on earth as it is in heaven 2013-08-02 11:34:00


I know, I kind of abandoned ship here for a while. I didn’t mean to leave you hanging.

Katherine’s death has taken me a lot longer to process than most things usually do. Maybe because it felt like a big final loss after a season of lots and lots of losses. Maybe because I have a tendency to want to see redemption here and now, to want to tie it all up in a neat little package, even though I know that His ways are not my ways and a “good ending” is not always seen in this lifetime. Maybe because I feel that I should have some kind of understanding before I bear my heart to the world.

Friends, God is still good and God is still working. In a season of much loss and much hardship, He whispers, “Look how far I have carried you. And still I go before you.”

But trying to tell you where I am at right now feels a little like trying to serve grape juice as wine. Words on a screen feel like a cheap substitute, unable to capture the grace and the mercy that God has shown us during this season, unable to explain the nearness I have felt and the new ways the Father is revealing His heart to me.

There is joy in this place. There is peace in this place. It is Jesus. He is very near to us. And I am writing it all down in hopes that one day soon I will again feel that it is time to share it with the world.

But for now there is something very sacred about sharing my heart with Jesus only.

Thank you for those of you who continue to check in on us and who continue to pray. That you would sit before the Father on our behalf means more to me than I could ever tell you here.

Betty is still living with us. She is a constant reminder of God’s love to me. Health wise, she is recovering very slowly, but she knows the Savior and she is a fighter. She is full of joy, and it is our joy to care for her.

Simon and his grandmother are also living with us while Simon gains weight and gets ready for another surgery. Simon’s grandmother is darling and extremely devoted to caring for Simon. It is always a bit stretching to share our home with new people for an extended period of time, but I am thankful for the way the Father grows us in community, the way that He can turn strangers into family.

The girls are doing phenomenally well, growing like weeds and doing great in school. Watching them grow in their knowledge and love of the Lord is by far the best part of parenting. Without a doubt, parenting reveals to me more of my own depravity and more of my loving Father’s heart than anything else ever could. I am humbled and grateful.

To all who ask the question, "Are you ok?" The answer is a resounding "Yes." I am more in love with my Savior than I have ever been before. I pray that each day my love for Him would only grow. He is good to us, friends, and He doesn't ever, ever leave.

Thank you, again for your prayers and your love. I will be back soon. You can continue to keep up with Amazima here in the mean time.

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-04-27 08:29:00


She reaches for my hand and smiles. I reach for hers and I force a smile back, force myself to look truly joyful. I want her to know joy here. I want to know joy here.

At 26 years old Betty is the beautiful mother of a 3 year old little boy. She weighs 69 pounds and battles AIDS, tuberculosis and all the complications that come with the two. We know the drill. She reaches out her hand and it reminds me so much of a hand I held once, of a woman I loved hard, of a friend who became a family member.

I fight the tears and I force a smile. After all, she might live. She could live, and right now, I know she needs me to believe that she will. How do you keep believing that when the last time you were wrong? When the time before that, and the time before that you were wrong? I sit down on the side of my couch that is now her bed and I ask her about her family. A hot feeling surges up in the back of my throat as I feel my heart start to put up a wall. I know better. I should know better.

After all, my job is to believe with out wavering. His job is everything else.




Just then a having an issue of blood for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, “If only I touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter, “ He said, “Your faith has healed you. And the woman was healed from that moment. (Matthew 9:20-22)

I resonate deeply with this woman. I can see her, reaching out for his hem. I can feel the strain, that desperate reaching, longing just to touch Him, just even the very edge. A longing for only Him.

I am the woman with the issue of blood. Except I am the woman with the issue of doubt. I am the woman with the issue of sin, with the issue of flesh, with the issue of forgetfulness. I am a woman who wants to snap my arms shut and protect, fold my arms tight around this chest to guard my heart that is still so raw and exposed from being broken. I want to gather these children to myself and shelter them from the ugly hurt of this world.

But I can’t fold my arms and simultaneously reach out for my Savior. I reach for Him and I have no choice but to fling my arms wide again. I reach for Betty’s hand and I know, just like that woman, I must seek Him. I must know Him. “If only I touch His cloak…”

And do you know what? He isn’t out of reach. I stretch out my arm and I realize that He is right here, just two steps in front of me, clearing the way. The sweet promises of Isaiah flood my mind, “His robe filled the temple.” I reach and I feel that His hem is wide, enough for me and for you and today and tomorrow. Enough to fill and enough to overflow.

