Recognition of Healing

This is the third part in a series that began with “God’s Abundance or My Scarcity” and continues with “To Trust or Worry.” Thank you for joining during this busy time of year!

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I sat with two long-time friends in the surgical waiting room earlier this week as a third friend underwent surgery to remove a cancerous kidney. She’d just lost her husband about two months ago, and the worry on her son’s face reflected his fear that mom might be next, all too soon. As I sat, my mind and emotions occasionally drifted to another cancer surgery about eleven years ago that didn’t end well, and I prayed for her restoration.

The three of us women chatted quietly, enjoying one another’s company. Every once in a while one of us looked over at Mike, and then at the clock as time ticked hour past hour, concern etching more than his face. Finally the surgeon arrived and gratefully reported  her cancer seemed contained and she’d taken the surgery well. Mike’s countenance brightened, and our hearts lightened.

I told my friend I’d greet her after surgery, so after my companions left, Mike and I began to converse softly, moving time more quickly from recovery to a welcome glance at her face.

Finally we heard, “You can go see your mom. Her room is on the sixth floor.” The sixth floor…where I met my husband’s co-workers as they shared with me fond memories of years working with him. The sixth floor…where I waited to hear Norman’s last breath. The sixth floor…where I nestled next to Norman for the last time. I hated the sixth floor. Yet, that was where my friend waited for me.

As I stepped off the elevator, sadness seeped into my soul as I turned and faced the well-known small suite to the left of the elevator and across the hall. I stood in the middle of the hallway and stared into the room. My eyes immediately noted a man bent over, familiar lines etching his face as he sat quietly in that chair, leaning his weary head on one arm. The otherwise dimmed room was lit by only one lamp casting a spotlight on his bent forehead. I remembered. And inside I wept once more.

Only this time the sadness didn’t overwhelm, and I realized the healing God has performed over time. It’s too easy to assume healing does eventually occur. Yet, my healing has been long delayed. Only a couple of years ago, during visit to the sixth floor, I needed to leave after about 45 minutes, too overwhelmed with emotion to stay.

Only a year ago, the thought of visiting a friend with cancer was more than I could bear.

I don’t take God’s abundant gift of healing lightly. I’m very grateful. And today, I learned my friend’s stage one cancer was contained and so she’ll need no chemo. And I thank God.

I'm grateful for God's abundance in the face of my scarcity. Click To Tweet

As I faced my friend’s cancer surgery this week, I also remembered past Christmases filled with pain as I wondered what the next year would bring. If this is one of those Christmases for you, I’m so sorry.

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May I also pray for you? 

Lord, we so long for this time of year to be carefree and beautiful. We long to hear the angels sing of a newborn king. We long to feel the warmth of making family memories. We long for our stories to replicate Hallmark. But life isn’t that way. For most of us. Yet, each of us are too afraid to speak out from the depths of our sorrows for fear we’ll upset someone else’s Merry Christmas. May this place, this moment, feel safe for others to grieve their pain.

Help us Lord Jesus to remember that your first Christmas was full of labor pains, rejected families, and outcast shepherds. Click To Tweet May we remember you came for such as us. And today let us embrace your abundance, in the middle of our cancer surgeries, and memories that make us sick inside, and the worries that news may not be so good. Jesus, help us remember that you are 'Emmanuel' God with us. You do care. And if we invite you in, we don't have to face this season, or any season alone. Click To Tweet

Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

…His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3 (NASB)

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19 (NLT)

With tender love,

Robin <3

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Our Greatest Gift

Advent, Week 4, Day 5 – Jesus, Our Greatest Gift of Christmas

I would like to close out our season of Advent with worship.  It is truly the only adequate response as I consider all Jesus has done, and the price he paid, to give us hope not only this holy season, but through life.  I would love it if our last act together for Advent is to worship together.  Would you please join me?

