Showing posts from November, 2019


By Ryan Forbes   PC: Unsplash June 15 th , 2003 I was staring out of the window of my prison cell lost, hopeless, and void. Void of anything even remotely resembling love. As I continued to gaze at the dimly lit street outside of my window, I remember thinking about my Dad, about his life, and his battle with alcoholism. Not completely sure how I knew, but I was acutely aware that his childhood and his upbringing was probably not the greatest experience, and that my family of origin was steeped in the dysfunction of the collective abuse and trauma of generations past. I was angry. I was tired. I was lost. During that era of my life, I was in my early twenties and used to listen to a rock band named, Staind . The group had an album at the time named “Breaking the Cycle.” As I was recalling my life and the path that I had been going down—I remember thinking about the name of the album and thinking that I wanted to “Break the Cycle.” Break the cycle of drug and alcohol a

A Christmas Fogged with Grief

By Elizabeth Witmer PC: Unsplash “Father, I haven’t been following You or relying on You as I should. Please help me to find closeness with you as I turn my focus back on You and seek you more. Revive my heart again.” “Lord, I’m not sure exactly how to begin or even what I’m asking for right now. I feel like there  is some distance between us and I’m not sure exactly why. Please rid me of my self- centeredness and give me a more tender, compassionate heart.” “Father, I have wandered away from You. Teach me how to communicate better with You.” These are just a few excerpts from my prayer journal in the fall of 2013. I had no idea how God would answer these requests and this searching for a deeper relationship with Him. It was November 11, 2013, and my husband and I were excited and a little nervous to be having our first ultrasound to finally see our first baby. We were in for a big surprise when the  ultrasound tech announced that I was carrying—not one—but two

The Real Holiday

PC: Unsplash By Nancy High Engel We walked into my sister Carol’s house, not knowing what the next few minutes would hold. Looking around—my nieces and nephews with downcast eyes, my parents softly crying, my sister’s face registering shock and sadness. I looked at my brother-in-law Darell, and he gently shook his head. It began as a normal Christmas day. My immediate family gathered at our house for a simple breakfast followed by exchanging of gifts. Shortly before lunch, we headed to Carol’s house for dinner, games, gifts and our traditional shrimp supper. My whole family was going to be there except for my brother Marlin’s wife who was spending Christmas with her family out of state. Everything was fine…until it wasn’t. Marlin was gone. Late in the morning we became aware that none of us had heard from Marlin for a few days. Though he was very independent and sometimes unpredictable, family was important to him. We knew he wouldn’t miss Christmas, if possible. When

The Freedom of Forgiveness

By Joel Kime PC: Unsplash The crime November 3, 1991, was a beautiful fall day—cool, clear, and crisp. After church my brother, Jeff, and I shoveled down dinner and rushed out the door to play football with our youth group. Along the way to the game, we picked up some friends. Though only 17, I thought I was the best driver in the nation as I steered our car on to a local country road. We crested a small hill and saw an Amish horse and buggy ahead of us (a common sight in Lancaster, PA.). I thought to myself, “I’m going to blow by these guys!” I stomped on the gas, accelerating to 70-75 mph, steering the car into the left lane to pass the buggy. As we raced closer to the buggy, I will never, ever forget seeing the nose of the horse turning towards me, and I instantly knew they were trying to turn. I wasn’t even watching for their turn signal, nor did I see the small country road they were attempting to turn into. Instinct took over as I slammed my foot down on the b