Getting on the Scale

I know I’m not alone when I say I was appalled when I stepped onto the scale this morning. Where on earth did those extra 10 pounds come from? My pants didn’t feel tight yesterday, but since I’ve seen that number, they feel suffocating. I suddenly hate the way that I look and start thinking about eating only lettuce and drinking ice water for the next week. Why did that number change the way I look at myself? It didn’t happen overnight, yet I suddenly felt very uneasy. I found an immediate motivation for finding healthy recipes. I started tracking what I eat in the handy iPhone app I have. With one glance at the scale, I felt a new way of living coming on.

Sort of the way the Lord has been working in my spiritual life too. I felt totally comfortable and at ease with the track my life was on – I finally felt like i had found some stability since Owen died and “the” divorce. Then, I got a glimpse at what my ministry could look like. How my graphic design degree could help share God’s message in new ways. With just a fleeting thought and dream, I suddenly felt really uncomfortable again.

I wake up feeling unsettled. My heart is slightly racing, my stomach churning. Life is good. Nothing horrible has happened … just the daily struggles of raising three amazing, stubborn, colorful boys. But my heart strings are tugging. I know it’s the Lord’s way of getting me to work … to seek answers and start to move.

I’ve been thinking about going for my master’s for about a year now. I know that this isn’t the right time … money and time are just too tight. My children need me and God has entrusted me with these small beings.

So what work needs to be done? What change is coming or needed?

My unsettled feelings find truth in the 29th chapter of Jeremiah, verse 11-13:

11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,

The answer is in prayer. It’s in seeking our Father first; with every act of every day. It’s less about having the vision all planned out and more about always seeking Him. When you want to write out your to-do list, fold your hands in prayer and offer everything you have to the greatest visionary of the universe. Let’s be real, his creativity far outweighs anything we could ever imagine for ourselves.

Oh how I’d love to know the plan so I could prepare. I’d have a to-do list and be organized and efficient in completing God’s work. I’d have something to look towards and work for. (I do much better with a goal set in front of me to accomplish – do you?)

Yet, this is not the task God lays before us. He does not call us to be prepared. In fact, he calls us to blindly trust – to fully depend on him. In my world, that’s the opposite. Think of the apostles … do you think they were prepared to bring the church to the world? HECK NO! Yet, that is what they were called to do and, with God’s help, that’s just what they did.

Dear Father, calm my spirit. Calm my worry in a way that only you can. Help me to use the glimpses of your plan as reassurance rather than anxiety of what could be. 

Love, Mel

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Screaming White Silence

There are these moments … usually when everyone else in the house is asleep. I can hear a buzz … I can hear all of the gears in my brain turning and spinning. There are these moments when life seems crystal clear – too much is happening. There is too much iPad time, too much sugar, too much TV, too many inappropriate lyrics on the radio, too many hours in a car this week, too many expectations on kids – let them be kids already!

Then, there are these moments that center me. There are these moments that I feel God on the couch next to me. And still there are these moments when He is nowhere to be found.

I get mad … sometimes I get really really frustrated and everything just ticks me off. The fact that you brought a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to work could irritate me. These moments are when you need to just accept that I’m pissy and meet me there.

There are these other moments when nothing can alter my calmness. I am in complete control of what comes out of my mouth. I’m cool as a cucumber.

But man, those other moments – those moments when the very sound of a clock ticking can send me over the edge. Poor clock is just doing what God intended … keeping time, rhythmic and steady. Yet, that constant tick tick tick can just send me right into a frenzy.

What defines one moment vs another? How are some moments in life crystal clear and others a thick fog?

I sit here feeling both. I want to scream and shout … I’m really pissed off. And another part of me is totally at peace and ready to sleep. The parts of me that are screaming are ticked off that there isn’t enough money or time to go to seminary. The part of me that is at peace is finally knowing that I was made to go to seminary. And the two truths collide. I want to break out of my administrative role and begin a role in programing. Yet, realistically, there isn’t that change in my near future.

I’m not happy with God’s pace … I want things to happen faster. I’m mad at God, telling him off as to why He let me realize this at the very moment there is no possible way of starting graduate school … yet I am so thankful that I know another step to living out my calling. Faster God .. my days here are numbered – I’m but a whisper in the wind … could we speed up the process so I can enjoy the peace of coming into my calling? If we don’t get this seminary thing going, I’m going to miss out on a lot.

