Dear God, Help

In many ways it made perfect sense that he was screaming, “I hate you! I hate this!” at the top of his lungs. After all, it was I that was holding him down while he was being inflicted with pain. This was not the first time but one of recent many. The “I hate yous’” were becoming more frequent and also more painful to hear.

There was one particular time however that is forever etched into my memory. Noah was 5 years old and I was sitting on the edge of his Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) bed, holding him tight in my arms so he couldn’t move, while the nursing staff changed his PICC line dressing. This was something that had to be done on a regular basis. Due to Noah’s genetic syndrome, he has more hair than a typical child. Tape and tegaderm are one of the things he absolutely hates the most because it really hurts coming off. He was crying, screaming, and looking me straight in the eyes. I knew he didn’t understand why I had to be a part of this painful process, preventing him from fighting back and allowing them to do what they were doing. He didn’t understand that he had to go through this so he could be healed. The nurses were silent as he cried and quickly did what they had to do. In my calmest voice possible, I just said over and over, “I’m so sorry; I love you so much.” What nobody saw or heard that day was at the same time my son was screaming, my heart and mind were screaming just as loud, and I physically felt sick from it.

“God, I hate this!” “Why are you allowing this to happen?” “Make this sickness stop!”

After the procedure was over I was able to loosen my grip and sit him up. I hugged him and rocked him back and forth as I comforted my child. Kissing him gently on the cheek, I repeated softly in his ear, “I am so sorry. I love you so much! You are such a tough little guy.”

In his whimper, he then said to me, “I love you too mommy.” I knew he never truly hated me. It was just his plea to be allowed to fight back when the pain started, an attempt to defend himself.

A few moments later, a man from our church, whom I respect greatly, walked in and sat down. I wasn’t aware, but he had come to visit right when the procedure started and choose to wait patiently in the hallway outside the room. While waiting, he wasn’t able to see what was happening because the curtain was drawn shut, but he heard the whole thing. After sitting down he said to me, “How do you do it? How are you able to be a part of this over and over?” With downcast eyes and a shattered spirit, I responded quietly, “You do what you have to do.”

The truth is, I was a complete mess inside and was barely hanging on. Noah had been in the hospital for a few months by this time after a life threatening illness. I was probably at one of my lowest points emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I knew that others were experiencing more difficult things in life, even within my own extended family. Because of this, I was finding it very difficult to communicate my feelings or this depth of isolation with anyone, and it became a private struggle between God and me.

Dear God, Help!

One night as I lay down on the pullout bed in the PICU, I knew that I had to hang onto my faith. I knew that I needed to pray, even though I was finding it very difficult to even do that anymore. Sometimes, I would allow several days to go by without taking the time to speak to God. Partly from pure exhaustion on so many levels, but also from a frustration that had made its home deep within. Speaking to God in the midst of some of the roughest days was something that I choose to leave to others to do for us. That particular night however, as I lay quietly, the stillness in the room was filled with the alarms of the machines going off. The only words I could muster were, “Dear God, Help.” Those 3 words became a frequent prayer of mine after that, but I understood that was all that was needed to be spoken.

Romans 8:26-28 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself interceded for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  

In the days that followed, there were many more procedures and crying, and my heartstrings would be tugged and pulled on very hard. However, a new grace-filled realization started to cover me that would eventually bring me peace.

At one moment later on, I found myself holding my son during another procedure and hearing him scream to me “I hate this!” Calmly, I started to gently tell him “I’m so sorry. I love you so much! You’re being so brave.”

I was trying to explain to him that he had to go through this so he could get better; all the while I was quietly questioning God at the same time. Suddenly as clear as if I was hearing the words out loud myself, I too felt the Spirit gently say to me, “My child, I love you so much! I know you don’t understand, but you need to go through this. Trust me, it is part of my great plan for you and if you allow me to do my will, I will turn this pain into good and for my glory!”

I needed to hear and feel those words at that moment. But even more than that, I needed to believe it.

Are you in a time of life where you need to hear God tell you that He loves you, despite the pain you are in? I can tell you, He does! GOD IS LOVE. Maybe you already know this but do you actually believe it? Do you find yourself fighting back? Do you need a little comforting in life? Let me remind you of this promise:

“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you…” Isaiah 66:13

You know, life doesn’t make perfect sense. At least it doesn’t to us. But you are His child and you are being held tight in His hands. Hands that love and can heal for His glory.

