i’ve been meaning to make this blog a little lighter – not so gloomy or downcast – riddled with medical details and desperate cries for prayer. i’ve been meaning to add more pictures of the girls smiling, laughing with adam and me. to brighten the posts and make it a little more welcoming here. perhaps a virtual cup of tea and plate of cookies for the guests. but, sometimes other things seem more pressing. particularly today.

this week my extended family suffered and, praise God, lived through some of the most horrifying circumstances a person can experience. as i heard a recounting of the story, the first thing i felt (other than horrified) was helpless. i wanted more than anything to heal, erase, rewind, delete those moments with my bare hands. but i couldn’t. i wanted to say something that would truly comfort, bring peace, uplift the hurting. but i couldn’t. i wanted to give everything -all of me – ask God to exchange me for them. but it was too late. i had nothing. and yet i felt and still feel an urging inside of me to do something. to not sit, but rather stand. to not hold back, but rather yell. to not wait, but do something now.

unfortunately…i have very little to give. not much money, not much wisdom, not much of anything really. the problem is: i love my family. i love them more than they will ever be able to imagine. more than i’ve been able to express to them. i want to give them all that i have to give them joy and remove all of the hurt.

i don’t have much to offer, but i do have one treasure to share. the one thing i desire my own daughters to have above having any physical healing or even physical life itself. that one treasure is…Jesus.

and i don’t mean just Jesus as a wooden statue in a church. i’m talking about Jesus, the living God.

i know, i know – some think this is a completely crazy thing to say. only the crazy evangelical christians say weirdo stuff like that. i understand that it sounds crazy. but after experiencing His love for that past 15 years – i no longer think it so crazy.

my life, if nothing else, will be a testament to His love and faithfulness. when i die i want my gravestone to read “Jesus loves almudena”.

this is how i know:

when i was old enough to feel the impact of my father abandoning me – Jesus reached out to catch me

when i desperately searched for and found my father and was rejected by him not once but three seperate times – Jesus held me and comforted me

when i became a rebellious liar, deceiver of my family – boy chasing drinker behind a mask of hypocritcal goodness – Jesus forgave me

when i turned my back on Him and hated His voice and His teaching – Jesus waited for me. no, He didn’t just wait – He ran after me.

when i became vain, self-absorbed and finally diseased with anorexia and bulemia – Jesus cleansed me

when i hurt and betrayed adam – Jesus renewed our marriage

when i was betrayed – Jesus restored me

when i struggle with jealousy, envy, gossip, selfishness, worry, anxiety, fear, self-hatred, guilt, shame, lack of thankfulness, lack of joy, depression, loneliness etc. – Jesus breathes Love and Grace into the depths of my spirit.

when i’m told that my daughter is sick. that she may suffer. that she may die – Jesus picks me up in His arms along with my anger, my fear, my questions of His goodness, my prayers and each one of my tears and carries this all in His arms down this journey i call my life.

Jesus is Father, Forgiver, Healer, Comforter, Protector, Guide, Friend, Truth. i know Him in each of those ways personally. He took the punishment for all of my issues, struggles, sin, hatred. He was crucified on the cross so that i could have life beyond this life with God forever. when i die i am going to heaven. i am 100% sure of that. but not because of anything good that i have done – no good in me can ever equal perfection. i am going to have eternal life with God because Jesus, or God Himself – the only perfect one – took my place on the cross. He died and then overcame not just all evil but even death! He is alive! He gave me this treasure without me ever deserving it or earning it. He gave me this treasure as a free gift with only my acceptance needed in return. and He extends this gift to you, too.

please, will you, anyone reading this, will you accept it?

that is my treasure…i share it specifically with you, my family, today because this is the only way i know how to show you my love during this difficult time. i can’t go in your heart and take away the fear or the pain, but Jesus can.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

Dios amó tanto a la gente de este mundo, que me entregó a mí, que soy su único Hijo, para que todo el que crea en mí no muera, sino que tenga vida eterna. Porque Dios no me envió a este mundo para condenar a la gente, sino para salvarla . Juan 3:16-17