I don’t understand God’s timing. I don’t understand how emotions can be so strong in two totally different directions. Gosh, I don’t understand a lot. I do know that God loves me … I do know that he is the most loving father … and I do know that His timing is perfect.

So, in the middle of the night, when the white noise is so loud I can’t go to sleep … I pray for the peace of God which transcends all understanding. I long for the closeness with my Creator, so that timing and reason no longer matter. I beg for patience and yield to the perfect timing of the greatest love of my life.

Love, Mel

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The Game of Life

One weekend, not too long ago, Jaden wanted to play a board game. “Sure thing kid, pick out any one you want!” I was secretly impressed that my 9 year-old-video-game-addict wanted to play a game with his “uncool” mom. He came up the stairs with the Game of Life under his arm.

This wasn’t the same game of Life I played as a kid. There were airplanes and boats and the game board rotated every time you spun the number 1. We each picked out our color car and put our respective pink and blue peg in the diver’s seat. We both chose to go to college (secret happy fist pump from mom). Then Jaden landed on the “get married” space. I went to grab a pink peg and stopped myself. Instead I asked Jaden, “Are you going to marry a boy or a girl?”

Here’s the thing … in that split second, when I assumed Jaden would want a pink peg, I wanted him to know that he has a choice. He can choose who to love. He can choose who to marry. He can chose what color to drive or what college to go to, or not to go at all. But no matter what he choses, one thing remains the same … his mama will always love and support him. Now secretly I hope he goes to college and marries a sweet girl and into a family who will love him like their own. I wish this for all of my boys and not because I believe it’s the “right” way to live, but rather because it’s an easier way to live. Same sex relationships face many struggles that I cannot identify with. The world is hard enough as it is, living among society norms.

I want my boys to go up to be tolerant and loving. I want them to accept others just as they are, without judgement. I want my boys to know that their mom is a safe place. I am someone who will love them, exactly where they are. I heard it best at a conference: I want my children to grow up loving Jesus, loving the church, and liking to hang out with me when they are grow.

Jaden hesitated. He expected me to hand him a pink peg too. But he put on that silly smile of his and said, “a blue peg mama.” 

He was testing me … to see if it really was ok to marry a blue peg. I smiled at him, kissed the top of his head and put his blue peg husband in the passenger seat of his orange car. We didn’t discuss it anymore than that. We just played the game. (which I won :) I don’t really think Jaden thought much of it either. But I do hope that a little seed was planted in his big heart that would grow into a strong confidence that I will love him no matter what game of life he chose to play. Mom can be a safe place.

Perhaps it’s the hippy part of me, perhaps the boys need to be encouraged differently, perhaps I’m wishy-washy. I do feel quite strongly that its not my place to judge others. That’s between them and the big guy upstairs. My job is to love and encourage each of God’s children. Correction, it’s our jobs to love and encourage each of God’s children.

Love, Mel


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Emotional Vomit

I honestly don’t know how people do it. How do they hold it together and not get all emotional and messy and angry all over the place. How do they stay in control of their feelings? Or at least what feelings come out? Mine seem to have a mind of their own. I try to manage them, process them as they come up … but they still seem to come pouring out all over the floor, usually in front of the wrong person at the wrong time. Emotional diarrhea.

I am emotional. You could blame it on the fact that I’m female. You could blame it on the fact that I’ve been really sick the past two weeks … But honestly I don’t think that’s it. I’m emotional even when I’m at the top of my game. Women who can control their feelings are like superheroes to me. Freaking WonderWoman!

Recently my tired, frustrated, put down, not-feeling-good-about-my-ministry emotions poured all over the floor. There were tears and boogers and used Kleenex. I felt depleted and uninspired. Most of all, when it was all over, I felt regret. I felt badly that I wasn’t able to put my feelings into thoughtful polite words. I felt responsible for the hurt I may have caused the other person. I was disappointed in myself for losing control of my emotional filter. I felt perplexed on how someone would have been able to tame those raw emotions I was feeling.

I started to wonder … how do people do it? Perhaps my feelings are stronger than others? Feelings on steroids. Perhaps I missed a life skill along the way. Maybe I’m just weaker than others – unable to hold it together. Whatever the reason, I knew I had done it again.

