The world is full of people who feel hopeless. While the holidays may be a favorite time of year for many people, for others, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day only compounds the pain. For many people, the cold and cloudy days of winter triggers seasonal depression. For other folks, the thought of gathering with family and friends spikes anxiety, anger, and sadness.
I’ll never forget walking back into the delivery room after my wife received her spinal block. My son was on the way. I was proud and excited and anxious but I was not prepared for the sights and sounds of the delivery room. I remember the doctor asking if I wanted to help and for the first thirty minutes or more, I opted to stand at the head of the hospital bed, offering encouragement and letting my wife nearly squeeze my hand numb.
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I’m left in awe that God, in all of His splendor and majesty and beauty and purity somehow finds grace for the father who rapes his daughter. The mother who breaks her child’s arm in a drug-induced rage. The teenager who has a stupid one-night stand and lets that boy talk her into killing her innocent baby. For the grandfather who never has time for his family.
The insanity of GOD is that grace is available, equally for them. And for me. Not subpar grace. Not heavenly leftovers. Full, unending, marvelous, matchless, messy grace.
When I shared glimpses of my darkness, well-meaning Christians said things they didn’t understand. Choose joy turned into snap out of it in my head, and I couldn’t force that. Believe me, I’d tried.
There, at that stoplight, I felt the gray and weight and cloud pressing. I don’t remember my specific pleas, or if I said anything at all. What I do remember are the sweetest words, clearer than anything I’ve heard whispered in my heart.