Beautiful World

“Stop. Observe what God has created for you. Although it doesn’t come even close to Heaven, it’s the next best thing.” – Braden

“I wish we could have just one more summer vacation to see something beautiful. Together.” – Braden’s Dad


Before we moved from Houston to Dallas in 2014, north Texas had been bone dry. They’d had a drought the likes not seen in decades. Cotton fields were burning up and a lot of farmers were giving up. I’d been raised with the west Texas weather patterns. There was limited predictability, but the forecast there was almost always, “Dry, with little to no chance of rain”.

When I met Cathy in 1997, I’d met a true native Houstonian. Still, I swore to never live or work in Houston. I perceived it was hotter than blazes, humid, and full of hateful people. Like New York in Texas. Then, due to circumstances at my company, we were forced to move there.

The Gulf of Mexico constantly feeds warm moist air into southeastern Texas. That, along with rich dark soil makes things grow where they never would anywhere else. The Gulf also brings an indescribable amount of humidity.

Against every prejudice I had about Houston, I grew to love it. The people there were real. Many come from farmlands across the country, working in the petroleum industry. We found it to be home for us.

Just as we began our Houston home, we were again abruptly “relocated” to Dallas. This was move number five and we were completely spent, giving up yet one more established place of community. How would Braden and Caitlin deal with this move?

I remember hoping Dallas wouldn’t be a dry, brown, and desolate place. That would just add to the depressive feelings we already had about the move.

I prayed that it would just please rain.

It did. And it rained… and it rained. When we settled into our new community in Prosper, we began frequently hearing weather forecasts about heavy thunderstorms, winds, hail, and possible tornadoes. Tragically, Garland had a devastating tornado the second year after we arrived.

What had happened to the long historic draught? We joke still that we brought Houston rain to north Texas.


Recently, we had yet another north Texas storm. Here, storms arrive in the deep of the night. In west Texas you knew when a storm was coming. They typically arrived before the sun went down. You could see clouds building typically to the west and moving to the northeast.

In north Texas, Mother Nature tends to act randomly. Here, a tornado might drop out of any low hanging cloud at any time and too often in the middle of night when you can’t see what’s coming. Out of nowhere there might come a cloudburst not even the most avid weatherman could have predicted. All to say, you’re pretty much on your own in Tornado Alley.

Recently, such a rain storm emerged. Out of nowhere, rain came in a sudden barrage along with a strong north howling wind. It was near midnight. The winds blew so hard that rain entered through the downstairs windows. We still don’t know why, but when the conditions are just so, water drips from the second story through the windows in the living room.

We had to move the furniture. Shoving the couch away from the wall and placing pitchers, bowls, and every Tupperware container in the sills to catch the leaks. The winds continued, the draining water continued, and the thunder kept rolling. Then. The rain finally subsided. The night became quiet. Peaceful. Like the storm had never even visited.


The next morning, the sun was out. The curtains remained splayed forward over the couch which had been pulled away from the wall. Pitchers, bowls, and every Tupperware in the cupboard stood their post along the window sill, half filled with rain water.

I picked up the containers, combining each into one and spilling it into the kitchen sink and righting the curtains. I pulled the couch out just an inch beyond where it had been to be sure nothing had been damaged underneath.

I hesitated, knowing Braden had hidden away things under the couch over the years. Remnants of memories I feared but knew I would happen upon. Such moments bring about unexpected emotion, like suddenly seeing him and instantly losing him again.

Braden hid things: Discarded candy wrappers. Hershey kisses, Fruit by the Foot. Even handwritten notes.

I pushed the couch further away by a couple of inches, finding a coffee table book. A large one. On its cover, I read the title. “Beautiful World”. Immediately, I knew I’d stumbled upon another remnant of our son. As it always does, came a mix of elation and depression in the same instance.

The following morning, I woke for my morning quiet time. Something I’ve done as a ritual every day since he left. Honestly, I’ve exchanged that brief time for sleep. Escaping by closing my eyes to make the feelings go away. At least for a few minutes.

That morning I opened the book and enjoyed absorbing each page. Traveling mentally with Braden to each new amazing place.

Braden had the rare gift of seeing the world from a completely unique perspective. He saw things as they actually are as opposed to what they should be. He was capable of experiencing every moment in real time. To me that’s taking a huge risk. One not many of us are willing or capable of taking. I wish I could. It just might make me who I want to be and who God created me to be.

