Showing posts from April, 2020

A Journey Worth the Struggle

By Sonya Grace Naugle* Unsplash It was on a Sunday morning at church that I knew something was severely wrong.  As a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four children aged ten to sixteen, I had many responsibilities at church and at home—sitting on committees, attending meetings, mentoring women, managing my household, speaking to groups, coaching volleyball. I was also traveling 130 miles back and forth to care for my parents, with my mom living in a group home and my dad battling stage 4 colon cancer. All this was taking a toll on my marriage and family. Still, I carried on. I had always been one to take care of others’ needs.  I began experiencing heart palpitations accompanied by dizziness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, digestive issues, joint and abdominal pain, muscle weakness, lower than normal blood pressure, and the inability to get over a head cold. Unfortunately, I kept going—homeschooling, coaching, serving at church, taking occasional speaking engagements

A Condition More Contagious & Deadly Than Any Other

By Kara Ranck As I gaze outside my door, I witness spring going about its annual rituals. A glance outside, tells me all is well with the world as birds fly, flowers grow, grass greens, and the glorious sun shines upon it all. Yet, a glance at my calendar tells me our rituals and routines are anything but normal. Unlike my open house door, the church doors, school doors, store doors, restaurant doors, entertainment doors, and other people’s house doors remain closed. And for good reason. There is a virus spreading, infecting, weakening, and sometimes taking lives. Even if the virus doesn’t take up residence in us, it still touches our lives psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. We are all affected. Though I am not a true introvert or extrovert, I fall out of balance if my scale tips to the extreme of always at home or always away. I like to maintain a routine somewhere in between—a little at home mixed with a little time away. Right now my scale is out of

Walking With Loss

By Clint Watkins My wife’s words stifled me. “ I’m pregnant .” The weight of Jillian’s news brought me to the floor with a deep reverence for what was before me: I was now a dad. It filled me with both duty and delight as I began to dream about the future with our baby.  But three months later, these dreams were destroyed. The day we found out we were having a boy was the same day we learned he had a fatal condition, anencephaly. If he survived delivery, he would not live long enough to come home with us. Our first child’s birth and death would occur in the same room. We had just started falling in love with our son and he was already being ripped away.  I didn’t know it was possible to feel such agony. My son’s death sentence suffocated my soul and plunged me into a darkness I thought I would never come out from. My misery was multiplied by the fact that I had been rendered useless as a husband and father. I could do nothing to save my son’s life or protect my wife