Faith, Parenting
Comments 5

On Every Leanin’ Side

A full week had passed since I’d seen her.

It was a busy week for me. I’d met with experts and visited with dozens of people that week. I hardly slept; food, five courses delivered at breakfast, lunch and dinner, sat barely eaten.

Although that week was busier than I could have imagined, I found myself pausing, lingering long on deep sighs, yearning to be together again.

Because even though I was exactly where I needed to be, I wanted to be home.

Just a week earlier, my hand brushed the iron knob on death’s door. I came so close I nearly pushed it’s rough surface and crossed the threshold from life to death. But I was saved, and with some help, I was living still.

While I spent my days and nights under expert medical care, my youngest daughter slept over with cousins, swam in the silver sunlight of waning summer and played in the garden with her brother. Until I was well enough to see her, she cried and wondered, processed and prayed while under the care of people who have loved her since her birth nine years ago.

A storm had rushed through.

Although I was improving daily, like all storms, it had strewn the debris of daily life and continued to rumble thunderous on its way eastward. The worst of it was over, yet the the storm had not yet fully passed.

It took a team of doctors and nurses to mend all my broken parts and set my body on the healing path. It took a huge team of people, and the leadership and direction of a committed few, to begin the process of putting our life back together.  It took the prayers of hundreds across the globe and the tearful prayers of our hand-holding, faithful elderly parents and hopeful children alike. They all, like me, wrestled with the reality that they could do their best and then trust, pray and wait.

Trust, pray and wait. The trivium of a life of faith.

Isaiah 26:3-4 “You will keep those in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”

And the promised result? Always perfect peace. In the Hebrew text,

‘Shalom shalom’.

Peace on every side.

Like the old spiritual song sung by slaves traded and abused who’s hope burnished bright with the rubbing of so much pain, “support us Lord on every leanin’ side.

Yes, Lord, you keep me safe in the enclave of your peace.

I will trust in you. I will, in the midst of the storm and the  after; I will set the cross-hairs of my attention on you. I will wait for you–and you will not fail me.


Because you are God Eternal, and the Lord of my life and the Eternal Rock. You are Jesus, the cornerstone of truth, the foundation of my life. And during this time that I cannot stand on my own,

I can stand firmly in the knowledge that you’ve got me;

you’ve got me on every leanin’ side.

The evening she arrived at my hospital room door, the August sun was dipping low in golden light that pooled in the western foothills. She entered and strode directly to my bedside, straight into my embrace. Her growing feet newly fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace {Ephesians 6:15} walked into my room. She climbed into the side of the bed opposite of my injuries and her body curled into my own.She melted into me. Complete and quieted, content to be restful by my side.

The prayers are working, because although she had faced the terror of losing her mommy, she had faced it. The faith that led her to turn to God built a trust within her that she would never had known had she not faced the  dark fear as well. It’s a learned faith now rooted deeply within her.

The truth that she has a Peace and a Savior on every leaning side

is now her truth.

And I held her and breathed thanksgiving over her, stroked her hair and swallowed hard. We will have many difficult roads ahead (I’m certain because Jr. High looms on the horizon!), yet we would have this moment, this stone of remembrance. The tears gathered up in the corners of my eyes, because gratitude has a way of spilling out — and I can live with that.


Make the truth your truth as well. Believing in Jesus as Savior, trusting in his Word and Truth, is a lifestyle, a relationship, a renewing of our minds. It’s not merely liturgy or a set of rules and rewards or a mystic feeling. It is foundational, rock-solid reality. And it can be yours.

linking with ann voskamp here



  1. Stone of rememberance…what a great phrase, Alyssa!

    She will most certainly remember that moment. I’m sure this was a faith defining moment for you and for her. One of those times where you can say, “That’s why I know God is real”.

    Beautifully written. I pray continued healing over you and your family!

    • Thank you, my dear. I was overwrought with thankfulness, truly. I still am, but wrote this when it was fresh on the surface of my heart. Bless you! Aly

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