Jana and I have been sharing our story of her journey with Breast Cancer. We told it each of the last two weeks of Adult Camp here at Mount Carmel Ministries this past month.  2015-08-02 19.46.39

When we give the talk, it naturally causes many emotions to surface… both for us and for those listening. People identify with our pain, but they also re-enter their own stories of trial and loss… and this, of course, can bring tender tears.

As the group was sharing thoughts and reflections at the end of Jana and my presentation the other day, one gentlemen in the crowd (I will call him “Bill”) shared, though the tears, that his wife of many years had died of cancer a few months ago.He went on to say that, naturally, in his grief, he had been struggling to let go.

And then, with a tight throat and tears streaming down his cheeks, Bill shared the following experience which took place fairly recently.

12795119_10156610050235711_9128133260199630244_oHe told us that not too long ago…. a few months after his wife had died, he had been struggling to sleep well.. and he was lying in his bed on night, in the middles of the night, wide awake.

Then suddenly he heard his wife come to him and speak the following words, as clear as day:

“I’m not coming back.”


“I CAN’T come back.”


“Bill… I DON’T WANT to come back.”

When he shared that last word with us, a hush came over the room. I believe everyone of us hearing his story knew what he clearly knew: He had been given a great gift from God. And though he is certainly still grieving, as he NEEDS to do… at the very same time, his tears while telling this story were tears not ONLY of grief… but tears of assurance… with a hint of peace and joy.

Through this gift of God, his wife was reminding him that in Jesus something far greater awaits us on the other side. And so she blessed him (and now all of us) with incredible words of hope.

The Bible says:                                                                                                              “For we do not grieve as those who have no hope.”  (I Thessalonians 4:13) and     “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18).

Hear that truth in this woman’s words to her husband: “I’m not coming back. I can’t come back. I don’t WANT to come back.”

Unforgettable words. Undeniable Hope. Unstoppable Savior.

I look forward to not wanting to come back as well.

Thank-you, Lord Jesus.  IMG_9998

You Are Loved (Valentine’s Day 2014)

To those for whom this day is hard, know that you are loved. You Are Loved

To those who grieve, may you sense God with you in the midst of the tears and the memories.

To those who are alone, may you sense God’s presence, holding you in his sweet embrace.

To those who are angry, may you sense God’s calming presence as you sort out the feelings and let those that need to be expressed, be expressed… and may you be safe and heard… in doing so.

To those who are misunderstood, may you sense God’s listening ear.

To those who are afraid, may you sense God’s invitation to be strong in Him.

And may we all be Christ’s love to each other, on this day… and beyond.