Safety Check: Istanbul Atatürk Airport

I was writing yesterday when I learned about the attack on the airport in Istanbul, Turkey. I have traveled to Istanbul by way of that very airport, and as I listened to the reports and saw images and CCTV footage, I was overcome with sorrow and pain for such a beautiful city filled with wonderful people from around the world.

I began writing down my thoughts and feelings, and this is what they became.

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Written.

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I was scrolling through my tweets over the past few years, and I found these 2. They don’t look like much. There’s nothing quite profound about them. But they mean a lot to me. Because on October 20, 2013, I was in New Kent County, tagging along for the day with my roommate and her friend Jordan.
 
I had met Jordan before, but we hadn’t yet become friends. When my roommate asked me at the end of the day how I liked Jordan, I told her that I found him very easygoing and fun.
 
I didn’t tell her that I thought he was far smarter than me. I didn’t tell her that I really hoped he liked me (as a friend!). And I didn’t tell her that I thought he was really funny. Sometimes I wish I had.
 
But as Jordan likes to say, it’s part of our story, and I love how our story is written.

Look! A Book!

The week before my wedding, a friend reached out to me and asked if I wanted a job. Her mom had written a book, and she was looking for someone who could edit it for her.

I loved my wedding. It was perfect. But at that moment I was just so tired of planning it. I was extremely stressed – so much so that it was affecting my health – and as I was no longer working, everything in my life was about the wedding. And moving.

I needed something to refresh me. So I took the job.

I know, I know. I sound like I’m nuts. But I was confident that I could do it.

I blocked off two days and got to work. No wedding stuff, just editing and proofreading.

And it was wonderful.

I really love editing. I think it’s so much fun! And I am so weird for saying that! But I really do, and I felt more like myself and so happy those two days that when it was over, I did feel refreshed and ready to get back to the wedding planning.

Yesterday a small package was dropped off.

8 Weeks of Love: A Bible Study for Single Mothers by Lois Breit

8 Weeks of Love: A Bible Study for Single Mothers by Lois Breit

8-weeks-of-love-bible-study-single-mothers-lois-breit

And there it was, in print – my name as an editor!

I was so happy I started crying. My poor husband just held me as I cried and laughed on his shoulder.

There’s a book in this world – an actual physical book with an ISBN and everything! – and my name is in it.

I am very thankful and very happy.

So a big thank you to my dear friend who thought of me, and thank you to her dear mother, Lois Breit, for giving me a chance.

And thank you to my husband who didn’t freak out when I said I was going to edit a book so close to our wedding, and who couldn’t stop smiling as I rejoiced last night over such a small yet such a wonderful moment in my life.


To learn more about Lois Breit’s ministry to single mothers, please visit LoisBreit.com.

To purchase 8 Weeks of Love, click here.

Speaking Up & Speaking Out: Thoughts on the Stanford Rape Case

“[T]hey let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.”

—from the official statement by the victim of the Stanford rape case

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Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Today I am getting married, but I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that today is also the nine year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting.

Nine years ago, I was eating lunch in the cafeteria at Evangel University when I heard there had been a shooting at Tech. I only knew one person at Virginia Tech at the time: today he serves as Best Man at my wedding. As soon as I could, I headed back to my dorm room and messaged the only person I knew who would know if he was okay: today she is one of my bridesmaids.

I began praying for Tech, for this one Hokie I knew, and for his friends. I was very relieved when heard that he was safe and okay.

Not long after that, my great grandmother passed away. I arrived in Virginia the weekend after the Tech shooting, to a state that was orange and maroon. It was a somber sight to see flags, ribbons, and signs everywhere I went. As we mourned and buried my great grandmother on a sunny April day, my state and my country mourned as well.

In Romans, the apostle Paul writes, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

On our third date, Jordan and I went to a national park for a simple hike and a lot of conversation. It was then that Jordan told me about his experience at Virginia Tech on that horrific day. It was then that I realized that when I prayed for Tech all those years ago, I had prayed for this kind, goodhearted, peaceful man.

It was also on that day that Jordan told me that if we were going to date, he wanted it to be a serious relationship. That he wanted more than just someone to hang out with. He wanted love and he wanted marriage.

And on that day, as I was still full of the uncertainty and giddiness that a new relationship brings, I heard a still quiet voice say very clearly, “This is for you, Beloved. This is My gift to both of you.”

For He makes all things good.

So today I’m marrying a Hokie, a Hokie I didn’t know nine years ago, but for whom I prayed and for whom today I thank God that he was kept safe. Today I get married in a little country church to a Hokie in front of Hokies. Today God will continue to fulfill his promise to make all things good.

 

But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…

[I]n all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:24-28, 37-39

The Return to Eden (And Now There Are Stars)

Two years ago, I wrote a poem I entitled “Unsettled.” Even though I enjoyed writing it, and even though several friends, family, and even strangers responded positively to it, there was a part of me that was sad to write it.

The problem with living an unsettled life is that it can be very tiresome. And lonely. But it was my life, and I was content.

I once asked God if I would ever meet a man who would woo and pursue me, and He reminded me that He had pursued me all my life and would continue to do so. I was content with God, but God wanted more for me.

So this poem is a response to “Unsettled” and to how much my life has changed in the last two years.

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