Category Archives: faith

{the days in between}

it’s late on friday night and all is dark…

easter weekend always leaves me a little undone. all of it.
every emotion and little sentence in scripture we so often overlook..
that He was God and fully in control.
yet human and fully feeling every single thing.
the betrayal from friends. the accusations. the ridicule.
at any time..  any time He could have revealed His power, if only just a little.
just enough to silence the lies. just enough to astound the mockers.
just enough to prove Himself to those watching.
and yet, He walked through with so much grace. so much love.
so much restraint and forgiveness. i can’t even.

there could have been other ways.
there were other ways.
He’s God, after all. He could do whatever He wanted.

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but it’s this thought that won’t leave me –
that it was this path.
of grace. of forgiveness..
not just upon the cross but every step to that cross that the
Heavenly Father CHOSE for Him.
this was the storyline that would bring Him the most glory!

and this is it for you and i too.
whatever it is we’re going through. where we wish God would step in and save the day..
where we know He is more than capable.
when the pain is great and it makes no sense.
when all is dark and it seems all hope is gone.

this is the storyline He’s chosen for us!

and i always think of the day between the cross and the resurrection.
how must that have felt for those who believed? as night closed in after the cross.
the loss.
He had told them He would rise again but they didn’t really get it, did they?
for all they knew all they had been banking on was now lifeless in a tomb.

think of the “in between days” in your life..
when tragedy has struck. death of a dream. of a loved one.
heartbreak. rejection.
at first there’s so much faith.
others rally. you’ll be okay. you’re going to make it.
God will come through –
but the next day comes and He doesn’t.
or the next and the next and the next.
and you want to believe.
you’re waiting on the resurrection.
that time when God’s going to show up in such an obvious way and yet..
the saturday between friday and sunday seems to stretch on forever.
is God really still there?
when will that burst of light break forth and shatter the darkness?

and you sit. and wait. and wonder.

i don’t know why God doesn’t part more red seas.
why He doesn’t just split them wide open.
why He doesn’t change hearts like we pray He will.
bring husbands back home.
children restored.
loved ones healed.

but i’m seeing, and only just, that sometimes, no.. often times..
it’s the in-between days, the waiting and crying out and questioning.
these are the times we draw closer.
these are the times His realness is most revealed in us.
it’s in the upper rooms and the gardens and at the foot of the cross.
the process that leads us to the resurrection.
this is the true hope.
when everything is falling apart and we hold on.
when everything seems ruined and we still believe.
when everything seems lost and yet, there is peace.

though the days between may seem endless –
and the resurrection, that it will never come.
that the enemy has won.

oh, girlfriend! he hasn’t!!!

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no matter where you’re at. or what you’re going through.
no matter the pain.
that thing that seems so much bigger and more powerful than you.

there is One greater still.

and though we might not always understand His ways we can trust His heart towards us.
He’s walked this path ahead of us.
He is acquainted with ALL our grief. all.of.it.
He doesn’t just know. He gets it.

He knows what it’s like to pray and plead for a different outcome.
He knows what it feels like to be abandoned. misunderstood. misrepresented.
rejected. totally alone.

every part of you that hurts – He feels.

every part of you that is broken – He heals.

every part of you that is afraid – He transforms.

it’s what He came to do – the whole point of it all.. to SAVE.

and oh, how we need saving!

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were it not for these in-between days would we ever truly know
the full joy of resurrection?
without the broken heart would we know His nearness?
without the questions would we press in as close?
without the silence would we have to believe in something beyond our feelings?
even beyond our faith at times because our faith is so often weak.
would we really come to know Him in that way that only comes in being still?
when we just let go and collapse at His side.
when we stop trying to figure it out. conjure up faith. be strong. and just be still.
and though nothing changes externally, everything changes internally.
and this. this is what those in-between days are all about.

because it is in the darkest times we see light like never before.
the hard that brings out what our hearts are made of.
there is purpose in it all.
beauty intertwined throughout.

and i’m convinced more and more that He is far more interested in what
my circumstances are revealing in me than rescuing me from those circumstances.

it is in being redeemed that we best show His resurrection glory to others.
that His power prevails over even the deepest pain.

who else could do that?
who else offers that kind of hope? that kind of a future?
only the kind of God that came back from the dead to show us..
no matter what it SEEMS.
no matter what it FEELS.
no matter what it LOOKS like.
HE WILL NOT BE DEFEATED!!!

He has won.

He stands triumphant over it all.

your life. your marriage. your children. your home. your church. your cancer.
your divorce. your abuse. your confusion. your loneliness. your financial problems.
your fear. your future.

He’s not up in heaven wringing His hands over you. trying to figure it all out.
He’s already figured it out.
He’s got this.
He’s got you.
and He went to the cross to show you just how much.

so in those times you’re not so sure.
when you don’t really see how any of it is making sense..
when the in-between days stretch on and on and you wonder where He is.
oh, He’s there. He’s working. He’s aware.
the story doesn’t change. ever!
sunday is coming!

