Summer

God makes His people strong.  God gives His people peace.” Psalm 29:11

Pride makes us artificial, humility makes us real.” Thomas Merton

“It constantly happens that the Lord permits a soul to fall so that it may grow humbler.” Teresa of Avila

“We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being.  As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have….for their usefulness.” Thomas Merton

The summer has been one in which in any spare moments I find I have felt the Lord calling me to be in a place of listening to Him.  I have felt His spirit asking me to slow down and hear Him in the stillness.  The world is constantly calling me to listen to their value system, to want more, to buy more, to do more.  I am weary of its call.  I hate its teasing, unfulfilling temptations.  Henri Nouwen said, ” … The identity that makes you free is anchored beyond all human praise and blame. You belong to God, and it is as a child of God that you are sent into the world.”  Freedom is found and anchored in the realization that no human praise and no human blame can touch the deepest part of me where I am truly loved by Him.  What a freeing place this is.  My prayer is that you can find this time, this space in the deep place in your soul to be with Him.  It is a remarkable place to bring all your burdens, failures, sins, and hurts as well as your joys and praises!

What is this journey He has called us on? What is the journey you are called on?  It seems all around me people have hard times, difficult paths, thorny roads to travel.  “Think about Jesus, He made His journey and asked his disciples to follow him even where they would rather not go.  The journey you are choosing is Jesus’ journey.  Your journey is made not just for yourself, but for all who belong to the body.”–Henri Nouwen Matthew 26:56 states, “Then all the disciples abandoned Him and ran away.”  Again, we see ourselves in the disciples.  We fear our own call, what will it mean?  Some days we don’t know what His call on our life means.  We must simply trust and obey each day in that which He has given us for that day.  We rely and depend on outward approval from others, instead of His approval and love.  We look to things to fill a place that only He can.  We look to experiences and comforts to be the answer that we can only find in Him.

The summer has brought many new memories and has united our family in many ways.  Going up north was a great blessing as we stayed at my Grandpa’s cabin and enjoyed the beach, sand, kayaks, ice cream, movies and just a pleasant get away from the daily routine.  Ricardo asked if we could live at the cabin!  The boys attended a 2 and 1/1 hour per day summer school which was great for them and gave us a small break.  The summer came at the perfect time for me personally to have time to regroup and have Ron around to help with the daily work load of meals, laundry and errands.  Eleven people are a lot of needs to meet each day and so I have had to withdraw from facebook for the most part to focus on the real people in my day.

Here are some pictures that help capture our summer!

We surely continue to covet your prayers and appreciate each one of you!

Blessings,

Michelle and gangIMG_0920IMG_0644IMG_0659IMG_0639IMG_0570IMG_0966IMG_0525IMG_0327IMG_0498IMG_8334IMG_8912IMG_0032IMG_0669IMG_0218IMG_0907

Advertisements

Summer Hellos!

Greetings to each of you!  Please know in these busy days we haven’t forgotten those of you who have prayed and are praying for us!  Please continue!  It is just that some days it is hard to find time to blog!

I recently read the story of Peter attempting to walk on water after he watched Jesus do this.  For some reason, I found greater comfort in his failure to complete this task than if he had accomplished it.  Apparently only a single great picture has been painted of this scene, one by Conrad Witz in 1944.  Some suppose it is that we don’t want to associate our great leaders with failure.  Peter had been called upon by Jesus to be the rock on which he will build his church.  Furthermore he denies Jesus three times.  Isn’t that interesting, the rock, something immovable is what he calls Peter.  Perhaps it is our failures He uses best. Failures and brokenness help destroy pride, which is one of the most difficult sins to root out.  

To be able to recognize the storms of life as God’s greatest gifts takes reframing them; to be able to find in brokenness a new dependence on the Father which yields a spirit unattainable by self sufficiency.  Not that I would wish to stay in the state I was in for the first few months after the boys came home;  I wouldn’t wish feeling depressed, overwhelmed and in the storm with no shalom in sight.  But when the peace comes, it comes with an understanding that it is only from Him. To be obedient to His call sometimes will mean storms that would not have come had you stayed safely on shore.  NT Wright says in his comments following this passage, “There are many times when Jesus asks us to do what seems impossible.  How can we even begin to do the task he’s called us to?”  Surely we cannot look at the waves of the storm.  We must fix our eyes on Him.  This is the only way to make it through the storm.

