Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hope for Broken Hearts ~ Even When Faced with Death

My heart was broken last year and all we could do was hope and wait.

The best heart surgeon in the world broke my sternum, dug around hard cemented radiated-dead flesh to fix my heart that was ready to quit any day. He didn't know if my heart could heal from all that breaking. We could only hope and wait for the healing to come.

For weeks following surgery, I didn't have the strength to fight; I was merely existing as though buried deep already in all the dark. I would cry out: "to live is Christ and to die is gain." My desire was, "to be with Christ, for that is far better."

Then, I wanted to go back, if I could—like the Israelites had wanted to return to Egypt—and refuse the risky surgery; it was much easier to surrender to what had become familiar than to move forward. Quitting is the easy way out. In my complaining and muttering, I was giving in to easy.

Until I was pricked in my heart, convicted of how much I was grumbling about all this hard, dark life I was living in an intensive care unit, away from my children. When, all along, the Lord had provided this way through and would continue to lead me and would never leave me. I confessed, repented, and faced the dark, cold, lonely days of recovery with renewed hope, waiting on the Lord. Trusting and giving thanks in all circumstances, rejoicing that it would give others "ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again."

I was told it would all take time. But, the passing of time is slow when the days are hard and healing is long. Winter dragged on but hope never ran out. 

Spring did come as sure as new seasons always do, and I could have wept to stand helpless and watch the wild rabbits chew off all the young tulip shoots when the long winter finally gave up to warmer days. Only a few tulips had survived.

Flowers fade. Hearts break.

But, there in the darkness, through all the storms, hope is sure.

Even when life doesn't turn up the way we plan, our hope is secure in the One who died, was buried and rose again.

When the apples were red and ripe on the trees, I bought more bulbs to plant in the front garden. Time ticks on, steady. Some days now race by. I thought we were too late to put these bulbs into the ground—September marched past and October refused to stick around any longer than her set 31 days despite my longing for more.

My heart continues to heal the doctor says. The thing we waited for, hoped for, is happening.

Life is hard. Waiting, suffering, healing, yes they are all hard, but there is always hope.

So today, after we heard the results from my latest heart echo, we stirred up the soil in the front garden as the sun gently beat down on our backs like a warm embrace for early November, and we planted.

Her Daddy grabbed the tools and she took hold of the bag of tulip bulbs and buried them in the warm dirt. Fifty bright red blooms shall break through the cold dark earth when another winter melts into another spring.

My son tells me tonight during his second bedtime snack, between bites of apple, "Mom, you how I said last week that I didn't miss you that much last year when you were in the hospital? Well, I did, but I think I was able to go on because God calmed me. If every day I thought about how you could die, I don't think I could have handled it—I wouldn't have been able to eat, I would have been exhausted. But, God helped me."

There is no doubt that dark, uncertain days and hard, heart-breaking circumstances will come. Don't lose heart. Wait. Hope. 


  1. I just can't imagine all you and your family have gone through and still are as you wait. I'm so happy that your heart continues to heal. I am encouraged by this hope-filled post, Rebekah. Yes, hope holds together our broken hearts. I'm looking forward to seeing a photo of those 50 red tulips next spring. :) God be with you and give you further healing and strength for each day!

  2. What a beautiful, convicting and yet encouraging post. Thank you for sharing your hard story and being honest about the struggle. God is always faithful, always good. So beautiful to read that in your story today. May God continue to bless you and your family into your journey of healing and recovery. (Visiting from Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory Link-Up- I'm nr.11).

  3. Thankful for healing, and for the lessons, shared. May God continue to bless you and your family, Rebekah.

  4. What a beautiful post Rebekah. It strengthens my faith to see you write of our hope anchored in Christ. Thank you for your transparent testimony of God's sure faithfulness. Blessings to you. Visiting from #tellHisStory

  5. Rebekah,

    Thank you for sharing your hard lived through lessons on hope and trust in God...beautiful and encouraging...praying God continues to uphold you and your dear family in hope and trust...and wow, those tulips will be a sight in the spring...blessings :-) I read Deut.'s first 5 chapters this morning so your words have a special import...Thank you for inspiring me.

  6. Hi Rebekah, This post was beautiful and so filled with hope. My post coming out in the morning is about moving forward and living life. I am including a round up of blog posts that I feel inspire people to keep living - to move on- to hold on to hope. I've included yours. I hope that is okay!
    I would have emailed, but I couldn't find an address linked to this page. Thank you so much for sharing your story, for pointing to Jesus, and to shining His light of hope into the lives of others!
    Blessings and smiles,


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