I've wanted to write this post for a very long time! I'm a little overwhelmed with all that I want to say and my inability to articulate clearly my heart and thoughts, especially about these 2 special people, but I'm going to try!!
(Thank goodness they both have blogs, so you can read more about them there!)
In the midst of some of my darkest days and nights with my struggle with anxiety, I would think of 2 friends of mine - Koti and Lynnea. I met them as college students when I worked in Seattle as a college pastor. They have since become dear friends.
Koti is a phenomenal singer, song writer, and musician who was in a car accident 6 years ago that left him a tetraplegic - paralyzed. (I'll write more about him in a future post)
Lynnea is a brilliant engineer who married and moved to the Netherlands to work where shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and her marriage was shaken.
Through many nights while my body would shake and I would lay wide awake, I would think of Koti - how is he surviving this massive life change?
A once gifted musician who can no longer move his fingers.
And Lynnea - how is she pressing through cancer in a foreign land with no family around?
As I would cry and lament my shattered dreams and fears of a less than "normal" life now that anxiety had taken over, I would think of those who had it "worse" than me (so to speak). I could barely make it, how could they do it?
On one of my worst days that has not yet been written about, I shuffled to my computer and found a message from Lynnea. She had been keeping up with my blog and read about my anxiety. She shared part of her story that included her past struggle with anxiety. I had written about surrender and she related as now, in her struggle with breast cancer, she had to surrender her marriage and husband as he moved back to the US, leaving her alone in the Netherlands fighting cancer.
Her story just kept getting worse.
I cried as I read her message and was struck that her purpose in writing me was to thank me for teaching her how to pray boldly when she was in college.
On this horrible day in my life when I could barely get out of bed let alone pray with any kind of strength, she thanked me for being the strong person who taught her to pray boldly in Jesus' name.
She, who was suffering physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually was pressing through by praying boldly.
It was just what I needed to make it through that day.
I later received a package in the mail from Lynnea.
I once again cried my eyes out as I opened the package and read her beautiful letter.
She made me this beautiful pendant of the Tree of Life
The story of this tree is so powerful. It is about 400 years old! And is thriving in tough terrain and circumstances. It is in the middle of the desert with no other trees around it. This particular type of tree has one of the deepest known root systems.
I love wearing this stunning pendant as a reminder of
God's faithful love and provision in the midst of hard times.
This past year, Lynnea went to Bahrain to see this tree! You can read more about it here.
In fact, you should really read her whole blog! She's an amazing writer with powerful insights. Her story is incredible and the encouragement that pours through it will fill your soul.
Her blog is Burning Brightly
And she just opened up a shop to start selling her Tree of Life pendants.
They would make a perfect gift for someone you know who is in a desert season of life or has survived one! It would also make a great graduation gift
God is at work in the desert seasons of our lives. He has not left us without hope or resources. We just might have to dig down deep to tap into them and sink our roots well into His streams of living water. Hold fast to Jesus and regardless of what life throws your way, you won't only survive, but you'll thrive!
Also, check out Koti's blog - God's up to something in that man's life!