I hiked up the ridge today like my life depended on it.

And maybe it did.

Like pounding up that path would shake out the clutter of my brain, like I could physically purge in all that huffing and puffing the stuff I’m carrying around like so many suitcases.

It worked for Abraham; he found a ram there. It worked for Moses; he saw God face to face. It worked for Elijah; he heard God’s plan for protection. So, maybe God is at the top of the mountain. Because sometimes resting in God means pounding hard the things that aren’t Him.

Because it’s been a rough week. Rough in a dying to self kind of way. And I have to pause and ask myself what I even mean by that. What am I even talking about?

In the first flushes of accepting what I believed was God’s call on my life to act as the head of our Women’s Ministry team, I quickly came to the conclusion that this was way bigger than me, than anything I could manage to pull off. This remains my operating platform. And therefore I have to leave ego at the door and leave things open for God to work.

Things have been working in only the ways that God can make them work. People have stepped forward and volunteered at the last moment. Ruffled feathers have smoothed over without much more than solid prayer. Our groups are full to bursting and the continual feedback is that we’re tackling some really good stuff in our groups. And each time someone compliments me on writing our study of Jonah, there is a moment when I want to take credit. But I can’t. That wouldn’t be right.

So that’s what I mean. Acknowledging over and over again God’s complete control over this is breaking me down. The fact that He is blessing this so richly right now suggests to me that yes, this is His work and that for this season I get to be one of His instruments. And if that doesn’t rock your world, I don’t know what will. That the great big God of the universe might say, “Hey, gorgeous! I created you for this season, for this time, and this place.” Excuse me. I need to take off my shoes because this is holy ground I’m standing on.

But what happens when the wheels fall off the bus? Because they will. Because this is a broken, messed up world. Because we are human and we like falling down rabbit holes, especially ones we dig up for ourselves. And because on every front I’ve got front row seats to her cancer story and his business going under and her messy divorce and his infidelity and her long battle with mental illness and his greed and these are the things that crush and hurt and muddle. How do you say to someone looking down the hallway of a life of pain or rejection or anger that God isn’t sending this as punishment but that yes He is allowing it so that He might be glorified through it all? How do you take someone’s hand, hand them a Kleenex, and pray over them with bold claims for healing, knowing that sometimes… often… the healing doesn’t look like our idea of healing. How are these not just empty words?

It was this that sent me fleeing up the ridge today. Fear. Fear that this is all going to come crashing down around me in a colossal earthquake of failure. What, God, what will I do when You turn your face from me?

Because in the past, it has felt like you have. After the first miscarriage, I was rocked. After the second, mad and determined. After the third? That completely shook my faith. I had no ground on which to stand. Why would the great big God of the universe, the benevolent savior-sender, sin-forgiver, ABBA father do THAT? How could He rob a mother of not just one but another and another and still another child? Where could there possibly be glory in that?

And do you know what He keeps saying? “I didn’t hide my face from you. I have always been there. And we’re dancing together right now; so enjoy the dance.”

And the glory? Where is the glory?

It’s in the ego checked at the door. It’s in the leaving room for God to work. It’s in the full dependency, in the complete breaking apart of self and ego and independence. There on the tear-stained floor, in the fleeing from fear, in the running because it can’t be fixed by my efforts… there is the glory that is the moment of complete surrender.

When you leave the door open for God to work, He does.

And it becomes another step up the mountain of unshakeable faith.

Psalm 27

4 The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
6 Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music.
7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
Be merciful and answer me!
8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
9 Do not turn your back on me.
Do not reject your servant in anger.
You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close.
11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me.
12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
with every breath they threaten me with violence.
13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.


Define Healing

For years, I’ve carried a chip on my shoulder. Because I prayed for what I wanted to happen and it wasn’t granted.

I wanted healing and miracles and for what the doctors said to not be so. But it wasn’t granted… not in the way I envisioned it.

If it had been granted, I’d be the mother of 6. And from this side of things, I think the path that I traveled was probably the best path. Irregardless, I’ve been healed and am being healed daily.

