my light grows dim

Advent is a time of waiting…and a time for hope. I’m off to a rough start in the hope department.

Every day we pull down a day from our Advent calendar. Every day I read a short story from the Bible and a very short devotional. It’s very much like the Jesse Tree devotionals for kids. It follows each of the Bible stories about why we need a savior in the first place.

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Tonight we read the creation story at dinner. About how it was all perfect in the beginning.

At bedtime, Charlie randomly chose a story out of his Story Bible–the story of God telling the prophet Isaiah about a Savior that would come. About “Operation No More Tears.”

I want to believe these stories so much.

The simplicity of the story in Isaiah for this children’s Bible. They put it in the form of a letter from God to Isaiah that he needed to share with people. It spoke of a baby being born to a girl with no husband. Of a man who would be a king, but not look like a king; in fact he would be very poor. He would fight evil, but he would have no swords or armies…or guns. He would be a Prince of PEACE. He would be the answer to all this awful in the world.

As Christians, we believe that was Jesus.

He came; he lived in poverty; he spread the message of love; he was an early adopter of non-violent protest and civil disobedience. Then he died.

We are told he went to hell for all of us, then came back from the dead to let his posse know he was the real deal. He told them to tell the world about him. Then he went to heaven.

We are told he will come back to fix this mess.

I’m going to be honest here. I am having a hard time believing in the midst of all this shit that keeps happening in our country and in the world. I’m having a really difficult time believing that I can pray, have it be heard, and have it mean anything or have any effect.

I love the message of Advent. I do.  And I so badly want to believe that this is how it works: we wait and hold on to hope and then Jesus makes it better.

But you guys? Do you ever have those dreams where you are trying to tell someone something because it’s incredibly important. So you shout, but nothing comes out. Or you try to get to them, but obstacles get in your way or you get lost or your legs won’t move. And it’s not just frustrating, it’s the worst feeling ever. You are on the verge of a full-on panic attack and may even wake up shaking or crying, most definitely sweating.

That is how I feel when I see this crap unfold, and then like a fool, I look on Facebook or the comment sections and see crap like this:

Problem: Here is this thing that people keep using to kill people.


I just feel like we are throwing prayers into the wind. We pray for the victims, shoot we even pray for the shooters, and what happens? More acts of terror.

I feel like a damn hypocrite almost every Sunday. I show up to teach my 2nd and 3rd graders in Children in Worship all the while second-guessing, questioning the very stories and lessons I am trying to impart to them.

A couple weeks ago I told them about Joseph and how his brothers sold him into slavery. The theme of the lesson was that God turns bad choices into something beautiful. If life is a woven fabric, we humans make stupid choices in threads, but God can take those bad threads and weave them into something utterly wonderful.

But I am having a hard time right now with seeing how more violence is going to turn into something beautiful.

I know, I know…”but Katie, it’s not for you to know!”

Well, right now, my eyes need to see…something. Because the light of my hope is running out of oxygen and growing very dim.

i can’t…

I am mad at God.

There. I said it.

I’ve felt it before in my life, but I have never said it out loud.

I am mad and confused and angry and tired.

This feeling has been hanging on since August 14, the “anniversary” of Cortney’s dad’s death.

I can’t shake the anger.

And now…more screwed up stuff.

More senseless loss.

I can’t shake this huge weight of anger from my heart and mind.

Why? What is the point?

What is the point of carrying a pregnancy full term for the first time only to lose a baby over some rare heart condition?

What is the point of being an amazing man who touched so many lives just to get sick and die before you ever meet a grandchild?


Why meet the perfect person for you just to have that person tragically killed?

I don’t want the scripture or the “there is a plan” or whatever “good comes out of all things”.

I just don’t know if I believe that anymore.  The part about good coming out of all situations.  I just don’t know that that is true anymore.

Actually I do know. It’s not. It’s not true.

This is where you will want to tell me that it is not for me to question God’s plans. Or to know all that is going to happen. Or maybe you want to tell me that this Big Good will happen away from my life or beyond my life or out of my knowledge. You want to tell me to quit questioning God.

I call bullshit on that.

I can’t help but question all things. It’s who I am.