    I wish I could say that all my doubts, fears and concerns are gone.  They are daily resurfacing, but each day seems to bring a greater sense of normalcy.  It is feeling more normal to have the boys here than to not.  Our bio children are interacting well with them and there are less issues overall.  In fact, our bio children seem to love them here, there is always someone to play with: backyard soccer, swimming, bike rides, checker games, swinging, and just general fun all around now that summer has arrived.  

   It is interesting how the Lord answers prayers.  One of the things I have struggled with in having a big family, and since adding the boys especially, is the fact that sometimes it seems we cannot focus on each child like the world around us seems too.  I came across this book called “The Danish Way of Parenting” which is conveying some of the secrets these people have in being titled the “happiest people in the world.”

The American way is often one of do-it-yourself individualism.   We don’t even realize how often our culture affects our choices for ourselves and for our children.  What is held up as most important in our culture?  What is highly valued?  The book states, “The idea of togetherness, if you think about it, is quite different from the individualistic nature that forms a large piece of the American identity. The United States was built on self reliance. We don’t really need others if we are strong enough to succeed on our own.  Why should we have to depend on support if we can do it ourselves.  We glorify individual achievement and self fulfillment with terms such as ”the self-made man” and idolize the individual hero in all walks of life from political to social to sports.  If you listen to sports, it is rarely about the team effort; rather, it’s the individual who stands out; the famous quarterback or pitcher. It’s the star who shines out from the rest. The people who help support that star often become blurred background noise. It’s the hard work and the survival of the fittest we admire most.  We are then raised to strive to be that star, that winner.  Geert Hofstede,  world-renowned cultural psychologist, concluded in a very famous study about cultural differences that the US has the highest level of individualism in the world.  That is pretty incredible.  We are so programmed to think about “I” that we probably don’t even realize it.”   I share this to say that we are even as Christians so self focused, often missing others along the way.  The others Jesus has placed in our lives, in our attempt to be the best whatever we can be.  I was really challenged in the book when she said “ Moreover, it’s fair to say that most of us would enjoy being  a “winner.” We would like our kids to be winners or at the very least to be the best at something and stand out. This is pretty normal.  Who wouldn’t want that.” She goes on to give examples of various awards and trophies that might be awarded to our children.  But then she asks this question, “How many of us would naturally consider giving the winning trophy for “harmony of the group”? How many of us would gauge our child’s success not on how well he played, but on how well he helped others play or how well the children played together?” Think of this in light of a sporting event.  Wow! How different our perspective if we look at sports in this way instead of tallying our children’s points scored!  So in this the Lord has shown me that some of the things that we are limited by in our family size are also gifts. The gift of being other centered vs. self centered.  The gift of remembering the least of these coming before your own comfort.  The book talks of the concept of togetherness as a family and a word they call “hygge” which essentially is:  putting yourself aside for the benefit of the whole.  So, in this I have found peace, that in obedience to God’s call, He is also working out what is best for all of our children.  

About two months after the boys came home my prayer was, “Lord, I pray that one day I can encourage someone to adopt.” Meaning at that point I was not sure if I could recommend it to anyone.  The years of waiting, the cost and the very difficult part of leaving my nursing toddler three times were hard enough.  Now, to have so much of the aspect of bringing them home be so different than I thought.  I so longed for things to somehow feel normal.  It seemed that much like Peter, I could not walk on the water.  What’s more, it felt like I was drowning.  I am thankful to say that after counseling, spending time with the Lord and Ron’s steadfastness in my life I am doing better.  But, honestly, I must say that my life will never “be the same.”  In saying that, I know that this is the cost.

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

He can not live in us unless we die first.  Dying to ourselves is not a once and for all process.  It is one that must be redone each day.  

In what way is Jesus asking you to walk out on the water today?  Does it feel impossible?  Does it feel out of your abilities?  Well, that could be a good sign.  He often will use the things that we could not possibly do on our own, to easily remind us that there is no way it has been done on our own.  

