Not all invitations come in foil-lined envelopes with embossed lettering. 

I’m now convinced the most important ones don’t come in envelopes at all.

If you’re not familiar with the story of our family’s journey in the fall of 2019, let me give you a three sentence summary so this will make sense:

On Sept. 1, 2019, we rushed our eight-year old son to the ER for a severe headache, which turned out to be a brain aneurism called by an AVM (a tiny tangle of vessels in his brain). The bleeding was severe, but after more than two weeks in a coma, heaps of prayer, 23 days in the Pediatric ICU and 25 more in therapy, relearning to walk, talk, and even use the bathroom, Blake came home from the hospital. A few weeks later, we gathered our recovering little walking miracle and headed back to the hospital for Gamma Radiation – a slow-working, very targeted type of radiation intended to eradicate the AVM that caused the bleed.

Last week, you may have seen me mention Blake’s MRI – this was an opportunity to see whether the Gamma Radiation was effective.

We got the results and let’s be really honest now: they weren’t what we wanted to hear.

It turns out Blake still has an AVM – that tangle of vessels is still there. And while it’s a teensy bit smaller than before, it still poses a risk which is difficult to quantify. If he has an AVM, there’s a risk that he could experience another bleed – and that? Well, it’s pretty darn terrifying.

You know what my brain likes?

Road maps. Straight paths. Clear expectations. Guidelines. Lists. Rules. Even plans.

My brain, heart and soul all wanted one thing: to hear the news that the AVM was gone, that we could put that concern behind us, and move on with our lives.

But when we got the news that wasn’t the answer to prayer we were looking for? Well, I sensed an invitation. 

“Come to me, weary one. Come to me. You’re never going to fully understand what I’m doing this side of heaven. You’re not really supposed to. Instead, I’m inviting you to learn to trust Me. I’m inviting you to learn to walk with Me.”

A few years ago, I felt God really impressing upon me a fresh understanding of the importance of considering my perspective – that perspective is often a gift, and it’s truly priceless.

So I’m turning the picture over, and looking at it from different sides, trying to see it from more than one angle.

What if this daily reminder that this day could be our last is what I need – to really live?

What if our family’s willingness to endure these circumstances with faith and trust is going to pave the way for someone else to come to know Jesus?

What if there is so much more to the unfathomable, unsearchable, wonderful depths of God, and my willingness to walk this out, trying to hold onto Jesus, will take me to new depths in the richness of understanding His goodness? 

For me, for my Hero Hubs, for Blake, for each of our children: what if the path of walking on the heights with our Savior looks like walking through the valley of the shadow of death?

I’m trusting that somehow the invitation of Jesus to come, lay our burdens on Him and find that we can walk freely and lightly – that Word will be made flesh in our lives, right here in the midst of these difficult circumstances.

I’d love to turn to you, friend, with that same whisper: even with the struggles of 2020. Even with the politics and the pandemic. Even with the fear and the frustration.

Jesus came from outside of this world, to be the Truth that sets us free from the burdens of this world. He invites us to give Him our every worry. He invites us to lay our every burden on His able shoulders.

You and I? We’re warmly invited. And while the invitation might not arrive in your mailbox with gold-stamped lettering on a lovely textured envelope, it’s the most important invitation we could ever receive, open and RSVP to.

Whatever you’re carrying this week? Can I encourage you to lay it at His feet? You’ll be in good company – I’ll be there, too.

P.S. My dear friend Bethany Kimsey is launching a podcast today! If you are a mother with kids at home, hoping to learn more about applying the Gospel to your parenting, not with band-aids and quick fixes, but with deep and enduring truth, I can’t recommend Bethany’s words highly enough. She is a mother of eight with so much wisdom. Look for When God Breaks Through by Bethany Kimsey on Apple Podcasts! (You can find it by clicking here!) I’m so looking forward to listening in!

P.P.S. The Holidays are almost here, and I’d love to help you feel less frenetic and more focused as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach! Head over to my Holiday Gift Guide Page to  grab the 2020 Hassle-Free Holiday Guide I created just for you! It will help you plan menus and events, choose gifts and make lists, NOT feel like you’re forgetting everything and enJOY the days ahead so much more! I’ve already used it sitting down with my Mom to plan Thanksgiving and man, that was a good feeling!

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