I gave a lot of prayerful thought to the “incident” over the weekend. I prayed for a way that I could take it all back. I struggled with the fact that I meant the hard truths I said, but regretted the way I said them. I was embarrassed and ashamed of the immaturity I displayed. I was embarrassed that I had come completely unraveled in front of someone else.

Monday morning came and I had to face the music. I had to sit in front of that person and talk about what had happened. I had to actually acknowledge that I had lost my “stuff” and had become unraveled. The only words that I could come up with were, “I’m sorry I hurt you. I want you to know that I love you and respect you and I am deeply sorry my actions didn’t show you that.” Because I was sorry. I couldn’t apologize for what I had said because I wouldn’t have been truthful. But I could say that I was sorry I had hurt my friend, that was truth. But sometimes that’s what the other needs to hear. Not that you take back what you said, but that you care about their hearts. Everything boils down to relationships. It’s not the work we are doing, it’s the hearts of the people we are working with and working for.

I still don’t have a clear answer why some are able to hold it together while I have emotional diarrhea. I wonder if it has more to do with not having conversations about things that bother me as they one up. They all build and fester and explode like a tea kettle. I try to hold it together by saying everything is ok, not wanting to upset the apple cart. I try to be strong enough to just take it and let it go. I need to have faith that my coworkers love me enough to want to know when I’m hurting. I have to believe that my brothers and sisters in Christ care as much about our relationship as I do.

I wish it wasn’t true, but it’ll happen again. I’ll vomit hurt, hysterical, emotional crap all over again. I’m going to work hard at processing, taking time to clear my thoughts and get “right” within myself. I care about my job, my work and the people I encounter. Sometimes I care too much that it becomes a pride thing.

The work we do in the Lord’s name means nothing if we are hurting His people along the way. Love each other. Ask for forgiveness when you need it. Be willing to forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it. Grace. Love one another. That it is the real job God gave us … to love one another.

Love, Mel


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My First Sermon – Lady Wisdom

I was super excited when asked to preach at the church I serve. I’ve poured my heart out on the world wide web with my writing, but never had to stand up in front of everyone and say it out loud. So, after lots of prayer, conversation and practice in my bathroom mirror, I preached at Atonement on Sunday, July 19, 2015 for the very first time. I had a blast and was so blessed to have the opportunity to worship with these people.

If you are interested in what I shared, below is the sermon I shared.

Love, Mel

Good morning! I’ve been serving Atonement as your office manager for almost two years now. Many of us have not met face to face and I just want to say how great it is to worship the Lord with you this morning!

You may or may not know, but I’m a single mom to four beautiful boys – Jaden (9), and the triplets: Logan, Owen and Weston (4.5). I have two of them with me on earth – Owen passed away when the triplets were 6.5 months old. Let me tell you raising all boys on your own can be a wild ride! One that I often do not feel equipped for. Moms are always giving instruction to their kids … offering them wisdom. I can tell you that I’ve surprised myself with some of the instructions that come out of my mouth like …

  • It’s gross to pick your nose, you’re gonna lose friends
  • We wear pants to the dinner table
  • It’s probably best to change your shirt each morning
  • Quit licking your brother’s armpit!

On a serious note … As mothers and women, we are in a constant role of offering instruction and guidance. In an average home, women are the nurturers, the care-givers, we are daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, mother, wife … sometimes we are laundromat, dishwasher, keeper of the lost and found, chef, chauffeur, and sometimes the hold-the-family-together-ers. I’m not saying that men can’t or don’t fulfill these roles … I just think in a general sense these are looked at as feminine qualities.

I remember sitting in a marriage counseling session, before my divorce. Joe, the therapist, was explaining male and female roles in a marriage and family unit. My ex husband was all in a tissy because we stayed at my parent’s house an hour past the boy’s bedtime and he felt like I was being irresponsible. Joe looked at him and said, “I can promise you that Mel has already thought about the boy’s bedtime four times before it’s even crossed your mind. She’s weighed the pros and cons of the boys staying up a little later against the benefit to the entire family unit of spending extra time together. She sees her family as much wider than you do … as most women do. They have an intuition on how to manage a wide range of relationships.”