Praises to the Lord

I personally have my most difficult time emotionally after going to someone’s house.  Somehow it reminds me that our life is not “normal” anymore and I have to work through that fact.  Monday on the way home from a niece’s grad party I was praying through this and asking the Lord to remember us in this time.  As the tears fell, all of the sudden I saw a rainbow, then another and a few minutes later another!  I surely felt He was reminding me that He had not forgotten me or our family.

Then last night after reading the boys a Bible story out of the Jesus Loves Me storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones, Samson asked me “who decides if we get to be with God?  God or us?  And I said, well, you do.  Each person decides if they want to follow Jesus.  He said, “I want to go with God!”  and Jimmy and Ricardo both quickly replied, “me too, I want to be with God!”  “How do we be with God?” So, I asked them what they thought and some thought to “obey”, and we talked about how no one could obey all the time perfectly.  So, then I called Ron in to help and we used a wooden cross that our neighbors, Joe and Laura Kinney had made for us, to show them how Christ has bridged the gap between our sin and God.  We explained to them that this is a decision they each have to make for themselves.  Samson, Jimmy and Ricardo each prayed out loud in their own precious words to follow Jesus and to ask forgiveness for their sins.  It was so precious.  We can tell from reading them Bible stories that they have heard them before.  We are pretty sure a nanny at the orphanage read to them from the Creole Jesus Loves me Storybook Bible.  It is is evident that they have heard and have a good basis.  We know from what Robenson has shared that he comes from a Christian family.

We want to thank you each for your prayers in the years and months of waiting for praying for their salvation.

Today, there are three more names written down in glory! And May His name be praised!

And so in the midst of the hard, their is unspeakable eternal perspective on joy in following His path.

“There is a great sense of rest in being in the way of His steps.” I.Lillias Trotter

Blessings,

Michelle

 

 

Lessons being Learned

“Everything that wrecks our hopes of ourselves, and our earthly props, is helping forward infinitely God’s work in us.”  I. Lilias Trotter, Parables of the Christ Life

How often are we reminded that in following Jesus we will be broken, become weak?  We are often encouraged to fight the good fight and to be strong!  But, what is strength?  His word says, when I am weak, He is strong.  When we are out of the way, He becomes the Way.  Perhaps we don’t often hear of the way to be “weak in Him” as Lilias Trotter says, since we do not want that path. We do not want the path of utter dependence upon Him.  We want to live according to our flesh, not according to the Spirit.  And ironically the more we try to be Christ like, the more we become aware that our deeds are as filthy rags before Him.  “It is not only that which is sinful as opposed to that which is holy; it is that which is human as opposed to that which is Divine.”   Further on in her little devotional, the Parables of the Christ life, Lilias says “The carnal nature with its workings stands out as the hindrance in the way of the Divine, and the time comes when we see that no more growth is possible to the Christ in us unless a deliverance comes here. We are helpless in the matter. There is no system of self-repression or self-mortification that will do anything but drive the evil below the surface, there to do a still more subtle work, winding down out of reach.  The roots will only strike deeper and the sap flow stronger for the few leaves trimmed off here and there.  If self sets to work to slay self it will only end in rising hydra headed from the contest.  How is the deliverance to come? The annuals give us the secret.  Look back at the vetch seed vessels. Why is it that leaves which used to stand firm and fresh like those to the flowering clover, have begun to shrivel and turn yellow?  It is because they have acquiesced wholly now in the death sentence of their new birth, and they are letting the new life live at the expense of the old.  Faith is being wrought out by life. “And I skip a bit to come to the conclusion Ms. Trotter draws:  “Christ is our Life now—-our Only Life—-And we begin to find that He is dealing with the old creation, we hardly know how. We only know that as we bring the judgment, the motive, the aim that were ours, not His, into contact with Him, they shrivel and wither like the dying leaves.  The impulses and shrinking of the flesh perish in his Presence alike. The new life wrecks the old. “And we are “saved by His life”.  Thank you Jesus.

