Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

The Struggle of Fear

Broken Beauty

The Struggle

Over the past few months, I have watched as friends have gone through some devastating life events. Although they weren’t necessarily my pain, I feel such a burden for each of my dear friends who have been suffering a loss. Some of these have me facing a battle I have faced many, many times. Part of me wants to hide away somewhere and just deal with it privately, but that part of me is losing today. There is a freedom that happens when we expose the raw feelings instead of hiding them away in shame. Satan loses his power over us when we step into the light by exposing the struggle.

What is it? What is the struggle?

The struggle for me is FEAR.

Fear that I’m not enough. And as many times as I have laid down that fear, I keep picking it back up. In my mind I can see the image of a suitcase. Inside it are some very heavy objects that no one should be carrying around. I know I shouldn’t pick it up but I reach for it instinctively, as if I’m protecting myself from something. Trying to gain control over a world that seems out of control. Fear is one of those things that is just too heavy to carry around every day.

Definition of fear (Merriam-Webster)

1aan unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger

b(1)an instance of this emotion

(2)a state marked by this emotion

2anxious concern SOLICITUDE

3profound reverence and awe especially toward God

4: reason for alarm DANGER

The Bible

It’s time to dig deep into God’s Word again friends!

What does God’s Word say about “Fear”?

  • Psalm 23:4 (ESV)Even 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.
  • Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
  • Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
  • Psalm 34:4 (ESV) I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Again and again, God says He is with us. He goes with us. He will not forsake us. Our health may leave us, our friends may leave us, our family may leave us, but God NEVER will. And these scriptures show something so significant too! He is not ASKING us to not fear. He is COMMANDING us to not fear.

Fear is one of those emotions that grips you. It holds on. Usually it keeps you from moving forward, or even making any move at all. That is not the kind of life God wants for us friends. So even if the world seems out of control, even if you have to walk through some devastating things in life, He is with you.

Time to Lay it ALL Down

Of course I heard a song today that really moved me. The video link is below, but I wanted to share the lyrics to “Crowns” by Sons The Band:

No greater love, I’ve ever known

This humble gift from heaven’s throne

I’m overcome By the favor You have shown

The price You paid for a sinner’s toll

The blood You gave, for the world to know

I’m overcome By the mercy You have shown

Like a faithful friend, You came rushing in

Took my wild heart and set it free

I’ll give every breath, till I come to rest

In the grace of eternity

I lay down my crowns at Your feet

From my first breath You saw my heart

Called my name set me apart

I’m overjoyed

I am free and fully known

Like a faithful friend, You came rushing in

Took my wild heart and set it free

I’ll give every breath, till I come to rest

In the grace of eternity

I lay down my crowns at Your feet

You give my spirit freedom

I give You all my praise

Don’t need another reason

To lay it all down, lay it all down

Right now is my surrender

Here in this holy place

Don’t need another reason

I lay it all down, lay it all down

AGAIN. Here I am again, laying it down. The fear of failing. The fear of not being enough. The fear of my marriage failing, of my family relationships failing, of my children not loving me anymore, of being alone. All the irrational fears that grip me, I lay them all down. I’ll cling to Him instead of fear.

And with my hands lifted, I’ll find my freedom in God alone.

Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

A Million Miracles

A beautiful old tree stump

Raw and Real

A hundred times I have tried to write this update.

If you have been following our progress on the farm, you know that we just finished our farm house. It was quite the project, in the middle of the pandemic with the added stress of hurricane landfalls that affected the supply chains all across the United States. When we finally received our windows, it was a whirlwind of crews onsite each day. We waited anxiously for our turn to take over and complete the interior of our little dream home.

Most people don’t know, but just as we working in the final weeks, I began having some serious medical problems. I am nearing the age of menopause, so at first I was not concerned at all. The Lord kept speaking to me throughout this time, reminding me of the woman with the issue of blood. Its such a well known miracle.

To understand the context, we need to go back in time to the Old Testament. In Leviticus, we can read about all the rules for being “clean” or without sin. There were steps you had to take in certain situations. These were the laws and they were followed strictly for generations. Here is what it says:

Leviticus 15:25“ ‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. 26 Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. 27 Anyone who touches them will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. 28 “ ‘When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. 29 On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 30 The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the Lord for the uncleanness of her discharge. 31 “ ‘You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.’ ”

So back to the New Testament when we read about the woman in Mark 5, we know that she has had an issue of blood. She has been bleeding for 12 years. For 12 years, she had been suffering physically. She had spent everything she had in search of a cure. But so much more than that, she had been suffering emotionally. See, according to the Old Laws, she was unclean. No one was allowed to touch her or even touch anything that she had touched. It saddened me so much when I realized this.

How incredibly lonely she must have been.

She must have ached for a hug.

Just to reach out and touch someone.

So when we read in Mark 5, we know that she was truly desperate to go into the crowd and attempt to touch the hem of Jesus’ cloak.

Mark 5:24 A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

What a moment that must have been for her! See, Jesus didn’t rebuke her for touching him when she was unclean. There, in the crowd of people, HE said “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”


For seven long weeks I had irregular bleeding. Some days I couldn’t even go anywhere, it was so bad. At one point, my doctor ordered an ultrasound and based on those results we scheduled a biopsy to see if it was cancer.

It was scary.

It was raw.

It was real.

