the Light

this just in: life is hard. i know it, but i forget. smooth sailing often brings memory loss. the idea that you've faired your share of hardships kind of makes you feel immune to future trouble, in a way.

when the dark grey clouds loom the horizon, it's always harder to see the sun.  but is it, really? does not the dark make the light seem that much brighter?

there's a queen of iowa, it's true. you probably have yet to hear of her, but she exists and there is even a song for her:

the queen was raped, contracted aids because of it, now has brain and lung cancer along with a whole host of other diseases that should have killed her by now. she's frail, in desperate pain, yet in her darkness, she has The Light. (more on the story here).

then there's me. compared to the queen, i'm just a commoner, a girl. a girl who learned that pain is real when my parents signed on the dotted line to end what they had already signed up for.  a girl, who held my daddy's hand as i quietly said goodbye minutes before he succumbed to cancer.  a girl, the one that married a widower and compared myself day after day. a girl who still has a lot to learn. just when i think i know, i don't. when i think i am firm in my footings, my feet get clumsy. i need the Light always.

this lesson is lifelong, i'm certain. i may think i've learned and grown and have unmovable faith. until things seem dark and blurry and i realize there is still more to grasp and understand. 

this week, my sister-in-law learned that their baby - she is in her second trimester - has a 50-50 chance of survival at best, due to a very rare growth along it's neck. my sister-in-law lost a baby last year already. the wound is fresh. we have faith and are  believing in a miracle.  this storm cloud setting in seems really dark and heavy. at the same time, i can't help but think this is going to make the Son shine all the more brightly in our eyes. because like the queen, we have The Light and it pierces the darkness.

no matter how dark the dark may be, the Light will always be brighter.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”- John 8:12 ESV


  1. So sorry to hear about your sister in law. I will pray everything is ok with her baby. Yes, life is hard.

  2. Oh girl I'm so sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. Believing for a miracle...a giant hallelujah moment to give Him praise!!

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your unborn niece/nephew. There is so much pain around us, it can be hard to see the Lord's plan. Know that I will pray for your family as they go through this, for Him to grant peace, comfort and strength during these months of uncertainty.

  4. Oh, Carissa, I'm so terribly sorry to hear of the concerns with your sister-in-law's baby. I will be praying. May God give each of you a tremendous amount of strength and peace and protect that dear little one. Heb. 4:16

  5. Oh so much Truth here, sweet lady. Will pray for your sister-in-law and family. I cannot even imagine. But I do know we serve the Faithful One. He illuminates the darkest shadows in life.

  6. Praying that your family is able to keep their eyes on the light as this new darkness settles in. And keeping faith that He will deliver you all to the other side in accordance with His plan. May peace be with your brother and sister-in-law.

  7. Oh, Carissa, what a post, brought tears to my eyes this morning. But, what truth, yes, yes, He is always brighter than our darkest moment, our darkest days. He has proven that to me in such a mighty way the past 3 years of my life. It's doesn't make the journey any easier but it gives us such hope and assurance that He will be with us through whatever battle we are fighting and whatever journey we are on.

    I'm praying for your sister in law in a special way that she will feel His presence unlike she has ever felt.

    Hugs to you this morning and may you be especially blessed this day.

  8. Its as simple and as remarkable as this: praying for health, assurance, love and peace in the coming months.

  9. I am so sorry for this difficult news. Carissa please know that I will be praying for your sister in law and the rest of your family. You have such a beautiful perspective. He will always shine brighter!

  10. Beautiful picture and beautiful post! I couldn't agree more with the statement about thinking that if you've had your fair share of heartaches, you are immune to future heartaches...wouldn't that be awesome if it were the truth? We won't know the reason for any of our heartache this side of Heaven, but one day, heartache won't even be a word in eternity, with Him. I pray for your sister-in-law and your entire family!

  11. Thank you for this encouragement, Carissa. I'll be praying for you and especially your friend.

    God bless you,

  12. Oh, wow, what a story the Queen of Iowa has! I'd never heard her story. Thanks for sharing it!

    I'll be praying for your sister-in-law's baby. That's so incredibly sad. As hard as it to remember, keep your mind focused on "All things work together for good to them that love the Lord."

