The Broken Ankle

21 Jan

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Grey hiking bootsChrist we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

—Romans 12:4-5 NIV

I blame the boots.

In my defense, they were fabulous boots.

Grey suede faux leather (I’m cheap when it comes to trendy things) with a furry lining that folded over the laces. Four-inch-heeled hiking boots, and baby, I felt fierce.

My sister calls them a “statement piece.” You know what I mean. The kind of clothing item that makes you stand a little bit taller, walk with a bit more swagger, and feel like you’ve hung the moon.

So there I was in the security line at Denver International Airport, fresh off a true mountain-top experience. There were ten of us on the power retreat—all ministry-minded women with a heart for Jesus and a dream of reaching His daughters through conferences and events.

I must have been thinking of them when I fell.

I should back up. (more…)

The Must-have Christmas Present for 2015

19 Dec

Flikr. Used with permission. Not for commercial use.

Flikr. Used with permission. Not for commercial use.

It is a principle of physics that “no two objects can occupy the same space at the same time.”[i] It is a reasonable conclusion, then, that one object cannot occupy two spaces at once.

I, my friends, have defied the laws of physics.

You see, I am a woman divided; wife, mom, employee, blogger, and part-time seminary student. The physics-defying moment happened in the kitchen. I was preparing supper, going through the motions of chopping vegetables and thinking about the fifteen-page paper due in less than twenty-four hours. A moment ago I had asked my son about his day. He was happily chattering on and on as I nodded and did my best to look engaged.

The next thing I knew, my husband came striding into the kitchen with an irked look on his face.

“Did you tell Nick he could play on his Kindle?”

We have a strict, seldom violated no-electronics rule during the week.

“No!” I answered defensively and called out to my son.

“Nick, come in here!”

My eight-year-old walked into the kitchen looking confused.

“Mo-om,” he cried, turning one syllable into two as only a child can do. “Mo-om, you told me I could play Geometry-dash!”

As tears threatened to spill over onto his cheeks, I realized what I had done. I had given an auto-answer without even hearing the question.

I looked sheepishly at my husband and confessed my mistake.

“I’m sorry, Mike. I’m preoccupied with this paper. I wasn’t really listening when he asked me.”

Mike shook his head and turned to our little boy.

“You lucked out, buddy. You get ten minutes, and that’s it.”

The incident played itself back in my mind later that week while I was thinking about their Christmas gifts. The shopping was nearly done, save a few, small stocking stuffers, but instead of feeling relieved that, for once, I was ahead of the game, I was ashamed. How many moments had I missed because I was there but not there?

My children don’t need more presents. (more…)

Charlie Sheen’s Problem is Not HIV

24 Nov

It was with sadness, but not surprise, that I watched Charlie Sheen announce to the world that he is HIV positive and has been for the last four years.

My first thought was of the women. How many women who had known the actor in the past were watching this with shock and horror? How many would reach for the phone to call a doctor? Or a lawyer?

My second thought was for his children – five in all, some of them very  young, and only the oldest had been told in advance.

Then I thought about the weight that he’s been living under for nearly half-a-decade; a weight heavy enough to squeeze millions of dollars in hush money out of him as he sought to silence extortors. Money, he claimed, that wasn’t for him, but his children.

A heavy weight indeed, but nothing compared to the vacuum in his soul.

And therein lies the problem.

Charlie Sheen’s problem is not HIV.

It’s not his alcoholism or drug addiction, nor is it his pornography addiction.

Those are symptoms and HIV is the fruit of his hard-lived life.

As I watched Charlie Sheen sitting next to his doctor, trying desperately to hang on to the facade of “fine,” I was frustrated and angry. I wanted to reach through the television, grab him by the shoulders, and cry, “When will you realize it doesn’t work?”

The world doesn’t work.

The world can’t work, because the world cannot fix what is wrong with us.

What is your big “if only?” You know, that thing that lies just out of your grasp but close enough to see. That thing that you know will bring satisfaction and peace if you could just grab onto it. Maybe it’s a new job or a new house or a new number on the scale. Perhaps it’s a spouse or a baby or an accolade. Is it power? Fame? Money? Recognition?

It won’t work. None of it works, and here’s how I know: (more…)

Melissa’s Pen ~ A Life Season is Not a Life Sentence

18 Sep

“Boys, no!” Melissa and Gavin“Please don’t jump on the stage.”

She looked up at me after burying her face in her hands. “I am so sorry about the kids.”

There is absolutely nothing for her to be sorry about. She is a single mom. She is raising two precious, well-adjusted boys (who WILL be boys) on her own. She is the best mom I know.

On another day, with another friend, the conversation went like this:

“I can’t believe he left. He just left. How am I going to make it without him?”

“You are going to take one brave step toward Jesus at a time.”

And so life goes, with its twists and turns and joys and maddening pull-your-hair-out moments.

I’ve walked in the shoes of both of these women. Stood in their places with tears streaming down my face and wondered how and when this moment would end, or if it would ever end.

Here is the thought I was struck with today on my way in to work:

“What you are going through is a life season, not a life sentence.”

Whether you just moved across the country and are trying to fit in with new people, or just changed jobs, or are looking for a job, or are living in a coffee shop because you are homeless, this is only a season. Life is full of them. You do not have to live out a life sentence of sorrow or depression. Divorce, homelessness, addiction, grief – these are things that happen in life – they DO NOT have to define you. You were made in the image of God. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made (HCSB).”

You were made to laugh, to love and be loved, to enjoy nature, to give back to others.

When I look back over my life I can clearly see that God has not wasted one single bad season of my life. Not one. He is actively using those hard times I went through to help others get back on their feet.

I attend a faith-based group called Celebrate Recovery. The second principle we learn in the group is this: “Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, and that he has the power to help me recover.” Oh how I wish I had learned this step years ago.

1 Peter 5: 7 says this, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (NIV).” I don’t know about you, but I have had enough of anxiety.

Here’s what I want you to infuse into your life:

You matter to God. He hates what you are going through. He catches every tear.  He sees your heart. He alone has the power to help you recover.

What you are going through is a life season, not a life sentence.

Melissa Fairchild is the Senior Editor of LSS Ministries and the LoveServeShine blog. She is also a single-m0m advocate and an activist for women in crisis. Find Melissa on Facebook.

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