My sweet girls who made it through the fear and doubt.
The small flame of the candle flickered wildly as air from the opening door fanned the flame. Sarah, my gentle oldest child peeked through the door and asked if we could talk for a few minutes. Her quiet voice told me she did not want to attract the attention of anyone else in the house.
I had come to my bedroom alone. A fire was lit in the fireplace, a cup of tea steamed at my side, and a melancholy Celtic tune played softly in the background--this the perfect setting I had planned for a short, one woman retreat, by myself on a few stolen minutes of a Sunday afternoon. But, I could see she needed to talk about something that was important to her.
The tears began to overflow her dark blue eyes as she sat down. The past year had been hard and lonely for her. We had moved to a new city and not a friend her age was to be found. Several of her Christian friends had been dabbling in sex with boys they were dating, Christian leaders we knew had split the church over an immoral relationship, leaving many broken relationships behind.
On top of this, our country had just experienced the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and Sarah had been forced to manage through the trauma of the week without Clay and me as we were gone for a brief 20th anniversary trip away. All of these issues plus the questions of what to do with the rest of her life combined to trouble her heart and mind.
"Mama, I have having such doubts in my faith. So many believers seem mediocre and compromising, and our world seems to be falling apart and it is hard for me to make sense of it all. Have you ever felt like this?"
Fast forward 12 years, and Joy quietly sneaked into my room getting ready to leave for Oxford amidst the first onslaught of ISIS and was fearful to get on the plane fearing being away from us if a crisis should befall England.
"Mama, the world seems to be such a scary place. How do I know I will be ok, you all will be ok, when I am so far from home if a crisis arises?"
Now, having lived through all the seasons of 4 children, from birth into adulthood, I can see the hand of God leading me faithfully through all the fear-filled times. God whispers secrets to us in His word about how to make it through in tact with our souls and spirits healthy and strong.
Certainly the world today, and 12 years ago, is a place threatening the peace of our personal lives every day. With crisis looming at every point: Planned Parenthood atrocities, needless shootings and killings of teens, the murder of Christians in the middle East, the refugee crisis and storms and disasters all about, we are inundated with threats every day.
Since I wrote the book, Own Your Life, I have received literally hundreds of letters from all parts of the world asking me questions about what it looks like to "Own Life" in such times. This fall, I will be starting a new podcast that will speak to mom's issues, but I also hope to be doing a series of articles one day a week that will include some discipleship podcasts from my living room to yours about issues covered in Own Your Life. I will be talking about how to make a reasonable personal life plan for building foundations that cannot be shaken, how to find rest amidst weariness, making a plan for a growing spiritual life, dealing with disappointment, taking faith steps towards ministry and leaving a godly legacy and more. I hope many of you will join me.
I will be covering chapters from Own Your Life. So be sure to get a copy if you want to follow along with me in your own quiet time, or get the study guide to study scripture related to the chapters and answer your own questions in journal pages provided.
I hope you will enjoy the podcasts as well as the articles. And look for a new series of podcasts with my wonderful friend, Kristen Kill, as we begin a new series together on issues of Motherhood.
Looking so forward to this series. Hope you and your friends will join me. If you want to read along with my commentary, be sure to get your own copy of Own Your Life--and the study guide. I hope it will be of great encouragement to you--and I have already been greatly inspired working on it!