Monday, May 2, 2016


My soul has been praying for restoration for our family for many years.  Perhaps from the moment of losing my oldest son.

In the depths of chaos and unimaginable grief, even in those first hours, I knew peace and restoration from God would be the only way we would survive.  Back then, I tucked the hope for being restored deep within my heart, for I was hurt and scared -even mad at God- and unsure if He'd ever answer another prayer of mine.

For those early years, we were held together only by His grace, but slowly, piece by piece, I began to see signs of being restored.

Our family laughed again.  The dark cloud that consumed my husband was showing signs of light.  Fear began to give way from my youngest son's eyes.  Joy was returning.

It was a gradual change.  A see-saw of emotions at times.  While we experienced some highs, in looking back, it felt like the wind was knocked out of us again and again, year after year.  Every time we'd glimpse a peek of mountain tops, we'd come crashing back down with a new blow.  The last couple of years were unexpectedly rough, for very different reasons, but again we saw our family being torn apart before we could return together whole.

In the midst of that new grief, my prayer became a constant, louder whisper from within my heart.

Restore us, God.  Restore.

Not just in our family of three but within the circles of others we loved.  So many breaks and fractures since losing Austin, perhaps all in some way connected.  Some from poor choices in grief, some from a lifetime of mistakes.  But I knew that the only way we could ever be whole again, even if patched together, would be by the hand of God.

Though God led me to choose "Forward" as my word for 2016, the underlying theme has always been restoration.  Forward was just where He wanted me to look.  To let go of hurts from the past and see the good He has in store.

Restore has been my prayer, from my seat in church, in my bed, hands locked with my husband and knees bent.

All of this came swirling around me upon our entrance to the Women of Joy conference last month.  Though I'm sure at some point I heard or saw the theme of WOJ, it didn't resonate until that very moment.  As I looked down at the pamphlet in my trembling hand and saw the screens in the distance, it was as if God himself was revealing the message.  Immediately a sense of peace about the weekend -and all that is to come- washed over me.

God is so good.

He has restored our brokenness.  He has calmed our storms.  He has promised good to come.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation 
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:12


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