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  Scalding water beat on my back as I rested my forehead on the shower wall. The tears falling down my cheeks mixed with the water from the shower, and one was as hot as the other. I didn't want to cry -- I┬átried to resolve that I wouldn't -- but I'm one of those people who cries when she's angry, and this day, I was angry. I was angry at God. Sometimes my prayers are generalities, like "Lord, would you keep my kids safe today?" and some are more specific. The prayer I had been praying and keeping in the back of my mind for a couple of years was very specific. I had asked God to grant one very small request -- a request that, in my mind, He had no reason not to grant. It was small in the grand scheme of things, a minor blip on most people's radar, but one that mattered a whole lot to me. But He said no. He said no, and to be blunt and very non-spiritual sounding, I was royally ticked off. And this is why. He said no, and He didn't explain why. He said no, and then He was silent about it. He said no,...


  Each morning, the screens in my life shout and show turmoil. World leaders making threats and calling each other names. Fires ravaging apartment buildings, forcing a mother to trust that a stranger's arms will catch her infant. Rich fashion designers taking their own lives when an invisible pain becomes too much to carry. Turmoil is both the soundtrack and the screenplay of our humanity. It is in our local communities, in our nations, and in ourselves. Trouble all around, and trouble all within. Inescapable and undeniable. We are broken. Why, then, if our brokenness is universal, do we dress it up with photos carefully posed? Why, then, if it's all around, do we hesitate to bring it to the light? Why, then, if it's within us all, do we change the subject and pretend it's all fine? Our brokenness is our bond, and our bonds bring about beauty. The mother who birthed a broken child, one whose body will never function as it should, said these words to my ears today -- the unexpected will come to your life, and it will change you. Her child's broken body changed her untested faith to one that is certain, and his brokenness introduced her to others whose brokenness changed them, too. The unexpected...


  Throughout Scripture, the number seven is the number of perfection. Completion. Purification. After six days of creating, God rested on the seventh. Seven weeks after Passover began, Pentecost. And every fiftieth year, after seven times seven, it was the year of Jubilee. A year of celebration and release. Captives were set free and debts were forgiven. It was a year of rest. ******* This year is the seventh since my divorce. And God told me it is my year of Jubilee. ******* In the first moments after learning my marriage would end, I fell into a gulf of despair I have no words to describe. I was held captive by lies and condemning self-talk, a prisoner of my sadness and shattered dreams. I woke each morning to go through the steps of being alive, but I was not. I was sleep-walking through my days, oblivious to the world around me and consumed with the shame of who I now was. It has taken me years to admit the truth of what those years were like for me, but now that I am safely on the other side, I feel an obligation to share my truth and invite you to examine yours. I lived a prisoner of shame. Wounded and broken were...


  I wish I could remember where I first heard it, this truth that's been rocking my world. I don't know if it was on a podcast or in a book, on my TV or from my friend's mouth. All I know is that I somehow jotted it down as a note in my phone, and I've been looking at it ever since. Look for the lie. Why haven't I always done this? To have it spelled out like that makes it look like the most obvious thing to do. When you're feeling overwhelmed, identify the lie that says you have to do everything well and all at once. When you're feeling like a terrible mother, look at the lie that says feeding your kids fast food will ruin their health forever. When you become convinced you'll never succeed in your career, see the lie that says one bad day means a bad forever. Look for the lie. Because when you do, you'll begin to see lies everywhere. And here's why -- Satan is the prince of this world, and his native language is lies. He naturally spews untruths, and since this is his dominion, his lies are this world's language. Look for the lie. You think, "I'm...