Restoring Joy

I don’t have a whole lot to share today.

Aside from being sick most of this week, I have been feeling overwhelmed and anxious with all the turmoil in our world. I am deeply saddened by all the anger and hatred. We have lost our ability — and our desire — to listen to one another.

What I want most to share today is this: Despite all the evil in this world, I am trusting that God is still in control.

I know it sure doesn’t always feel that way, and many (myself included) struggle to understand why evil often prevails over good. But fear and anxiety can quickly overtake us and leave us feeling hopeless and alone. This is what happens when we look to the world to comfort and console us. Only one Comforter is able to fully restore our peace and bring joy back into our lives.

Take some time away from the news this week. Instead, look for ways to share joy with others, just as Jesus taught us to do. I think you will find that a simple act of selfless love is just what this world needs. ❤

When the Rain Comes

It’s been one of those strange months where my life perfectly matched the unpredictable weather. At times, May has felt more like March, with seemingly endless wind, rain and cool temperatures. This was unusual for the DC area, and was particularly unwelcome after the warmer weather we enjoyed earlier in the spring. But whatever the cause, the crazy weather mirrored the events in my life.

Confession: I am “that” person who thinks they can do it all, that they can handle every task in life without asking for help. It becomes a point of pride after a while, like a heavy crown that you feel obligated to wear. I don’t want to disappoint anyone (or myself), so I just roll up my sleeves and tackle the earliest looming deadline. Usually the stress doesn’t get to me, but when you find yourself in the ER with chest pains, it may be time to slow down.

Although I did my best to “sneak” into the hospital without anyone knowing, within minutes my pastor was at my bedside. I guess that was okay since he is also a trusted friend (and oh yeah, he’s my boss too 😉). He was there to comfort me and pray with me before they wheeled me in for a chest x-ray. I didn’t feel all the fuss was necessary because I thought I’d have a few tests and head back to my desk with no one else noticing.

I won’t bore you with the details of all that was going on in my life that day; they really aren’t important. It could happen to any one of us, at any time depending on our life situation, but all at once everything seemed to amass into the perfect storm. I felt the tide rising in the form of rolling chest pains. That 24 hours in the hospital seemed like eternity to me, and it was far from restful, but it opened my eyes to what matters most.

As minutes turned into hours, word spread and my phone buzzed with concerned texts and messages of assurance from many people who were praying for me. I felt completely covered by their love, and a sense of calm washed over me. All through the day and that long night I kept thinking about my father who died in 1986 of a massive heart attack a week before his 57th birthday. I knew I was where I needed to be and that I was receiving excellent care.

I am praising God because every test that was run came back normal. I will be having further tests this coming week and following up with my new cardiologist. I wish I could remember the names of all the nurses and doctors in the ER and observation wing who cared for me last week. (There were A LOT!) I am in awe of all they do each and every day.

Although I wanted to return to work the day I was discharged, the doctor insisted I take the remainder of the day off. Heading his advice, I went home and took a much-needed nap. When I awoke, I went downstairs to find a dinner basket that had been dropped off by a group of amazing ladies from our church. It was filled with food and flowers and other treats, and oh so much love!

As I look back at this crazy month (and it’s not over yet) I am reminded of the faithfulness of God as He sees us through every storm. He brings order to chaos, and provides rest for the weary when they need it most. For that, I am truly grateful.