It’s hard to believe that it is August already, the summer is nearly spent with school and Fall activities right around the corner. To be honest, I am ready for some nice Fall weather! Usually, Summer is a time to slow down, take a moment to breathe deep and get re-energized. But, sometimes just as we think we are going to take a break, that’s when unexpected changes and challenges in our lives come to visit. This summer it seems like nothing has really slowed or become restful. Many of you have met unexpected challenges, medical issues, and loss of dear loved ones. Many of us have real concerns about the state of our country, the divisions among families and friends over politics and finding our way in complex and challenging economic times. It can be overwhelming to say the least. So, we turn to God with Why? How much more? When will I rest? Where are you? We grieve losses in our lives, the loss of a job, the loss of a home, the loss of ability, the loss of a dear family pet, the loss of a friend, the loss of a loved one. Sometimes we don’t recognize the sadness that comes with the changes we meet on our journey. We grieve for our loved ones. The decision to move my parents into nursing facilities weighed heavily on my heart. Helping them as they watched the sale of their home and everything in it that defined their life for 80+ years. Holding them in their sadness, walking with them into their new reality. Even when we ourselves are not experiencing our loved ones challenges of life, we share in their grief. And then, for some of us the challenges do not seem to stop, an unexpected diagnosis, then a setback, then maybe a large repair bill, then sad news of a loved one who is suffering, all unforeseen and coming too quickly. It is overwhelming and even unbearable at times. Events will come to all of us that will interrupt our lives. We will have times of uncertainty that are overwhelming, things that keep us awake at night because our peace is disrupted, and our mind is swirling trying to figure it all out. This is truly when we need to rest. To seek and know Christ’s comfort in our pain. Christ knows your loss, whatever it may be. Christ understands your fear. Christ understands your pain as you yearn for reconciliation with a loved one. Christ understands your struggle to make sense of everything. Christ has walked this path before you and He says, “Give me your burden, be gentle with yourself, extend to your own heart the grace I give to you. You don’t have to do this by yourself, step back and invite me to help you. It’s o.k. to ask me for your heart’s desire for peace and comfort in your struggle. You are my child and you are loved!”

To the right, is a prayer that invites God to bring healing to your heart. If you are struggling or overwhelmed by circumstances you are facing, cut it out and tape it to your mirror—I have found it a helpful reminder that it’s o.k. to be right where I am, that I’m not alone and God will hold me in his care.

May God Bless you and yours this day!