Month: December 2016

Goodbye, 2016!

Adios! Ciao! 

In all seriousness, 2016 has been a doozie (and not just because Donald Trump won 🤐). 

We’ve had great sorrow and great joy. We’ve experienced horror and watched the miraculous. We’ve done none of it alone and for that we are so very thankful.

Happy New Year! My prayer for 2017 is for my sister to be fully restored to our family. Whether or not that happens I pray that our family and friends walk through life with the knowledge and companionship of Christ with them. There is just no way to make it otherwise!

My word this year is warrior. I’ll have a visual of that to share next week! But I truly need the daily reminder that I am a warrior. I have what it takes. I can do these incredibly hard things I’ve been handed. I can fight for what’s good and what’s right and I have everything I need to do that.

My verse this year is “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer” Romans 12:12. Could a verse ever be more fitting in a life!? I’ll take it! All of it! Joy patience and faith!

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The Thrill of Hope

‘Twas two nights before Christmas and yours truly had a meltdown. I’ve had a sore throat this week so I’ve stayed away from my sister and it’s been hard! I like to go see her at least twice a week. I tell her what’s going on with her kids, bring her up to speed with random news in general, then I pray over her which usually leads to me crying over her and then apologizing for crying over her. I hold her hand, affirm all of the things I’ve heard or seen her relearn, I remind her of how far she’s come since this all began and encourage her to fight like hell.

It’s hard to do holiday things without her. One of her favorite days of the year is Black Friday. We just did our annual cookie baking day. Christmas itself is just two days away and she just loves it! She loves decorating for it, she loves cooking for it, she loves being with her family and watching the Amazon packages show up at her doorstep all month long. It knocks the wind out of me when I’m reminded of her absesnce in this season. 

A friend a few weeks ago reminded me in the midst of this waiting and championing that in the grand scheme of eternity this will be a blip. Don’t get me wrong, I want her to be totally healed and now! But what I also want is forever. I want forever with her healed, for all of eternity, healing in every way forever and ever. It somehow took the edge off. 

As a person who can get pretty anxious, I can honestly say I’ve never longed for heaven. It was absolutely foreign for me to hear people say that. Until his year. I’ve silently prayed so many times, “Lord, come soon”. 

So in this time of waiting for Kate to heal, and in this season of waiting as I think of Mary and really the world as they waited for their king. I can rejoice in progress, beg for more and still honestly say, “Lord, come soon!”.

**Katie’s mind works fine, she knows what she’s missing. Will you pray for her this Christmas? For incredible comfort for her. Would you pray for her husband and kids as they push forward in celebrating even when it’s hard?**

And LASTLY!

Here’s kate holding her “holding cross”. It was a great comfort to Katherine Wolf during her recovery and my mom wanted Kate to have one, too. Want one for yourself? Buy it from Hope Heals!

World AIDS Day

Many moons ago, three and a half years to be exact, I resigned at my first “real” job to raise my new baby. I was hired at HopeSprings while I was a senior in college and as my time opened up after graduation my job grew. I loved HopeSprings. It was a difficult job that stretched and changed me in a thousand ways.

HopeSprings is an organization whose mission is to bring hope and healing to people affected and infected in HIV. Everyday the volunteers sit at the feet of people who are suffering and they offer that hope in all different ways. 

My time there opened my eyes to know and love people from backgrounds that belong in horror films yet some backgrounds were just like mine. I got to spend a billion hours with people who I may have judged had I not known them; some addicts, some who sold their bodies, many previously incarcerated for violent crimes yet others were college students, or they had blood transfusions, or were in committed marriages when their spouse was not as committed, some had sex at a party or were raped. 

I think the most important thing I learned was that the way they contracted HIV didn’t matter. It had no connection with how much they are allowed to suffer, or to experience great sorrow, or to thrive and to live normally. They are so precious in the Lords sight and I am no different. I’ve played Russian roulette in some of the same ways and my ANNUAL HIV tests could have come back positive instead of negative.

This World AIDS day I have a new perspective. I come as the person on the ugly side of a loved ones diagnosis. Although that diagnosis isn’t HIV I come as someone who can no longer turn off the agony(empathy) when I come home. It doesn’t get to leave me anymore. Life altering diagnoses have a way of wrecking everyone including those in the support roles so this year as I’m wrecked I think of and pray for those with a new diagnosis. Those that feel hopeless, those Dan or I personally tested and had to deliver that diagnosis, those who still need to be linked to care. They are precious, they are prayed for, they are loved well by HopeSprings and dear to me.

This World AIDS Day would you consider doing something? Would you get involved in HopeSprings? Would you donate? Would you commit to getting an HIV test annually? Talking to your kids or youth groups? Don’t know what to say? HooeSprings can help with that too.