“Don’t Wait! Live Recovered”

Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon yo and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11: 28-30

 Locked in the void of recovery. Life is moving forward, it’s happening all around. Even if only through the split of a hospital room curtain. At the mercy of call buttons, IV’s and pic lines. Other human hands trying to help alleviate discomfort. The simplest of tasks, insurmountable. Trapped in a body that won’t co-operate or respond like your mind wills it to. Trying not to think beyond what can be seen from the hospital bed. Telling your inner self it’s okay. Just breathe. Seemingly an out of body ordeal. The mind struggles against the drugs which are meant to quiet the pain. The outside world forces it’s way in in the rudest of forms. Demanding precious energy that can’t be wasted. Even visits or calls from the most loved of beings become a drain on body and soul. Life. Moving forward. Home. Looking through windows at the world outside. Rattled. Relentless. Recovery.

When is it complete? Do we ever fully recover from traumatic events or physical ailments? I don’t know many who haven’t fallen prey to a scalpel. Or an addiction. Or both. Quite often a physical repair is made and the victim carries on. Even if not quite the same. Bones heal but perhaps they don’t function quite like they did prior to surgery. Internal organs are tampered with, repaired, and put back into place. Learning to function properly or in a new manner all over again.

Isn’t this also the case when we choose to drastically change our lives? Elective surgery. When we invite Jesus into our hearts it’s the same as having a surgeon in house. He removes things or alters them so we can live happier, better, cleaner lives. No matter how painful the procedure is. Just as you’re released from a doctors care with a list of instructions, Jesus also gives us instructions to follow. His Holy Word. Jesus promises healing if we follow His plan of recovery. The parts that are removed may leave scars. Some visible. Some not. The parts that are altered may take time to wake up and function properly again. Things will never be as they were prior to the surgery. They will be fixed. Repaired. Ready to move from the stagnant place of sickness to living recovered. The invisible illnesses are stealthier. There will be days when those afflictions will ache from now till we reach our Heavenly healing. But take heart! We’ve the pain medication of Jesus’ promise to remove our weary burdens and give us rest. *He promises to bind up our breaking hearts.

Don’t wait until it’s an emergency. Don’t wait until you feel so low you can’t breathe. Don’t wait until the weight of your suffering has blinded you to His light and deafened you to His calling. Don’t wait until your affliction has laid you at deaths door. He’s watching and waiting for you. He will come and get you right where you are. Don’t wait.

*Psalm 34:17-18

*Psalm 147:3




On August 13th I wroteA tragic event in March of this year left my families lives turned upside down. It’s not my story to tell. Suffice it to say our balance has yet to be regained. If anything mid July saw it thrown off once again. I would say I’ll be happy to see the back side of 2016…but I have to wonder what 2017 will herald in?

A scant four days after I posted the above statement another harsh reality slammed into my family. We didn’t have to wait until 2017 for another mind numbing experience. One we’re still in the throes of. As if we aren’t still caught up in the gale forces of January, March…and July. Will I never learn? How could I even begin to relax and think we’d weathered the storm? Now August has blown into the mix.

I sit here gazing out my window, feeling only slightly like Job. I feel guilty too for not making the 70 mile trek to the hospital today. A place I’ve grown to despise even as I appreciate all it provides. It’s kept two of my beloved ones alive these past long weeks. One endless stay turned into another. A dark tunnel with no end. Emotionally drained. All of us. Weary and helpless.

Fear. Denial. Anger. Sorrow. Tangible frustration that knows no bounds. Aching acceptance.

It’s the realization that absolutely nothing will ever be the same. Massive tumbleweeds, familyweeds, of lives more than half over. Lives that have been enter twined since birth. Brittle and gnarled. Traveling in whatever direction the wind rolls them. Hither and yon. Landed here in the twilight. Full of debris picked up along the journey. Crumbling, weary and breaking apart. I fear complete detachment. It’s a chasm that can’t be crossed this side of Heaven. I began as the last of three. I can’t imagine life without my two. Friends, enemies, timeless love. Good, bad and all in between. Thick and thin. Even strangers sometimes. Dare I wonder how the inevitable will come?

Where would I be with out my faith? Without my God who strengthens me and hears the plea in my heart? Pleas I can’t put into words though the Spirit does. I feel Jesus surrounding the broken places that I don’t understand. Reaching up for the peace that surpasses. I long for my loved ones to have peace. I feel refinement being wrought. Almighty El Roi lead me in the path You’d have me go.

So I pray.* My Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

I know, as I release my pent up breath, that my woes are smaller than most but larger than some. Aren’t each of our troubles? Isn’t that the very nature of humanity? All I need to do is watch the evening news to realize that God has been kind to me and mine. Kind indeed.

Now to share the sliver of light that is breaking through my dark.


*Lords Prayer: Matthew 6:9-13

Wholly Whole and Holy Holes

Broken Goose

Broken Goose

I’ve dropped and broken several beloved possessions in my life, but one in particular stands out. Even after painstakingly gluing the pieces back together it wasn’t the same. Some of the shards were crushed and useless so there are holes left in it. But I still display it. Why? Because it is a priceless thing. It’s not altogether beautiful… but…it’s part of my life.

The object I broke is a black goose, one of a pair. Growing up these figurines were part of my mother’s décor, I don’t remember not having them around. My sisters and I tried hard to be careful with mom’s pretties while doing chores but now and again we broke something. These geese were one of the few things spared. Years ago, out of the blue, Mom gave the set to me. Sadly I ended up breaking one of them while unpacking from a move. This was during an extremely difficult period in my life. When I saw the pieces lying there I saw myself. Shattered. I sought counseling and read books which included taking a test to determine my level of dysfunction. I was well within the dysfunctional parameter. I in my wisdom though determined that I would be good enough.  I would act more educated. I would dress nicer and I would be better! I fought tooth and nail to live unbroken but a deep part of me lingers there. I wasted precious time trying to fill holes with meaningless material. I missed countless opportunities to grow into God’s will for my life.

Today as I write this, I’ve again determined something. To be done living broken. I was knocked off a shelf and busted early in life. The crushed missing pieces of me are gone, and the holes left are a part of me. Like my goose, I think I will start wearing them with dignity and pride. They can’t define me any longer but they’ve certainly shaped me into what I am today. I must move past the bitter resentment of what wasn’t, and move into what is. God loves me. I am priceless to Him. Through Christ I’ve been put back together, wholly whole with holy holes and He still wants to display me!

Wholly whole

My battered statue still has a place of honor in my home. It serves to remind me of my battle with brokenness. Where I was, where I am, and where I’ll eventually be!

Patti D. Hemphill
May 25, 2015