This week, the word “withstand” came to mind during a prayer time. Not a word I typically use. It means, “to not be harmed or affected by something…to deal with an attack or criticism successfully.” Here’s how the Lord unpacked what He was saying to me with a single word.

withstand resentmentIn June, Hollywood star Jim Carrey spoke to ex-gang members in Los Angeles about forgiveness, grace, and Jesus. Watch the 8-minute video here.

Father Gregory Boyle hosted Carrey. Boyle has worked tirelessly to help gang members leave their destructive lifestyle through faith, employment, and choosing to let go of deep retaliatory grudges that have put countless people in coffins. Boyle’s story and the ministry of Homeboy Industries are wonderfully told in his book, Tattoos on the Heart. 

Carrey said. “We have to somehow accept, not deny, but feel our suffering and feel our losses. And then we make one of two decisions… Continue reading



I happened to be in the second row. Only a few dozen people usually came to the evening service. The worship music provided a space of solace, quieting the rush of the day. With my eyes closed, I listened, waiting for anything the Holy Spirit might say.

KerzenlichtOn the screen of my mind, I saw a woman wearing a large amber-colored stone in the shape of a teardrop. Too heavy to be jewelry, it seemed like a burden around her neck. The image was distinct, but fleeting. After a few seconds, it vanished. Had I really seen something?

And then a phrase interrupted my thoughts…a weight of deep sorrow.

The music ended, and the pastor asked if God had given any impressions that might encourage everyone. I stalled. Hearing God for others was a new concept to me. After a few people shared, I drew a deep breath and raised my hand. I described the heavy stone and how it seemed more like a yoke than a necklace. My voice sounded shaky.

“And what do you think it represents?” the pastor asked.

“An amber teardrop…the color, the shape—maybe something from the past,” I offered.

the rapt of comfort“Something that’s keeping someone in continual sadness…a weight of deep sorrow.”

The pastor gazed at the people in the rows behind me. “Does that mean anything to anyone?” His tone was kind.

I lowered my head slightly. The room went quiet. Perhaps it had just been my own imagination—making something from nothing. I felt a little foolish. No one responded, and blood rushed to my face. As the service continued, I avoided eye contact.

Several days later, my phone rang. Continue reading

Shared Meanings

Shared Meanings

Some might explain these kinds of things away. Not me.

With shining eyes, He looked down at me and said, “Let’s play!”

shared storiesIf you’ve read my book, Closer Than Your Skin, you might remember those two words. It was the first thing Jesus said to me as we sat together on a teeter totter. I was a young girl in the scene, holding a big globe of the earth on my side.

The conversation went like this…Continue reading