Tuesday, January 3, 2017


I sat on the bridge
still as a stone
And watched the fish
darting and dashing
under the rocks
and into the shadows. 

And my heart 
felt as one 
knew the quiver
that a stirring in the water
could bring. 

Two and a half years ago, when my man and I walked to that bridge, I did not realize that I had already begun this Journey with Chronic Illness. Even though my joints had started their swelling, the first jolting-awake-with-fire-flare-pain was still several days away.  But in my heart there was a tiredness running so deep, and a sensitivity so acute that I felt I must be slipping into a Spiritual Fog of some sort. 

My life had been running on empty-full-empty-again for so long that I feared what might happen if the full failed to appear once again.

And just like that,

                     the empty overtook me,

                                And my spinning life found a new

                                                                rhythm by which to dance. 

"Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10 NIV 

I spent the next year just trying to keep my darting and dashing emotions on some sort of even plane, as the medications were set before me, one after another. There were rashes and nausea and headaches and side effects more shameful than I care to recount.

But I never walked alone.

Have you felt that quivering in the water?

Have you known that stirring when Jesus sets down beside you,
and enters into the ocean of your troubles?

As my body finally accepted the proper medication, I spent the next year reeling from one diagnosis after another, and more tests than I care to recount. I watched my man dealing with his own health struggles. 

And I felt the quivering yet again,

telling me I would never be alone.

I heard the whispers to 

come away and rest awhile.

So, as this year of 2017 approached, I prayed for a #OneWord365, a Word that might set the course for this new year. Not unlike the other times I heard Him speak for #OneWordLent, and #OneWordAdvent, and even the theme for #Write31Days, I counted on God to speak what He wanted to give me.  

I just hadn't counted that it might feel like
more of the same.

Because the Word He gave was 

Where can we hide when the shadows are flitting  
and our hearts are still darting?

There is a place of stillness
that centers in Jesus' heart.

There is a place of knowing God
that finds its rest in loving Him.

So, while my rhythm may still move to slow,
and my feet may not dance as I would want them to,
My Lord calls me in
and my heart runs to Him.  

Thank you so much to all who prayed for my husband's hand surgeries! God is restoring him to health, and helping him as he returns to work this week!

I am linking this week with 
Jennifer Dukes Lee, #TellHisStory  

Bonnie Gray, #OneWordCoffee 


  1. Hi Bettie,
    Happy 2017 to you and I'm so glad to hear your husband is on the road to recovery after his surgeries! I really like the word you've chosen, stillness, because it's only in the quiet and hushed stillness, can we hear what God is whispering to our hearts.

    Sometimes the less active places that we find ourselves in are really places of refreshment and rejuvenation where God gets to speak to us alone and show us great and wonderful things. Praying for you in this new year, friend! xoxo

    1. Hi Valerie,
      Happy 2017 to you also! Yes, I am so appreciative of the prayers offered for my husband, as he is recovering! My heart is feeling so sure that God is desiring to meet me in these less active places, but sometimes my mind is slower to agree! :-) Thanks for your encouragement to find the beauty and wonder in these days, my friend! Blessings to you in this New Year! xoxo

  2. I'm so glad your husband is recovering, Bettie. I was just wondering about it. Isn't it a wonder how Jesus faithfully and lovingly sits beside us and enters into "our ocean of troubles?" I love your word of stillness. I certainly need that, too. Just to rest in His tender loving arms of love and grace. To be so still that we can hear His voice. I hope you have a year of "stillness that centers in Jesus' heart!" Love and hugs!

    1. Dear Trudy, Thank you for your care and prayers for my husband. It's meant so much to me to know you were praying for both of us through this past month! Yes, our Jesus is so good to join with us in every trouble we face. I like that thought "to be so still that I can hear His voice." I will hold those words close, dear friend! Blessings and Hugs to you this New Year! xoxo

  3. Bettie, I love this post. I love the way you've arranged the words, the poetry and the scripture. Yes, there is a peaceful stillness in the presence of Christ. Thank you for this beautiful post! Hugs to you and many blessings! xo

    1. Dear Gayl, I'm so glad you were encouraged here. That means a lot to me, because I value your heart of creativity so much! I'm holding onto that peaceful stillness now more than ever. May you be blessed this New Year too! xo

  4. Be still. I've written several times about it. Getting me still was God first lesson in my journey with R.A. pain. God bless.

    1. Oh, I'm thankful to find another kindred RA traveler who has rested with God in the Stillness. Thanks for your encouragement! Blessings to you also!

  5. Be still. I've written several times about it. Getting me still was God first lesson in my journey with R.A. pain. God bless.

  6. It is well, Bettie! I love your heart. Keep writing those powerful messages.
    Blessings to you

    1. Dear Ifeoma, Yes, God is making all things well in our souls! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your encouragement. I love your heart for the Lord too! Blessings to you in this New Year!

  7. I love this word and what it means, Bettie! You are such a sweet person. I can't thank you enough for sharing your heart, your journey. I just keep thinking how I feel not so alone when I visit here. We go through this stuff, and we don't know why...but to wrap our arms around each other in the midst. That's life. I am so blessed by ya. Prayers continued. I pray 2017 brings stillness, peace,....

    1. Thank you so much for all of your encouragement and support, Meg! Your words reach into my soul and give me such comfort and support. I have been so grateful for you this year as well, my friend. God has brought us the connections He has known we would need, hasn't He? Blessings and Hugs to you this New Year!

  8. What a hard, painful path you have had to travel, and oh what a beautiful way you have of describing it all! I ached with you as you expressed the very real fear of never feeling "full" (or maybe "normal"?) again. And these words made me remember just Who walks beside us in life's pleasant pathways and in the thorn-strewn, rocky places:

    "Have you known that stirring when Jesus sets down beside you,
    and enters into the ocean of your troubles?"

    Yes, yes I have, and more often than not it's been through His body here on earth, those Jesus-with-skin-on encounters that remind us we are far from alone. His love shines through you, Bettie, and I am so thankful we have connected and become good friends, able to pray for and help support one another in the hard times and places. May you discover just how powerfully God meets with us in the quiet and stillness, as you rest yourself in Him. Blessings and love. xox

    1. Dear Joy, Oh how thankful I am that we connected and you became one of those "Jesus-with-skin-on-encounters" for me also! To know that there was someone who had walked this path of pain and understood how to meet Jesus in the middle of it all has been such a gift! We need never fear this feeling of aloneness when we trust our Lord to meet us, and to bring those hearts to travel with us to Him. I am still trusting Him to show me more of His power that rests in the stillness. Thank you for your encouragement and support along this journey. You are such a blessing, dear friend! xoxo

  9. I love the flow of your words Bettie. I know of what you speak of chronic illness. I'm glad to hear your man is healing and returning to work.


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