beautiful joy

March 8, 2016

This past weekend my sister came to town for a short visit and we had the opportunity to drive down to the cabin and spend a little bit of time at my favorite place on earth. I was so thankful to the Lord for the strength to do this as it had been a difficult day of pain and sickness. The Lord definitely gave such a beautiful gift of a couple of hours of joy in the midst of that pain and we had a delightful time capturing the beauty and joy of those moments.
There have been some small and huge changes that have been happening in this journey and in the upcoming weeks I look forward to sharing with y'all more in depth about what the Lord has been doing in my life throughout these past several months.
Everyday I am falling more in love with my precious Savior and have been amazed at the depths of grace that He gives to us in the good and in the hard seasons of life.
Everyday I wrestle with the riddle of how do I live well in this season of living that is nothing like I expected or planned? I think that when I started writing my book, When Mercy Beckons, I was newer at this journey. I was younger. I definitely wasn't aware of how long this journey would last and the things that would occur during these years. I wasn't aware of the heartbreak that comes from loosing your independence in your early 30s. I wasn't prepared for friends walking away because the journey was long. I wasn't prepared for the pain and sickness or the excruciating pain that comes from fighting illness. I wasn't prepared for the way that my body would change that I hardly recognize myself in the mirror. I wasn't prepared for relationships changing and morphing due to different seasons. I wasn't prepared for this life. I never expected this to be a "new normal". 
I wasn't prepared for a lot of things, most of all I wasn't prepared for the grace and mercy that shows up in the most unexpected ways and in the most unexpected places. I wasn't fully prepared for how grace and hope show up in a life that you could never have imagined for yourself.
I am realizing more and more that that is what all of us deal with. My story is not unique or special. We all are living lives that often we didn't imagine or plan. We may have wanted a different story than we are living. My different story at this moment is fighting a serious disease and longing to be married and to be a mama. For others it is a disappointing marriage, unfulfilled hidden dreams, unemployment, broken friendships, broken relationships, a death of a loved one, and the list goes on and on and on. 
But in the midst of all of that brokenness and pain, I see Jesus in beautiful ways and He provides beautiful joy. Like these hours of precious laughter at the cabin. For a friendly doctor who shows incredible compassion. For one stick blood draws instead of 5 sticks. For an encouraging word from a friend. For a beautiful text message full of love and encouragement. For a sister who spends two hours brushing out my hair because she knows that it is one of my favorite things. For a dear friend who listens to all of the hard and lovingly speaks truth into my life (thank you Katie!!). For parents who have sacrificed everything to help me get better. For a grandmother for letting us live here so I can get treatment to help me get well. For countless hugs given. For doctors who kindly and compassionately change "Nic the PICC" every week. For an amazing medical team that never gives up. For dear friends who text me things that make me laugh about precious memories (thank you Laura!!). For friends who continue to pray after all of these years. For those that continue to give financially year after year. For dear friends who listen and encourage my heart with God's beautiful truth (thank you Ruth!). For friends who in the midst of their own unbelievably, incredibly difficult hard seasons of life step into mine to offer love and help and encouragement (thank you Jen!!). For readers of this blog and my books that offer sweet words of encouragement. For countless others who have shown God's grace and love during this season... I have seen in hundreds of ways how blessed I am. Thank you for the beautiful blessings of joy in this season I never imagined.

Thank you friends! I hope you have a beautiful day seeing all of the joy and mercy that surrounds us each day. 


  1. Love you dearly!! And I love the pictures! (Could Emily BE any more your mom's clone!?) And I love how you're so diligent and faithful to encourage others while you fight your own battles. You're the most selfless person I know <3

  2. Your faith is infinite. So glad you keep moving forward and never let despair kill your joy. God is indeed good.