Now I have to admit I was flattered by his words, I didn’t feel that my role was that important, nor did I feel as though I had that kind of insight. But as I’ve grown and my family has changed, I find that maybe there was some truth to Joe’s words. And not in a “pat myself on the back” kind of realization, but rather as a better understand of how God has knit me together as female. Seeking and managing relationships is intuitive to most women.

What’s really interesting about today’s scripture, and partly why Greg asked me to share today’s message, is that Proverbs 8 personifies wisdom as a woman …

Let’s first define wisdom. When I try to define wisdom I think of someone who is really smart – someone who has been there, done that. The wise old owl. However, in the Christian sense, wisdom is not the same as truth or knowledge. It’s not just intellectual insight or book learning, either. Wisdom is: good judgment. Book smarts are not associated with biblical wisdom.  Making good judgements relates to knowing, listening to, wanting to know more about God. A wise person seeks God, always.

So here’s wisdom … she’s hanging out, calling our names. She’s raising her voice to get our attention. “Yoo whoo, over here! Listen to me fools. I’ve got something that’s far more valuable than diamonds and jewels.” Lady Wisdom Calling

She’s calling out to us. She wants us to pick up the phone and listen to her. We can’t have it both ways tho … we can’t answer the call to wisdom and stupidity at the same time. In order to answer Lady Widsom’s call, we need to reject other calls. Wisdom rejects other calls. She is calling us in one direction and away from another. Wisdom calls us towards truth and light and righteousness. We are called away from pride, from envy, greed. The call isn’t always an easy one to answer … sometimes it’s really hard to do the right thing. Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge that the problem lies within ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but I want to live a wisdom-filled life. I am guilty of following the wrong “truth.” Taking the easy way out, instead of pausing to listen to Lady Wisdom.

Sometimes it’s really hard to hear Lady Wisdom’s voice over all the other voices. We live in a time, place and culture that has a thousand different ideologies and truth claims. It’s not always clear what biblical wisdom looks like anymore.

In social media, like facebook, twitter, pinterest – Proverbs is often used as a modern day fortune cookie.

The LutheranThe front page of this month’s “The Lutheran” featured an article on how society uses the books of wisdom as adages. Some adages are biblical, some are negative and some are just hurtful. But they are words that are meant to shape our lives and offer us a deeper understanding. The trick is to be cautious about what we are trying to understand … are we seeking God’s wisdom? Or something to satisfy our own desires?

When King Solomon originally wrote the book of Proverbs, his audience was young men. His writing was intended to form character and promote values. So … one could conclude that wisdom, being written as a mysterious woman standing on the corner, calling your name was a metaphor for the way a man desires a beautiful woman. This is the same way we are supposed to desire God’s wisdom. He wants us to yearn for and long for His wisdom – His good judgement.Sleeping

What do you think about when you first wake up in the morning? What makes you get out of bed? What is the one thing you want more than anything else in the world?

I struggle with wanting people to like me. I wanted to be popular in school. There were three girls, who really wanted to be my friend, Katie, Dana and Helissa. But I had decided they weren’t cool enough. I still hung out with them but never really committed to their friendship. Fast forward and I don’t keep in touch with anyone from high school. I don’t think that it’s abnormal, but on the morning Jaden was born, Katie, one of the girls from elementary school came into the room. She asked if it would be ok for her to be the surgical tech for Jaden’s c-section. She spent the next two days visiting with me and holding my brand new baby boy. It was then that I realized how much I had missed out on because I was so busy trying to be popular. My heart desired fame and approval rather than God’s wisdom and truth. The three girls are still friends today. They stood up in each other’s weddings, their children are all friends. I have to admit, I answered the wrong call back in middle school. I rejected a gift that God was trying to bless me with and was seeking to fill my own desire.

My mom tried to offer me the wisdom of recognizing an authentic friendship. I can still hear her saying “Why do you want to be friends with those girls when they are so mean to you?” Or “Dana is such a sweet girl, why don’t you play with her anymore?” But I didn’t want to hear it from her. The value of wisdom can not be taught. It’s something you need to learn from the inside out. Through your experiences and choices.

It’s through our choices we learn that

… wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

Proverbs 8The good news is that, Wisdom keeps calling. Lady Wisdom keeps calling over and over again. Scripture doesn’t say that she calls our name once, it doesn’t say she gives up if we ignore her. God keeps calling our name, he keeps giving us opportunity after opportunity.