Becoming part of brokenness reveals to us our brokenness, unveiling our illusion of wholeness…thereby showing us again and again our need of the Savior.  And as I wrote this little phrase I began to ponder the what ifs.  What if we had not entered into the broken lives of our adopted sons?  Would I have not seen my own?  Would I have missed the graciousness that has been afforded to me in this journey from our Savior?  Would I have missed seeing the brokenness in our bio children?  If we set up our lives to never enter another’s brokenness—–perhaps we will never see our own?  Jesus came to make all things new and to restore the pain and hurt and He has for some reason allowed us to be the conduits of His love in this process.  Ally and I were talking about some of the hard parts of her new brothers being here and as we talked about the brokenness in the world is like a glass vase being shattered to the ground and that piece by piece we pick up the pieces and glue them together and when Jesus returns the cracks and glue repairs will be completely made whole.  She really could see it!  She became so excited.  This followed the difficult reality that our new brothers and sons would not have chosen to have their mom die , and as Ally mourned for them in that moment, Jesus was real to me.  How will Jesus become real to those broken around us?  What is each of our part?

It is funny, he came to die…..why would I not expect to die, that new life could come forth?

 

Spring Break

In our most recent sermon at church we were reminded that as believers we have one response to the King of Kings when He asks us to do something:  “Yes, Your majesty.” It is with that admonition, that we continue to press on in the grace, mercy and strength of the Lord.  He has asked us to do a task that is not possible in our own human strength.  So we move from self-reliance to God reliance….which was another part of  the sermon from Sunday.  As I was reading Ella Bible stories today, Jonah, Daniel, Baby Moses, it struck me that each one had that same theme…..tasks only possible in God’s power and strength.  Even Mary carrying the Lord…….Jesus in her womb…..most likely not her idea of how her first step  of motherhood would be.   We must remove the veil of a selfish gospel.  It is not about our Kingdom come, it is about His kingdom come…..on earth as it is in heaven.  Praying that God would be glorified in our lives. Pictures from our spring break!

 

This may be the last post for a bit as we have a very busy season coming with 7 children in soccer on four different teams, Kaiti graduating and a busy season for Ron at school.  We are making progress each day.  Thank you for your prayers.

We had a great spring break with hope for the future, and hope is a very good thing.

Some of the highlights, not necessarily in order:

Celebrated Kaiti’s 18th birthday with dinner, dessert and movie

Rode bikes to park and flew kites and played soccer

Played in the Sprinkler and with slip n slide

Did pearler beads, colored Lego people, did lots of legos and puzzles

Went to Toledo for:  the Toledo Museum of Art which featured artist :  Kehinde Wiley:  who did artwork featuring people of color and went to Haiti as well.  Picture is of Robenson with artwork from Wiley’s trip to Haiti

Had Pizza hut with Luke

Went to Sky Zone and jumped and jumped and jumped!

Met up at Mom and Dad’ Redmans with the Lawry family so they could meet the boys

Josh and Anna taught the boys how to play Knock out, lots of backyard soccer

Anna helped mom stock up on groceries and we hit Starbucks

Got some Spring shopping done

Read books and slept in (well, the kids did)

Mr. Howe treated our whole family to a BIG screen movie in Adrian, Baby Boss, the boys first big theatre movie

Went to Library book sale and got to make cool bead bookmarks too!

Oh, and one trip to urgent care for Ella’s ear infection, followed by her vomiting her antibiotic.  🙂

Blessings,

Michelle

Threads of Hope

“The best disposition for praying , is that of being desolate, forsaken, stripped of everything.                                                                                                                            Augustine

One of the best gifts we can have is a recognition of our sinfulness, both the awareness of it and our capability to sin.  Our understanding of our need of Christ is dependent on this.  Coming to Christ at age 7, and knowing Christ most of my life, I think I have sometimes missed a sense of my sinfulness.  I have missed truly understanding what His penalty on the cross has paid for.  Instead, pride can easily rear its ugly head and going undetected can really hurt our testimony and our ability to see others and all situations in the light of His grace and mercy.  CS Lewis states in his book, Mere Christianity,

 “There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves. […] There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves.[…]The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility.” 
― C.S. LewisMere Christianity

When pride dominates our lives, we lack the ability to have compassion.  We see others through our lenses of judgment instead of love.  We see not the man lying on the side of the road having been beat by robbers as our neighbor, but rather as an inconvenience.  We do not have empathy for others’ struggles, even though we have our own.  We have some image of ourselves that is inaccurate and want this image portrayed to others as well.