Because daily I find comfort in something… maybe it’s a song on the radio, or watching the wind in the trees, or a whisper in my head that prompts me to act or think or move or be still. Since I started claiming God’s blessings as God’s blessings and not writing them off as happy coincidences, anomalies, and inexplicable events, I see those blessings on so many sides.

And that I count as healing. Because healing isn’t just a clean bill of health from the doctor.

“I’m sick of being sick,” my dad told me that a few days ago. He’s had a rough go, recently. In and out of the hospital, infections, pain, even near-death experiences. It’s been a rough go.

From this distance, I wonder what and why and how and even though God assures me continually that He’s got this covered, worked out, and there is glory in the finish, I doubt. This morning, during prayer time, I became shamefully aware that the word “healing” doesn’t even enter my prayers anymore. I pray for wisdom, patience, peace, strong and right decision-making… but the possibility of healing seems overwhelming. I have my doubts that this side of the heaven there will be healing.

And so it makes perfect sense that this morning, after working in my son’s classroom, as I climbed in my car and thought about my next hour and a half, as I tried to frame my thoughts for the blog I wanted to write this morning, as I turned to a song that was going to pump me up and get me psyched for writing the blog, God had a different idea. He firmly told me to turn to song 9 on the CD, not song 8. And the lyrics brought me to tears. “I hear Your voice it whispers my name/ And all at once You quiet my pain. If Your voice lit the sun and night was overcome, You can speak and light up my world, with just one word.” –Newsboys “One Word”

“If Your voice lit the sun and night was overcome, You can speak and light up my world….”

There are volumes in there… God the eternal, the healer, the creator, the redeemer, sun-lighter, darkness chaser, death overcomer, personal gift of love. But healer…. If God can light the sun, then He can heal.

In her Bible study on the book of Daniel, Beth Moore spent a video session talking about the biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and their fiery session in King Neb’s furnace. The words that stuck the most put their experience in personal terms. Sometimes, Beth explained, God steers us away from the furnace completely. That’s a situation we don’t need. Sometimes, He walks into the furnace with us and walks us out of it, refined and improved, not even smelling like fire or smoke or singe. And sometimes He walks us home through the fire, the ultimate healing. Because in Heaven there are no tears, there is no pain, only the unfailing, unwavering light that is God.

We don’t get to choose which option God chooses. He simply assures us that He will walk with us no matter what.

There’s a buzz at Compassion Tea lately. It stems from our recent visits to the African clinics we support. You see, at Tanzania Christian Clinic, posted at the gate to the clinic is a sign that says, “for healing the whole man (John 7:23).” DSC_0158At Village of Hope, there is a sign that reads, “You will be secure because there is hope in the Lord.” 0-79And at 1000 Hills, the dedication stone reads, “To God be the glory for all His inspiration and guidance.”

Dawn Leppan, founder of 1000 Hills Community Helpers... giving proper credit where credit is due

Dawn Leppan, founder of 1000 Hills Community Helpers… giving proper credit where credit is due


We support the delivery of quality medical care in places where there is little. Through our selling of tea, we are able to donate medicines, medical supplies, funding for indigenous staffing and for special projects. We recognize that there is a great need for medical care in rural parts of Africa. And we’re dedicated to that.

But healing doesn’t always end there. In fact, often healing begins somewhere else… in the spiritual realm. Healing isn’t just finding the right antibiotic, it’s finding the Great Healer, He who walks us away from, through, or home through the fires of life.

After 2 miscarriages, and at the beginning of my third pregnancy, the one that would produce my daughter, I found this verse from Psalm 103:
“2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

This became my declaration of hope and I continue to wear it today on a bracelet as a reminder that my sins are forgiven, my doubts, too; that my diseases are healed or healing; that my life is redeemed from the pit; and that I am crowned with love and compassion and renewal.

And this is a hope that needs shared. This is the hope that the staffs at Tanzania Christian Clinic, Village of Hope, and 1000 Hills, to name a few, are sharing.

God lit the sun. He created each of us. Sometimes, He calls us to be His hands and feet… to deliver healing, and above all else, compassion. Now.