My husband’s family watched their dad, husband, SON, brother, cousin disappear into a pile of tumors and then death. There is no Big Good big enough to make that “worth it” or Ok.

Three babies dying to a faithful, loving, family has zero good in it. You can’t tell that mother that losing THREE SONS meant that some Big Good could take place. I cannot think of a single thing that would be worth that.

You try to tell that widow that her life (or anyone’s life) is now BETTER because her husband is dead.  Try saying that out loud.

Something is better because someone you loved DIED.

That something better be the cure for cancer or evil or world hunger because I can’t think of any other way anything could be better.

God is in control of ALL things.

ALL things.

Even bad things?  He controls that?  Then why are people saying “that wasn’t God, that was the Devil”.


So it comes back to it was “in the plan” or it means something “better can happen.”

I don’t believe that.  I don’t believe good comes out of all bad.

I don’t think any good at all comes from babies born into poverty with AIDS to then suffer and die.  No good comes from that.

I don’t think any good comes from being born into a war-torn country as a completely innocent citizen just to die from a drone raid. No good.

I haven’t given up on God and my faith.

I know it sounds like that.

I still unwaveringly believe there is a God. I believe that Jesus was love and taught love and that love is the answer.

What I don’t agree with is that Love and Good conquer all the bad all the time.

That is like telling everyone who ever lost someone they were praying for that they didn’t LOVE hard enough.

I don’t have any answers today. I don’t have any absolutes that I believe right now.

I am angry.

I am angry at God.

I hope he and I can work this out because I don’t want to hold a grudge, but man I don’t get it. I don’t.

And right now I just can’t make peace with “Katie, you’re not supposed to get it.”

That isn’t enough for me.

“no” is an answer

Oh I believe in miracles…

I believe in a better world…for me and you.

Oh..Oh I believe in miracles…

I believe in a better world…for me and you.*

Dear Lord, please heal Cort’s dad.  Take the cancer away and make him whole.


Dear Lord, please let this bleeding be normal and NOT a miscarriage.


Dear Lord, I want to be a mom so badly.  Please help my body know what to do.

Not yet.

Dear Lord, please don’t make me go through another miscarriage.  I am too weak.  I can’t do it.

Yes, you can.  And you will.

Dear Lord, please save me from being on the “cut” list for work.


Dear Lord, please help Cort keep his job in these hard times.


Dear Lord, please make these demons leave my head.  Please make me the mom others think I am.  Please help me fix this crazy.

No.  You can’t fix yourself alone.

Why, Lord?  Why us?  We are good people and hard workers.  We try to be like Jesus and love people and give of ourselves.  WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US?


Lord, I want to turn my back!  I want to do this alone.  I think you must have lost your “plan” for us somewhere.  You have left us!

Go ahead and try.

Lord, this is our plan…please oh PLEASE let it work.


Lord, I can’t be in charge.  I can’t make anything work right.  Just please handle it for me.  Please let me find someone who will love me for everything I am RIGHT NOW.

Here is Cortney.

Lord, I can’t make things better with Cort’s dad.  He is going to die.  Please let me know what to do to help Cort.

I will strengthen your shoulders and pad your hugs.

Lord, he lost his dad and his appendix and now he is alone in the hospital.  What do I do?

Stay with him.  I’ll be there too.

Lord, I only have one try left.  I can only try once more.  Please bless us with a child this time.

Here is Edward Steven.

Lord, please help me keep my job.  My family needs me to provide.

You will teach Spanish.  You can also teach at the college.

Lord, I can’t change myself.  I need help.

Here is Cortney.  Here is your family.  Here is an internet full of support.  Here are your friends.  Here is your doctor.  Here is Celexa.  Here is a therapist.

Lord, what will we do?  Unemployment runs out in August.

Here is a job for Cortney.

Sometimes the answer is no.

But sometimes?  The answer is yes.

No matter how many times you falter.  He will save some “yes’s” for you.

This week?  He finally said YES to Cort’s job prayers after many, MANY no’s.

We are blessed.

*lyrics from “I believe in miracles” by Pearl Jam

If you also believe in miracles, please pray for our nephew(s)/niece(s) in Ethiopia.  Our siblings were dealt a GIANT “no” this week in their adoption process.  Please read about it here.

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