Never Once Has He Left Me Alone or On My Own

We drove in traffic across town to meet my twin sister and parents for the best Mexican food in Texas. You can only turn 40 years old with fajitas and a mariachi band.

I clutched a tattered Kleenex and felt the tears well up again. Just an hour before, while standing in my kitchen, handing out after-school snacks to my kids, an email came and with it a gift from God and I am still reeling from it.

He is continuing to bless Mercy House, the crazy dream we said yes to two years ago. The blessings keep coming in waves. And 2013 is going to be amazing. We will be able to help more pregnant girls and continue to work towards a permanent home in Kenya for our present girls and babies and many others.

This past week has been hard for our world. We feel the kind of sadness that we can’t shake with Christmas shopping or birthdays. My soul yearns for His Kingdom.

I have scars from this struggle.

There are wounded, dark places in my heart where I’m tempted to believe I’m alone.

But standing there in my kitchen, I felt His presence. Emmanuel, God with me, us-in joy and sorrow. The gift He gave wasn’t so much about a tangible present (although it was), it was His Presence. He reminded me (again) that He is with me.

I closed the door to my bedroom and knelt beside my bed and I sobbed. On my birthday.  Happy, hard tears. I wept for good news in an email and bad news in our world, joy and sorrow mixed and mostly, I cried because He was right there with me in both.

And I’m learning more the true meaning of Christmas: He is God on the mountaintop and God in the valley. The heartbeat of Christmas is God with us. All the time.

My husband held my hand as he navigated traffic, kids in the backseat, all hungry for refried beans and celebration and he played this song on the radio:

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

-10,000 Reasons

The road blurred and tears dripped off my chin, overwhelmed with His abounding faithfulness, even when I don’t understand, carry unanswered questions, He is here. Never once has He left me alone or on my own.

I don’t know if you’re on the mountaintop this holy season or struggling on the battlefield, I waffle between both. But wherever you are, He is there. That is the essence of Christmas, unwrapping Jesus, God with us.


  1. 3


    It is so easy to become discouraged in this world we live in. But you are helping to change lives, and you know the One who gives us hope. Sounds like you had one amazing birthday!

  2. 4

    Shannon says

    You have a twin?! Blessings abound for this world times two!

    I have been struggling a lot this Christmas season. My heart sobs for those who don’t have anything and I’m not sure what to do about it or what the best way is to help.

    With all of the things happening in our world lately, I’m sure there will be a lot of asking God “Why?” when we get to heaven. I do know, though, that even though I may not understand what’s happening, you are right – God does not leave us.

    I’ve never heard a mariachi band on my birthday – it sounds like a lot of fun! Happy Belated Birthday and many hugs to you!

  3. 8

    Tiera says

    Happy Belated Birthday! Welcome to the 40’s, I just turned 44 this month. God bless you and your family as you journey with Him through Mercy House.

  4. 10

    Christ Almighty says

    It is wonderful that you are doing good things. It is abominable that you would hold the fact that good things happen to you as proof that there is a higher power. You’re essentially saying that people who have bad luck, who have tragedy in their lives, have been abandoned by god.

    Seriously. If you’re going to give credit to any religious figurehead for anything good that happens to you, then you’re also saying that when something bad happens to someone else, it’s because god didn’t think they needed to keep their child alive, or to keep their house, or to avoid being horribly tortured. Born in a part of the world where food is scarce?
    That’s because you’re not worthy, according to your ideas. The lord wants you to work much, much harder for a better life. It’s not because some nations have exploited other countries and their natives for hundreds of years – it’s because god makes good things happen more to people who just happen to be sitting in a position of privilege.

    It’s an abhorrent and offensive view to take. You may say that this is not what you mean, but it really, really is, and your failure to see that doesn’t make it any less appalling.

    Have fun with your privilege, by all means. Love god, if you like. But please stop feeding in to the oppressive lies that god makes good things happen for you. If you want a religion, you don’t want one where the poorest, the ones with the least, are those who suffer the most, do you? Or is god helping you to help others instead of doing it himself because… well, that is not consistent at all, is it?

    I think you’re a good person, but I also think you’re a little loopy/willfully ignorant about why a loving god would provide donations to a first-world agenda presented as ‘helping the unfortunate’ while failing to help the unfortunate as well unless that help comes wrapped in a package that is, at the very least, incredibly oppressive and harmful to women, and why you have god in your heart while the children laid in the ground last week have only bullets.

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