Thanks, Braden for leaving behind remnants of who you were and allowing us to find them at just the perfect moments.

Our Mother

“Our Mother had the most amazing ability to love with an abundant heart. I held that heart tightly in dark moments when I wanted to give up. She was always there. Ours was an amazing and unique bond. Happy Mother’s Day to one most deserving to be honored”. – Braden


I’ll never forget the very first moment Cathy and I met. Through friends, we were introduced. A blind date. Both having experience with blind dates, neither wanting anything to do with them.

We called several times. I was impressed by her willingness to listen deeply and her unselfishness. She was a great conversationalist and I was blown away by the sincere joy in her voice. Of course, I played the game. Not calling back for days. Waiting for her to show her cards first.

C’mon. When was she going to call? Well, she never called. That was new to me. This girl didn’t play the traditional dating games I’d become good at playing. As the guy, it was my place to make the call and she wasn’t about to let me get away with anything less.

While we dated, I soon came to learn some interesting things about my future wife. She loved to talk. She REALLY loved to talk. Also, I learned she loved to listen. She had the largest heart of anyone I’d ever known. She was the toughest and most courageous person who never gave thought to herself. That was brand new to me.


Every time I made the drive from College Station to Humble for a date, Cathy would come running from her apartment with her arms held high waiting for a hug. That one experience alone helped me decide she would become my wife. It had been far too long since I’d felt that kind of love.


Fast forward to College Station when we made our home together and began a family. We still laugh about how it began.

One night we watched a documentary about Mother’s Day. It was a touching story about parents who had conjoined twins. I was moved by the story and out of the blue, I said, “Do you think we could make one of those?” She looked at me like I was crazy for a minute. Then, realizing I meant I wanted to start our own family, she fell into my lap crying.

Braden came along as if scheduled nine months to the day when we decided to have him. He was an easy pregnancy and delivery. Traditional. No problems. He was healthy, beautiful, and strong. Yet he needed a sibling.

Soon, we became pregnant again. Three times. Tragically losing all three.

After six years trying, Caitlin finally came along. I could write an entire book about that six year period of time. But this is an abbreviated version of the story.


When I met Cathy, I fell in love almost instantly. When I entered her home the first time, I felt at home.

I was amazed by her heart. Of course it didn’t hurt that she was as beautiful outside as inside. But not until years later did I come to realize that her beauty came from deeper places. I came to learn that she had lost her mother who had been her dearest friend. I became close friends with her father who died tragically two years after Braden came along.

With such losses and the fact that she remained one of the most joyous people I’d ever met, I realized I’d not only married a beautiful and loving woman, but one who had more strength and endurance than any person alive.

Cathy welcomed me into her family of friends. Relationship and community the likes I’d never experienced. These people had walked through life together with every variety of triumph and tragedy. Over 20 years, they have become part of my family and I a part of theirs.

Until Braden died, I had never experienced personal loss. I’d seen it but I had never personally felt it. Cathy and I had talked a lot about this. Realizing it was only a matter of time, like a cloud on the horizon. Little did I know my first experience with such loss would be our son.

This day, I simply wish to briefly acknowledge the blessing of Cathy Speed. Without the strength, courage, faith, and sheer perseverance of this amazing woman, our family would have imploded long ago.

Lord, thank you for sharing with us your very special daughter.

Jumbled Pieces

“Happy birthday son. You were an amazing and beautiful gift to this world.” – Braden’s Family

For my birthday gift, release your guilt. Smile and laugh about a memory we had. Shed tears, but make them joyful ones for once. For my birthday celebration, simply blow out a candle and make these three wishes come true. Beyond words, I’m so sorry for leaving so early. I am hugging you all forever. I hope you feel them.” – All my love, Braden

You were my very first Mother’s Day gift on my first Mother’s Day. I can’t express how I feel and how much I miss you. I’ll try to make your three wishes come true today”. Love, Mom


In December 2018 we began a very bizarre journey.

This was not a topic I ever dreamed would be on my tongue. However, the alternative would be acting like it hadn’t happened. That would make me an accessory to the problem and very likely I would fall to pieces realizing our son died for absolutely nothing.

Talking with a friend recently about what has transpired over the past two years since that October, I heard myself say, “To save my life, I can’t imagine how these things have happened.” My friend responded thoughtfully, Well, maybe it’s been exactly that. These things may have happened to save your life”.