I heard Lady Wisdom calling me when I met a family in the NICU after the triplets were born. Wisdom told me to pause and have a conversation with this person … and he has blessed me with my new “framily.” They keep me grounded, they are a safe place to go when my kids are scaling the walls. We share holidays and make memories together. They are a true example of what authentic friendship looks like.

What calls from Lady Wisdom did you put to voicemail? Did you miss her call today? Turn up the volume of your ringer, save her phone number in your contact list and seek her out. She wants to share her insight with you …


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How did you do it?

Over the last few years, many who have lost their children have reached out wanting to know how “I did it.” Although I’m not quite sure what “it” was that I did …  I would suppose they are referring to getting up each morning and most of the time showering, how I continued to love my other children in the midst of my own unbearable pain, how I spoke of God’s love continuously even when I had countless moments of doubt I was too afraid to speak, or how I have continued on with life for four years.

Many have commented on how hopeful my posts were or how much strength I showed. I call this out because it is the absolute opposite of what I felt during those days after Owen’s death. I felt anything but strong, positive or hopeful. My life was upside down and I had no energy or idea on how to put it back together again. But I suppose that’s just where we all need to be in order to give up. That’s right, I threw my hands up and said, “I GIVE UP! I don’t know where to go from here so the rest of you just need to tell me.” And that somebody included God.

I completely surrendered myself to the care and love of my family and friends and most importantly my Creator. When friends called and asked if they could bring meals, I said sure. When church called to see if there was anything my family needed, I said, “well we are running low on diapers and that would save us a trip to the store.” A childhood friend wanted to give me a blanket she had made for Owen, I said thank you! and slept with it every night. My sister’s friend offered to just move in while Owen was in the hospital and take care of my kids and the house – I said thank you. I called uncle and gave up my control. The world had been trying to push me down my whole life, and it finally won.

It’s in that surrender that I found strength. Crazy and kind of poetic, right?  I found a path or a cue to what my next step should be. This strength did not come from my own will or decisions. It came from complete hopelessness, fatigue and grief. It came from the the conversation I had with God that went something like this:

God – what the heck? Are you kidding me? I have loved you. I went to bible study this week. When I was so mad at you after my car accident I continued to work on it with YOU! I could have ran, but I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad I did – but wasn’t that enough? Didn’t I prove to you that I love you then? Why are you testing me again? This isn’t fair. My marriage is already falling apart, I have no idea how to mother these children and now this? Are you taking Owen away because I didn’t love my kids enough? I swear I’ll turn the tv off and just play puzzles on the floor with my kids like the commercials if you just make this all go away.


FINE. I give up. You let this happen – you figure it out. I’d like to see how you’re going to make anything good come of this.

I think God was waiting and hoping I’d say that. Because then, and only then, did he have a complete empty canvas – clean from any of my scribbly attempts of fixing things. He had all the paintbrushes in His hand so he could create a masterpiece I could never have imagined. He delights in those moments when His children give him total control. Not because He is this sadistic puppeteer but because He knows He can create something far more beautiful for us when we just let Him do His job – love us. He is our protector and our creator. He knows us far better than we know ourselves – which is hard to believe after how many hours of therapy I’ve been through trying to understand why I do the things that I do.

To my dear grieving parent friends, let go. Let it all go – drop it on the floor and rest at Jesus’ feet. Do not try to make sense of what has happened, but rather let those around you take care of you. Rest. Focus on your own feelings, allow yourself to feel the pain. Even if it’s for only a second today, try for two seconds tomorrow. Thru that pain you will pick up all of these treasures.

Love, Mel

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To each and everyone one of you (yes, I’m talking to YOU!) …

Four years ago – I wrote this blog:

Today, there is so much more. There is Josie who takes good care of Owen’s heart. There is an unnamed girl in IL who was given more time with Owen’s liver. There are family and friends whom I met in the midst of my grief and now I have NO CLUE how I could ever live without! I bubble over with care and love from the angels God has sent my way.

To each and everyone one of you (yes, I’m talking to YOU!), thanks for loving me and my children. Thank you for walking this path with me … I didn’t have a choice but you did. You chose to weep and cry with me 4 years ago and you continue to walk with me today. I am totally convinced that life is about who is on the journey with you, rather than any destination. It’s about the love we share, the support we offer and the truth we speak. I know with God all things are possible and I believe that he makes it just a little bit easier by giving us each other.

