You, Oh LORD, keep my lamp burning;

my God turns my darkness into light. 

— Psalm 18:28

I have a sister who suffers from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), otherwise known as winter depression or the winter blues, which means the absence of light/sun in the winter causes a malaise that is generally absent the rest of the year.

I can certainly understand why. I have a skin condition called psoriasis, and as a young woman, I’d pop a blanket down next to a building in 47-degree weather to lay out because sunlight is not only good for mood, but it’s good for psoriasis too. Somehow, being butted up against a building that blocked the wind while I soaked up the sun, slathered with cocoa butter and listening to oldies, made me feel happy, relaxed, hopeful. Even with a patch of leftover snow nearby!

And poor Keith. When we recently moved, greatly downsizing from a good-size house in St. Louis and almost forty years of accumulation down to a townhome at Lake of the Ozarks with no garage and almost no storage, I insisted on bringing my many oil lamps. “Julie, let them all go,” he said the day I was packing up, “they’re old and we don’t have room.” “But we need them, babe,” I argued, hovering over the lamps like a mother hen. “What will we do if the lights go out?”

Indeed. A question each and every one of us might ask when darkness descends in our lives. Just like it did for me this week. A precious unborn child in our family was diagnosed in utero with severe heart problems in which the “best-case scenario” is multiple complicated, dangerous surgeries in the first year of life, producing an 80% chance of survival to age 15. The worst-case scenario? The possible presence of a bad gene that would cause death before birth or within one year after, breaking the hearts of all of us who would love her, including two small siblings.

Let me tell you, the lights went out for me and everyone in my family that day, leaving us in an awful darkness that not only brought depression, but also snuffed the hope from our souls.

Until sunlight of another kind slowly seeped into our hearts like the dawn of a new day — the precious SONlight of God!

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until the full day. — Proverbs 4:18

“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” — John 8:12

Light arises in the darkness for the upright. — Psalm 112:4

Those who live in a dark land, the Light will shine on them. — Isaiah 9:2

Because, YES, our God DOES turn our darkness into light and keeps our lamps burning throughout the darkest hours of our days, and I have seen and felt it this week! With every single prayer that pours into our lives over this precious little girl, our skies brighten with the true Sonlight that not only heals and instills hope, but chases our gloom away.

Yesterday, tests revealed that there is only a 10% chance that the bad gene is present, so we are now leaning closer to the best-case scenario. But you know what? I’m leaning toward God’s best-case scenario, praying for total healing or minimal surgery after birth with a normal life expectancy.

Will you join me? Will you say a prayer for our little Genevieve?

My deepest thanks to all of you and to another dear friend who sent this beautiful Scripture prayer that brought tears to my eyes.

“For God declares: I know the plans that I have for Genevieve, plans for her welfare and not for calamity to give Genevieve a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). My eyes have seen her unformed substance, and in My Book were written the days that were ordained for her, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious are My thoughts toward Genevieve! How vast is the sum of them (Psalm 139:16). Before Genevieve was formed, I knew her, and before she is born, I have already consecrated her (Jeremiah 1:5). I, the Lord, will preserve her and keep her alive, and she will be blessed on the earth; for I will not deliver her to the will of the enemy! (Psalm 41:2).

Thank you, LORD that Your Word is true and You are faithful to perform it!

Hugs and here’s to a sunny weekend!


P.S. PLEASE FORGIVE ME — I meant to include author Sandra Orchard’s grandson in my post today for prayer, and I completely forgot (only one of the many ravages of getting old!!), so PLEASE pray for little 3-year-old Jed as well. He had a tragic accident with a tractor, requiring multiple surgeries and an amputation, so I cannot imagine the pain and trauma that family is going through right now. He is slowly improving, so prayers are vital for this family as we all know. Here is Sandra’s Facebook page if you want more information: Thank you and God bless you for your faithfulness in prayer!!