Some time last week in the too-early hours of the morning, I asked God why He allowed me to believe so strongly that Katherine would live when she wasn’t actually going to. I can usually get a pretty good sense for those things. It is hard for me to think that My Father saw me in my hope, He knew I was believing, and He simultaneously knew the ending. I think He answered that He gave me the grace to believe that she would live so that in her final days she would feel hope and high spirits all around her, so that she would feel that she was fought for and that she was worth the fight. She was worth it.

Its His message to us on the cross and it is His message to the woman with the issue of blood as He stoops down to look into her eyes, to speak to her, to meet her need: “You are worth it.” And I want it to be my message to these hurting that He brings into our lives: You, you are worth it. We are for you. He is for you.

I want my life to be found in chasing after Him and I want my arms to be filled, not just reaching for, but gathering in the hem of Jesus. His robe fills the temple. His glory fills the earth. I want my arms to be filled with gathering His grace, His love, His goodness. I want to follow Him wherever He is going and be so full of Him that He is overflowing out of my arms, out of my very life. Even when it means reaching out my hand with a smile to a situation that might hurt, will hurt.  He gave me the grace to hope. And so I am asking that He would give more grace, again, even if it is harder to grasp this time. Grace to feel joy and grace to hope for life and grace to fight hard, because people are worth the fight. Grace to have arms so filled with Him that they have to remain open, and that He spills out.

I look at Betty and my joy is real. We open our arms to her because she is worth it.

And I wanted you to know today, that you are worth it. He fought for you. You reach, and He bends, He cups your face in His hands and He says, “Take heart. Be healed. I am for you.” I pray we would know deeply His love for us. I pray that we would fight for His love in this world because we know. Keep reaching, friend, He’s right here. His hem is wide. Let's fill our arms with gathering it.







Thank you for praying for Betty with us. I will post more frequent updates here: https://twitter.com/katieinuganda 

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-04-27 08:29:00


She reaches for my hand and smiles. I reach for hers and I force a smile back, force myself to look truly joyful. I want her to know joy here. I want to know joy here.

At 26 years old Betty is the beautiful mother of a 3 year old little boy. She weighs 69 pounds and battles AIDS, tuberculosis and all the complications that come with the two. We know the drill. She reaches out her hand and it reminds me so much of a hand I held once, of a woman I loved hard, of a friend who became a family member.

I fight the tears and I force a smile. After all, she might live. She could live, and right now, I know she needs me to believe that she will. How do you keep believing that when the last time you were wrong? When the time before that, and the time before that you were wrong? I sit down on the side of my couch that is now her bed and I ask her about her family. A hot feeling surges up in the back of my throat as I feel my heart start to put up a wall. I know better. I should know better.

After all, my job is to believe with out wavering. His job is everything else.




Just then a having an issue of blood for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, “If only I touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter, “ He said, “Your faith has healed you. And the woman was healed from that moment. (Matthew 9:20-22)

I resonate deeply with this woman. I can see her, reaching out for his hem. I can feel the strain, that desperate reaching, longing just to touch Him, just even the very edge. A longing for only Him.

I am the woman with the issue of blood. Except I am the woman with the issue of doubt. I am the woman with the issue of sin, with the issue of flesh, with the issue of forgetfulness. I am a woman who wants to snap my arms shut and protect, fold my arms tight around this chest to guard my heart that is still so raw and exposed from being broken. I want to gather these children to myself and shelter them from the ugly hurt of this world.

But I can’t fold my arms and simultaneously reach out for my Savior. I reach for Him and I have no choice but to fling my arms wide again. I reach for Betty’s hand and I know, just like that woman, I must seek Him. I must know Him. “If only I touch His cloak…”

And do you know what? He isn’t out of reach. I stretch out my arm and I realize that He is right here, just two steps in front of me, clearing the way. The sweet promises of Isaiah flood my mind, “His robe filled the temple.” I reach and I feel that His hem is wide, enough for me and for you and today and tomorrow. Enough to fill and enough to overflow.