Facing our sinfulness is difficult.  It is humbling and even painful.  But, in some ironic way, seeing our sinfulness is a gift.  We are taken off the cruise ship of a false life and placed on the dry ground of reality.  When we see ourselves first, truly as sinners….how much more precious becomes the blood of Christ.  Brokenness is a gift, to be in need is a gift from His hands.

I had read every adoption book I could get my hands on.  I was prepared for so much.  But, I wasn’t prepared for the spiritual upheaval in my own heart.  I wasn’t prepared to see myself in the way that God has revealed Himself to me.  I have become the orphan. I have become the one unable to see and find my Father…..in the midst of the storm.  But He has never left. He is there each moment…desiring me to bring Him my utter dependence.  I need Him every breathe, and how contrary to what the world tells us in its’ self-sufficient ways.

Psalm 86: end to 17 the Message:

But you, O God, are both tender and kind,
not easily angered, immense in love,
and you never, never quit.
So look me in the eye and show kindness,
give your servant the strength to go on,
save your dear, dear child!
Make a show of how much you love me
so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed,
As you, God, gently and powerfully
put me back on my feet.

In a amazing little book given to me by a friend, Searching for and Maintaining Peace, it says

“God would spare us, if He could, all these trials, but they are necessary in order that we should be convinced of our complete powerlessness to do good by ourselves.  According to the testimony of all the saints, it is indispensable for us to acquire this knowledge. It is, in effect, a necessary prelude to all the great things that God will do in us by the power of His grace.  This is why St Therese of Lisieux, the Little flower, would say that the best thing that God could have done in her soul was “to have shown her her smallness, her powerlessness” p 3

So this is what God has done in these 3 months since our sons homecoming. He has shown me my smallness, my powerlessness.   He has completely wiped any sense of my ability to do good on my own, in my own strength.  He knows and I know each day it is by His power.  And in and through this humbling experience, I am finding threads of hope.  Hope from Him.  I can start to see the good and amazing gifts these sons bring to our lives.  Their sweet thank you after EVERY meal.  Their great appreciation for small things.  Their love for one another.  Their loving hearts.  Their adorable laughter at movies.  And even in their stubbornness and willfulness that actually quite mirrors my attitude with God on some days.

Each day we make progress as a family, being graceful and giving ourselves the gift of time and His mercy. As we try to find a new normal, each day becomes more so.  Loving strangers is not something that comes naturally.  It is only by His power and His spirit for each member of this family that we can love one another. Each day has more to be done than can get done, each day a new virus finds its way through our doors, there is a new problem, a new mess, something else broken, and yet we give thanks.  We give thanks for the joy only He can give in the journey.

We so appreciate your prayers, words cannot say how much they mean to us.  They are holding us up and directing our faces to Him when we naturally would look to ourselves.

We are finding time and ways to carve out time for Ron and me, for time to process and talk through things that the bio kids are struggling with.  The boys are progressing in their English and doing well in school.  I will try to get some pictures over spring break to post soon.  I must put in a word of thanks to Karen Tice, Kim Staelgraeve, Valerie Wilson, Tamara Guest, Mike Krauss, Jackie Murray, John Schuler, Danielle Ford and Katie Frederick.  These are the boys’ teachers and they have done a wonderful job in helping them acclimate to school and just feel safe and loved.  These boys love going to school every day.  Thank you so much to each of you. Words are not enough.

Each day is filled with comedy and conflict.  Prayerfully, the conflict continues to lessen and the joy increases.  The gift of spring always offers its own sense of hope, to which I am thankful for.  The boys enjoy the warmer days and are excited to play soccer this spring! As are the bio children with many of them on teams!

Continue to pray for:

Good health, healthy boundaries, peace, strength and hope in Him, daily wisdom.

In this season of change, we are ever so thankful for the One who never changes, the one who always remains the same yesterday, today and forever.  I thank you Jesus for being the Rock to which we can always go.  Thank you for embracing us in our sinfulness and not leaving us there.  Thank you for the pain you endured to make us your sons and daughters.  Now I see better……you have made me no longer an orphan, you have loved me first, while yet a sinner…..Amazing Grace.

