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Without the Hard Things

Given a choice between the hard things and the easy things, I’d pick easy. But sometimes God doesn’t let me choose.

One year ago today Corey and I faced a really hard thing. A 5-hour surgery to remove my cancer and my breasts.

I remember it with an ache in my heart. But right beside that ache there is joy. JOY. Because God is good and the giver of the good things. Even in the wake of bilateral mastectomies and reconstruction.

  • The good thing of experiencing  peace that passes all understanding deep down into my bones as I was poked, prodded, injected with blue radioactive dye and wheeled around the hospital before surgery. I have felt the peace of God many times in my life, but never have I experienced it like that.img_20160225_181228780
  • The good thing of Corey sitting beside my bed that first night in the hospital, holding my hand all night long, as I slipped in and out of sleep. (Seriously, the man pulled the recliner right up beside my bed and sat close enough to hold my hand for the entire night, only releasing his grasp to scratch the incessant itch that I could not reach at the end of my nose.)


  • The good thing of my boys visiting me in the hospital because they needed to see for themselves that I was going to be okay. (My boys, and my mom who brought them to see me, are the best. Also, Carter and Owen have each grown like a foot and turned into man creatures since this photo was taken.)
  • The good thing of the hazy, nearly silent, but super-naturally peaceful hour with my bff, Marti, who came to sit with me while Corey met a friend for lunch, so I wouldn’t have to spend one minute of my hospital stay alone.
  • The good thing of the 20-something nurse who, at the end of her shift, said to Corey and me “You guys are so cute. I just had to say it.” (And we are cute, darn it. She was speaking truth.)
  • The good thing of the release nurse saying “You have a very nice husband; how he takes care of you. Not all husbands are like that.” (Truth again. He’s the real deal.)


And look at us now. Because of what we endured together, this year’s family photos will probably always be my favorite. (Plus I think we would make a sweet Under Armour ad.)

I believe what it says in the book of James, that every good and perfect gift comes from above. From my father in heaven. I also believe that sometimes those good and perfect gifts can only be delivered through the hard things.

So I will endure the hard things. And I will find joy in the good things that saturate the hard things in light.







Joy in Trials – A Secret Place Devotion

I have been away from the blogosphere for a few weeks because life has been a little wacky. We sold our house, packed up our house, went on vacation to a tropical paradise, came back home to the frozen tundra and then moved across town about 12 hours after our plane landed. Subsequently, we’ve been settling in and trying to find things like shoes and spatulas.

I believe the human members of our family have found “the groove” again, but our poor little reptile has not. Traumatized Tyson the turtle shoots off his basking platform like a bullet smashing into the glass wall of his aquarium every time there is a sudden movement within a 10-foot radius.  It’s all right little buddy. I promise the next time we move you it will be at least 75-degrees warmer outside.

My writing goals for the winter have been seriously revamped as I haven’t been on my computer much for a month, but I was happily reminded by fellow writer Tammie Edington Shaw that one of my devos was published in the Secret Place yesterday, so I’ll share it here with you.

(The following devo was written while my dear friend Mara was living with us last year. She is now married to a super guy and expecting her first baby. Yay!)

Joy in Trials

Her wedding was only six weeks away. Two weeks ago she lost her job. Yesterday she totaled her car. What should be one of the happiest seasons of her life was riddled with stress and disappointment. How was she going to find a new job without a car? How would she be able to buy a car without a job?

I sat on my couch mentally creating various scenarios that might help her and reduce her stress. In the midst of my musings, she walked up the stairs with her laptop in her hand and a smile on her face saying, “At least I didn’t get hurt.” The she sat down to look for jobs online.

Mara did not complain in the midst of difficulties. As I worried about my young friend who was temporarily living in our basement bedroom, she was focusing on the p0isitive and moving on to the next step. Her refreshing atitude despite her challenging life circumstances was a reminder to me to find joy in my trials.

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds…

To receive The Secret Place quarterly devotional in the mail visit www.judsonpress.com.

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