My gratitude for for family, friends and internet besties is endless. If there is ever a time when you need a sister to walk with you, I’m here. I’d be honored to pray for you or to be a listening ear. It’s the least I could do after all the healing you have offered me. Ya’ll are like my life band-aids :)

God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

Love, Mel


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How did I get here?

As I was getting dressed for the day I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered, “How the heck did I get here?” How did I get to this point in my life? Where on earth have the last 32 years and 7 months go? How did day come to be?

It’s been four years since I last saw Owen’s smile and laugh. In some ways it feels like it only happened yesterday, but in other ways it seems it happened a lot longer ago. Perhaps the time warp feeling has something to do with the fact that I’ve been divorced, moved twice, started two different jobs, Jaden has switched schools and I’ve bought a house since then.

I stared right into my eyes – studied my freshly mascaraed lashes, my blushed cheeks. I saw the face of a young, naive fifteen year old girl, who thought she could conquer the world. She was a hopeless romantic and totally in love with a boy in the youth group at church. She dreamed of how wonderful life was, how having a family would be so many laughs and smiles. She didn’t expect life to throw her out of cars, give her the greatest children in the world and then have one of them taken away. How did that young naive girl get to this point in life? How the heck am I still on two feet and getting up in the morning?

That young girl I saw this morning didn’t know how hard life would be, but she knew to cling the Lord and her family. She believed in good and she was right. I certainly don’t feel old enough to have that long of a rap sheet … yet here I stand – with many more years to live. What else is going to be thrown my way? The Lord only knows …

You all know I broke my ankle at the end of February. I got my cast off about three weeks ago a11265303_892450959551_3055223719381654783_nnd am getting around pretty well now. I  still have trouble with stairs and steep hills, but heck, I’m walking! School called me on Monday – Jaden fell off the monkey bars. He was moving his wrist, but was pretty sore. The next day it was swollen so I took him to the doctor. And wouldn’t you know … Jaden broke his wrist! My friend Sara said it all yesterday: “Mel, the universe likes to screw with you!” haha We are so lucky that it doesn’t need to be in a cast but he needs to wear a brace for 4 weeks – only taking it off for bath time. I suppose it was his turn … triplets had their tonsils out, my ankle … yep it was just his turn :)

I’m not quite sure how I have survived life up until this point. It certainly hasn’t been anything I imagined it would be. I can tell you that the fifteen year old girl was totally wrong about some things, but she was dead right about others. Life isn’t always wonderful – crumby but true. But it is good to be a hopeless romantic. Being a romantic isn’t always about a boy. Sometimes it’s about friends, God, or family love. We aren’t all lucky enough to have met our perfect spouse, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of love in my life. Family is the greatest blessing in the entire world! Family doesn’t always last a lifetime, so love them while you do and trust them with God when you don’t.

I love you Owen and I’m so glad you get to cuddle with Jesus today. If you had to be anywhere but with me, I’m glad you are with the greatest Father! It brings me peace knowing that you are safe and happy.

Love, Mel


Filed under Owen's Gone, Posted by Melissa

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

I participated in a tenebre service last night at the church I serve. Seven people were asked to share a reflection on one of the seven last words from the cross. I reflected on Matthew 27:45-46 …

45From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani (sa-bacht-na-knee) ?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:46-46

After five and a half hours of agony, Jesus says, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Very different than the “I will always be with you,” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Yet, in so many ways, we can relate to this piece of scripture easier than the others. This passage speaks directly to our broken human hearts. I don’t know about you, but I think there are many more times in life that I have questioned where God was, than the moments where I could feel his arms carrying me.

Let me set the stage … May 21, 2011 one of my triplet sons stopped breathing at home. Owen lived on life support for five days until he gave his ultimate sacrifice on May 26th. I can only explain those five days in the hospital as magical. The presence of God was so strong. He sat next to Owen’s bed WITH me.

Fast forward a few months … my marriage was falling apart. I was crying myself to bed every night. Begging for counseling and getting no where. Day after day I was lonely, hurting and slowly losing myself. I begged God to help me. I pleaded with him to please save my marriage. “God, I have served you through the death of my baby boy – I have spoken of your love in the midst of my unthinkable loss – where are you now to help me? Where are you now to comfort me? Have I not loved you enough for you to love me back? My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?”

