Grace will lead

Grace is the bridge that leads us over depths of despair and danger. Natural Bridge, Virginia, July 2005

Grace is the bridge that upholds us as we encounter depths of despair and danger.
Natural Bridge, Virginia, July 2005

“Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.”John Newton

Two weeks ago today, I was able to worship with our church family for the first time in a month.  Because Matt still had fluid on his lungs and was not allowed to go (per doctor’s orders), Jeff stayed with him and I went alone.  But once I got there, I was not alone.  I sat between two of my Christian sisters who have been providing me with unfailing emotional support for years.

That morning, as we sang the lovely words quoted above, of course I thought of my own family and all we have been through for the past 18 months.  But more than that, I thought of the remarkable women sitting on either side of me, singing these words they have lived out before my eyes.

One of these sisters endured the unfaithfulness of a spouse who left her for her erstwhile best friend, and as if that were not enough, their son was later shot through the head, miraculously surviving extensive damage, although he now is blind for life.   The other sister cared for her son through years of muscular dystrophy, before he died in his late twenties.

Here’s the amazing part: both these women did far more than survive these heartbreaks.  They are two of the most consistently cheerful, positive and faith-filled people I know.  Both of them tell me it took years of struggle and bitterness to get where they now are.  When I thank them for providing me with such an inspiring example of fortitude, both tell me that only the grace of God can explain it.

As an aside, my friend’s son who now lives with blindness is one of the most jovial people you will ever meet.  He never fails to spread joy, faith and hope with his public and private comments to his brothers and sisters at church services.

With such examples in my life, how can I NOT feel blessed and upheld?

Look around you – I feel certain you, too, have such sources of strength in your world.  Seek out these people.  Embrace them, watch them,  witness the lessons they teach — usually without a word — as they continue on a life journey fraught with dangers, toils and snares.

Grace will lead us home, and we will not get there alone.  We are “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses” to inspire us as we face obstacles and challenges.  Let’s be part of that group spreading hope and faith as we survive, and even thrive, throughout whatever we may be facing.

One year ago today:

Daylight in the mind

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia! We are fortunate to have such heros in our midst, and that’s what people like your sisters in faith are to us: heros. We can look to them, learn from them and be inspired by their example.
    It’s an even bigger blessing when they are actual friends! No wonder you call them your sisters!
    Can you still get back to that church from time to time?

    • Susan, I took Matt there for his birthday in 2020, when they had just started to resume in person, socially-distanced assemblies. But they still continue to live stream the services, so there were only a few intrepid people in attendance, and almost nobody we knew was there. However, one of the sisters in the story did meet us in the parking lot. She works at a hospital and has to be super careful about spreading infection, so she live streamed the service but actually came to the parking lot for services and was served communion at her car. It was so hard not to be able to hug each other!!! Matt does attend the services weekly via computer. I do the same thing with a different church, for now.

  2. Heba Yousry Raslan

    I love how I come across your uplifting posts! May God strengthen your faith and bless your heart and days with content & joy 🌷💗

    My sincere prayers for you, Matt, Jeff & your beloved ones.🥰

    • Heba, how wonderful to hear from you again! I’m sadly behind on these comments but I was overjoyed to see you here. I was thinking about you just the other day, and thinking I needed to go on Facebook (which I rarely use anymore) to see how you are. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and good wishes for us– I send you back the same! Now and then I see glimpses of God’s grace amid all these earthly trials, and you are one of those! ❤

      • Heba

        Oh Julia! Your kind replies are even more warm-hearted and so delightful 🥰
        Apologies for my late reply as I didn’t get the email notification right away.
        Likewise, I’m not really active on Facebook since I had my PhD exams and much of that going on 🙆🏻‍♀️ But I’m thinking of you often my lovely friend 😊 💝 Again it proves the saying, “Hearts are at each other”.

        In my thoughts and prayers forever 🤲🏻💗
        Be blessed 🌷

        • Thank you Heba! I echo your words: “In my thoughts and prayers forever 🤲🏻💗”

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