A Letter of Recommendation


Last summer, our church was privileged to experience the Watoto Children’s Choir from Uganda, Africa. It was an amazing, beautiful performance full of excitement, energy, and the proclaiming of how life is beautiful, despite the hard circumstances these orphaned children have had to endure.

Randy, the boys, and I signed up to be a host family for one of the adults and two children that evening. After we took a moment over a bedtime snack getting to know one another, it was time to get Noah tucked into bed. Our nurse for the night had just arrived and it was getting late.

Up until this time, Will, Tonny, and Brian, our guests from Africa, had not seen a child with a trach or other tubes coming from his body. They studied Noah’s bedroom full of the equipment and machines that we hook him up to each night and watched us tuck him in.

Noah's equipment collage

Right before it was time to turn off the light, Will (the adult) asked if he could say a prayer over Noah. Accepting his offer, our newfound friends from Africa whom we had known for a total of 1 hour, stood with us, hands joined, and circled Noah’s bed. It was a beautiful moment that I will not forget.

The thing is, our night nurse stood quietly tucked as far back into the corner of the room as he could, stood their wide-eyed and watched the whole thing. Never saying a word. I did not know if he was a Christian or had any belief in God, but I said a silent prayer and asked God to touch his heart that night.


Over the past several weeks, my son Noah has been waking up in the middle of the night with having bad dreams. Honestly, it all started with something he saw on a commercial. While watching a decent TV show, a not-so-decent commercial came on featuring a horror show and 30 seconds later, it was embedded in his mind and the scary dreams began. Not only that, but he is now terrified of being alone and also of the dark. He currently will not be on a different level of the house alone, even in daylight.

I have had talks with my boys about where fear comes from, and what we need to do if we are overcome with fear. Namely, speaking out loud proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ. They understand that this type of fear does not come from God, and they know there is power in the name of Jesus!

A couple nights ago, he was afraid to fall asleep. So, I took a moment and prayed with him, specifically for the Lord to drive out any fear that he was having and that he wouldn’t have any nightmares that night. To his delight, when he woke in the morning, he happily proclaimed that he didn’t have any bad dreams.

Thank-you Jesus.

Last night, the same nurse that stood quietly in the corner of the room last summer, was scheduled to watch over Noah. Another nurse, who was orientating to start working in our home, also came. I informed them of Noah’s recent nightmares and told them that Noah might ask to have them sit with him until he falls back to sleep if he does wake up.

This morning, when I came downstairs, I asked how the night went. The male nurse shared that Noah did indeed wake up scared in the middle of the night from a bad dream. I then asked, “Did he ask you to sit with him?” To which he replied, “I did, but I also prayed with him, and he feel right back to sleep.”

Friends, after a year of having this nurse in our home from time to time, I still have no idea if he has any kind of faith. He is an amazing nurse who is as friendly as can be and does a great job with Noah. Both Noah and we love having him in our house. But as far as real “fruits” being produced, I just can’t tell. It leaves me unsure.

So, when he shared that he sat and prayed with Noah, it just made my heart leap. I asked Noah later this morning if he was the one who asked the nurse to pray, to which he replied as innocently as possible, “Yes, I asked him to pray with me”. I don’t know if this was the action this nurse would of naturally taken or if this was the first time this young man has ever lifted up a prayer to the Lord. But since Noah asked, he responded and I just can’t help but smile about it.

This time however, the female nurse, being on orientation, was present in the room, standing quietly and watching what was happening.


2 Corinthians 3:2-3, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

Back in the day when Paul was writing this letter to the Corinthian church, there were some religious teachers that would carry written letters, their resumes on stone, to prove they were authentic and were capable of giving a good sermon. Paul, not carrying any letter like this, didn’t need too…he chose to use his life and was encouraging the church at Corinth that they were doing the same.

You see, the most powerful sermon that we can ever give is not with our written words. Ink is used to write on things that are perishable – things that will eventually fade and wither away. These typed words, my words, will never have the impact that real flesh and blood interaction will.