HE’S ALIVE!!!

and He loves you.

lightness

We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
The Lamb has overcome

happy easter, friends. xo

{the in between days}

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no matter how many times i’ve heard the story and know the outcome..
i find the pendulum of my heart always swinging from the soberness of good friday to the anticipation of sunday.

but this morning i woke thinking,
“what about Saturday? the day in between?”
aren’t these the toughest to get through?

when there has been a death – to dreams. to a business. a marriage. a family. a future…
the life you thought you’d have.
those days you feel you’ll never survive, make it through, but when you do, what then?
when reality sets in and hope runs faint.
when you know there is a sunday coming. of victory. of resurrection. but you wonder..

and i think of the disciples, how they must have felt after the Lord’s death.
they knew His promise.. heard it with their own ears, that He would rise again.
and yet i’m sure that day in between was the longest ever.
when everything they had been taught and believed hung in the balance.
when the sunday dawn seemed it would never come.

these are the days where most of us live – the days in between.
coming from one into the other.. turning as book pages in the wind.
and though past hurts and deaths grow faint it’s always the question of what we’ll do with now.

i’m sure the disciples wondered why Christ couldn’t have risen on the 2nd day.
why the 3rd?
why that day in between?

but, isn’t it those days that test what we believe most?
here where our faith lasso’s to both ends –
of death, of victory,
and is pulled to its tightest and strengthened.

when we question all we’ve known. what we’ve heard. grown up with.
and it seems not much has changed in human nature in 2000 years –
“is He really who He says He is? can i trust Him?”
as we sit in our rooms of doubt and fears, same as the disciples.

those in between days when we want so desperately to believe that there is resurrection ahead
but death cuts sharp, even shocking and we’re left with empty hands and face bent, “but, Lord?”
and the enemy’s seeming victory weighs heavy. the friday of deaths hard to bear.

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how many times have i found myself just like the disciples. hiding. fearful. faith so dim.
the in between days i never thought i’d get through.

but i love what sunday brings…

the promise fulfilled. the grave empty. death defeated. victory won.
and my favorite part – a Saviour coming after us!

the morning the women discovered the tomb was empty i’ve wondered,
“why didn’t Jesus just wait for them there?” He knew they were coming!
and it makes me smile because it is always this way..
a Saviour seeking us. pursuing us!
and who did He come to first.
a woman! mary magdalene.
someone who i’m sure knew a thing or two about death. about the days in between.
and then his disciples.
those waiting. those fearful. those tainted with pasts. and weak in faith.
these are the ones He went looking for.

and even thomas. oh, how i love that doubting thomas.
when even days later and still he did not believe what he had heard.. he had to see it for himself.
it is one of my favorite scenes in the Bible.
the Lord’s invitation to thomas to touch his scars.

to come closer.

not turned off by his doubt. his wondering. his lack of “godliness.” his humanness.
but welcomed him – just.as.he.was.

“reach your hand here, put it in my side…”

and isn’t that just like Him?

on those in between days though it seems all is lost. that his word isn’t true. that hope is gone.

it is never!

He is always coming after us.

in our rooms of doubt.
in our rooms of fear.
of sin.
of immorality.
of rebellion.
of bitterness.
of addiction.
of abuse.
of pain.
of death.
of dreams dashed.

He meets us where we are. and whispers, “come to my side.”

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and what religion in the world has a God like that?

not one worshipped from afar. but one we can draw near and know and call, “Abba, Father.”

none other but our God!

the God of Fridays – when all is dark.
the God of Sundays – when victory comes.
and the God of all the days in between.

forever.

there is hope.

because of Him.

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{merry christmas from the hutch house}

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i’m writing this in the van, while riding to cincinnati for christmas.

i’m thinking of all the times we’ve traveled this road. back and forth and back and forth.
of the way we’ve sat here just like this, shayne and i.
so much feels the same. so much different.
i see the biggest difference in the four people behind me.
how when these journey’s first started there wasn’t any little extensions of us.
then one.. and oh, how long those trips would seem.
me climbing over the seat to sit next to her and soothe her tears.
and then two. and three. and less frequent trips.

but then comes four and the biggest trip of all. moving back north!

and as the wheels turn again and us heading home, from our home..
yes, my heart spins it all round and recalls these years.
the hard. the beautiful.

the ice weighs heavy on the trees, bending them right over to the ground.
they say stronger winds are coming later that afternoon.
shayne says if they do the wind will snap so many of them in two.

i think of that as i watch them pass.
which ones will hold up. which ones will fall.

how many times when winds came i wondered the same of us.