I’ll never shake the visual image of our son the night before he left. In fact, I recall every second of his life, too often in slow motion. It’s like what I call a “treadmill dream”. One where you’re working and working and working, incessantly to achieve a goal. If you can just work harder, you perceive it possible. But it’s futile.

That goal for us has been to at least help prevent others from our experience. To help that one teen on a cliff from taking the step. I may never truly understand why, but we decided to aim our sights on that goal. Knowing all along it will never be fully achieved. Still, I believe it be a worthy goal and one Braden would be proud to be part of.

Helping build something better from nothing.


Braden absolutely loved to build. Like every inventor, some attempts turned into dismal failures, but more often he created something beautiful and astounding.

Minecraft is a computer simulation game where a virtual world is built by the imagination of the user. It’s a whiteboard where the imagineer has full reign to create anything from nothing. When he was very young, this was a place Braden could make into his own world. While some kids chased “creepers”, for Braden it was a place where he could build.

For weeks, I’d watch him lie on the couch with his laptop, seemingly wasting time. “Son, why don’t you get up and do something?” “Dad, I’m building something. You’ll see”.

Later, I came to learn he’d built fantastic resorts with waterparks and landscaping. Once he built an entire cruise ship in virtual reality to include staterooms, each fully furnished. We gazed at it in complete amazement. He’d created virtual dining, dancing, and theaters, all just from his memories of our family travels.


Around age five or so, Braden became a lover of Legos. He was addicted to putting the pieces together and watching something come from nothing. To create. It made him feel like he’d made the world better in some small way. He’d sit and actually hum in his playroom putting the pieces together.

By age 12, he was building sets designed for adults. Among just a few, he built a functioning carousel, an elaborate Star Wars battleship and a community building (of course before social distancing). Braden had a keen eye for a world well beyond what most of us can perceive and I’m so blessed and glad I was there for him. I sometimes feel guilt for not having appreciated his gifts.

I realized there would be a day we would face the task of saying goodbye to some of his prized possessions. Although we’ll keep most of his things, there simply is not room to keep all of it. Particularly difficult would be letting go of some of his Legos pieces, which we still had although he had long since outgrown them. We will forever keep the large projects still intact, although after moving too many times, several of his projects were now just jumbled pieces.

Last week we met a young father, who was a homeschooler and engineer. He loved legos as a kid and enjoys using them to teach principles of homeschooling to his 12 year old son. It was something they enjoy doing together. We sent them home with several boxes of legos in pieces, and were ecstatic to get home and begin putting those pieces together.

Over the past two years, we’ve tried to put together the pieces of our family. It’s certainly a work in progress. With every memory we find that we’d packed away like a child’s toy or stuffed animals. His car. His high school diploma. Of all those little pieces to which we’ve had to say goodbye, we will never let go of the bigger ones.

His huge heart. His gorgeous smile. His contagious laughter. His love for his family and his deep friendships. With each small “thing” we let go, we receive an equal share of peace knowing that things are only temporary, but we will have eternity together.

Cathy and I sat down after the father left. We’d released some of what we’d held onto for so long. Realizing another sweet little boy would soon be building and creating alongside his dad with the very pieces Braden loved so much. It brought us at least some measure of peace.

Happy 20th Birthday, Braden. We have some peace and hope in what is being built out of the jumbled pieces you left behind.


Prayer for families who‘ve lost a loved one or who face darkness

“Lord, only You could know our hearts. You experienced pain and heartbreak like we will never even fathom. You sent Your only son to this dark and lost world with the specific intent for Him to die. For us.

Thank You for the free gift we don’t deserve and thank You for assurance that we are held in your everlasting arms. All we need do is trust in You. Grant us peace as we face another tomorrow.

Amen

Braden’s Tree

Braden’s Tree

Mom and Dad. I would have turned 20 this May, and it will soon be another Mother’s Day. I know you’re hurting. Please trust that I’m ok. I want you to all find peace like I have found. Seek and trust Him in these times. He will hear your hearts. All my love. – Braden


Some months ago, I wrote a short story about a small and fast-growing tree in our backyard titled, “Stained and Scarred”. Years earlier, Braden had chosen to aim his first arrow at this tree with his brand new high tension crossbow. The kind that sinks its arrow deeply into the target. So deep, it could never be retrieved, leaving a scar. I later learned a deeper meaning in that experience and forevermore it became Braden’s tree.

While I’d worked to finish the staining project in the blazing summer sun, I was certain the effort would ultimately be worth it. And it was. I still recall waking from a nap that afternoon and how God distinctly spoke into me. I recognized the connection between that tree and my own life.


