I think there is a problem with our responses to controversy. It isn’t that we respond, though many could argue reasons why our responses aren’t helpful. Rather, it’s that we move on so quickly.
Over the August 2 weekend, two cities experienced the evil of back-to-back mass shooting: first in El Paso, Texas, then in Dayton, Ohio. Our nation was reeling.
Last week, I couldn’t open up a social media site without seeing the words El Paso and Dayton. I knew in my heart then that many of us would write about it and call attention to the tragedy and then we’d move on.
Right now those communities continue to mourn and search for healing. Families have lost loved ones, children have lost parents, and historically safe and peaceful communities must now stay on alert. But the rest of us have moved on.
Obviously, we can’t carry the weight of every sorrowful and tragic situation that makes headline news. Our sites and conversations will naturally move on to other things—normal life must resume. And only Jesus can truly carry the burden of all the tragedies in the world.
But in all our uproars and emotional responses, my hope is that we remember real people are involved in these situations. If we feel that the tragedy is important enough to write about, speak about, or share on social media, may I suggest that we also tuck away in our private lives to pray for these communities? And to take action where possible?
I share more on The World And Everything in It:
Trillia Newbell: Mourn with those who mourn
Over the past several weeks, we’ve read about or heard of prominent leaders leaving the faith. Some ministry leaders have decided to no longer follow Jesus. Some have decided they no longer believe. Others have fallen due to unrepentant sin. This isn’t anything new—people make these decisions often. But it has seemed to be a unique time. And over the past two years, I have been writing and editing a book on enduring in the faith, Sacred Endurance.
It’s not often that a writer shares the inner wrestling involved in the writing process. I wrote this book to serve you and me. I wrote this book because I have experienced enough trials and sorrows to know that this Christian walk is one filled with deep valleys and beautiful mountaintop highs. But what I couldn’t have known was that we’d be in a season where so many would be struggling to finish their race in such public and confusing ways.
So, what’s the wrestling I’m writing about?
I’ve been reluctant to share more about the book because I realize the weight of what I’ve written about. The topic is of utmost importance because it’s a matter of life or death. I want nothing more than to see everyone finish their race and finish it well, whether by crawling across the finish line or by leaping. But I believe with all my heart that no one wants you to finish well more than Jesus and as you will see through his Word, he has given us all we need. He has promised to finish the good work he began—he will surely do it.
But we are in confusing and difficult times. Circumstances aren’t easily explained away. And yet we have a God who is faithful. We know that Christ holds us fast. And if you don’t know this, I pray that the Lord would remind you and help you to remember through his Word and if he might use it, through the pages of Sacred Endurance.
In a few days, I will invite you to consider joining the launch team for Sacred Endurance. I’m looking forward to being a part of this community online. We will read through the book together, there will be times of prayer, I imagine there will be times when we will mourn, and there will also be times of rejoicing and enjoying all that the Lord has done and will do.
I have faith that we will make it. I am also praying that we will make it. And I am praying that the Lord might use this work, Sacred Endurance, to help in whatever way he chooses. I hope that the book is useful and helps you in this journey.
Be on the lookout on Thursday for more information.
You can learn more about Sacred Endurance by visiting IVP: https://www.ivpress.com/sacred-endurance.
My husband and I were chatting about our kids and he said, “We need to start thinking about saving for college.” College? What in the world would we need to be thinking about college for? I thought to myself. Then he said, “You know our oldest will be out of the house in about five years.”
My entire body tensed up. Five years! And then it dawned on me, in eight years, assuming that all goes well and smoothly with our children’s schooling, my husband and I will be empty-nesters. Eight years is a blip on the radar of the years in a lifetime. Those eight years will fly by. We will blink and our children will be asking about whether it is acceptable to eat Ramen noodles seven days a week.
In another conversation with a friend who is in a similar life stage, she said, “When our kids leave, I just hope my husband and I have something to talk about!” I think her sentiment is one many in our middle years begin to wonder. What will happen to our marriage when the kids leave? Will my spouse be a stranger to me? Will we have anything to talk about now that we aren’t running errands for the kids?
Although the thought of my kids leaving in such a short period of time always throws me off, my husband and I have been preparing for that day from the moment we brought our firstborn home from the hospital. We don’t do this (or anything) perfectly but here are three ways we are preparing for that empty-nester stage of life.
You can read on Lifeway Voices the three ways my husband and I are preparing now for that day when we become empty-nesters: https://lifewayvoices.com/marriage-family/3-ways-to-prepare-for-an-empty-nest/
Over the past several weeks I’ve had plenty of time to rest. It’s been a forced and required time for an empty schedule, one that I had planned to do in July but not because I had to! And it has been welcomed and needed. These past few weeks, I’ve slept and walked and reclined for more hours than I can number. And it got me thinking about some time I’ve spent abroad.
‘I’m busy’ has become a leading status symbol of our time. I already have plenty of time to rest. The question is: Am I using it to rest or filling it with more work? I encourage you and me to make a commitment to say no to the crazy busy life. I reflect on the necessity of rest in my bi-weekly commentary for World Radio. More here: ow.ly/T3K050vfaTn
Two weeks ago today I was getting prepped for an unexpected surgery and after some prayer, I’ve decided it’s okay to share more.
In the spirit of 2 Cor 1:3-5, I’d like to share that I had a hysterectomy. I am young and have learned that many women have this procedure around my age (40, 41). I did not know this. My hope is to continue to share about my journey and recovery here on my site through reflection posts about what the Lord has been teaching me. I will say that I came into this surgery quite healthy and therefore realize that my recovery, both physically and emotionally, may look differently than many others.
As I’ve entered into this new season of life and began researching, I’ve realized that there are not a lot of women sharing about this common procedure. Similar to when I had miscarriages, there were not many sharing openly about their journey. Today you can find an abundance of resources for women who have endured the pain of miscarriage and infertility but this has been a recent phenomenon. I hope that as I share about what the Lord is teaching me about life post this major surgery, there will be more who follow.
Today, I don’t have much to share but maybe it will serve you to know you are not alone. As we wait for our resurrected bodies, we can rejoice in the hope to come and thank him for how he will use this momentary affliction. He will surely do it. He is so good to us.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too” (2 Cor 1:3-5).
(p.s. I have an army of dear friends giving me tips and such, so no need to share the latest trend. Prayers are always accepted and appreciated, however!)
The pressure to try to save my children is off. I can’t. There’s nothing I can do to make them believe.
But what I can do is faithfully speak the truth—and live it out before them. I can answer God’s call to train up children in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6). I can wait patiently for Him to work.
It’s hard not to fear. But what I have come to rest in is that God is deeply invested in my children. He knit them together in my womb. He cares for them more than me. And my heart rests in knowing that not one prayer for my children goes unheard.
I share more about what I’ve learned and am learning about raising my little lads in this World Radio segment: https://worldandeverything.org/2019/04/trillia-newbell-bringing-up-believers/