I sought out wisdom from my pastor. To my surprise he advised me to leave. For the first time I heard the A word … abuse. What? Me? No … he doesn’t hit me, I’m not being abused. But my pastor insisted, “Mel … this is a death dealing relationship … God loves you so much, he does not expect you to sustain such abuse … it’s time.” I was tired and thirsty, yet God did not offer me rest. When I called his name, He neither comforted nor encouraged me.

Today, Good Friday, Christ died for us. The same silent God I begged to save me, screams his love by allowing his own son to die for me. Sometimes the extent of God’s love is hard for me to grasp … I can be so unlovable, yet this invisible being sent his only child to die for me … he literally died to save me. When trying to understand God’s love for me, I often think of the love I have for my own children. Would I go through unspeakable pain so that they would have a better life? Yes – without a doubt yes. If my ability to love is only a fraction of what God is capable of … then I suppose he would be capable of loving me, even when I am so far separated from him.

I do find comfort in these incredibly sad and painful words … God understands. He gets it. He’s been there, done that.

Did you know that Psalm 22 begins with the same words?

1“My god, my god why have you forsaken me”

Why are you so far away when I groan for help?

2Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.

Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

Psalm 22

Jesus cries out the same feelings that Kind David did so many years earlier.

When we feel pain, we are separated from God. When we worry, we are separated from God. When our sin weighs us down, we are separated from God. When my children don’t follow my instruction, they are separated from me. When the sun goes down and at the height of his agony, Jesus experiences what it feels like to be separated from God. While you may not be able to see where God is in your life, be sure that he knows your pain.

15My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.

My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.

You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.

19O lord, do not stay far away!

You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!

Psalm 22

He has not turned his back on you … he will come again.

Love, Mel

ps I even rocked the steps up to the chancel with my crutches!


Filed under Faith

20 Things I’ve Learned While on Crutches

It’s been 1 week and 1 day since the great fall .. and I’ve learned a few things from having one less foot.

  1. When your sister is waiting for you in the ER, the two of you can giggle like you were 8 years old again
  2. Your siblings have no shame in making silly videos of you just coming out of anesthesia or on pain meds
  3. When laughing too loud on the general surgery floor of a hospital, your nurse will come in and shut your door
  4. Vicodin can be better than a green beer on St Patty’s day (never thought this Irish girl would say that!)
  5. I am not tall enough for how much I weigh … although the nurse assures me that my splint could weigh +10 lbs
  6. Taking a selfie with my surgical cap is a must for all visitors
  7. A ride down to the OR feels like you are in a parade and should be throwing candy (the nurse might have thought I was a nut job at this point)
  8. You know it’s been a horrible, yet still fun day when your OR nurse greats you by saying, “I heard you are a fun one”
  9. A blanket on the other side of the room feels like it’s on the other side of the Grand Canyon
  10. Real friends take you out for retail therapy and push you up and down the yarn aisle in a wheelchair, complete with basket
  11. I’m sure blessed with some freaking awesome friends who bring me amazing meals!
  12. It’s a hidden bonus being on crutches right before tank top season … my upper arms are getting an awesome workout!
  13. When your 4 year old punches your foot under the blanket, asking you if you still have a boo boo, it doesn’t hurt as much as you would think it would
  14. During your first shower after surgery, do not freak out when you see yellow in the bottom of the shower … you aren’t peeing, it’s the iodine from your upper leg …
  15. Even if you aren’t able to play frisbee with your boys on the first beautiful day of Spring, it’s just as enjoyable to watch them from the window
  16. Breaking up fights between two 4 year olds and an 8 year old from the couch is virtually impossible
  17. Real friends smuggle Diet Mt Dew into the house when your mother insists on drinking more milk …
  18. Almond milk, not only tastes way better than milk, but it also has way more calcium – makes Mom and my taste buds happy
  19. When the phone rings and it’s across the room, I suddenly really don’t care who is calling (sorry if that was you …)
  20. Peanut butter M&M’s are acceptable for lunch when home alone, not only do they taste like heaven, but they are easy to carry in your teeth to the couch

My journey has only began … in all seriousness, I’m very thankful for my friends and family who continue to surround me and my boys in love and support!

Love, Mel


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