The most powerful sermon that we can give is with our lives – authentic Christian lives that reflect our creator. When the Spirit of the Living God takes his finger and engraves on human hearts – that will never fade away.

You can be a living letter of recommendation.

When we live in such a way and expose what the Spirit of the Living God writes on our hearts, our lives become a letter that is in a language that ALL will be able to read.

It doesn’t matter if you are from Africa spending some time in the USA, if you have nurses come into your home every night, if you go to work each day, if you are a stay at home mom, or if you are a child…

God can use you to recommend Him to all those you come in contact with.

Be a walking testimony! In honor of this Valentines Day, dare to expose your heart by the way you live and share the love letter that is written on it.

You just never know who will be standing off to the side, quietly watching, taking it all in ~ waiting for God to take His hand, touch their heart, and make a lasting imprint that will never fade away.

PS…Will, my friend, never stop being a true living letter of recommendation!

It Is Not Your Fault

I can honestly say that I had never intended for this to come out so soon in starting my blog.  But this post came pouring out of me today, and I just have to trust that there is a girl out there tonight who needs to read this.  Please read the following with a gentle spirit. 

This post is for that young girl, (the one in the past and the one in the present), who needs to know and be reminded of this:

“It is not your fault.”

It is not your fault that you showed up to their house that night. After all, it was your babysitting job. You were in your second year of college and this was a great way to earn some extra money.

It is not your fault that you grew to love those two kids and learned to trust the husband. After all, he was a regular church attender, was on the church council, had a respectable job, and was only a year younger than your own father. After a year of babysitting, they started to feel like a second family.

It is not your fault that the wife was constantly gone on business trips and after all the time you spent at their house, you barely got to know her.

It is not your fault that when you tucked those sweet kids into bed that night, a boy and a girl, both in their elementary years, gave them each a kiss and told them that you were so excited to see them again the next night – that this was actually the last time you would ever see them again.

It is not your fault because you didn’t know what was going to happen just a short while later as soon as they fell asleep.

It is not your fault that as you sat down at the island in the kitchen to do your homework, when the back door opened, it was the husband who came home much earlier than expected and gave you a look that you will never forget.

It is not your fault that at that exact moment, a knot formed in your stomach – that sick feeling that is hard to describe, and you knew something bad was about to happen and you were unable to run out of there. After all, his grip was much stronger than you were.

It is not your fault that he told you that you were pretty.

It is not your fault that you had on your favorite pair of jeans, the ones that fit you like a glove. Looking back, you were in the best physical shape of your life and it was during one of the few years of your life that you actually believed you looked good too.

It is not your fault what happened next. The sexual assault – you didn’t deserve that. You did nothing to promote it or even see it coming.

It is not your fault that despite being on the honor roll during your entire college years, you failed the test that you had to take the next morning. Your mind was unable to think clearly and you didn’t have the courage at that moment to let your instructor know what happened a few hours prior.

It is not your fault that the following day, when you woke up early to go to clinicals, you were assigned a patient with the same first name and age as the husband was. You didn’t do well that day.

It is not your fault that you were unable to focus clearly, and despite it being one of her very first times to watch you, the nursing instructor that followed you that day pulled you aside that evening and told you she didn’t think you had what it took to be a good nurse, and that it felt like another knife cutting into your already raw wound.

It is not your fault that you didn’t have the guts to tell her at that moment what you were going through, but that statement made its way deep into your mind and you knew you had to prove to yourself and to her that you did have what it took – more than you or she ever realized.

Even though it was not your fault, I need you to know that not everyone is going to be accepting of what happened. There will be people who will be of great support, who want to love you and help you out, to be there and listen. And it is good to hang onto one of the most special moments that happened on a long and quiet drive home after an awful experience at the police station – your little brother, though not saying a word, reached over and took your hand and held it…and it was all that you needed. But there will be others who will just not know how to handle it. They will completely ignore they ever heard of it. Give them grace. They just don’t understand. For those who are there for you, appreciate them and tell them how much it means to you.   And please, above all else, go get counseling. It will be the best thing you can do.

