Wednesday, February 29, 2012

seeing the light.

the past few days have looked and felt entirely different and new. this past month or so has been tough. feeling disengaged and sad.  it took all the effort in the world to just try and attempt to be myself because i felt so different from who i am or who i was or who i am becoming. i guess all those things mixed together.

last weekend a new friend told me that there are seasons where we are the teachers. where we lead and help grow and encourage people around us. but there are also seasons where we are taught. where we take a step back a bit from our everyday norms...for me those norms (aside from caring for ava and being a wife) are meeting with college girls, leading small groups, investing in people and discipleship. it took everything i had to do what i was supposed to do. what i love to do. who i am. i had gotten a little confused on where my life and purpose is found. it is found in what we do or what we give our time to or how we invest ourselves. but that is only a part of it. but not all of it. as a believer in Jesus i think it is far deeper and grander than just what we do. but who we are...i was having a hard time believing that who i am in Christ is enough. i know it is...but believing it to be true and living my life in that truth is a whole other thing.

i think the past month was hard. sad. dark. i think i was a little depressed. working through and thinking about things i had pushed deep inside. sometimes not even pushed away...maybe did not even know i felt that way because our life has been full of so much upheaval and change and newness.  i like to be strong or at least pretend to be strong. but i have been so broken of that lie. that strong is better than weak. i think we are both. of course we are both. we can be both strong and weak in the same hour or day or week. the two walk alongside each other but i had kept my eyes on: i am strong. i have it together. i can do this. well come to find out: i am strong...but not all the time. i do have it together some days...but most of the time i don't. i can do this...well in theory i can. but mostly i am weak and He is strong. He keeps me together. He can do it...and because He can do it...He enables me to do it. i am not sure what you believe and that is okay. we can be different. i like that. but i believe i am not my own. i believe my life is in His hands. He carries me. He walks alongside me. He teaches me. He wrecks me. He fills me. He is the author of life. i want all of that.

i have not arrived. but i am moving. i saw a glimpse these past few days as the weather warmed up here in harrisonburg and we ventured outside. took walks. played outside on the lawn at JMU (many college students looking around trying to figure out who had a 2 year old on campus) and met with friends. all i kept thinking was this is life. this is joy. it is all far less complicated than we make it sometimes. i choose joy. i will always choose joy. even when i can't seem to see it or know how to live in it...i will always seek joy. as ava and i were walking home from campus after meeting a friend for lunch...i realized two things. my circumstances and my life have not significantly changed in the past month or week or day. things are pretty much the same. but because our God is heart. my heart felt joy. real genuine joy. i felt like myself. for the first time in a while. not a front or fake or trying to be happy. but joy. you see our God has the ability to change a heart. work inside us. without necessarily changing our circumstances and i love that. i love that so much because it is less about fixing everything and making it better...sometimes life is hard and tough and there is not much we can really do to change it. but our heart. our perspective. our way of seeing the world...that is what makes all the difference.

last month i wanted to choose joy. but honestly i didn't feel like i could. life seemed too dark and too hard. i am thankful for a God that works in ways i do not understand. but because He is for us. He is for you...He is in this with us. whatever your this is.

i could not be more grateful.

side note: february is a dark dreary gross wintery month and it was a big month cancer wise. last chemo. cancer free...all things that should provoke joy...and we had moments of joy. but mostly it was hard to cling to the light. but this season will pass and a new one will begin and He will keep walking alongside us and carrying us when necessary. i am so thankful i am not alone. 


  1. Hi, Libby,

    I've read your blog since the beginning (as a random silent reader). I'm inspired by your honesty. I agree with you about February. I live in WA and get weary of the dreary weather--I teach and I've had a hard time being positive and enjoying my students this time of year. (That's pretty typical, but every year I'm surprised by it.) I'm thankful for a sunny day like today when I'm easily reminded of God's goodness. I need to work on finding His goodness in the dreariness, too.

    Blessings on finding your way in Him!

  2. wow this is exactly what I needed to hear today. Its hard for me to remember sometimes when I'm feeling mentally, physically,or spirituatlly drained that my God is for me and that sometimes when I' going through a storm He won't necessarily make everything bad go away but He will provide a well of his loving goodness and grace for us to hold to cling to. I too need to remember to always choose joy, thanks for this post today :)

  3. Hi libby, i too am i random silent reader, following from the beginning. I find it so interesting that you mentioned choosing joy in your life. last night a crafty blog that i follow pointed me to another blog that had a very similar story to yours. Reading it, i immediately thought of you. The woman was a young mother, diagnosed with cancer not very long ago. From what i was gathering, there were a few troubling times that she had to go through, including the death of her father, but throughout the whole thing, just like your message is not to waste what is happening in your life, her's is to choose joy. Her blog is called Little Blue Boo, and now that you have mentioned choosing joy, i felt like i had no choice but to tell you about it.

    thank you for being so real.

  4. Loved reading this post, helped me to find a new perspective on things. Thanks for the great reminder that we're never really alone and how powerful and important it can be when you make the simple decision to choose joy. Good stuff.

  5. Hi Libby,

    I so enjoy your blog, your constant effort to choose joy and your honest challenges with the every day. I am from Louisville and know who you are through the many of my younglife friends in Lexington (Julie Berg, Michael Berg, Holly Smithwick, Matt Rupp, the list goes on) and thanks for sharing so much. I love it.

    I wanted to message you a link to another blogger, mom who has been diagnosed with cancer, amidst her efforts to become pregnant. Not sure if you have see this but I thought you would be able be a long distance friend.
    Warmest Regards

    Kristina Schermer

  6. I love it. already read her blog and watched the video
    of her shaving her head...awesome that you all thought to send me her way and I was already there.

  7. Hi Libby, I just found your blog, but I felt compelled to write because your post affected me so much. I recently finished chemo, as well, and I'm not sure how to feel. Everyone thinks I should be happy. And I am. But I'm not, at the same time. I can't shake this depression - and I'm not sure what it's all about. Am I afraid it will come back? Probably. Am I afraid I'm not completely cured? Maybe. I don't know. I've been reading some of the advice for cancer patients at and it's helped. But I haven't made it out of that dark place yet. Just wanted to say that I know what you mean. And that I'll be keeping you in my thoughts. I know we can make it through. And thanks for the beautiful words.


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