Hello! Did you remember to wear green today?
I had my daughter give me a manicure with hand-painted shamrocks. I always do something special for St. Patrick’s Day because it’s a significant date to me, even though I’m not Irish.
Twenty-five years ago today, my son Sam, who was not quite three weeks old at the time, breathed his last breath minutes before midnight. His short life changed my life forever.
Hope in Darkness
Last week on The NEW, I had an opportunity to testify to the ways God revealed himself in the cloud of my pain and grief. During my journey through the valley of the shadow of death, I coined the phrase “hope in darkness.” God didn’t give my son the miraculous healing I had prayed for, but he did give me the miracle of his tangible presence. When our invisible God makes his presence obvious, that’s nothing short of miraculous.
Honored to be on the latest season of The NEW, a talk show produced by Peoples Church, Fresno. I testified to how God revealed himself to me exactly the way he promised he would in 1 Peter 1:3-9.
Processing the Journey
My writing friends encouraged me to share with you the gist of a letter I sent my publisher a few weeks ago. It testifies to a more recent season of grief. Like you, I walked through uncharted territory in 2020. For me, the losses weren’t limited to all the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. I grieved several losses. My mom left earth for her heavenly home the day after Christmas 2019. Then our golden retriever of 13 years and one of our horses crossed over the rainbow bridge within days of each other. Before that week ended, a toxic algae bloom killed more than a dozen Koi in our pond.
I cried a lot in 2020. As all my losses piled up on top of Covid, I strained to see glimpses of God giving me “hope in darkness.”
I did see God’s mercy in the timing of my mom’s passing into glory right before Covid hit. It’s one thing to miss your beloved mother because she’s in heaven with Jesus and all the saints (including my awesome dad). It’s quite another to be kept from seeing her because she’s locked down and lonely in an assisted living facility. I shudder to think of it. Thankfully, the pandemic never touched her life or the beautiful memorial service my family held to honor her.
Going Down or Going Up?
When my dad died of cancer in 2009, I felt like I was on an elevator stuck between floors for 18 months. The same “shut down and going nowhere” feeling of grief I’ve experienced since my mother’s death has been camouflaged by mitigation efforts to slow the spread of the pandemic. The CDC essentially locked everyone in the “grief elevator” with me.
Fifteen months have passed since I last saw my mom, and I sense I’ll be emerging from the elevator soon. Making new commitments is one way to get me moving in the right direction again. I hereby commit to send a weekly email with “Mid-Week Miracle” as the subject line. You are in receipt of the first one.
I borrowed the name “Mid-Week Miracle” from the church my husband and I attended when we first married. The campus came alive every Wednesday night with programs and activities for all ages, and it started with a family-style dinner in the fellowship hall. Remarkable miracles didn’t happen every Wednesday night. Although a buffet-style dinner with dozens of families bunched around tables in a crowded room would take a miracle today. Similarly, the subject line of my emails doesn’t promise that you’ll read a testimony about a miraculous healing or find a story about signs and wonders each week. But I do promise to testify to the miracle of our God’s tangible presence in the midst of our daily routines.
I believe what Revelation 12:11 says about the saints’ ability to triumph over the powers of darkness by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimonies. So watch for a testimony every Wednesday starting next week. May these stories give you glimpses of God’s tangible presence, especially in seasons that cry out for hope in darkness.
Keep watching. God is with you!