I need you to know that you did good when that burst of courage came and you went to your old high school and spoke at chapel. You were brave and wore your favorite pair of jeans, the ones that fit you just right. It is OK that you were barely able to stand on your own two feet because your whole body was shaking. But when it was over, the young girl who came down off the bleachers, crying so hard she was unable to talk; you hugged her and told her, “It is not your fault”, and she needed to hear that. You were able to communicate a little bit of hope that day, and you found that a little bit of healing took place inside of you too.

I need you to know that you did good when after that day, you decided that you were not going to live as a victim, but as someone who went through a traumatic event and came out on the other side. You made up your mind that you were determined to let this help make you stronger, to turn the ugly into good.

Despite that, it is not your fault that you continued to struggle with guilt and shame. I need you to know that there will be many moments down the road that you will feel guilt and shame over things that you will do – where those feelings are actually deserved. Sweet girl, the guilt and shame you are feeling now because of what happened to you, that is not deserved. You can get rid of that.

It is not your fault that from that night on, having a positive body self-image is something that has never happened again. You try so hard to get past that, to love yourself, but it is such a daily battle. Dear girl, I need you to remember that you are pre-approved and loved anyways. You don’t need to try so hard anymore. The Holy Spirit can handle it and fight that daily battle for you, and help you see that you are beautiful just the way you are – hidden scars and all. And most of all, when your husband looks at you and tells you that he still finds you beautiful – you NEED to believe him. He needs you to believe him.

I need you to know that whether you like it or not, this is a part of your story. It is hard to write, but God allowed this to happen to you, for He is in control of everything – the good and the bad. I don’t understand it. I don’t. But I believe it. You need to remember that He too is without fault.

It is OK that you decided to keep this event to yourself since that day you spoke at chapel many years ago. It isn’t like you were trying to hide it, you just didn’t find desire to talk about it. But today, you feel another burst of courage, and you pray that God uses it for good.

Even all these years later, despite the courage you are feeling at this moment; you fear judgment from others and hope that those reading this will not look at you differently than before. But I guess that might just happen anyways, and you want them to know that just like little brother, they don’t need to say any words, but maybe a squeeze of the hand or a smile will be just fine.

There is no need or desire for pity. Just a need and desire to want to turn an ugly moment into something that can be beautiful – a way to help another girl know that “It is not her fault.”

Please share if you know of a girl in this present day that needs this message.

She needs to know that she is going to be OK.

I have faith that she will, because even though it was not my fault, I too turned out OK.

Linked at #FaithFilledFriday

The Day I Prayed for Humility


Back in our early years of marriage, my husband and I lived in Missouri. He was in medical school, and I was working as an RN on a Cardiac Unit in one of the hospitals in the city. We had been there for a few years and I was becoming very comfortable at the job. At that time, the Unit I worked on felt very stressful. There was a high RN-to-patient ratio and just overall, I remember it being very busy. It was a common weekly occurrence to find one of the nurses in the bathroom crying. However, I grew to love all things cardiac, the staff that I worked with, and found myself with a good relationship with the physicians whose patients I took care of.

I started to realize that despite the craziness of it all, I was feeling pretty confident in myself. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but as a nurse, there is a fine line between being confident and too confident. I knew that as soon as a RN started to feel too confident, bad things started to happen. It seemed that those nurses started to pay less attention to detail and unnecessary mistakes would be made. I never had great respect for nurses who felt overly confident, as it would show in their attitude and demeanor on the floor.   Pride would take over them and it showed.

When I started to feel pretty comfortable and confident, I felt like I had one foot over the fine line and the other one on its way. I found myself thinking that I was better than some of the other nurses. I was being judgmental and comparing myself better than them, and knew in my heart I was looking down on them. I started to think about it a lot and felt convicted that I needed to pray for a little humility to put my feet back where they belonged.

So, one morning before work, I sat down on the couch in our little apartment. I said a brief prayer and it went like this; “Dear Lord, I’m feeling a bit too confident in myself at work lately and I know that my heart is not reflecting yours. Please keep me humble. Amen.”

And off I went.

The moment I walked into work that morning, I could feel the level of stress on the Unit was very high. I got my patient list, listened to report, and started my day. Immediately, I felt as if I was running behind. Patients seemed overly demanding and each room that I walked in to, I was dealing with issues that just put me even further behind. I was trying to get all my meds passed and there is typically a certain time frame that you did need to get the meds into the patients. One particular patients labs were not coming back. I kept looking in the computer to see if they were done, and for whatever reason, it was taking a long time. I really wanted to know what his potassium level was before I gave him the high dose of potassium that was ordered. But, I was in a hurry and time was not on my side. So, in my confidence of myself, thinking that all would be just fine, I did something I don’t normally do, and gave his meds anyways before getting the lab results.

