Our Hearts

This weekend was full of ministry and friends and occasions and people.

I honestly didn’t know how I would make it through.

It included one of my first real ministry obligations since Keller’s diagnosis.  I have been still serving in Ocean View and supporting families, but really slowed down in many of my roles to allow us time to process and adjust to Keller’s new needs.  I was asked last year to be the wedding officiant for a wonderful couple that I taught in my first year at Cornerstone Institute and they mean so much to me.  Weddings are always a privilege and this one was extra special.

But in the back of my mind I kept wondering HOW WILL I BE ABLE TO MAKE IT THROUGH THIS??

I am not a complete wreck, but my feelings are still so ripe and raw and I had no idea if I was up to such a special and holy occasion.  However, God asked me to be His instrument and so I stepped in.

The day was FULL as I actually first attended the wedding of our great Hillsong friends Thomas and Nande who were married deep in the hills of the winelands, in an area called Tulbagh.  It was a breathtaking setting and the ceremony was full of God’s praise and joy.  Seriously was a special day and I felt lifted being a part of the congregation (it was really a WORSHIP SERVICE and not just a wedding!).

I then rushed to the wedding I was officiating and I count is as such an honor to be such an intimate part of people’s lives.  I get to lead the most important worship service of a couple’s life and see their eyes filled with love and gratitude.  It is beyond beautiful and a privilege to be a part of.  Andrew and Candice said their vows, cried tears of joy, and clutched each other’s hands as they became ONE.  What fun for me.

As I was driving home alone, with the breathtaking scenery of South Africa surrounding me, I couldn’t help but be filled with awe and thankfulness to Jesus.  He is truly alive in my life, and even though the days are fragile, HE IS NOT.  He is God and will always be GOD.  He is looking to fill us and use us, no matter what state our lives may look.

 This is what the Lord says:

“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.

“I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts,
    who tremble at my word.”  

-Isaiah 66:1-2

God is looking to fill people who are open.  People who are humble.  People who are broken.  People who are surrendered.

This weekend was a testimony of HIS GREATNESS and STRENGTH when we give him our open hearts.

What is the state of your heart today?

Could you build me a temple as good as that?
    Could you build me such a resting place?
My hands have made both heaven and earth;
    they and everything in them are mine.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!


In these very full days I sometimes go to bed feeling completely overwhelmed.

My mind races with the events of the days.  What I did.  What I DIDN’T DO.

This must be a feeling that other parents face, especially parents of kids with special needs.  The possibilities are endless for therapies and interventions and teachings.  I make efforts but at the end of the day I often find there was more that I didn’t do than what I did.

It can be overwhelming and paralyzing.

Some days are full and hectic and crazy and fun.  We laugh and play and have great moments together.  We are the Prince’s and so that is ALWAYS what we do.  Other days are hard and confusing and discouraging.

And so I go to sleep with a racing mind and a full heart.

But then I wake up and the morning is new.  The possibilities are fresh.  The slate is clean.

No matter how heavy I go to bed, I have noticed that somehow I wake up light and hopeful.  This can only be GOD.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning. -Lamentations 3:22-23

I want to encourage you that whatever chapter YOU are writing in your life.  If it’s one of easy or incredibly heavy, to just keep walking forward with God.  Each day holds so much strength and possibility in God.  The future may look uncertain and unknown but just take the NEXT STEP and take it IN HIM.

“When you don’t know what to do next, just do the thing that is in front of you.” -Elizabeth Elliot

My Territory

At the beginning of the year I was asking God to give me scriptures for the year that would define this next chapter and lead me and our family.  I have begun to cling to God’s word more and more and truly see it as the light for my path.  I felt God telling my spirit that I needed to pray for ‘new territory’ and ask for MORE.

“Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” -1 Chronicles 4:10

So I began praying and believing and LOOKING for the great things God had ahead for us.

And then Keller was diagnosed with autism.

Recently God reminded me of my preayers for new territory.  I KNOW He reminded me of these prayers.  I KNOW He is telling me that this territory of special needs is a gift from Him.  This territory of autism has been given to me by God and this is our new world to receive.

This was NOT the kind of territory I was praying for.

I had to honestly google what the menaing of autism was.  Okay…  I STILL have to google it when I write about it because I STILL don’t fully understand it.  There are a lot of places that I thought were my future territory that God was going to be giving me.  I have a list of options that God evidently decided to ignore.  I did NOT want the territory of special needs.

I contacted one mother in our area who has a child with autism after our diagnosis; to make connections and learn about resources.  She shouted with laughter over the phone, “Welcome to the club!”

I do not want to be in this club.

No one wants to be in the club of special needs.  It’s the club you would never choose and can never leave.  But for me, it’s not just a club but it’s TERRITORY that God has given me.  It’s my place to wrestle in, and where I have to hold onto His promises in faith.  It’s my new WORLD and it’s from within this world that God wants to change me and mold me.  It’s from this WORLD that God wants to share His story.  It’s from this WORLD that God wants to share His glory.

This is my territory.

I may not want this new territory, but it’s been given to me as a gift.  And even though it seems hard and IMPOSSIBLE, it’s not, and God is more than enough for the journey.  It’s MY territory.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” -Helen Keller