And lets face it, it was embarrassing. How do you even ask people to pray for you when the issue is blood? So I felt alone. And yet, day after day, the Lord reminded me of the woman with the issue of blood. I read the scripture over and over. It wrecked me. I realized that there must be so many who feel alone. Who feel “unclean”, “unworthy”, or “unloved”. And it wrecked me for women everywhere.


In Hebrews 9 we read again about the Laws of Moses and the New Covenant with Jesus:

 1Hebrews 9:9 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”  21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Although I was wrecked by the revelations I discovered in my study, I was overjoyed at the outcome for this precious woman with the issue of blood. She was healed and she was publicly validated. Jesus could have just let her be healed but he made her speak up in the crowd. He made her admit that she was the one who had touched him. I’m sure everyone knew of her. To not touch her because she was “unclean”. But he validated her right there in the crowd. He redeemed her!


Her miracle was not just the physical suffering but it was so much more than that!

Let that soak in. Jesus cares about your physical suffering. He cares about your financial suffering. He cares about your emotional suffering. He cares about it all. He paid the price to redeem all of it, if only you will ask him.

Million Little Miracles By Elevation Worship

Test Results and Answered Prayers

On Monday morning, I went to our homeschool co-op and taught my 8th grade class. I left at lunch to go have the biopsy. Before I left, some of my dearest friends prayed with me for a miracle. The procedure went well. The doctor gave me a prescription to help alleviate the bleeding, because I had to go to the ER it had gotten so bad and they were concerned that my blood count was getting too low. I never had to take that medicine. My results came back negative. Praise the Lord for no cancer! And the day the results came back the bleeding completely stopped. All the pain was gone. All of the issues were healed!

I’m not sure why we suffer. What I do know is that it is in those moments we see God, we get to know HIM for who HE is.

Our Healer.

Our Redeemer.

Our Provider.

He truly is all we need.

My Prayer

Oh dear friend, my prayer for you is that you would have an encounter with the Lord. One that will change you and redeem you. One that will heal you and restore you. Whatever it is you are suffering from, I pray that the Lord himself will meet you where you are right now. I pray that your eyes will see a thousand little miracles- they are everywhere if only you will look for them.

Copyright@ 2021 or current year, Sanctuary Ridge. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to Sanctuary Ridge with active link and direction to this original post.

Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

The Blood

A lesson on “The BLOOD”:

On April 1, 2016 I fell while making final preparations for Noah’s eleventh birthday celebration. I broke my foot. I had never broken a bone. The first days after I fell I began to study as much as I could about how bones heal. I have low iron so I knew I needed to take extra vitamins. So I studied about that too. I came across a diagram that explains the process of healing: “inflammation” , also known as massive swelling, is the first thing that happens. This is when the blood rushes to the area with extra nutrients, cleaning up the debris and causing new cells to begin to grow. Needless to say I am taking vitamin supplements and eating as healthy as possible. But this got me to thinking about how all of this depends on my blood. My blood carries these nutrients to the broken bone and torn ligaments. It’s in the Blood. Our lives depend on blood. Physically and spiritually. Healing and Life are in the Blood. This is how God designed us! When we give our heart/ life to God there is a rush of Blood that covers us, cleaning up the debris and causing a new thing in our lives! There is a restoration process and finally a remodeling process. If we stay in this “healing” process the Blood will cause such a restoration that things which were broken will be made whole in a way that no one will ever know what it once looked like! Hallelujah! Now that is something to shout about!

“But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭9:11-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

Love is a Gift

Breaking Beans with Grandma

Happy Valentine’s Day!

My favorite Valentine’s Day memory is from February 14, 2017…

My grandmother was a sweet lady, but she wasn’t the kind of grandmother who spent time with us as kids. We never spent the night. They never “babysat” us. We never went on trips together, baked, or played games together. What I remember most is Sunday afternoon visits where the adults sat around talking and the kids either sat quietly or played outside in Grandma and Grandpa’s yard.

Grandma and Grandpa traveled a lot and had their own friends, so they had lots of stories to share with the adults but they didn’t really relate to us as kids. I know they loved us. It was just different from my relationship with my other grandmother who loved having us kids around- sometimes for weeks at a time. My other grandmother cooked with us, taught us to sew, played games with us, and it was very clear that she adored us.

So on Valentine’s Day, I decided to spend the day with Grandma. Noah and I visited with her; we took her some flowers. We cleaned her house. We searched for her “lost teeth” for hours. And then we took her to eat at her favorite restaurant- Captain D’s Seafood. Grandma loved shrimp! We laughed together. Her memory was slipping away but she shared so many memories from her youth during those days. I never knew her when I was young, but what a joy and a blessing to take the time to build a relationship with her in those last years!

She told me of her growing up years and courting with my Grandpa. Of her first Coca-Cola. Of working in the knitting Mill in Chattanooga- of hitching a ride across Signal Mountain every day so she could get to her job. Of her travels, friends and some really great fishing stories.

My sweet Grandma went to be with Jesus the next year.

I am so thankful for every minute with her. Loving her and making time for her was a gift. Not to her, but to myself. It was a revelation of God’s unconditional love for us.


  1. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10. but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Every year I think about that special day with Grandma. And our new family tradition includes dinner at Captain D’s on Valentine’s Day. What a special gift love is! God gave us the best gift when he sent his son, Jesus. Go find someone to share HIS love with!

© Copyright 2020– or current year, Sanctuary Ridge. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to Sanctuary Ridge with active link and direction to this original post.