Some time last week in the too-early hours of the morning, I asked God why He allowed me to believe so strongly that Katherine would live when she wasn’t actually going to. I can usually get a pretty good sense for those things. It is hard for me to think that My Father saw me in my hope, He knew I was believing, and He simultaneously knew the ending. I think He answered that He gave me the grace to believe that she would live so that in her final days she would feel hope and high spirits all around her, so that she would feel that she was fought for and that she was worth the fight. She was worth it.

Its His message to us on the cross and it is His message to the woman with the issue of blood as He stoops down to look into her eyes, to speak to her, to meet her need: “You are worth it.” And I want it to be my message to these hurting that He brings into our lives: You, you are worth it. We are for you. He is for you.

I want my life to be found in chasing after Him and I want my arms to be filled, not just reaching for, but gathering in the hem of Jesus. His robe fills the temple. His glory fills the earth. I want my arms to be filled with gathering His grace, His love, His goodness. I want to follow Him wherever He is going and be so full of Him that He is overflowing out of my arms, out of my very life. Even when it means reaching out my hand with a smile to a situation that might hurt, will hurt.  He gave me the grace to hope. And so I am asking that He would give more grace, again, even if it is harder to grasp this time. Grace to feel joy and grace to hope for life and grace to fight hard, because people are worth the fight. Grace to have arms so filled with Him that they have to remain open, and that He spills out.

I look at Betty and my joy is real. We open our arms to her because she is worth it.

And I wanted you to know today, that you are worth it. He fought for you. You reach, and He bends, He cups your face in His hands and He says, “Take heart. Be healed. I am for you.” I pray we would know deeply His love for us. I pray that we would fight for His love in this world because we know. Keep reaching, friend, He’s right here. His hem is wide. Let's fill our arms with gathering it.







Thank you for praying for Betty with us. I will post more frequent updates here: https://twitter.com/katieinuganda 

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-04-27 08:29:00


She reaches for my hand and smiles. I reach for hers and I force a smile back, force myself to look truly joyful. I want her to know joy here. I want to know joy here.

At 26 years old Betty is the beautiful mother of a 3 year old little boy. She weighs 69 pounds and battles AIDS, tuberculosis and all the complications that come with the two. We know the drill. She reaches out her hand and it reminds me so much of a hand I held once, of a woman I loved hard, of a friend who became a family member.

I fight the tears and I force a smile. After all, she might live. She could live, and right now, I know she needs me to believe that she will. How do you keep believing that when the last time you were wrong? When the time before that, and the time before that you were wrong? I sit down on the side of my couch that is now her bed and I ask her about her family. A hot feeling surges up in the back of my throat as I feel my heart start to put up a wall. I know better. I should know better.

After all, my job is to believe with out wavering. His job is everything else.




Just then a having an issue of blood for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, “If only I touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter, “ He said, “Your faith has healed you. And the woman was healed from that moment. (Matthew 9:20-22)

I resonate deeply with this woman. I can see her, reaching out for his hem. I can feel the strain, that desperate reaching, longing just to touch Him, just even the very edge. A longing for only Him.

I am the woman with the issue of blood. Except I am the woman with the issue of doubt. I am the woman with the issue of sin, with the issue of flesh, with the issue of forgetfulness. I am a woman who wants to snap my arms shut and protect, fold my arms tight around this chest to guard my heart that is still so raw and exposed from being broken. I want to gather these children to myself and shelter them from the ugly hurt of this world.

But I can’t fold my arms and simultaneously reach out for my Savior. I reach for Him and I have no choice but to fling my arms wide again. I reach for Betty’s hand and I know, just like that woman, I must seek Him. I must know Him. “If only I touch His cloak…”

And do you know what? He isn’t out of reach. I stretch out my arm and I realize that He is right here, just two steps in front of me, clearing the way. The sweet promises of Isaiah flood my mind, “His robe filled the temple.” I reach and I feel that His hem is wide, enough for me and for you and today and tomorrow. Enough to fill and enough to overflow.

Some time last week in the too-early hours of the morning, I asked God why He allowed me to believe so strongly that Katherine would live when she wasn’t actually going to. I can usually get a pretty good sense for those things. It is hard for me to think that My Father saw me in my hope, He knew I was believing, and He simultaneously knew the ending. I think He answered that He gave me the grace to believe that she would live so that in her final days she would feel hope and high spirits all around her, so that she would feel that she was fought for and that she was worth the fight. She was worth it.