Wonderful, Merciful Savior

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would’ve thought that a Lamb could
Rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost our way
Oh, we’ve hopelessly lost the way

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Songwriters: Dawn Rodgers, Eric Wyse
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind
Thank you for joining me these past 4 weeks.  I have marveled with you, been convicted with you, wept with you, and prayed for you.  I can’t imagine having lived the last 4 weeks without our time together.  Thank you for being a part of my Advent celebration.
I would be honored if you would be willing to share with me how our time has helped in some way.  It would encourage me very much.  For me, it has given me time to really think about you and what you are going through.  (Even if you’ve never confided.) It has given me a chance to pray for you, and to remember how God has kept me through my horrible times.  Most of all, our time together has reminded me in beautiful detail of the amazing gifts Jesus gives every day, if we would receive them.
Thank you once again!  A blessed New Year!
With love,



The Gift of Choice

Advent, Week 4, Day 4 – The Gift of Choice

God has given us all the gift of choice.

We can choose to accept his gifts, or reject them.

God’s gifts are sometimes discovered within wrappings we may not have chosen for ourselves – but the gift within houses the most enduring, trustworthy, powerful love we could ever imagine – awaiting to be discovered in relationship with the God who made us.

His gifts will sometimes be discovered within wrappings of rejection from people.

Joseph and Mary faced rejection from men, but they knew the approval and love of God as they birthed and raised His Son!

As we face rejection from men, we too can find the most beautiful acceptance, and perfect love from the God who formed and fashioned us.  WHEN we choose to allow him to become our greatest love in the pain. (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT)

His gifts will sometimes be discovered within the wrappings of uncertainty.

Joseph and Mary had no idea what they’d face in Bethlehem, but in the uncertainty – they heard of heralding angels, met worshiping shepherds and foreign wise men who’d followed a star bringing extravagant gifts from the east for their son, and heard from a man who’d waited his whole life to meet their son.

As we face uncertainty, we too can discover a God who is completely trustworthy. He won’t fail. WHEN we choose to believe that he is good, and rewards those who diligently seek him, while we wait for his answers through pain. (Hebrews 11:6 NLT)

His gifts will sometimes be discovered within the wrappings of needing to face evil.

Joseph and Mary had to face the fact that their son had a price on his head, because of a maniacal tyrant, but God protected them by sending the wise men home another way, and warning Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt.

As we face evil, we too can discover there a God who faced evil for us and won, and therefore is able to give us strength and victory over the evil we face.  WHEN we yield to his plan rather than our own. (Matthew 6:5-15 NLT)

With love,

Robin <3

One of Us

Advent, Wk 4, Day 2 – Jesus Became One of Us

Norman had always been shy, and rather backward in social situations.  He had a big heart, but didn’t always know how to show it to the best advantage.  Yet, as the cancer increasingly took over more and more of his body, he began to change in ways that amazed me.

I began to see him reach out to others facing cancer, as he was. We’d be in a doctor’s office awaiting another blood test, or another consult with the physician, and he’d whisper, “I’m going over there a minute”.  He’d have noticed someone nearby in distress, and would amble over to them followed by an outstretched hand or an embrace.  I found out later he was telling them about the hope he’d found in Jesus, offering to pray with them.

In those moments I was honored to play a part, I noted his prayers were simple, but came from first hand experience, filled with compassion and hope.   About 6 months before his death, he shared with me that he was more at peace than he had ever been.

Norman became a beacon of light in a dark place. Those he encountered could tell, at first by the recent lengthy scars, and later the shortness of breath, and eventually the constant companion of an O2 mask and tank that he was one of them.  In my observations, I never heard a sharp reply or a rebuff.  He bore their scars.  He’d earned the right to be heard.

God came to dwell among men through a teen aged girl and her fiance.  He heralded his coming to lonely shepherds on a hillside, and then to foreigners (wise men from the East). His first bed wasn’t filled with satin, but a piece of cloth and straw.  No dignitaries flocked to greet him, instead his family had to flee for the safety of his very life.

As Jesus grew, he wasn’t interested in gaining popularity, increasing followers, or wracking up points among the religious elite. In fact, after Jesus resurrected from the dead, and ascended to heaven, one of his followers wrote –

I Corinthians 1:26-29

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy  when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

Jesus came for people like us.  People who’ve been humbled by life’s circumstances.