Well, shortly after I gave his meds, the labs did come back and wouldn’t you know it, his potassium level was high that morning. In cardiac patients, potassium is something of great importance, and too high or too low can cause significant problems. I immediately knew I made a big mistake and am pretty sure I said something under my breath that wasn’t very Christian-like. I knew I would have to let the doctor know what I did.

A brief moment later, and he arrived on the Unit for rounds. Right there, at the nursing station, I tried to pull him aside kinda quiet like and to let him know what I did. I didn’t want to make a scene or anything and certainly didn’t want anyone else know my mistake. I am pretty sure my confession might have been the straw-that- broke-the-camels-back for him that morning because he just started to let me have it… loudly, in front of all the other nurses. I don’t mean just a little bit loud, but like SUPER-DUPER LOUD WHERE ALL THE OTHER NURSES STOPPED WHAT THEY WERE DOING AND WATCHED.

Only a couple hours into my shift that morning and the Lord answered my brief prayer. I was humbled. It was embarrassing. Pretty sure I was the nurse in the bathroom crying that day.

At that moment, I no longer felt overly confident in myself, and honestly, that stuck with me for years. I’m not saying that the Physicians response was necessarily appropriate, but it did cause an effect on me that was needed and ultimately, for my benefit. I am happy to say that I never had to endure another verbal spanking like that from a Physician again! Thankfully, the patient suffered no ill effects from my mistake and I don’t think I ever passed meds again in my nursing career without looking at what all the labs were first. It would become a teaching point that I used over and over again with future nurses that I would orientate as well.


Proverbs 11:2, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”

Praying for humility might not be the top thing to pray on your prayer list. If you are like me, there is a certain level of fear that comes with actually asking for the Lord to make you humble. You never know what avenue He will take to make that come to fruition in your life. However, the Bible is very clear that the Lord will use the humble for great things. Christ himself was the ultimate example for humility and if we desire to become more like Him, then we absolutely need to make humility a priority in our prayer life.

Do you find yourself in frequent comparison and thinking you are better than your neighbor? Are you being judgmental towards others? Do you find yourself being selfish and thinking you deserve better than what you are getting? Do you feel like you should be the one being served instead of doing the serving? Do you feel overly confident about your spirituality and how you live your Christian life, comparing it to those around you? If so, maybe you need to take a moment and ask God to give you a little humility.

Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Let’s lay aside our selfishness and start to treat those around us with respect and love. Let’s get rid of the judgmental attitudes and realize that we are ALL made in the image of God. Let’s start serving those around us and lifting them up with encouragement, instead of expecting others to give us the attention and praise.

Having humility doesn’t mean you need to have depressing thoughts or to put yourself down. The Lord doesn’t want that. But He does want us to have an attitude that reflects His.

Philippians 2: 5-11, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Humility is not something that will come naturally to us sinful people and it is more than a one-time prayer. We absolutely need the Holy Spirit’s help in this area. Without it, pride will rise up and cause us to look like fools.

Now days, my humility comes fairly frequently, mainly thanks to my 12 year old son Ethan. The boy talks non-stop and with having High Functioning Autism, he doesn’t quite yet have the filter that I would like. (It is something that I work on him with constantly.) He’s slowly improving. However, just two days ago, he loudly let the lady cutting his hair know that he has had to wear his dad’s socks for the past two days and that he had the same outfit on as the day before because his mom was so far behind on laundry that there wasn’t anything for him to wear.


Um, sweetie, “Shhhhh”.

As I have learned to do, I just smile and try to remember to thank God for the built in blessings that Ethan gives me. 🙂

Yes – somedays, I have to remind myself that humility is a blessing.

So, whether your humility comes on a daily basis via the children God has given you, or else if you need to – confess your mistakes before the Lord. Either way, we need to remember to daily ask for humility. It will only be to your benefit and you will gain wisdom because of it.

In fact, I am going to stop and do the very same, right now.