Its His message to us on the cross and it is His message to the woman with the issue of blood as He stoops down to look into her eyes, to speak to her, to meet her need: “You are worth it.” And I want it to be my message to these hurting that He brings into our lives: You, you are worth it. We are for you. He is for you.

I want my life to be found in chasing after Him and I want my arms to be filled, not just reaching for, but gathering in the hem of Jesus. His robe fills the temple. His glory fills the earth. I want my arms to be filled with gathering His grace, His love, His goodness. I want to follow Him wherever He is going and be so full of Him that He is overflowing out of my arms, out of my very life. Even when it means reaching out my hand with a smile to a situation that might hurt, will hurt.  He gave me the grace to hope. And so I am asking that He would give more grace, again, even if it is harder to grasp this time. Grace to feel joy and grace to hope for life and grace to fight hard, because people are worth the fight. Grace to have arms so filled with Him that they have to remain open, and that He spills out.

I look at Betty and my joy is real. We open our arms to her because she is worth it.

And I wanted you to know today, that you are worth it. He fought for you. You reach, and He bends, He cups your face in His hands and He says, “Take heart. Be healed. I am for you.” I pray we would know deeply His love for us. I pray that we would fight for His love in this world because we know. Keep reaching, friend, He’s right here. His hem is wide. Let's fill our arms with gathering it.







Thank you for praying for Betty with us. I will post more frequent updates here: https://twitter.com/katieinuganda 

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-02-14 20:09:00


 I can’t believe that it has been over a month now since I patted my sweet friend’s head as I said goodnight to her small frame on my couch. I can’t believe it has been over a month since I sat behind her in the hospital bed holding her body in the only position that was comfortable in those final hours.

And truth be told, in the late night hours alone with the Father on the cold, hard floor of my bathroom, I have beat my fists against the smooth tile and against my strong Father’s chest and I have sobbed it until the words won’t come, “I can’t believe she’s dead.”

We fought so hard.

It is her little boy’s sixth birthday. We had talked for weeks about the party we would have, with a cake, but that was when they still lived here, when his mother still lived. Instead, I drive across the bridge to where he is now being raised by his aunt and a kind neighbor. We bring the cake. We sing Happy Birthday and he is ok and the kids have fun and are happy. And as we drive away and all smile and wave, I cry.

I didn’t want the story to end this way.

I wrote the ending in my head and it was the ending where my friend gets better, becomes strong and healthy, and is able to move out with her children. It was the ending where they get to sign their names on the bottom of our table to be remembered as friends who lived here and fellowshipped with us and we would all cry happy tears as we served them their last meal before they headed out to their new life healthy and whole. In the ending I wrote, I didn’t have to look 4 children under the age of ten in the eyes and tell them that their mother died in the night as I bounce their baby sister on my knee to keep her quiet. In my ending I didn’t spend every hour of 5 consecutive days fighting and fighting and fighting for a mother to get well and end up clinging to my best friend as we lower a body into a casket.

But His voice comes strong, steady, clear, “Child, this is not the end.”

And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed and they were seeking to bring him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when He saw their faith He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

First, He forgave their sins. First, He secured the eternal. Because really, what is a few more years of walking in comparison to an eternity of worship and sins all forgiven?

Death is not the end. Then end was when He hung on a cross and rose from a tomb and I asked for life, and Life is what He gave. Better, glorious, eternal Life. In those final hours, I held my friend’s head, and I watched her chest heave as her soul first laid eyes on His face and I could nearly feel His breath on mine. And no, I do not know His ways, but I know Him. I know Him. And I do not just lay my friends before Jesus for physical healing but that they might know Him too, that they might be saved. And Katherine, she knows Him.

We fought so hard. And still we won. He won.

This week I take a two-month-old baby to the doctor to confirm that he has a terminal skin condition that causes burn-like blisters to cover his entire body and will ultimately lead to his death. There is no treatment. I wrap and dress the wounds because I know how. Because keeping them clean will prevent infection and anemia from blood loss and prolong his life. But I recognize that prolonging his life will ultimately prolong his suffering.

I take a grandfather from our community in for a check-up. Cancer. It is everywhere. They give him a few months, weeks maybe. We try to make him comfortable, and keep him company. We tell stories of a Father who would send a Son, the only sacrifice that could absolve all this sin, the only blood that could wash us snow white. But part of me still wants to fight. Still wants to research, still wants to explore other options, still will not believe that this is it.