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i smile over at shayne.
my heart so often in these past years here feeling that bend like the trees outside
and yet here we are. we’ve not broken.
we’re still standing.
roots dug in deeper.
going down further. holding on.

i ask the kids what stands out to them of this past year.
what they’ve learned and what God’s taught them.
funny, some of the very things they say are some of the very things i was thinking – have seen in my own life.

i realize two things. we really are on this journey of growing right along with our kids.
and.. we never get to an age where we stop learning.
and more importantly.. needing to learn.

this past year like all the others has held it’s hard.
it’s parts i thought we’d never survive.
those parts that made me feel i hadn’t really known hard till then.
it’s one thing when it’s you. when it’s your heart fighting through..
but your kids! the struggles of faith and question. the fear that sets in as you watch.
like wondering if those trees will hold when the wind comes.
and what if you see them break. parts falling off and dealing with things you never thought you would.-
but reminded while i hear them talk that this is the very reason Christ came to begin with.
what it is we’re celebrating –
the healing He offers. the hope He gives.
the way He takes what is broken and makes it new.

and i find myself glad for the broken parts.
the cracks and flaws so obvious that there’s no need to try to impress others.
the freedom found in simply saying, “this is me.” and being okay with that.
not that change won’t come. that change doesn’t need to come.
but recognizing the grace to be in the midst of it all~
yes. the grace to be. how i want to breathe that in and live it.

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at times i feel i always write the same thing here.
maybe only sounding a bit less frantic, a little more resolute.

i was reading over what i had wrote from december 2011 and told shayne i was just going to copy it here because it still was so much my heart now~

of this, the ongoing struggle of trust.
“…whether God was truly who He said He was~
which isn’t that what every struggle really boils down to?
from the beginning of time when Satan tried to make Eve doubt God’s word…
isn’t that his plan of attack still?
Can God really be trusted?

and Everything in our entire life hangs on how we answer that.
everything is shaped by that truth.

it’s the object of where we choose to put our trust that determines our level of joy
and lasting freedom from the chains that bind us.

now- now as i think back over it all. here as this year winds to a close…
i can’t say it was in some great jubilant victory, or any kind of extraordinary faith, that my heart finally found rest.
but simply. that in all my struggling. HE KEPT ME.

when everything inside wanted to turn and run as fast as i could in the other direction..
when i wanted to quit and give up and stop trying…
when reading my Bible was like chewing dry toast, and i couldn’t swallow it down.
when praying was only, “dear father..” then silence and tears.
when i didn’t know what to pray, how to pray.
There was something {Someone} beyond my own strength holding it all together.
holding me.”

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and i wish there were some way to express how deeply i feel this.
some way for this mere keyboard to capture the raw emotion and amazement of His grace.
but i have a feeling most of you reading, get it.
that most of you reading have things in your life this past year where you felt Him like this.

He never stops being God. whether i believe Him or not.
His mercy never stops raining. His grace never stops to giving. and His love..
His love just never stops loving.

and i keep thinking how this. this is the real message of Christmas~
a God that never stops coming after me!
from that first night so long ago as a little baby humbly entering this world.
to now, every day of my life, a Sovereign Lord and Victorious Saviour.

and with His coming peace!
the peace we all seek and want and desire became possible –
because Peace was now a Person! and only in Him do we find it.

and the simple beauty of it all is..
because He came – i can now come to Him!
because He came. there is HOPE. always hope.”

yes. that is still my heart.
HE KEPT ME.
and Keeps me still.

and i know whatever the days ahead hold – He will Keep me there too.

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it’s a journey i’ve taken many times with Him.
this coming back again and again.
different roads. same lessons. deeper heart.

grasping it more and more that there is nothing we ever face..
problems in marriage
or with our children
or other relationships..
no amount of heartache
or questions
or pain…
nothing {absolutely nothing} is beyond being able to be fixed and repaired and restored.

no matter how hopeless something may seem. no matter how far gone. or how deeply buried –

there is always a way –
because HE IS THE WAY!!!

i love that.

~ “I am the Way. The Truth. and the Life.” jn. 14:6

what began back THEN on that first Christmas night, continues even NOW..
God came down and invaded our lives with His presence~
not only inviting us to come near to Him,
but making the way for that to be possible.
Glorious Intruder that heals and redeems and restores!

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thank you, Lord Jesus.. for coming to this world to make a way for me!
for laying down your life so that i could find mine.
and i’m not really sure what you think of all the hoopla this time of year~
in some ways it seems silly to wish you a happy birthday…
but i will say this – i’m glad you were born! :)

at the start He was there
in the end, He’ll be there

and after all our hands have wrought
He forgives

oh the Glory of it all is:
He came here
for the rescue of us all
that we may live

when All is lost
find Him there
after night
dawn is there

after all falls apart
He repairs

oh He is here
for redemption from the fall
that we may live
for the glory of it all

after night
comes the light
dawn is here
dawn is here
it’s a new day
everything will change
things will never be the same
we will never be the same
we will never be the same

oh, the glory of it all is:
You came here
for the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all

oh You are here
with redemption for us all
THAT WE MAY LIVE
for the glory of it all

oh the glory of it all

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may the wonder of it strike you in a fresh way.
and as you reflect over what He’s done in your life this past year, may you trace His hand in it all.

>>><<<

wishing you all a very merry christmas~

from our home to yours!

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with love,

amber
{for us all!}