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When the enemy invades your house…

One of my great privileges as the pastor of Lenape Valley Church is the invitation to be with you in times of great joy and times of great challenge.  I love the visits to the nursery when a little one has come into the world… the opportunity to bless parents and child… to remind them of God’s grace.  How fun to share those cup overflowing moments!  I cherish the moments of quiet sharing when life is simple and good… enjoying green pastures and still waters together.  And I am honored when you invite me into times of great sadness and distress, when the diagnosis is dire, when time is short, when grief steals away hope.  Thank you for allowing me to share your valley journeys, trusting the One whose rod and staff comfort and guide.  I am blessed to share the journey of life and faith with you, through all the twists and turns.

But I must admit, there is a cheat to my companionship with you.  When the visit is over, while I still hold you in my prayers, I am able to go home to the safe haven I share with my wonderful husband.  Years ago, when I was too young and headstrong to realize how much I would need it, God gave me a partner in life and faith.  He creates for me a refuge that is “safe and secure from all alarms.”  Our home is usually peaceful… joyful… restful… We are blessed often with the sweet invasion of our little granddaughters and the delightful chaos they create.  When our whole family gathers, we are a noisy bunch, but the noise is joyful and loving.  Greg often says that those family times are the “antidote to all things bad.”  My time at home refreshes me so that I can be with you again in all the challenges that life brings.

But recently, my safe haven has been invaded by the Evil One, one assault after another.  First, my lovely daughter-in-law-to-be lost her father suddenly, just 11weeks before their wedding.  We love Amanda as a daughter, her grief is our grief.  I am officiating the wedding in June, so I’m wondering how to create a joyful celebration in the midst of grief.  One of our sons has had one surgery and now a second that have required time and physical therapy to bring healing.  And then on the day before Easter, Greg and I received the confirmation that he has prostate cancer.  It’s amazing how that hits like a punch in the word “ c ancer” gut.  We have been told repeatedly that this cancer is treatable, but I also have in my mind and heart the two funerals I have done for men with this form of cancer.  I am a protector by instinct.  I have spent my whole adult life creating a shield But of protection around my family to keep the awful of life at bay.  recently, the Enemy has broken through my ranks, and brought harm to my the pain.  I am on my knees, family .  Hard as I try, trusting my I cannot protect them from precious family into the hands of the only One who is greater than the evil we face.
Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death I will fear no evil for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Surely goodness will follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever .
I covet your prayer support as we navigate the weeks ahead… surgery… a wedding… and beyond.
With you trusting the One who is our Good Shepherd,
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