There is something so sacred about the fight for life. I believe that God wants us to fight. There is a focus that comes from being so close to death, a clarity, a purpose. My heart that still fought for Katherine and believed for her healing even when my mind knew there were no more options cries out that this can’t be it, this cannot be the end, there must be something else.

This is the audacity of hope.

We fight and we wait and a watching world says, “Why hope for life in a world of death?” And we know the answer. My heart is right. This isn’t it, this is not the end, and there is something else. His life is better.

Our fight is not for this life, our fight is for eternity. 

We wanted to let you know that our friend went to be with her Maker. We wanted to thank you for praying. And we wanted to encourage you that the fight on this side of heaven is not over yet. But we look at the pain and the suffering all around us and strange as it is, our hope only grows. We know Him and so we lift our heads to the Life-Giver and say, “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and our hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”

Here’s to hope, friends, a hope that does not disappoint. Keep fighting for the Gospel, keep fighting for Life, because He has already won.

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-02-14 20:09:00


 I can’t believe that it has been over a month now since I patted my sweet friend’s head as I said goodnight to her small frame on my couch. I can’t believe it has been over a month since I sat behind her in the hospital bed holding her body in the only position that was comfortable in those final hours.

And truth be told, in the late night hours alone with the Father on the cold, hard floor of my bathroom, I have beat my fists against the smooth tile and against my strong Father’s chest and I have sobbed it until the words won’t come, “I can’t believe she’s dead.”

We fought so hard.

It is her little boy’s sixth birthday. We had talked for weeks about the party we would have, with a cake, but that was when they still lived here, when his mother still lived. Instead, I drive across the bridge to where he is now being raised by his aunt and a kind neighbor. We bring the cake. We sing Happy Birthday and he is ok and the kids have fun and are happy. And as we drive away and all smile and wave, I cry.

I didn’t want the story to end this way.

I wrote the ending in my head and it was the ending where my friend gets better, becomes strong and healthy, and is able to move out with her children. It was the ending where they get to sign their names on the bottom of our table to be remembered as friends who lived here and fellowshipped with us and we would all cry happy tears as we served them their last meal before they headed out to their new life healthy and whole. In the ending I wrote, I didn’t have to look 4 children under the age of ten in the eyes and tell them that their mother died in the night as I bounce their baby sister on my knee to keep her quiet. In my ending I didn’t spend every hour of 5 consecutive days fighting and fighting and fighting for a mother to get well and end up clinging to my best friend as we lower a body into a casket.

But His voice comes strong, steady, clear, “Child, this is not the end.”

And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed and they were seeking to bring him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when He saw their faith He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

First, He forgave their sins. First, He secured the eternal. Because really, what is a few more years of walking in comparison to an eternity of worship and sins all forgiven?

Death is not the end. Then end was when He hung on a cross and rose from a tomb and I asked for life, and Life is what He gave. Better, glorious, eternal Life. In those final hours, I held my friend’s head, and I watched her chest heave as her soul first laid eyes on His face and I could nearly feel His breath on mine. And no, I do not know His ways, but I know Him. I know Him. And I do not just lay my friends before Jesus for physical healing but that they might know Him too, that they might be saved. And Katherine, she knows Him.

We fought so hard. And still we won. He won.

This week I take a two-month-old baby to the doctor to confirm that he has a terminal skin condition that causes burn-like blisters to cover his entire body and will ultimately lead to his death. There is no treatment. I wrap and dress the wounds because I know how. Because keeping them clean will prevent infection and anemia from blood loss and prolong his life. But I recognize that prolonging his life will ultimately prolong his suffering.

I take a grandfather from our community in for a check-up. Cancer. It is everywhere. They give him a few months, weeks maybe. We try to make him comfortable, and keep him company. We tell stories of a Father who would send a Son, the only sacrifice that could absolve all this sin, the only blood that could wash us snow white. But part of me still wants to fight. Still wants to research, still wants to explore other options, still will not believe that this is it.

There is something so sacred about the fight for life. I believe that God wants us to fight. There is a focus that comes from being so close to death, a clarity, a purpose. My heart that still fought for Katherine and believed for her healing even when my mind knew there were no more options cries out that this can’t be it, this cannot be the end, there must be something else.