Love In Him,

Michelle

One day at a time

Thank you to so many of you who have been faithfully praying for us and for our family.  So much happens in each day it is hard to keep up with on the blog.  We are plodding away day by day doing our very best to walk with Him.

I, Michelle, have begun counseling for me individually as well as setting up some for the bio kids and continuing it for the boys as they progress in their English.  I have allowed some resentment to build up to a point that I have had to reach out for help.  I most likely am suffering with post adoption depression, which is quite similar in many aspects to postpartum depression.  Henri Nouwen, in his amazing little book entitled, Return of the Prodigal Son, states “Joy and resentment cannot coexist.”  He is referring to the elder son’s anger at the party being thrown for his younger brother upon his return from a wayward life.  “This experience of not being able to enter into joy is the experience of a resentful heart. The elder son couldn’t enter into the house and share in his father’s joy. His inner complaint paralyzed him and let the darkness engulf him.”  Until we identify what our resentment is we cannot move past it.  The overload on me and our bio children in every way: emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally due to bringing these four sons into our lives was causing resentment in me.  My counselor said this was inevitable at some point at the pace we were going.  Something has to give.  I have to acknowledge the pain and hurt of the changes in what our family was and is now becoming in order to move forward.  There isn’t a way to go around it or ignore it.  I must and we must as a family go through it.  Only then can we then begin to truly embrace the daily joys that come from our new family.  It is a mourning of sorts that must take place.  Often just being able to verbalize these feelings and have those emotions acknowledged and even validated is very healing.  When you realize you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings and that this is a common journey for adoptive families it is like a balm to your soul which has felt so much guilt.  But, what I quickly found out is I cannot by will change my feelings or my emotions in these situations. For an entire weekend I cried out to God for help to change my feelings of resentment to love and to not feel anger.  I could not.  It was impossible.  I felt so desperate asking for prayer….from many.

The following quote from Nouwen says it so much better than I can:

“Here, I am faced with own true poverty.  I am totally unable to root out my resentments.  They are so deeply anchored in the soil of my inner self that pulling them out seems like self-destruction. How to weed out these resentments without uprooting the virtues as well? Can the elder son in me come home?  can I be found as the younger son was found? How can I return when I am lost in resentment, when I am caught in jealousy, when I am imprisoned in obedience and duty lived out as slavery?  It is clear that alone, by myself, I cannot find myself.  More daunting than healing myself as the younger son is healing myself as the elder son.  Confronted here with the impossibility of self-redemption, I now understand Jesus’words to Nicodemus: “Do not be surprised when I say, you  must be born from above.” Indeed, something has to happen that I myself cannot cause to happen. I cannot be reborn from below, that is  with my own strength, with my own mind, with my own psychological insights. There is no doubt in my mind about this because I have tried so hard in the past to heal myself from my complaints and failed….and failed….and failed,  until I came to the edge of complete emotional collapse and even physical exhaustion I can only be healed from above, from where God reaches down. What is impossible for me is possible for God. With God, everything is possible. ”

I was at an impasse and just like in the quote above, I did not know how to get through.

He did it. He came. He showed up.  He did a work in my heart.

By Monday night of that weekend, even before my counseling sessions began…..I sought each new son’s forgiveness, which they so readily gave.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt He took my resentment and He worked in my heart only what He could have done.  Not that the work is done, there is much work to be done in each of our hearts, but we surely know it will not come from ourselves.  This is God’s work.

I have been instructed to ask and reach out for help.  This is not an easy thing to do. Many say, You asked for it. You chose this. So I am trying to think of ways others can help. I have thought of a few for those that have asked.  Thank you to you, you know who you are.   Part of it is reducing largely our expectations in daily living.  It is also grabbing great big handfuls of grace for ourselves each day.

If you are in a place of seeming impossibility today, count yourself blessed, it is there He shows up, when and how you least expect……when you have nothing to offer Him.  He brings it all…….amazing love….how can it be…that you my Lord, died for me, a wretch, a sinner, you loved me just as I am….

In His Great Grace,

Michelle

Psalm 34:17-19The Message (MSG)

17 Is anyone crying for help? God is listening,
ready to rescue you.

18 If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

19 Disciples so often get into trouble;
still, God is there every time.