  13. Praying for the baby, your sister in law, and your family. Your faith is so evident through the words you've written. In similar circumstances I was encouraged knowing that God loves us (and that sweet child) more than we can comprehend. Phil 4:6-7

  14. Sorry to hear this :( I'll keep her in my thoughts and prayers! Keep your head up :)

  15. wow... just as i was starting to sit here and feel bad for myself (because i can't find a job) you reminded me of how blessed i am. thank you, carissa.

    i am so sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. i can't imagine what that kind of loss feels like. i will pray for her, and jody.

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  17. Zephaniah 3:14-17

    14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
    shout, O Israel!
    Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
    O daughter of Jerusalem!
    15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
    he has cleared away your enemies.
    The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
    you shall never again fear evil.
    16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
    “Fear not, O Zion;
    let not your hands grow weak.
    17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
    he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
    he will exult over you with loud singing.

    Beth Moore said that once we can explain something, like really explain it, we master it. We can't and won't ever ever completely explain what God does or why he does it. But, it is enough to know that everything he does send our way is for His name, His glory, and our sanctification. He puts us through certain situations only to cause us to depend *solely* on him so we may tell of his awesome deeds.

  18. Oh Carissa, I am so sorry to hear about your sister-in-laws baby. I will be praying for your family and that precious life. Thanks so much for your real, raw post. Your heart always inspires me.

  19. oh, friend. beautiful post.
    praying with you.
    that the light of christ would be a comfort and peace to your family. sending you a hug!

    Psalm 71:19-21
    Your righteousness, O God,
    reaches the high heavens.
    You who have done great things,
    O God, who is like you?
    You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again;
    from the depths of the earth
    you will bring me up again.
    You will increase my greatness
    and comfort me again.

  20. I'm sooooo sorry to hear that your sister in law is going through that.

    Whatever God's will is, we know it is perfect. Have faith in that although it's sometimes easier said than done, I know. I will be praying for your family friend.

  21. Such a heartbreaking post. My thoughts and prayers are with your SIL. No one should have to go through what those two ladies are going through. It so puts things in perspective.
    Praying for them today. And for you. Have a beautiful weekend.

  22. I am praying for you sil and lifting up His promise in Is.49:15. It is filled with a promise I need when times are tough.

  23. there's no doubt life is so hard. i am so sorry for your sister in law. i cannot imagine. God can do great things though, even if that means amazing growth in the midst of heartache. Praying for you, sister.

  24. Oh my, Carissa, I am sorry. I've learned that sometimes there aren't really great words to express what one really feels -- it's not fair about your sister-in-law -- and that's just the plain truth. I will pray for her, and my heart simply aches. And I will pray for The Light to pierce through this dark and heavy time and to GIVE hope, and life, and healing, and joy, and light.

    I love you, my dear friend. I know we serve a great God. I look back to our meeting and how things were beautifully interwoven months prior and I can only point back to our Father. So blessed by our friendship across the many many miles.


  25. I've been in awe of your precious heart ever since that day you wrote me an email telling me about your fears and comparisons to your man's first wife... I know you and I would have so much to talk about in real life. What you say is the absolute TRUTH and I have no idea what I'd do without Christ either. That said, I'm so sorry about your sis in law. Heartbreak is so... heartbreaking. I'll be praying for her and that sweet baby.

  26. I am so sorry to hear about your sister-in-law's baby. May His light surround you all and may He bring comfort and hope to your hearts.

  27. Oh beautiful girl..I will be praying!

  28. We all could use a good reminder of the Healer and Counselor that we serve. Gotta hold on tight to our faith in Him. Praying for your family and that you all see His Light!

  29. Why am I just seeing this now? Tears are running....

  30. Went to one of those at Christmas...so fun. I actually caught the chicken in my mouth. Not by my skill. He was amazing.

  31. Okay I missed something...on my phone. So sorry about the baby. I don't even what to say. Life just seems so hard sometimes!

  32. this brought me to tears! it's true that the Light is brighter when we've walked through the dark. I've lost pregnancies and had miscarriages and my heart goes out to your sister and I will be praying that God protects this child and comforts her!!

  33. I had NO idea that your husband was a widower....have you ever written about that before? Wow...what a testimony. I'd love to hear more about that story.

    Praying about your sister-in-law's baby....our God is mighty to save.


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