When He Wakes You and Says Write. Write!

In The QuietOn Saturday afternoon, I found my 8-year-old playing with my iPhone. I got a little irritated when I discovered she was fooling around with the alarms. She’d set one to ON, so I turned it OFF. I scrolled through the alarms and when I thought they were all turned off, I took the phone and put it back in my purse.

I woke up at 3:15 a.m. Sunday morning to the alarm going off on my phone.

I literally jumped out of bed. My heart was beating fast and hard. I couldn’t tell where the ring was coming from, so I stumbled in a racing sort of way around the room searching for the phone.

You see, in that moment waking from deep sleep, I didn’t remember my daughter had been fooling around with the alarms. I thought the phone was ringing, and I thought it was my sister calling to say she was in labor.

I finally found my phone and realized it wasn’t my sister calling, but one of those pesty alarms that got by me somehow.

And then I got to thinking, perhaps it was God that woke me this night.

In the middle of the night, woken by an alarm, the one thing that sat in my subconscious sleep-state was my sister. Her life has been the backdrop, the dramatic and always unfolding sub-plot to my life for the past 9 1/2 years. She’s pregnant with her second, due to deliver in five days. And I can’t help but think the story’s still being written.

In the pitch black room, in the dark of the night, in my barely awake state, my heart still racing, the reason I’d been woken was as clear as day.

It’s time to write, Amy. It’s time to write.


I’ve been thinking about those words I wrote about my sister’s journey in 2004-2010. 201 pages, single spaced. 94,271 words. 402,099 characters. And that’s not all. There’s more content in a separate document, more content I’ve published on this blog, a whole host of things that have gone undocumented since I last wrote in October 2010.

Looking back, it seems miraculous I was able to write all that. Surely a coping mechanism, surely the best way for me to process the traumatic events, surely therapeutic. Surely and only written by the grace of God.

I always knew those words were book worthy. But the “book” didn’t have an ending. And to be honest, the thought of reliving those events and getting them in any sort of manuscript form has been overwhelming on all fronts.

But God says….

It’s time to write. The story is still being written.

So I need to write. This week, whether I have time or not, whether it’s convenient or not, I need to open up the document and begin again, on page 202.

Because things have happened, because things are going to happen, because the end of the story has yet to be written.

The scary, the ugly, the completely unknown, the beautiful parts in-between are still unfolding. I’ve recently realized – what if this chapter is the turning point? Do I really want to miss His hand? Would I really want to let the details be forgotten, go untold? My answer has been a reluctant no – the writing of the story is a double living it out. It’s lived in real life, and then it’s lived again on the screen. Sometimes that’s painful and not so pretty. And let’s be real – it’s also a lot of work – and might ultimately serve no purpose except my own release.

But He woke me to say…

It’s time to write. The story is still being written.

Sometimes beautiful, definitely mysterious, and at times utterly confusing, this is just a tidbit of the chapter immediately prior to second baby’s arrival.

Tiffany and Stewart

I sat at the table in TGI Friday’s, waiting. Tiffany and Stewart were about to arrive. We’d watched my niece, Raegan, for the past day so she’d have experienced sleeping away from her mom when the baby arrives. I looked out the window and there they were. I’d never met Stewart before. They just started dating and I knew very little about this man that came into the life of my 7 1/2-months-pregnant sister. But in an instant, my heart knew everything it needed to know when I looked out the window and caught a glimpse of him opening the door for her.

As the night progressed, my instincts told me – this man is good at his core. He has the potential to be an incredible Godly husband someday. And I felt a possible laying of God’s hands all over this set of circumstances. Because it was SO untimely, SO unlikely, SO seemingly impossible on all levels.

You see, Stewart has a significant history of his own.* His story, much like my sister’s. Stewart has overcome. He’s found healing, grace and forgiveness, yet still finds himself “failing forward” in battle with the enemy. But in my heart of hearts, I’m choosing to believe Stewart is fundamentally a good man who CAN overcome once and for all through the power and strength of Jesus, our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

I’m choosing to let God lead. Because He’s writing the story. He’s writing every word.

Stewart brought a smile to my sister’s face that I don’t remember seeing since 1998.

And He smiled. Well done, good and faithful servant. 

Stewart got my sister laughing in a way I hadn’t heard for years. I didn’t even remember she could laugh like that until I heard it.

And He laughed. Well done, good and faithful servant.

There’s no making up smiles, and there’s no making up laughter either. It’s genuine, or it’s not. When you’ve come from the depths of hell on earth, you recognize real joy when you see it, real joy when you hear it. 

There’s no guarantee for any of us except the promise of heaven. It’s the living between now and then that’s packed-full of possibility.

Stewart’s come on the scene at the most unlikely of times. It doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to believe there could be anything good to come of this relationship. And truth be told, pain has already popped its ugly head.

But I’m believing that there’s something to this, there’s a reason and purpose for these developments. Because anyone who’s able to make my sister smile in a way I haven’t seen in years, and laugh in a way I didn’t even remember was possible – has done something very special in my book. They’ve given me a glimpse of hope.

Even if for one day. One day of hoping, one day of believing, one day of seeing the possible.

For ALL things are possible – in Him.

So I believe.

I believe God is working in my sister.

And I believe God’s working in Stewart as well.

As far as human hearts can tell, their lives lie in the unknown. But a God who’s bigger, greater, stronger – a God who sent his Son to save us from ourselves – is in control.

My planful, controlled, always analyzing spirit wants to know why. Why complicate an already complicated situation, God? Why bring them together when they clearly need to focus on themselves right now, God? Why not later, God, when they’re both healed and whole and wholly yours?

And He says in the quiet…

Don’t ask. You don’t need to know now. The story will unfold. It will take its course. I AM working. Lean not on your own understanding, but Mine. Keep your visions, your dreams, your hopes alive. Tuck them away for safe keeping. And trust in Me.

But in the meantime…

It’s time to write. The story is still being written.


*Stewart granted me permission to share his story in hopes that it will help even one, but for the protection of my sister and because I’d like to leave room for Stewart to share his testimony on this blog someday, I choose to keep the details private for now.

If you’d like to read more about my sister’s story, click here.

  1. Vicki Thunstrom says:

    Amy, I am keeping your sister and Stewart in my prayers. There are so many parallels between her story and mine and this is one of them. I can testify that our God is Bigger than all of our problems, addictions, choices, all of it. He is our Redeemer and He is always with us.

    Your writing is so beautiful and your heart for your sister just melts mine. I wish I had a sister like you!

  2. Peggy Lynn Groenwold says:

    As always Amy, you are a prolific and authentic writer. Your blog definitely has the hand of the Lord resting on your pen! Looking forward to more…

  3. Monica Anderson Palmer says:


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