Some people will go to any length to celebrate holidays with family in the middle of a pandemic.

On Wednesday the 23rd, we learned that our lovely daughter-in-law Emily, who had been suffering from high blood pressure spikes for a few weeks, was in the middle of a full-fledged hypertensive crisis. Upon receiving this news, we in Tennessee leaped into Christmas mode and quickly cooked and ate an abbreviated Christmas meal, opened gifts, and brought my luggage up from the basement.  I left early on Christmas Eve morning to make the 9-hour drive north.  

Emily is on two weeks of bed rest and is handling it with grace. She has spells of back pain, chest pain, and nausea. The rest of us are praying like crazy, circling the wagons, and doing all we can to help their precious family through this time.  Nothing seems to be happening fast enough and it’s frustrating.

Our family is no stranger to health crises. When we found out about Flyboy’s bladder cancer (cancer #2 in 8 months), I was sure I was going to lose him (thank God I didn’t!).  God met me in a powerful way, speaking in a nearly audible voice: “If the faith you have claimed since childhood doesn’t hold you up now, it’s all been a hoax and there is no God after all.   And: Wherever your path leads you, I will not leave you alone, no matter what happens.  And finally: In the scope of all eternity, what you are experiencing now is like a blip on a radar screen.  You can endure anything for that short time, and then you will be reunited in heaven for forever.  

Life is hard and scary and painful and messy and none of us are guaranteed an easy go. What we ARE guaranteed, is that for those who follow God, the end of the story will make whatever we have to endure now worth it all.  And no matter what we are called to bear, we are not alone.

The upside of all of this was the ability to be together on Christmas morning.  After three cancelled trips this year it is a blessing to finally be here, even in difficult circumstances.

To Eric and Emily’s church family, thank you for wrapping your arms around in practical and much appreciated ways.


For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.  – Psalm 100:5 (NIV)

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