Maybe you’ve seen it already, and maybe you haven’t? 

Our family made the front page of the New York Times, in a story about health care sharing ministries. Sweet little Blake’s face was there beside the overgrown zinnias growing at the fence in our front yard. His Dad’s chest, strong and protective, just behind him. 

The story made its way to the Raleigh News & Observer and the Charlotte paper as well. 

And how did we feel about it?

Well… not so great. 

The story in the paper wasn’t really our story. Our requests weren’t respected and our comments weren’t really included.  Instead, there were just a few snippets of our health care journey interspersed with lots of stories about health care “ministries” that weren’t keeping their end of the bargain. That wasn’t our experience with our health care sharing ministry. We didn’t get duped. There were no wizards laughing behind curtains. We have a different story to tell.

But you know what? Those words you’ve read up there are all the words I’m going to give to that story right now. Because maybe we’ll get the chance to talk more about our real story and maybe we won’t — but I have a better story to share with you today.

This year I decided to stop crossing off my old-fashioned daily Bible reading in favor of trying out the Read Scripture app on my phone. So far, I’ve loved it. It has encouraged me to get into the Word — because I’m consistently reminded it’s right there in my hand. The videos that help pull out themes and draw a bigger picture are incredibly insightful and so thoughtfully well done. I love them. But the most important part is that God has met me, right there on that little screen.

When the aforementioned story went live on January 2nd? 

We felt pretty hurt and pretty discouraged. 

But I opened that beautiful little app that morning and these words met me instead:

Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed…

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision…

{and this beautiful Psalm concludes…}

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

{Psalm 2: 1-2, 4, 12b}

When a few rude comments began to appear and the hurtful words stung a bit like the darts of the enemy, I found refuge in God. And it brought such a big joy to my heart to read these seven words:

He who sits in the heavens laughs.

And I started really thinking about that. God isn’t sinister or sarcastic. There is no wickedness in Him. So that’s not a cackle or a muahh ha ha ha… I started wondering if is a bit like a Father watching His children. Does He see our mess and does He laugh because we feel these small things are so important?

Have I ever laughed because one of my children came to me, desperately offended because of a silly comment? “He says my plate is pink… but it’s PURPLE!!” “I drew a cow but she called it a CAT!”

Oh yes.

If God sits on His throne and laughs — maybe He wants to remind me not to take things too seriously. And on January 2nd, I opened that App, read those words, and got reminded right when I needed it.

By January 3rd, I was itching with hurt again. The offended toddler, hurt by the other toddlers and their opinions of me. When you’re in the news and the article gets 1100 comments, it feels BIG.

And on January 3rd, Psalm 3 whispered to my soul:

O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.”
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, 
my glory, and the lifter of my head…

{Psalm 3:1-3}

God lifted my head and reminded me of the bigger story He is writing. He reminded me that His wisdom really is seen as foolishness to the world. 

And He spoke to my heart again on January 4th:

“But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts and on your beds, and be silent.” {Ps. 4: 3-4}

In this whirlwind of a week, these were the words that mattered. Not the words of reporters with stories to tell. Not the words of commenters with judgements and opinions. I needed to extend forgiveness. I needed to let go before any bitterness took root in my own soul. Day after day, Mark and I truly marveled together, as it felt like these words written thousands of years ago were destined to speak to us in January of 2020.

These were the words that were a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths. With these words, God was a shield to us, our glory and the lifter of our heads.

Welcome to 2020, friends. If it is going to be anything, perhaps it is going to be unpredictable. I pray you’ll allow the Lord to meet you in His Word this year. The Read Scripture App is a free and wonderful way to engage with the Word. There are so many other plans and tools out there, waiting to help you find your way into a deeper relationship with God and His Word.

No matter what words the world might have for you this year, friend, there are no accolades more wonderful than the Truth that you are a loved and valued child of God. And there are no darts of the enemy so fierce that they can pierce the Truth of your identity as a child of the King. 

Like the Wemmicks in Eli’s Workshop, we are the best version of ourselves when we let all the dots fall off — and let the Word of the Carpenter who created us be our whole Truth.


I hope you’re encouraged today, friend.
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Update on Blake

We are so blessed that so many folks continue to ask about the beautiful story that we love to tell: the miracle of our sweet Blake and his journey! He continues to improve in so many ways — to the point that we think his days in physical, speech and occupational therapy are most likely numbered. He is running and jumping and playing and reading and always surprising us with what he’s capable of. We’re also so grateful to say that his memory is still improving! He still has moments where he asks a question he asked thirty seconds ago, but he is remembering so much more, and so much more quickly, those things stored in that short term memory bank. And (like each of our kids) he continues to amaze us at remembering things before his accident that our old brains have completely forgotten! 

There is one specific request that we would love to ask you to continue to pray for, perhaps as you’re writing down the date this year? We have not seen improvement in Blake’s left field of vision… yet. We are pondering at the significance of the year 2020 — and praying specifically for our sweet boy, and for full, restored 20/20 vision for him this year. He is learning to adapt to some extent, but he is still walking into cabinets, hitting the corners of counters as he stands up from petting the puppy, or bumping into doors as he passes from one room to the next. When he gets hurt it’s pretty heart wrenching — but he continues to amaze us with how he takes everything in stride. Two hour eye exams, long car trips, and everything that has happened since September 1st… we keep waiting for something to phase him, but he seems so peaceful. What a gift that is! 

Blake also continues to make deep and meaningful comments. He simultaneously seems like a silly eight-year-old boy who loves potty humor and an old soul who will slip his hand into mine on a walk around the neighborhood and comment about needing more of God. Thank you so much for praying for this precious boy of ours. We are in awe as we watch God’s story in him continue to unfold. Hallelujah!

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