Embracing Joy in the Pain

Embracing Joy in the Pain

It seems a very long time ago that LeRoy and I sat down with Jim Daly and John Fuller for the first time to share our story at Focus on the Family. Things look much different today than they did then. But, just as God reached down to meet with us in our pain during that season, He is meeting with us today in the pain of this season. And there is much joy in abiding in His abundant presence.

Read More

Praying Big

Praying Big

I’m asking big for my husband. I’m asking that God would display His merciful character and bring healing and relief from the pain. I’m asking for God’s will to be done, and for Him to prepare our hearts to receive what He has for us. And I’m asking with an open hand. Will you join me?

Read More

Riding the Roller Coaster of Illness

Riding the Roller Coaster of Illness

I’ve never liked roller coasters. Ever. I just don’t get the point. Zooming through open air, way beyond heights that are safe, and then dropping so fast that you prepare to throw up. Not to mention slinging around corkscrew turns so hard that it triggers muscle spasms in your neck. And why in the world would any sane person enjoy risking flying off a track that probably hasn’t actually been inspected by someone truly concerned about safety? Really.

Read More

Was the Cross Really Necessary?

Was the Cross Really Necessary?

Two weary-hearted friends trudged slowly home. Days before, they were anticipating the Passover festival and wondering what they would witness as they followed the young rabbi to Jerusalem. Would His friend Lazarus of Bethany attend the festivities, the one He brought back to life from the dead?

Read More

Reaching the Silent Sufferers

Reaching the Silent Sufferers

There is a very good chance that you walked past someone in church last Sunday who has been sexually assaulted—but has never shared that with anyone. According to the Department of Justice, one in four women, and one in six men, are sexually abused in their lifetime. Throughout almost four decades of ministry, I’ve found that most people hide their abuse, are ashamed, and often blame themselves. They are the silent sufferers.

Read More

How to Be a Hypocrite

How to Be a Hypocrite

For several years, I was (and still can be) a hypocrite. I could read, study, talk about, and even teach the Word of God—thinking I was living out what I professed—while all the time I was actually living as a hypocrite.

Read More

Preparing a Safe Place for the Abused

Preparing a Safe Place for the Abused

Still the nightmares come. She knows the Word better than most. She’s committed to Christ—wants to live as a faithful woman of God—but her heart is weary and doubts assail her as the onslaught of horrific memories and pain continues . . . for years. For decades. And I want to be more than just a praying friend. I want to “fix it,” but I don’t have that power. Only One does.

Read More

LeRoy’s Update: Four Steps Forward . . .

Four steps forward, then three back. That’s what it feels like our path is right now. I haven’t given an update on LeRoy since last November, when I told you that the main concern now is the nerve damage that the lesions on his spinal cord caused—not so much the actual neurological disease. And then, a few weeks after I posted that, LeRoy’s neurologist let us know that the lesions could return within the year, that there is no way of knowing how this disease will react to the treatment.

Read More

Lifting the Cover on Sexual Abuse

“Will I need to stand in front of the church and confess that I was hospitalized in a mental health facility?” At first I thought she was joking. She was not joking. She was dead serious. And when she asked that—I knew our church had failed. We had failed her terribly. The church adds to the trauma of sexual abuse when men and women are afraid to come forward, afraid to share their story, and afraid to confess that they no longer want to live. That’s when it is obvious that we, as a church, have failed the broken and hurting.

Read More

Is There Any Hope for the Weary Woman?

As I’ve been teaching the book of James to a small group of women on Sunday afternoons, they’ve asked some good questions, and I thought you might like to “get in on” the discussion. I’m so grateful for the women who are digging into the Word with me. These questions surfaced from our focus on James 1:1–12 if you want to read that first for some context.

Read More

He is No Domesticated Deity

A few weeks ago, I ran into a man that I haven’t seen in several years. He claims to be a believer, but he also claims to be mad at God. He loves LeRoy, and several times he expressed to me how it just doesn’t make sense what has happened to him. Then he moved on to talk about the horrific tragedies of life: children being killed by drunk drivers, children dying of cancer . . . all those kinds of things that make no sense to us. “Why would God do that?” he was asking.

Read More

Moving Into 2019 With Living Hope

Back in 2015, shortly after Moody Publishers asked us to write Men Who Love Fierce Women, my husband, LeRoy, began having some odd physical issues. We spent two years on the medical merry-go-round of doctors, clinics, and tests, but we had no answers. Finally, in the summer of 2017, doctors diagnosed him with a rare neurological disease that destroyed portions of his spinal cord and left him partially paralyzed.

Read More

Finding Joy in Desperate Days

My eyes were still closed, but in this morning’s pre-dawn hours, as wakefulness was nudging me, I started lifting thanks. I’m thankful that God is giving me the grace to want to get out of bed, with the strength and desire to face the battle again. So many days last year, I didn’t want to open my eyes in the morning. I didn’t want to believe the new reality. I didn’t want to face another painful day of our journey.

Read More

Why I’m Not Making Resolutions This Year

Normally, you’ll find me filling up my journal with a list, making a hopeful set of resolutions for the New Year. Let me say at the outset—I like resolutions. I think they’re a good thing. Getting a goal in place, and resolving to complete that goal, can pave a clear road to growth and successful accomplishment. Resolving to “do better” can be a great motivator, even when it requires taking time to learn something new or apply myself to another form of self-discipline.

Read More

2018 Reflections and Lessons

The year of our Lord, twenty-eighteen, began on a Monday. And that made the new year seem right on schedule. A new week, new month, new year, and a fresh start should always begin on a Monday, don’t you think? So, 2019 feels a little off to me. In fact, I’m a little behind on all of it (which explains why you didn’t receive this post earlier).

Read More