This is the audacity of hope.

We fight and we wait and a watching world says, “Why hope for life in a world of death?” And we know the answer. My heart is right. This isn’t it, this is not the end, and there is something else. His life is better.

Our fight is not for this life, our fight is for eternity. 

We wanted to let you know that our friend went to be with her Maker. We wanted to thank you for praying. And we wanted to encourage you that the fight on this side of heaven is not over yet. But we look at the pain and the suffering all around us and strange as it is, our hope only grows. We know Him and so we lift our heads to the Life-Giver and say, “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and our hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”

Here’s to hope, friends, a hope that does not disappoint. Keep fighting for the Gospel, keep fighting for Life, because He has already won.

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-02-14 20:09:00


 I can’t believe that it has been over a month now since I patted my sweet friend’s head as I said goodnight to her small frame on my couch. I can’t believe it has been over a month since I sat behind her in the hospital bed holding her body in the only position that was comfortable in those final hours.

And truth be told, in the late night hours alone with the Father on the cold, hard floor of my bathroom, I have beat my fists against the smooth tile and against my strong Father’s chest and I have sobbed it until the words won’t come, “I can’t believe she’s dead.”

We fought so hard.

It is her little boy’s sixth birthday. We had talked for weeks about the party we would have, with a cake, but that was when they still lived here, when his mother still lived. Instead, I drive across the bridge to where he is now being raised by his aunt and a kind neighbor. We bring the cake. We sing Happy Birthday and he is ok and the kids have fun and are happy. And as we drive away and all smile and wave, I cry.

I didn’t want the story to end this way.

I wrote the ending in my head and it was the ending where my friend gets better, becomes strong and healthy, and is able to move out with her children. It was the ending where they get to sign their names on the bottom of our table to be remembered as friends who lived here and fellowshipped with us and we would all cry happy tears as we served them their last meal before they headed out to their new life healthy and whole. In the ending I wrote, I didn’t have to look 4 children under the age of ten in the eyes and tell them that their mother died in the night as I bounce their baby sister on my knee to keep her quiet. In my ending I didn’t spend every hour of 5 consecutive days fighting and fighting and fighting for a mother to get well and end up clinging to my best friend as we lower a body into a casket.

But His voice comes strong, steady, clear, “Child, this is not the end.”

And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed and they were seeking to bring him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when He saw their faith He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

First, He forgave their sins. First, He secured the eternal. Because really, what is a few more years of walking in comparison to an eternity of worship and sins all forgiven?

Death is not the end. Then end was when He hung on a cross and rose from a tomb and I asked for life, and Life is what He gave. Better, glorious, eternal Life. In those final hours, I held my friend’s head, and I watched her chest heave as her soul first laid eyes on His face and I could nearly feel His breath on mine. And no, I do not know His ways, but I know Him. I know Him. And I do not just lay my friends before Jesus for physical healing but that they might know Him too, that they might be saved. And Katherine, she knows Him.

We fought so hard. And still we won. He won.

This week I take a two-month-old baby to the doctor to confirm that he has a terminal skin condition that causes burn-like blisters to cover his entire body and will ultimately lead to his death. There is no treatment. I wrap and dress the wounds because I know how. Because keeping them clean will prevent infection and anemia from blood loss and prolong his life. But I recognize that prolonging his life will ultimately prolong his suffering.

I take a grandfather from our community in for a check-up. Cancer. It is everywhere. They give him a few months, weeks maybe. We try to make him comfortable, and keep him company. We tell stories of a Father who would send a Son, the only sacrifice that could absolve all this sin, the only blood that could wash us snow white. But part of me still wants to fight. Still wants to research, still wants to explore other options, still will not believe that this is it.

There is something so sacred about the fight for life. I believe that God wants us to fight. There is a focus that comes from being so close to death, a clarity, a purpose. My heart that still fought for Katherine and believed for her healing even when my mind knew there were no more options cries out that this can’t be it, this cannot be the end, there must be something else.

This is the audacity of hope.

We fight and we wait and a watching world says, “Why hope for life in a world of death?” And we know the answer. My heart is right. This isn’t it, this is not the end, and there is something else. His life is better.

Our fight is not for this life, our fight is for eternity. 

We wanted to let you know that our friend went to be with her Maker. We wanted to thank you for praying. And we wanted to encourage you that the fight on this side of heaven is not over yet. But we look at the pain and the suffering all around us and strange as it is, our hope only grows. We know Him and so we lift our heads to the Life-Giver and say, “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and our hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”

Here’s to hope, friends, a hope that does not disappoint. Keep fighting for the Gospel, keep fighting for Life, because He has already won.

on earth as it is in heaven 2012-12-25 08:01:00

Some people get presents under their Christmas tree.

Me? I get a family of 5. 4 children under 8 and their mother sleep on the couches and on mattresses laid out on the living room floor.

It's 5:30 am and I find a place to squeeze in between the pile of children and blankets and attempt to have some "quiet time" by the light of the Christmas tree. I am distracted. Her kids all have a cough and they breathe heavily and toss and turn all around me. Her chest heaves and a small moan escapes her lips. The rain pounds loudly on the tin roof and we need this rain so I try to be thankful for it. I dream for her future. I dream that she'll live. I fleetingly wonder if there are relative who will raise this brood of young ones if she doesn't.

I wonder what their future will hold. I wonder what this day will hold. I watch their chests move up and down and hear my precious ones begin to stir in the other room, and I wonder if I can so it again today, the 17 children and the sick and the broken and those who will come for dinner and just all of these lives with all of their needs. The house is all a-twinkle, and I remind myself of all God's promises fulfilled in a baby and breathe it deep, Grace.

And I am so thankful that Jesus meets us in these squished places. In the stretched places. In-the-squeezed-between-the-tree-and-the-kids moments, in the desperate-for-quiet-on-the-bathroom-floor-because-everywhere-else-is-full moments.

I read Luke. I think of Bethlehem and how it had no room, and I think of how His parents squeezed between the animals to place Him in a feeding trough. The shepherds gazed in wonder but Mary held all this wonder in the silence of her heart. I bet she dreamed of His future. I bet it was muddy and loud in there, but the sky was all a-twinkle with the light of that star, the heavens bursting with joy at God's promises all fulfilled, Grace.

I look around and know: this is what He came for. The King of the universe who created all things, even life itself, clothed in splendor, took off His royal robes, laid aside His crown and squeezed all of the fullness of God into the womb of a woman and then into swaddling clothes in a manger.

He calls my name right here and how I long to recognize Him here, right here.

The squished places and the stretched places, the moments that are loud and messy and uncertain, this is what He came for. The heartaches and the doubt and the wounds that our sin carves deep, that's why He is here. And all this life hanging in the dark of the morning, isn't this why we wait, why we celebrate? Isn't this why we light up the candles and the tree and the house and say with all the longing in our hearts, "Come, Lord Jesus"?

Come, Lord Jesus.

This morning in the dark, in the rain, in whatever mess or squished place or heartache you find yourself in, all God's promises are Yes and Amen, and we can rejoice in thanksgiving! The Savior is here with us, Grace.

His promise is Yes to you, friends. "Yes, I have come, and Yes, I am coming. Yes, I am with you always, even to the very end of the age."

I pray that you'll recognize His handprints all over your day today.

Merry Christmas.

on earth as it is in heaven 2012-12-25 08:01:00

Some people get presents under their Christmas tree.

Me? I get a family of 5. 4 children under 8 and their mother sleep on the couches and on mattresses laid out on the living room floor.

It's 5:30 am and I find a place to squeeze in between the pile of children and blankets and attempt to have some "quiet time" by the light of the Christmas tree. I am distracted. Her kids all have a cough and they breathe heavily and toss and turn all around me. Her chest heaves and a small moan escapes her lips. The rain pounds loudly on the tin roof and we need this rain so I try to be thankful for it. I dream for her future. I dream that she'll live. I fleetingly wonder if there are relative who will raise this brood of young ones if she doesn't.

I wonder what their future will hold. I wonder what this day will hold. I watch their chests move up and down and hear my precious ones begin to stir in the other room, and I wonder if I can so it again today, the 17 children and the sick and the broken and those who will come for dinner and just all of these lives with all of their needs. The house is all a-twinkle, and I remind myself of all God's promises fulfilled in a baby and breathe it deep, Grace.

And I am so thankful that Jesus meets us in these squished places. In the stretched places. In-the-squeezed-between-the-tree-and-the-kids moments, in the desperate-for-quiet-on-the-bathroom-floor-because-everywhere-else-is-full moments.

