hurt for necessary healing.

I am physically changed. I am emotionally changed.

There is a song that my sister shared with me many years ago. During the previous year, it had become a personal anthem in the process that is grieving loss.

"Praise You in This Storm"
by Casting Crows

...And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm...

At the home we purchased a year ago, there are many places that daisies have popped out of the ground. The green of the plants at least. In December, during the week that we most likely would have met our Daisy, the beautifully simply white daisies bloomed for the first time. It was awe-filling. 

Life in the dead of winter.
In April, one year to the day of when we found out we were pregnant, a new gerbera daisy plant that I had not planted, began to bloom just outside my home office.

And in May, one year from the day her heart was no longer beating, as friends and family began to leave after a joint birthday for our boys, I stood outside in the rain of the far outer bands of a tropical storm and watched as the petals of a beautifully, simply white daisy opened.

Quietly as I picked up outside while the soft rain continued to fall, I sang my anthem to myself.

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

There is a Goodness I cannot begin to tell.

There is a Grace far beyond description.

Simply, clear as if said beside me, I heard: 
shelter in the storm.

And almost immediately I knew what it meant.

That was my turning point in grief. That was the both the hardening and the softening of the scar. There was a calm and an understanding and a purpose.

For the first time in too long a time there was true, soul-filling joy for what will come. There can be joy in grief and hope in loss and purpose in the path that we did not plan.

My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth.