Broken Praise (12/2016)

This is a poem I wrote for my Church’s annual Christmas Eve Candlight Service this year. I’ve been writing and sharing a poem since I was in my early teens. 

This year, I finally found my inspiration on Christmas Eve when I was at my grandparents. (It’s become a bit of tradition for friends to ask when I finally wrote it. This time I was in the car heading home from my grandparents, less than an hour before I needed to be at the church.) 

My grandfather said something that kept going around in my head. He was speaking of his mother, my great grandmother, who would nearly shout when praying. When he asked her why she always prayed so loudly, she answered, “I am so insignificant. I have to shake the rafters in heaven so I’m heard.”

It was something that itched my brain. Because that is the beauty of God. God doesn’t need your shouts to be heard, he listens to that quiet plea in the depths of the silence, when you have no words, he still hears you. The angels are said to rejoice when someone comes to Christ (Like 15: 10). That there is so much excitement in heaven that the very angels share it with each other.

We humans are not insignificant. God is so eager to have that relationship with us, that his messengers understand and rejoice with him when one comes back to him. We are not insignificant to God, we don’t need to shout. He hears us.

Broken Praise  (RKG 12/2016)
The rafters shook in Heaven today.
A shout was heard as the angels came
Rejoicing at the foot of Heaven’s throne.
Martyrs cried out with joy and saints danced with the Heavenly host.
The angels celebrated as Satan groaned.
Another one found is Satan’s loss.
The rafters in Heaven shook today.
The barest whisper of sound swept through Heaven with the force of a hurricane.
It had the power to close the gates of Hell and throw open the pearly ones.
It snatched from Satan’s grasp, one so lost that she found the light.
Her breathless plea, a whisper of hope, shook the rafters of Heaven today.
Lost in fear, betrayed by man, she took a leap and found faith again.
Never alone, always held, Emmanuel, God with us.
The Shepherd gathers his lost sheep, one by one.
The rafters shook in Heaven today.
A shout rang out and angels rejoiced around the Heavenly throne.
His cry was heard in the darkened room, despair so thick trying to suck him in.
But light abounded and darkness fled, salvation found, peace within hand.
A warrior’s cry so loud within his broken whisper, that demons quivered in fear.
Abused and hated, homeless and hungry, he took a leap and grabbed the hand of Salvation.
Never alone, always held, Emmanuel, God with us.
The Shepherd gathers his lost sheep, one by one.
The rafters shook in Heaven today.
The power of a broken praise that can heal hearts and find the lost.
Amazing the grace when love is given and hope restored.
The angels rejoice and martyrs cry with joy when one more is snatched from the grasp of Hell.
When Satan groaned, life is found.
When a birth foretold, and death chained the beast, Heaven’s rafters shook and a curtain tore, the joy poured out no longer contained.
Angels stood amazed as the Gospel was told, the love found in the act of sacrifice too great to bear.
My prayer so loud in my chaotic mind, shame pushed aside and grace found.
No longer condemned, I stand free.
I, I, shook the rafters in Heaven today, pleading to be taken out of the pit to live in the light of righteousness.
O come, O come, Emmanuel, take my hand and pull me free. Set me on the mountain high, out of this pit take me now.
Break the grasping talons of Satan now, shatter my chains, no longer enslaved.
Coat me in the sacrifice of love, wash me in the river of life, let me live in your perfect light.
My broken praise, my gift to you.
My rejoicing joined the angels today, as I was found in the darkness.
My Shepherd led me forth to the light, to drink deeply of the never ending life-giving water, never to thirst again.
The rafters shook in Heaven today.
Satan raged while the angels rejoiced.
I found my God when all was lost.
The gates of Hell slammed shut while Heaven celebrated.
One who was lost was found.


Why the Manger matters

So, now we know why I, at least, think the Wise Men and the Shepherds matter in the Nativity narrative. So, what is the big deal about the Messiah being born in a manger?

The Manger is so important to the narrative. It is the marked difference between earthly kings and a Heavenly One.

What the manger shows is the sheer contempt that God has for the riches of this world. Where all other kings gather riches and comfort to themselves, almost always to the detriment of their people, the King of Kings decides to be born with no comfort beyond hay and a rough trough made out of stone. The Son of Man became the poorest of the poor, and the manger reminds us of this, for Jesus was to live through human suffering and wretchedness.

What the manger shows is that even at his birth, the Savior was not wanted by the world. Where the average baby was born in a home, surrounded by loving parents and family members eager to welcome the new child in, Jesus Christ was born with just his parents in attendance.

What the manger shows is that even in the Savior’s birth, the world despised him. Being turned away from the innkeeper, a pregnant Mary had no recourse but to give birth in this shelter for animals. Not only at his birth did the world turn their back on Jesus, but he was placed upon a rough wooden cross to die and then was buried in a borrowed tomb. The world has showed it’s contempt for the Messiah since the very beginning of his earthly life.

What the manger shows is the world does not know how to handle a Heavenly King. Everything a earthly king would have gotten when born was denied to the Son of God, and He came of His own free will to save us.

There is unimaginable beauty in the fact that a Godly King chose to be born as a baby to a virgin mother and a father who worked with his hands, creating. There is beauty that even when denied the adoration demanded of a kingly birth, nature and heaven still praised him. The lowly shepherds and the pagan wise men were the only ones who knew true deity when they saw it. They were the only ones to pay the earthly adoration demanded and were the only ones to bow before the newborn King.

Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior of all mankind, was born in a stable. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a rough stone manger, making his bed among the animals. He came to save the world of it’s sins, and not one person opened their home to his mother, who was in need.

Would you have opened the door that night?

Take a moment and thank God for the manger your Savior was laid in. For even though God held in contempt the riches of the world, he did not hold us in that same distaste.

This is what a manger would have looked like when Jesus was born. It wouldn't be these wooden ones that are so prevalent in today's pictures of the birth. Rather it would be stone, so strong hungry animals couldn't push it over.  Not very comfy looking even filled with hay, huh?

This is what a manger would have looked like when Jesus was born. It wouldn’t be these wooden ones that are so prevalent in today’s pictures of the birth. Rather it would be stone, so strong hungry animals couldn’t push it over.
Not very comfy looking even filled with hay, huh?

Luke 2 

The Birth of Jesus

 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.

And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough (a manger)—because there was no room for them at the lodging place.

Why the Shepherds matter

Last week, I mentioned the Wise Men and why I believe they are important to the Nativity narrative.

Today, I thought we would discuss why the shepherds were at the birth of the Savior.
Once more, God did not call the priests or the kings to come to the manger. Rather, he called the lowly shepherds to come and give witness to the miracle of the Messiah.

Why is that?

Shepherds were the working men of that generation.
They travelled far and wide to find good feeding grounds for their large flocks.
They held no sway in the courts, no power in the synagogues.
They may have had only minimal education, as they would not have been near a synagogue, or destined to teach in one.
Depending on how many were in charge of their flocks, many of them might have gone weeks without seeing another shepherd, as they roamed.
They were protectors of their flocks. They watched for predators and thieves, they sought out the lost sheep and worked hard to find them fresh water.
These men would have been alert to any change in their flock.
They would not allow one to straggle away, but would seek them out to bring them back into the midst of the flock. If one faltered due to an illness, they would have brought them up to their own shoulders and carried them to the place of that night’s rest.
These men would have known the exact number of sheep in their flock and would have accounted for each, numerous times during the day.

Why did God choose these men to be a the birth of His Son?

We do not know who the shepherds were that bowed before the Child. We do not know how many they numbered as that is not mentioned either.

But, we do know that an angel of the Lord came before them. “Do not be afraid, for I bring good news that will cause great joy for all the people. For this day a Savior is born in the town of David; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. (Luke 2:9-12)”

Then they saw and heard the great host singing “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those whom his favor rests. (v14)”

And these shepherds went. I highly doubt they would have left their flocks alone, as that was their livelihood. And really, could you imagine these men who just heard from angels, doing Rock/Paper/Scissors over who got left behind to tend the flock while the rest went to see the Savior? I don’t think so.

I always like to imagine that these flocks flooded the small town of Bethlehem as these shepherds hurried to the manger. It was at night, and the awe inspiring vision of angels descending from heaven was still burned into their retinas, perhaps the sheep led the shepherds that night to their Savior. Or it could just be my writer’s imagination filling in the details.

I honestly do not know what happened to the sheep, what the shepherds did when they saw the Child, or what happened to them after. They did tell the story after laying eyes on the family, and people were amazed. But, what did they say? The common man would have believed them, but would have the teachers and priests?

The shepherds matter because they would have been culturally insignificant.

God does this numerous times throughout the Bible. He chooses people with no power in the courts or temples; women, slaves, Gentiles, and ultimately the low man on the working totem pole, to tell of his glory. He chooses these people to see glorious wonders; angels, the Risen Lord, prophecies and visions. They are chosen because God is not just the God of the rich or those who are proud, rather He is for the forgotten and belittled.

God sees no distinction in the worth of a human. That is why the shepherds matter to the Nativity narrative.

He chose the common man to be the first to lay eyes upon the King of the Jews. No gifts to give, but perhaps the warmth of a flock of sheep that huddled together. They would have stepped in to that humble room, in their rough clothing, without having been primped for the encounter. They would have come as they were.

The shepherds matter because they are representations of the Jewish common man who sought the promised Messiah.

The shepherds matter because they are representation of the common person who seeks.

The average person is not going to come to God with gold and knowledge, rather with humbleness and brokenness and with nothing to give.

The Wise Men showed that God was for every human- not just the Jewish– no matter their background.

The shepherds show that even if you are not rich or learned, God is for you as well.

There was no mistake in who God chose to be there. Each person had a distinct purpose.

Those who He denied entrance to is also very important. Riches will not save you, nor will knowing all the ‘right’ answers.

The priests thought they knew when the Messiah would come and that He would come as a warrior to save them from slavery.

The Messiah came as a baby instead nestled in hay, to preach peace and forgiveness.

The priests refused to see the truth because it didn’t follow their specifications, much like churches today.

The Wise Men saw the truth in the star and believed in the prophecy. When they laid eyes on the Baby Jesus, they saw God.

King Herod was not chosen because he refused to give over power. He was fearful of any ‘King of the Jews’ rising and winning the power from him. That is why he ordered the slaughter of hundreds of little boys, echoing the Pharaoh of Egypt’s play when Moses was born. It was not done in power, but rather fear, much like the governments of today.

The shepherds did not have power, nor did they seek it, rather they saw truth in a humble home. They saw a baby in a manger who would one day be king. They saw God choosing to lay in hay, rather than sit on a throne.

They saw power wrapped in humbleness.

There is a purpose for why God chose certain people to come see His Son. For Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Savior of all Mankind is a shepherd as well. He seeks out all who are lost, gathering them to him. He protects them from evil and finds safe places for them to rest. When they are weary and can no longer walk on their own, Jesus puts them on his shoulders and carries them. He knows each by name and knows when one wanders away. He seeks each out.

Is it any wonder that God chose shepherds to be the first to see His Son?

Luke 2: 8-20
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[c]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 ButMary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Why the Wise Men matter

I’ve always been curious about the men who came from the East. 
Imagine the scene: an undisclosed number of men studying numerous prophecies, the stars, and other occurrences in nature.They collected bits of information for years. They knew about the prophecies of the Jewish people, even though they weren’t Jewish themselves.
Suddenly, a star is noticed to be rising in the West, and they set out to follow it.
While we don’t know exactly how far in the East they were, church tradition says that at least one might have been a black, probably Ethiopian, and perhaps another being of Asian decent. How the tradition started I’m unsure, though later on the name of Magi became known as followers of the 6th century Zoroaster, which seemed to reach beyond Persia to Asia.
Either way the important thing here is, the Magi were not Jewish. 
These men followed the prophecies of a people they were not of. 
These men traveled a long distance to bow down in front of a king they would not be ruled by. 
These men were Gentiles. 
They were not only the first Gentiles to lay eyes on the King of the Jews, but also the Savior of the world. 
The Magi were men who were astronomers, fortunetellers, magicians, and seers. 
In the Jewish culture, those who practice star study, or anything related to magic, are seen as practitioners of evil, due to the very laws that God put down for them. 

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.

But, who are the very people God chooses to see the Savior of all mankind? The very people he warns his nation against.
That is why the Wise Men matter in the Nativity story.
According to Jewish culture these men should have been killed for practicing magic, instead they gave gifts to a baby who would grow up into a man who would be killed to forgive sins.
Their sins.
This is why the Wise Men matter.
These men would have traveled home to study the stars yet again, to wait for more of the prophecy to unfold. I wonder if they knew thirty three years later when Jesus was crucified. If they realized that the baby they saw in a humble home in Bethlehem, was the very one that was paraded though town being tortured and mocked.
These men though would have traveled back to their homeland, telling of the prophecy and the star. Of the virgin mother and the God-man child. They would have told of the truth seen in the stars and how they heard an angel speak to them.
What did they think when King Herod went after all the little boys? When Israel ran red with the blood of children, because of a king that feared being disposed?
Men who saw things in the stars, met the God who created them, born in the body of baby boy.
Men who practiced magic, saw miracles in a new star rising and angels warning them.
The Wise Men matter because they were the first Gentiles to see the Messiah.
The Wise Men matter because they were chosen to be in the presence of a God they do not know.
The Wise Men matter because they, rather than Jewish royalty or priests, saw the truth in a star, and followed it.
The Wise Men matter because they believed in the prophecy.
These men who came from the East have always fascinated me.
I hope you might look at them with some of that same fascination.
As a Gentile who is in love with the Savior, I’m thankful for their part in the Nativity story.
Merry Christmas!

If you would like to learn a little more about what the Myrrh, Frankincense, and Gold mean that the Magi brought to Baby Jesus, jump over to my friend’s blog where she recounts a fascinating sermon she heard: 

Matthew 2 New International Version (NIV)

The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with giftsof gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


Blessings of a year

Praying for a very blessed New Year!
This is the newsletter that I sent out to my family and friends. I’m not to fond of newsletters, but a lot happened this year and this is just a small update. This year has been one of growth and letting God take over my life. One thing I have learned throughout this year is exactly how good is God. So many things that could have seemed like disasters ended up becoming a blessing. God has been teaching me so much, sometimes it’s not the most comfortable lesson, but at the end if I take the time to reflect, it has always been good.

     1) My school created a new degree this last year- the one I really needed! This means I will be graduating with a Master’s of Divinity in Chaplaincy. (It doesn’t have the language requirement- no Greek!) This one looks a lot better on the resume than the Master’s of Arts, I was originally in, and thankfully it just took a year more to finish it.

2) After six years of working and living on campus, I felt the urging to move to a new apartment. My former roommate, Mandy, and I found a wonderful place that was actually former dorms to another Christian college that is just up the hill from school. With 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a brand new kitchen, it’s a wonderful first place.

3)  After six years of working on numerous papers on Disabilities and the Church, I ‘finished’ the main paper at 70 pages. It is still very rough and is in need of a great deal of polishing, but it has been an amazing paper to work on.

4) Because of this paper, my campus is putting on a workgroup for Spring 2013. I and the Dean of the Seminary will be leading this group to eventually make a class that will be offered in another year. It has been an amazing learning experience and to see how God is moving in this as been eye opening. It’s a topic that is needed, not only to be taught in school, but to be put to use in the church. Many of the professors have never been confronted by the need for a Scripture based theology regarding the disabled, so many of the pastors who graduate have not been given the tools to use within their congregations. Hopefully, this new class will give those tools. We are also blessed by having Joni and Friends be a supportive help in creating the class. We’re going to have the Oregon advocate be a guest speaker which is remarkable.

5) I am also going to be interviewed by the Alumni Magazine regarding this class. Kind of nervous about it, but I know this will be a great thing that will help get the conversation started on campus, about the need for learning how to biblically work with the disabled as well as how to be active ministers with them.

6) In September, while trying to be careful, I fell down the stairs to my new apartment. Since I never had a truly sprained ankle before, I figured it would take a bit of time to heal. Two months later, my foot was still swollen and had started to spasm. After meeting with a specialist and doing a month’s worth of physical therapy, it was discovered I had ruptured a ligament in my ankle. On December 11th, I had ankle surgery and the doctor was surprised by the amount of damage I had. Not only did I ‘rupture’ one ligament but I had also destroyed another. I am now recovering from having another person’s tendon drilled into my ankle bone in three areas. I cannot drive or put any weight whatsoever on my ankle for at least 2 months. Though it may be longer. God’s provisions are seen even in this! Surgery was right after my finals for Fall semester and after losing my custodial job due to new management. I was able to come home, where there are no stairs, and have help through the hardest part of recovery. I have been blessed by some wonderful people who have helped cover some of my bills. I have been absolutely blown away by the outpouring of love and support. I have no words to show my thankfulness for everyone. My roommate has also helped by asking our landlord if we can move our apartment downstairs. So I can stay at my apartment during the first months of the new semester without having to deal with those nasty stairs! What a blessing and answer to some worried prayers!

   7) I am graduating on May 10th! I finally have the classes and credits figured out and it is finally my time to graduate from Seminary! This school has been such a blessing and a wonderful tool in learning more about God. Graduating from the undergrad as well as attending the Seminary has made me so much more aware of the importance of knowing your faith and participating in that faith. God is SO good!

8) My mom had a very scary moment where she ended up having emergency abdominal surgery. Due to former surgeries she had a lot scar tissue that ended up wrapping around her intestine. Thankfully, she went to the hospital in time and they were able to keep her safe. If she hadn’t gone in when she had she could have died. Also, thankfully, her specialist from a different surgery was on call at the hospital the day (day after Christmas) that she had to have surgery. This was a true blessing. Despite being cut from stem to stern again, mom is doing well. God’s blessings are found even in this.

The most important thing I learned this year though is how very thankful I am for my family and friends. If you are part of my life, it means that God has brought you to me so I can learn something. And because of you- I have found out how amazing God is. So thank you for being part of my life. Have you taken time to count your blessings? I hope that you are shown exactly how much God loves you in this New Year. Remember, it’s not always comfortable, but it is always in the end for your good. Even in the midst of great sorrow and pain, may you feel God’s love and compassion wrapped around you. Know you are loved greatly.

  Praying that you have a New Year blessed with examples of God’s undying love for you.

“Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift” ~2 Corinthians 9:15

The Foot Saga Continues!

I had a surgery. My foot, let’s just say that my ankle had a whole lot more damage than first thought. And it has been a huge blessing. It’s strange thinking that I have had to have surgery to realize how important the Body of Christ is to me.
OK, let’s back up here.
In September, during an attempt to be careful, I fell down the stairs. (You can read that story here: Tumbling Trust) Over a two month period of icing it and keeping it wrapped, the pain got worse. I was still walking on it and working. It hurt, but I could still deal with it. But, then suddenly the pain rocketed up and my foot started spasming so badly I couldn’t sleep. That’s when I finally went to Urgent care to get it looked at. They gave me this horrible brace that did NOT work and caused more pain. But, they also sent me to a specialist.
That was the right move! It took another month though before they realized the depth of the injury. During that month, I had a new brace and physical therapy, where I met my very interesting physical therapist– for that story you can read: Breaking the Christian Bubble.
But, my ankle was slowly getting even worse as the pain got harder to handle. Ice just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
So, after an MRI, the doctor scheduled me for surgery. He said I ruptured at least one ligament but probably two. (actually the two ligaments that the arrows are pointing at)image001 When the doctor actually opened me up on December 11th, the damage was a whole lot worse than he even thought. I didn’t rupture it, I liquefied the ligaments. His exact words, “The ligaments were the consistency of snot.” So I now have someone’s donor tendon drilled into three parts of the ankle bone. Eventually, my ankle will be much stronger than ever before. But, the process is going to be a bit long.
For two weeks- which the day after Christmas will be over- I am in a split cast. This way the stitches can come out and the post-surgery swelling can eventually go down. Then for a minimum of 4 weeks I will be in a full cast from knee to toe. Then there will be an undisclosed amount of time in a walking boot. All of this with absolutely no weight bearing. If I put weight on my foot, I can split my heel which is even more surgery.
One thing I have to insert here…I am horrible on crutches! I’ve never broken anything and have no experience with crutches. I’ve nearly fallen three times- on my foot! Luckily, I have a donated knee scooter that I can get around on.
But, I digress. Let’s get back to the main reason for this post.
I am so very blessed! Because I lost my job due to new management, I was in the midst of finding a new job when the doctor said that I basically cannot do any driving or walking for about 2 months. This freaks me out! I’m a custodian and a caregiver- for those jobs you have to walk!
I was in the midst of trying to prove that I was trusting God when God showed me how amazing his church can be. My roommate and another good friend worked behind my back to have the Student Government in the Seminary use me as their student to support. That generous gift gave me enough money to cover a month of medical bills. Then the school has an “Angel Fund” that Financial Aid gives out, they gifted me with enough to cover a month and a half of more bills. Other sweet souls from undergrad, seminary, and my church also donated money, two of whom I’ve never met! I also got a wonderful casserole that helped take care of food for my family on a very busy day.
My parents brought me back home for the first month of healing so that I can have all of the help I need, while I get use to only one foot and the pain pills I’m on.
An anonymous friend gave me a gift card for Fred Myers which is a huge blessing while others gave me gift baskets to stave off boredom. A sweet couple from my church blew me away by the amount of their gift that answered so many of my worried financial prayers.
Transportation has been offered during my school days from a few sweet people- which I will be taking them up on!
And another BIG thing- my roommate asked our landlord if we can move apartments! I’ve been trying to figure out where I can stay for the 2 months of not walking- I can’t do the stairs because I barely can do 3 steps much less the number of stairs up to my apartment! She is such a blessing! My roommate is willing to move after being in our apartment for only 5 months. Just to move downstairs. This was such an answer to prayer, I can’t tell you how much this has taken away some of my worries! The major one being that I can actually stay in the place that I’m paying rent on- without having to pay another rent as well. This frees up money that I can give those who are willing to chauffeur me to my classes and doctor appointments.
This injury has opened my eyes to so much love. As a natural caregiver, it is easy to feel forgotten and under-appreciated. When you are always helping others, it makes it hard for people to help you. It’s hard to say “I need help!” when you don’t want to be a burden to others. But, the act of accepting that help has been so heartwarming and humbling. So many people have stepped out of the woodwork to just help.
I am beyond thankful for the Body of Christ. Through the sweet souls, God has answered my prayers. Through my injury, God has shown me how important the Body is to the individual- and how important the individual is to the Body.
Thank you so much for every prayer and however you have helped me. You are special to me!

Colossians 3:15-17
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.