I read Luke. I think of Bethlehem and how it had no room, and I think of how His parents squeezed between the animals to place Him in a feeding trough. The shepherds gazed in wonder but Mary held all this wonder in the silence of her heart. I bet she dreamed of His future. I bet it was muddy and loud in there, but the sky was all a-twinkle with the light of that star, the heavens bursting with joy at God's promises all fulfilled, Grace.

I look around and know: this is what He came for. The King of the universe who created all things, even life itself, clothed in splendor, took off His royal robes, laid aside His crown and squeezed all of the fullness of God into the womb of a woman and then into swaddling clothes in a manger.

He calls my name right here and how I long to recognize Him here, right here.

The squished places and the stretched places, the moments that are loud and messy and uncertain, this is what He came for. The heartaches and the doubt and the wounds that our sin carves deep, that's why He is here. And all this life hanging in the dark of the morning, isn't this why we wait, why we celebrate? Isn't this why we light up the candles and the tree and the house and say with all the longing in our hearts, "Come, Lord Jesus"?

Come, Lord Jesus.

This morning in the dark, in the rain, in whatever mess or squished place or heartache you find yourself in, all God's promises are Yes and Amen, and we can rejoice in thanksgiving! The Savior is here with us, Grace.

His promise is Yes to you, friends. "Yes, I have come, and Yes, I am coming. Yes, I am with you always, even to the very end of the age."

I pray that you'll recognize His handprints all over your day today.

Merry Christmas.

on earth as it is in heaven 2012-12-25 08:01:00

Some people get presents under their Christmas tree.

Me? I get a family of 5. 4 children under 8 and their mother sleep on the couches and on mattresses laid out on the living room floor.

It's 5:30 am and I find a place to squeeze in between the pile of children and blankets and attempt to have some "quiet time" by the light of the Christmas tree. I am distracted. Her kids all have a cough and they breathe heavily and toss and turn all around me. Her chest heaves and a small moan escapes her lips. The rain pounds loudly on the tin roof and we need this rain so I try to be thankful for it. I dream for her future. I dream that she'll live. I fleetingly wonder if there are relative who will raise this brood of young ones if she doesn't.

I wonder what their future will hold. I wonder what this day will hold. I watch their chests move up and down and hear my precious ones begin to stir in the other room, and I wonder if I can so it again today, the 17 children and the sick and the broken and those who will come for dinner and just all of these lives with all of their needs. The house is all a-twinkle, and I remind myself of all God's promises fulfilled in a baby and breathe it deep, Grace.

And I am so thankful that Jesus meets us in these squished places. In the stretched places. In-the-squeezed-between-the-tree-and-the-kids moments, in the desperate-for-quiet-on-the-bathroom-floor-because-everywhere-else-is-full moments.

I read Luke. I think of Bethlehem and how it had no room, and I think of how His parents squeezed between the animals to place Him in a feeding trough. The shepherds gazed in wonder but Mary held all this wonder in the silence of her heart. I bet she dreamed of His future. I bet it was muddy and loud in there, but the sky was all a-twinkle with the light of that star, the heavens bursting with joy at God's promises all fulfilled, Grace.

I look around and know: this is what He came for. The King of the universe who created all things, even life itself, clothed in splendor, took off His royal robes, laid aside His crown and squeezed all of the fullness of God into the womb of a woman and then into swaddling clothes in a manger.

He calls my name right here and how I long to recognize Him here, right here.

The squished places and the stretched places, the moments that are loud and messy and uncertain, this is what He came for. The heartaches and the doubt and the wounds that our sin carves deep, that's why He is here. And all this life hanging in the dark of the morning, isn't this why we wait, why we celebrate? Isn't this why we light up the candles and the tree and the house and say with all the longing in our hearts, "Come, Lord Jesus"?

Come, Lord Jesus.

This morning in the dark, in the rain, in whatever mess or squished place or heartache you find yourself in, all God's promises are Yes and Amen, and we can rejoice in thanksgiving! The Savior is here with us, Grace.

His promise is Yes to you, friends. "Yes, I have come, and Yes, I am coming. Yes, I am with you always, even to the very end of the age."

I pray that you'll recognize His handprints all over your day today.

Merry Christmas.
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