A New Year’s Eve Heart to Heart

IMG_0035How do we make it from one year to the next? When circumstances seem overwhelming and we’re tempted to fear, how do we keep on going? How do we keep on filling our family’s daily needs, meeting our friends’ expectations, living up to our obligations?

It’s been a year since we relocated to North Carolina…  A year of changes, growth, and new starts.

Last October, our son Peter and his wife lost their baby daughter at 40 weeks. As a family we came together to grieve and support one another.

One week later we discovered (purely by the grace of God) that one of our children was involved in dangerous emotional, spiritual, and physical choices. We began the process of rescuing that child from their situation.

The next week, our 15-year old son was unexpectedly and shockingly diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. We were immediately thrust into the world of doctors, procedures, needles, and tests.

I was frightened, confused,… crushed.

I remember waking up each morning and experiencing about 30 seconds of joy. But then, the weight of our circumstances would settle on my heart and I barely limped through the rest of each day. My sleep was restless and I was exhausted all day. I felt isolated, alone, and shipwrecked.

I couldn’t think straight; my life was on autopilot.

For years, I’ve told my children and others that we “Fight the way we train.” It was time for me to “Do as I said…”

I’m so thankful that 31 years ago a Young Life leader impressed on me the need to train my heart to daily obedience. She drilled into my head the essential spiritual disciplines.

She insisted that I read my bible each morning.

She reminded me to pray.

She urged me to serve, even when I.Just.Didn’t.Feel.Like.It.

She quizzed me on memorized scripture and encouraged me to learn more, more,more!

Last year, when all was in chaos, those spiritual disciplines saved my life.

Each morning as I dutifully opened my bible… I found Jesus. As I cried out in fear and frustration… I found Jesus. As I forced myself to serve others, even when I just wanted to hide under the covers… I found Jesus. God’s Word, hidden in my heart, kept me close to Jesus.

Are you struggling as you begin this new year? Are you facing circumstances and situations that seem unworkable, unfixable, unbelievably hard?

May I encourage you? May I exhort you? Make I shake you and get your attention? Find Jesus. Whatever you do and whatever it takes… Find Jesus!

Sometimes, it’s as easy as “Read your Bible, pray everyday, and you’ll grow, grow, grow!” Those spiritual habits that you put into place in the “normal” times will rescue your heart in times of need. However, if you’ve never taken the time to build the habits, where will you turn when all is crumbling?

What a difference a year makes.


In two weeks, Peter and Rochelle will deliver another little girl. Stephen, although he carries the Cystic Fibrosis gene, is symptom free; once the stress was gone, the symptoms disappeared. Our struggling child? That child is walking faithfully with the Lord and growing daily.

God has been so good to us!

Hard, humbling, fearful times come to us all. When they come, will you know how to find Jesus? Remember, we fight how we train and training ourselves to walk faithfully may be the only lifeline we have in times of trial.

This new year, and every year, may the passion of our heart be to Find Him, Know Him, and Trust Him in all that we experience!

**This next month of January is AGAIN full of changes. A new granddaughter. Moving to a new home. A new homeschooling semester. Baseball, swimming, and Bible studies.

I’m taking the month off from writing to stop and enjoy the changes! I’ll be back in February with a series for wives. Until then, God bless and thanks for all you do to encourage me!