Fast forward. The other night, Caitlin wanted to watch movies by the pool to celebrate completion of seventh grade. We have a TV outside and like to watch shows by the light of tiki torches. While we watched, I drifted away mentally. I was missing our son. He’d loved watching movies with our family sitting outside at hotels or on cruise ships. We roasted S’mores and drank cocoa. Traditions meant a lot to him. They were like oxygen.

In particularly rough moments, I often park on the couch outside to pray. To observe and listen to what God has to say. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. Simply sitting still, allowing the peaceful breeze to flow over me is amazing mental and spiritual therapy. And it’s free!

That night while we watched TV, I began tuning out the movie and tuning into that familiar sound coming from the eastern corner of the backyard. In west Texas, the wind usually subsides at night. However in north Texas it blows almost all the time. Frankly, that isn’t my favorite thing about living in the Dallas area, but you learn to adapt and to tie down your lawn furniture.

The sound of the leaves that evening was distinctly different. As the cooling breezes wafted in and out, I realized none of the other trees made a single sound. They weren’t moving at all. How was that even possible? The only thing that was capturing the north Texas winds in our yard that night was Braden’s tree.

It sounded to me like a peaceful ocean. Serene and casting calm on anyone who would listen. The sounds had been there all along, but I hadn’t heard it until I chose to tune into it. I realize this sounds odd, but I needed connection and reassurance that our son was ok and that our family would be too. God brought both answers instantly.


It’s no longer small, but it certainly remains fast-growing. Thriving. Yet, still scarred. Only could my Creator have been so intuitive in that moment to provide a sense of peace through a simple thing like a tree.

Philippians 4:7 

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayer for Readers

Lord, How can we express our gratitude.

I pray over those who, in this very moment want to cut their story short. I pray against the lies infiltrating their mind. Especially during this season of isolation, we pray against Satan’s lies and spirits in those dark places. I pray peace and wisdom for the “Braden’s” who are battling hard in this very moment to stay the course. We pray over their families who are struggling more than anyone can fathom.

We pray Your peace beyond our understanding. In Jesus’s name. Amen

Easter Saturday v2

“Mom has a lot on her heart she needs to share.” – Braden


Following is a re-post Cathy Speed wrote one year ago. It was written by a grieving mother on a Saturday morning before Easter Sunday only months after we’d lost our son, Braden.

Yesterday, ahead of the rains predicted for the weekend, Cathy and Caitlin went in search of some wildflowers to take family pictures in the sunshine. It was a long tradition we’ve kept since the kids came. This year I couldn’t bring myself to go. Our son wouldn’t be in the picture and I wasn’t in the spirit.

I’m glad they went together though. The relationship between a mother and daughter is far too deep to explain. Although different, the relationship between a father and his son is uniquely indescribable. Whenever Braden hurt, I felt pain. It’s hard to explain, but every caring father understands that reality. Of course, as men we certainly can’t let our feelings show. Still when he dealt with struggles, it was as if it was happening to me personally.

In the Old Testament, reading about Abraham taking his son to an alter to kill him as a sacrifice to God is insane. I can’t fathom choosing or allowing my only son to die for any reason. Moreover, I could never allow him to die for the sake of someone far less deserving.

Yet, that’s exactly what our Heavenly Father did to His son, Jesus. He purposely planned well before we were created to send His only son to a lost world, allowing Him to be the perfect and final sacrifice. One the world could have never produced. Murdered on a tree so we who are completely undeserving could be saved and brought into relationship with our Creator.

Easter, like no other season confirms how much God loves us. It affirms that we are saved from our sin and given the free gift of eternal life in Him.

For that I am grateful and forever hopeful.


Written on Easter weekend 2019 – By Cathy Speed

Anyone who has ever met me knows this has been the hardest year of my life. And I’ve had some rough ones. Today I’ve been thinking a lot about Easter SATURDAY… The day nothing happened.

Before the big event that truly changed everything, there’s Saturday, when we prepare for Easter. We mow grass for egg hunts, easter outfits ready… dye the eggs… We celebrate Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified and Easter Sunday, the death defying, grave defeating, hope and joy inspiring day of His resurrection. But Saturday is silent. And I will never again see Easter Saturday the same.

Never has Easter SATURDAY spoken to me like it does this year. It was the day when hope seemed lost. It was all over, and there was no reason to think anything would change. Disciples were alone. Everything they had believed in seemed lost and their souls were crushed. No answer seemed possible. The crowds had gone home.

