On an ordinary Tuesday afternoon, I opened my inbox and gasped. Inside, an email invited me to congratulate my grandma on a milestone number of years in her listed profession: pastor’s wife. Just past the hilarity of “How in the world is she on LinkedIn and who signed her up?” is the gut punch, the sting of tears, the unexpected wave of sadness rolling in.

What LinkedIn doesn’t know is that my grandma passed away.

Within my small circle of close friends, over the last two years we’ve walked through death, cancer, car wrecks, job loss, difficulty finding a new job, break-ups, abuse, starting over in a new city, a heartbreaking diagnosis, medical unknowns from the lack of a diagnosis, and unexpected surgeries. It’s a lot of loss. It’s a lot of grief. It’s a lot of change.

It’s been a lot for what feels like a long time.

When it's been a lot... for what feels like a long time.

I’m convinced one of the most beautiful verses in all of Scripture is found in John 11:35—“Jesus wept.” Despite knowing resurrection was written onto the next page of the story, the Man of Sorrows chose to grieve what was broken. Hope Himself let His heart break, and somehow, it’s this that gives me hope during my heartbreak.

Jesus isn’t scared of our grief or disappointed that we’re still sad; He just comes closer to weep with us. He isn’t surprised by our despair or our anger; He gets angry with death too, lamenting what has broken even though the Word knows the final word belongs to redemption, to joy, to life.

It’s okay if you aren’t okay today. It’s okay to not be okay tomorrow either.

Waves will come, some stronger than others, some seen from a distance and others that will take you completely by surprise. Storms will come, but redemption is guaranteed, and His presence is promised.

Our friend Jesus is acquainted with grief and familiar with waves.

We have a God who cries.

We have a reason to hope.

New book! 100 Days of Strength in Any Struggle Devotional

can you even tell this is a mock-up?! taken in April 2023 on the (in)courage trip, this was before the title tweak and the fancy gold foil upgrade :)


Book news & a giveaway:

As of today, this excerpt from the larger article (originally published in May 2022) has moved from pixels on a screen to printed pages, bound and shipped around the world.

100 Days of Strength in Any Struggle released this morning! I’m honored to have three pieces in the brand new devotional, and to be alongside the words of women I deeply respect and love. There are a few excerpts from articles that really resonated over the last several years, but the majority of the devo is brand new — words of encouragement and truth straight from the middle of the struggle, written about the things we’d all generally rather avoid and yet eventually find ourselves walking through.

I mean . . . just take a peek at the table of contents.

When You’re Tired of Being Second Choice

The Greatest Ruining of My Life

A Stranger in My Own Skin

When the Noise of the World Is Overwhelming

How to Pray When Healing Doesn’t Come

New book! 100 Days of Strength in Any Struggle Devotional

It’s an honor to be part of this project, and it would be a joy to send a copy your way! Budgets are real and that reallyyyy puts a damper on mailing thousands of copies but (!) I do have a few and I want to make it as easy as possible to enter.

You don’t need to subscribe. You don’t need to ‘like’ anything. You don’t have to share a social media post.

All three of those legitimately make a crazy difference in spreading the word and in the likelihood of signing a contract for future books (!), so thank you for real for 1) being here 2) following on social 3) and sharing my posts with your people. But my gosh . . . if you’re in the middle of a struggle, if you’re barely holding it together and really need a reminder that you yourself are already and always held? Basically, if this book is for you or someone you love?

I’m not about to complicate entering — I’m just going to give them away all over the place. Substack, Facebook, Instagram x2. I know there are many who follow on IG and not FB, or who subscribe via email but don’t have social media, etc. Hopefully spreading it out means everyone has at least one opportunity to enter — or more, if you want to enter everywhere. (Go for it!)

TO ENTER ON THIS POST: Simply click here and leave a comment!

That’s it. 💛 Easy as can be.

The fine print: This giveaway closes at 3pm on Friday, February 9th. I’ll leave a comment announcing the randomly selected winner and will reach out to learn their mailing address to ship a copy their way ASAP.

P.s. If you’d like to enter elsewhere:

I’m giving away one copy on this Instagram post — all you need to do is raise your hand in the comments. I’m giving away one copy on this Facebook post — all you need to do is raise your hand in the comments. Later this week, I’m giving away one copy in the private All The Things Instagram account (if you’re subscribed there, stay tuned!).

New book! 100 Days of Strength in Any Struggle Devotional

Note: A bookshop affiliate link is used in this post.