What Do You Do with Despair?

What Do You Do with Despair?

I've been pondering what to say about the horribleness of what has happened in Charlottesville. I've been wondering about the potential nuclear threat of North Korea. And two more soldiers died in Iraq, the paper said.

"How long, O Lord?" I keep asking. How much longer do we have to deal with the injustice? With the hate? With the fear? With the arguing? The superiority complexes? How long are we going to live under divisiveness and when will the oppressed find freedom? I've caught myself often this summer asking Jesus if He could just come now and the only reason I find myself lamenting that He hasn't is because I know there are people who haven't gotten to know Him yet.

I've been reading through the Gospel of Mark. In chapter 9, I found that Jesus asked a question similar to my own . He's talking to the crowd gathered around Him, not to God, but He said, "Oh faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?"

Read More

If Things Look Hopeless

If Things Look Hopeless

A decade plus ago, I (Jen) could have made the choice to steer the car into oncoming traffic. The despair was that bad. The darkness was that overwhelming. By God's grace and intervention, I stayed in my lane.

After that moment, the way I began to view the world and God and Craig slowly changed. And now, here we are, speaking hope and light to marriages, even though at one point, we were bathed in darkness and depression.

You can be a Christian and still be assaulted by hopelessness. You can still be plagued by thoughts about how easy it could be to walk away. And yet, as we have found, it's worth it to persevere through the suffering. God promises to use all things for good. There is purpose to our pain.

If this is true for us, it is true for you, too.

Read More

This is Us, Advent, and Marriage

This is Us, Advent, and Marriage

Did you see last night's episode of This is Us? Craig and I were bawling! After some reflecting, I realized what powerful implications the ideas in this episode have for our marriages—and (how fun is this!) our search for light.

(I don't think I'm giving too much away in this post, but feel free to save this post and come back to it AFTER you've watched it so you can be sure I haven't ruined anything.)

We knew before last night that Rebecca knew Randall's biological dad. This week, Randall finds out, too. He feels how you would expect him to feel: angry, hurt, betrayed, bereft. During the show, he starts talking to his dad (we know his dad is deceased, so to find out how he starts talking to him, you'll have to watch). At one point, Randall flashes back to his childhood. Even though the particular memory that plays out through a window in the cabin is filled with joy and love, all Randall can see is his mother's betrayal. The pain of his mother secret overrides and overshadows everything.

Read More