The Saturday after Good Friday is the only day in over 2000 years that not one single person on earth believed that Jesus was alive. No one could understand God’s plan. This year, that day speaks loudly to me. While we wait to see what on earth God’s plan could possibly be. I’ve been an extremely unwilling participant in His plan this time. Mine seemed so much better. I’ve had quite a few arguments with Him.

Right now it’s still Saturday and heaven feels quiet. Why did there have to be a Saturday in between the day every hope and dream seemed crushed, and the joy and answers God had planned? It’s hard to figure out what to do on Saturday, hard to hold onto the belief that God has to have a plan. But if Jesus could be found in a grave on Saturday, If He could be found in hell itself, is there anywhere that I can’t find Him?

So I have chosen today to trust God’s promise that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”. Even though I don’t like this plan I’ve had to live, I will choose to believe our “Sunday” is on the way. And know that His work on the cross was finished, but His plan for me is not.

Missing Connection

“Dad. Don’t take anything for granted. This is all temporary and fleeting. Be assured that God’s greatest gift is not temporary but eternal life” Braden

“We miss you, son”. Braden’s family


Not to be negative, but I really dislike online meetings.

They’re distant, cold, and uncomfortable. And while I’m complaining, I’ve grown weary of every conversation being solely about this epidemic. Social and public media run rampant with every variety of opinion and spin. Let’s face it. As human beings, we all work to fill-in-the blanks to appease our minds and to grapple with foreign emotions. That’s what we do best when left open to “Not Knowing”.

For ours and several earlier generations, strife and uncertainty are completely new concepts. This certainly applies to me. I’ve never had to wonder if my job and income or investments would still be there on Monday or if the grocery store would have eggs or bread (or even more important, toilet paper). Uncertainty is now a new reality.

Our family has been house-bound several weeks now, but we count ourselves blessed to at least have some space and breathing room. I feel for those in metropolitan areas locked in their small apartments or worse. We at least have a front and back yard with plenty of space in the house to “distance” when things get too close for comfort.

Talk about “work/life” balance. I sequester my job upstairs on two desktop screens, “clocking in” at 8am every morning and clocking out at 4:30pm. At the end of each day, I come downstairs and try to make things humorous, to lighten things and to build in some traditions that make life seem somewhat normal. Still, we all know life is not “normal” right now.

Our family views online church services, “Hope” devotionals, and daily live feeds from various sources trying to stay connected spiritually. This Sunday morning we even woke to find Caitlin watching Hope Fellowship on her phone. She, like all of us hungers for things to return to routine.

Cait does her virtual dance regimen three or four days each week which has kept her somewhat on track and occupied. Still, nothing online can equate with real social contact. Touching. Hugging. Shaking hands. Eye contact. Human Connection.

Today, our extended family gathered around computer screens across the country and held a “Zoom” family reunion. This is a virtual app I’d never used before. The screen resembles the opening theme of the Brady Bunch where multiple users can see one another. I actually liked it for once.

We were able to all get just a glimpse inside one another’s’ living spaces and to share our unique yet similar experiences. We saw the newest addition to our family in Georgia and cousins from Tennessee. We all shared laughs about the current rush on toilet paper and how we all need to be “aware of the square”. TMI!

As we connected just over a half hour today I began feeling differently about virtual connection. I could see faces of the people I love most in this world. We were each able to tell our own stories and to share our struggles, at least to some extent.

Then… suddenly without warning, the app timed out. Our screens all went blank.

If you don’t know, “Zoom” is limited to 40 minutes and none of us had been aware. Just as we’d become comfortable and feeling connected, our time together had come to a sudden and unexpected end.

Isn’t that the way life goes when we think it’s all going our way? We think things will always just remain the same. It’s always been that way. However, in the past month uncertainty has become more real and evident to every one of us. What we’ve relied upon as a constant can be gone in an instant.

Many have lost loved ones. Businesses. Jobs. Health. Security. Comfort. Normalcy. All, gone without warning.


After the family call today, Cathy and I sat down at the kitchen table over a puzzle we’ve been working on together. It’s a way to take our minds off of the worries of the world and relax. As she and I found missing pieces together and bragged about who was finding the most, I heard myself blurt out what was on my heart.

“I’m really missing Braden”. Honestly, I was shocked to hear it come out, but she immediately confirmed that she felt the same. In our family frame during the online family call, our son was not with us. He had gone so quickly and without warning.