This is one of the gifts of Christmas.  God chose not only to dwell with us, but to become one of us, (yet remaining fully God).  Because he did so, those who are exhausted by life can find rest from someone who knows.

In the middle of your pain, seek Him who offers rest.  He understands.

With much love,




Look For God’s Gifts

Advent, Wk 4, Day 1 – Jesus, God With Us

As I look back over the first Christmas, life for this small family wasn’t easy.  They endured much – rejection, uncertainties, and facing evil in order to follow God’s amazing plan for them. Yet, this story isn’t ultimately about the difficulties.  Why?

An amazing thing about the first Christmas isn’t that this family endured immense hardships, but that they chose to endure, seeing even dimly something so much bigger – trusting that God had chosen, through them, to dwell among men!  

Mary birthed the Son of God, because God longed to dwell with us, fulfilling a promise made hundreds of years before.  

Jesus came to set all aright. (Luke 4:14-18Malachi 3:1-5 – both NLT)

God dwelt with us not as the royalty he deserved, but as the son of a poor carpenter; allowing himself to endure every heartache and difficulty we endure.  

Jesus came to be a compassionate high priest before God on our behalf.  (Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT)

In dwelling with us, Jesus fully demonstrated God’s amazing grace and truth before all mankind perfectly; tempted in every way we are, yet never once falling prey to selfish motives or evil’s intentions.  

Jesus came to make a way for us to return to God, no matter what drew us away from God. (Romans 5:6-9 NLT)

Jesus dwelt among us knowing ahead of time that his ultimate purpose was to be

turned on by a friend,

turned over to blood thirsty religious leaders who reviled and beat him senselessly, and

turned away from those he came to save, to face a cruel Roman crosspiece

So that through his death and resurrection three days later, any who come to him will find rest in restored relationship with Almighty God.

This is the amazing gift of Christmas!

Jesus came.

He didn’t have to.

He did it for us.

So, as we face our own painful Christmas, how would things change if we began to look for Jesus in the middle of the pain?  What if we began to search for the magnificent plan he has for us as we go through the pain?  How would that change things?

Throughout this final week of Advent, we will be looking once again through the Christmas story to see God’s gifts in the middle – those magnificent moments that make the story of the babe in a manger so extraordinary.

As we do, I pray that you will begin to see your story in a new light – through the lens that you aren’t alone, and there is a magnificent plan for you through pain, because – God chose to dwell with us!

With much love,


The Mender

Advent, Week 3, Day 4 – Jesus, The Mender

Today, rather than write, I want to share with you two videos, “Mended” by Matthew West, and the story behind the song.  I hope this ministers to you as much as it did to me. Below, as in other weeks, I’ve included the words.  I’m praying for you.

Story behind “Mended”, by Matthew West:

Mended, By Matthew West:

Lyrics to “Mended“:

When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
When you see too far gone
I see one step away from home

How many times can one heart break?
It was never supposed to be this way
Look in the mirror, but you find someone you never thought you’d be

Oh, but I can still recognize
The one I love in your tear stained eyes
I know you might not see him now, so lift your eyes to me

When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
When you see too far gone
I see one step away from home

When you see nothing but damaged goods
I see something good in the making
I’m not finished yet
When you see wounded, I see mended

You see your worst mistake
But I see the price I paid
And there’s nothing you could ever do, to lose what grace has won

So hold on, it’s not the end
No, this is where love’s work begins
I’m making all things new
And I will make a miracle of you

When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
When you see too far gone
I see one step away from home

When you see nothing but damaged goods
I see something good in the making
I’m not finished yet
When you see wounded, I see mended

I see my child, my beloved
The new creation you’re becoming
You see the scars from when you fell
But I see the stories they will tell

You see worthless, I see priceless
You see pain, but I see a purpose
You see unworthy, undeserving
But I see you through eyes of mercy

When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
You’re not too far gone
You’re one step away from home

When you see nothing but damaged goods
I see something good in the making
I’m not finished yet, no
When you see wounded, I see mended

Ooh, I see mended
Woah, oh I see mended
I’m not finished yet
When you see wounded, I see mended

When we allow Jesus to mend us, he doesn’t see us as we are, but as we will be.

With love and prayers,