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Just bear with me for a moment and let me set the table for a true story about Kayley, about a friend named Rodney who went to live with Jesus because of cancer, and about his brother in law named Scott.

It's a story about ...the past...the present... the future.

It's a story about me... you... and every person who has ever been broken and ran over by life.

One of my closest friends growing up was a guy name Rodney Brom. We hunted/fished together, graduated together and were the best of friends for many years. I even preached his funeral. We used to go to his girlfriends house quite often to see her family, a girl he would eventually marry.

One cold winters day the snow was so thick on the driveway that I accidentally veered off the path and ran over a brand new baby tree that his future father in law had planted. The tree was absolutely shredded and we all knew that the little sapling would never make it.

This was a long, long time ago.

Let me fast-forward to today. Now that we're back home we're trying to get settled in and today I went down to the licensing office and did something I never thought I would do. I secured a handicap parking permit for my wife to use as she shuttles my 19 year old daughter to doctors appointments. It all seemed so surreal. After being up until 4AM, applying for Kayley's disability and the whole handicap thing I fought depression off and on all day.

Minutes ago I got home and received a text and picture from Rodney's brother in law -Scott. By the way -I watched Scott receive Christ as Savior as we prayed in his den a matter of weeks before Rodney went to heaven.

I am copy and pasting what his text said and the picture he sent.

When I read it I was blown away and I'm unashamed to admit I wept as I soaked in each word he wrote. It's not just a diamond of truth for me but for anyone feeling down.

"I was backing out of my dads place this afternoon and I looked at this tree in a different way than before. It was backed over by a truck many years ago 😉. My dad decided to try and save it instead of ignoring it or simply cutting it down. Today it is healthy and growing strong, standing at least 25 ft in the air. Sure it is just a tree but it is also a symbol, a reminder of life. I also thought of your daughter and all of her suffering. I pray she will grow strong again and be a symbol, a reminder for others to believe and to stay strong in their faith. I love you brother..."

Do you see it? Can you digest the insight God gave Scott today?

I know he has been to his parents a thousand times- but today- a day I needed a word of encouragement - a day you may also be needing a glimmer of hope is the day God opened his eyes to something new, encouraging and true.

Scott is right. What is shredded, broken, ran over or suffering TODAY can be renewed, healed, strengthened and strong TOMORROW.

That same tree I ran over provides shade to the weary, home to birds and best of all... the testimony that broken things are often the greatest symbol that God can make all things new.

I will not lose hope.

Kayley will not lose hope.

YOU will not lose hope amidst your own challenge!!!

You may be crushed today but by faith and perseverance you and your story will become the example to so many others who are hurting or who have lost their way. One day you, me and Kayley or anyone else who keeps their faith- will grow strong and be a living reminder that our greatest pain becomes our greatest platform.

God knew the night I knocked down the tree that years later He would use it to lift up my spirit.

We must remember, destroyed limbs does not mean destroyed roots and Gods greatest leaders endure the greatest brokenness!!!!

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