Readers

During and following this temporary crisis, we encourage families to take the time God has appointed to love and care for one another. Re-connect by whatever means possible during this relatively brief moment in time.

Children and family are blessings we too often take as a given. Instead, take advantage of these times rather than considering them without benefit. Parents, let’s grow in our own faith during trials and model a faithful life for our children to rest in God’s everlasting peace.

We never know how long we will have the opportunity to do so.

Empty and Out of Control

“Expect the unexpected. Remember this is a spiritual war and although battles will rage, be assured it has already been won.” – Braden

Lord, through our experience we’ve come to trust that You remain with us even during the very darkest moments of our lives. We trust that You are in control and that Your plan is far greater than any we could imagine.” – Braden’s Dad


Shocked. Sad. Angry. Empty. Alone. Fearful.

These are just a few emotions our family feels this week. Likely, you could add to the list. One Prosper family lost their 2-year old baby boy last week and I’m confident they feel these very same emotions, yet for a different reason. Loss is loss. Grief is grief. Our prayers go out to this hurting family in the middle of multiple crises.

Following a recent job change, a shift at home in schooling, and with numerous other demands, life has become suddenly overwhelming. It’s been a strain at every level just to keep the wheels on the bus. Add this global virus, which hasn’t happened in more than 100 years to add fuel to the flame.

This week reminds me of an evening some time ago when Cathy asked if I could fill up her car with gas. She was running low and had to get the kids to school the next morning. This was a cold winter evening about 10PM and to be honest, I was not in a gracious spirit. Why hadn’t she let me know earlier in the day?

I dragged myself off the couch, shaking my head asking, “How low are you?” She replied, “I think it’s near empty”. Great, I grumbled under my breath. Grabbing her keys, I slammed the car door and jammed the key into the ignition. A warning light instantly illuminated along with an annoying chime for low fuel level. As I started the engine, the same warnings were blinking, but with a banner:

Miles to Empty: 0

Really? Are you kidding me? How can that be? You can’t run a car on a completely empty tank!

Making my way to the filling station, I had to avoid the compelling desire to drive at a normal or faster speed just to get there. It was late. It was cold. I had to be at work the next morning and I certainly didn’t need to be stranded relying on a neighbor to help me find a way to get some gas.

I remained in control. Creeping slowly forward, turning off the heater, dimming the headlights, turning off the stereo, and moving like a snail. Holding my breath and even leaning forward which obviously helped.

Finally, I was sitting at the gas pump fuelling up the Explorer and wondering how in the world I’d made it. The gas gauge had been far south of empty and although the car’s computer had calculated it was completely out of fuel, there must have been something left in the tank.


Right now, many of us are running on tanks well below “E”. Our family certainly is. Only three weeks ago, we all heard the news about this foreign flu virus that originated from the other side of the globe and today it’s arrived here with a full dose of disruption, uncertainty, and fear.

Confession. Lately, when I go to the grocery store I try to act casual like everything is normal. Passing through the meat, dairy, and bread aisles I begin to get a queasy feeling. “My God, there’s literally no food. What will happen if things don’t return to normal soon?” I might be wrong, but I suspect most of us feel the same: Out of energy and out of control.

Parents, although we like to think we’re in control, the harsh reality is we aren’t. Just take a glance at the world around us right now. Due to factors outside our reach, our families are being negatively affected. It’s particularly hard to see it on the faces of our kids.

Carona is called a “novel virus”, but it’s not novel. It’s just another version of the same thing that has existed since the world was created. We’re all humans and this is a fallen world in need of saving.

We’re all inclined to burnout at some point. We can become deeply discouraged, exhausted, fearful, and sometimes we feel we can’t take one more step. I feel that way lately, and I still fight my human nature to naively think I’ve got a handle on everything around me.

When I get honest with myself and when I fall prone to the weight of this world, acknowledging that I’m completely out of control helps me find peace. My Heavenly Father has this. He always has and always will. This “novel virus” is just another variation on the same old story.

Our Creator knows His children and remains in full control. I’m going to trust Him and try to just rest easy.


Prayer for Readers

Heavenly Father, we pray over our communities, families, and individuals who are in the midst of crisis and uncertainty at this very moment. Grant us wisdom, peace, and healing both physical and spiritual. Be with those across the world who are experiencing every variety of emotion. They are experiencing loss, sickness, separation, and desperation.

Remind us to look to You alone when we feel empty and out of control.